How to Prepare for Your Gap Year in Europe

A gap year in Europe is a once in a lifetime experience for a lot of young people, not to mention an important rite of passage. If you’ve finished your education and you want to enjoy some time traveling before you start your career, exploring Europe at length is one of the best ways to do it. If it’s something you’re looking to do, here are some of the ways in which you’ll need to prepare for it.

Look for Scholarships and Grants

It might be a good idea to start looking for scholarships and grants to fund your travel. For people who have strong academic achievements or people who qualify for a grant, these options can make it possible to travel without working and without having to borrow money that you’ll struggle to pay back. Of course, not everyone will quality, but it’s certainly worth exploring just in case.

Consider Gap Year Jobs

If you’re not able to qualify for a scholarship or grant to fund your travels, you might want to look into gap year job opportunities. Some people choose to work as an au pair as this allows them to be placed with a host family and it makes it much cheaper to take the trip. Of course, that’ll mean being based in one place for at least part of your trip. There are plenty of other job opportunities out there too though.

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Understand the Visa Rules

It’s important to understand the rules that you’re going to have to abide by when you’re traveling through Europe. If you’re not an EU citizen, you’ll need to research the visa options before you leave and make sure that you have the right one. You might also want to apply for Irish passport if you qualify through descent. This makes traveling in the EU easier and many people are eligible even if they’ve never traveled to Ireland.

Plan Your Route in Advance

It’s best to plan out your route in detail before you leave home rather than making it up as you go along. The latter might sound like a fun idea, but it can be chaotic and you might find that you miss out on things and fail to make the most of your time if the route isn’t planned out beforehand.

Don’t Try to Do and See it All

Finally, you should remember that you don’t have to see all of Europe on your gap year. It’s a great opportunity to travel and go to places you’ve always wanted to go to. But there’ll be other opportunities to travel in the future and trying to fit in everything you want to do in on trip never works out.

As you can see, it’s certainly possible to prepare and plan for your gap year in Europe without breaking the bank. Don’t be put off by the costs because there’s a way of financing your trip for just about everyone, no matter what their budget is. Just make the most of the tips and ideas discussed above.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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