4 Potential downsides to gap years (that you need to plan for)

4 Potential downsides to gap years (that you need to plan for)

It's going to be expensive

From flights to food and accommodation, there are a lot of costs involved in taking a gap year and it can add up fast!

Don't be discouraged however, with a little planning and foresight you can easily make up for the cost of getting around, you just might have to make a few sacrifices here and there.

A quick online search will show you tonnes of tips & tricks to help cut costs. There are also packaged gap-year programs that take all the guesswork out of planning your gap year and can give you a tangible figure to save up for in advance.

Finally, for those who don't mind getting their hands dirty, you can opt for a free gap year by working your way across the world in a work-exchange program!

You're likely going to be on your own

Taking a travel gap year couldn't be more different from what most college students are accustomed to.

Depending on where you go, you'll be exposed to unfamiliar people, customs, food and places. You won't be able to rely on parents and friends to get you out of a jam, You'll need to be entirely self-sufficient. That means knowing how to navigate your way through towns and cities you've only ever seen on TV (if at all).

If it sounds intimidating, that's because it can be. But, when you pull it off, your self confidence will skyrocket. It can sometimes be a harsh introduction to the world-at-large, but the knowledge that you can solve your own problems can not only put yourself at ease but can also give your parents a little peace of mind.

You might lose momentum in your education

A common problem faced by gap year takers is the thought that gap years will delay your further education, delay you getting a good job and ultimately push your entire life-plan back a year.

You might also hear tales of students taking never-ending gap years that last decades!

You really shouldn't worry so much, studies show that almost all students return from their gap year within a year. Those that do take gap years also perform just as well in their academics as those that don't.

A little side note: Those that choose not to return from taking a gap year often do so because they find a passion in life that doesn't require tertiary education, just another great reason to make sure you make the best of yours!

Gap years require months of planning

Taking a gap year is a big decision, and you'll be faced with almost endless possibilities! You could go backpacking, or volunteer, or travel the world, or work part-time in a café.

Taking a gap-year doesn't mean taking a break from responsibilities and common sense, and the entire process can start to look more during the longer you spend researching your opportunities.

Planning can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. You'll find hundreds of online resources to help you along the way. Taking a gap-year has been a tradition among high-school leavers for decades and you'll have a wealth of information to help you decide how you want to use your newfound freedom.

Your gap year options are practically endless, but if you don't go it alone, planning your gap year can be solved in no time at all. So, hop online and see what great resources the web has to offer!

‘Travel is not without risk. The risk needs to be kept to a minimum acceptable level without eliminating the sense of fulfilment for individuals’