step 1

Work or play?

The first thing you should consider is what type of trip you want to take. Your gap year is your chance to decompress and gain essential life experience after the long-haul that was high-school.

  1. Work

    A great way to extend your holiday longer is to find work or engage in some volunteering while abroad. Utilise your skills and look for opportunities that will allow you the flexibility to earn a living income, while ensuring you’re able to get out there and meet new people and see what you want to see.

    If volunteering is more your thing, there’s no better way to get an in-depth look at local culture, and it’ll look great on your resume.

    Be sure to try and line something up before you leave home, though, so you’re not under pressure, and check out what work permits or specific Visa type you’ll need.

  2. Play

    If you’ve had enough of responsibility for a while and need to spend some time heading wherever the prevailing wind takes you, then all you’ll need to do is make sure your passport is current, with enough validity left to cover your trip, and organise your Visa.

step 2

Plan your trip

Now, on to the really fun stuff. Where do you want to go? How long for? What do you want to see and do? A great idea is to plot your itinerary and create a travel budget for yourself. Be sure to include estimated costs for transport, accommodation, food, recreation, etc, and don’t forget to leave yourself a bit of room in the budget for emergencies!

Once you’ve got your budget figure, you can start saving towards your goal. To stay motivated, plot your savings journey using our handy Savings Goal Calculator, and if you haven’t already, check out our Life Saver Account – offering a competitive interest rate and the option of fee-free everyday banking, it’s a great way for gap year travellers to grow their balance.

step 3

Manage your money

Once your tickets are booked, you’ll be like a bull at a gate to get out there. Before you wave from the terminal, though, give a quick thought to how you’ll manage your money while on the road.

  1. Visa Debit

    Whether you’re buying a round of drinks in a speakeasy in Brooklyn, or you’re negotiating with a spice merchant in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, it’s good to know your money is accepted anywhere.

    Visa Debit card ensures you can spend safely and conveniently anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide. Plus, shop online, and take advantage of Visa payWave for purchases under $100.

    Learn more about Visa Debit

  2. Cash Passport

    Great for travellers intent on globe-trotting in their gap year. Avoid the need to carry cash with a Multi-Currency Cash Passport. Load up to ten currencies onto one easy to use card, and lock in the exchange rate of your choice.

    Learn more about Cash Passport

step 4

Travel, insured.

One of the great things about gap year travel is that the possibilities are endless – you never know where each day might take you. While cliff-diving in Mykonos or pulling a wheelie on a scooter down the main street of Seminyak may seem like a great idea at the time, when things go wrong abroad, there’s no substitute for knowing you’re covered.

Getting the right cover before you leave home is easy – you can even get a quote online. Trust us - your mum and dad will rest easy knowing you’re covered against things like overseas medical expenses, lost travel documents and credit cards, etc.

step 5

Know what you need to know

Finally, they say there’s no better way to learn than experience, but we thought we’d give you a few little tips in advance to make your trip greater.

  1. Pack lightly

    It’s easy to imagine the myriad of situations you may find yourself in where you’ll need 15 pairs of high heels, but the reality is, you’ll be lugging that bag all over the world. Take it easy on yourself, and avoid taking too many valuable items with you.

  2. Smart Traveller

    No matter where you’re planning to go, the world can change these days at a moment’s notice. Stay informed by paying attention to any updates from smartraveller.gov.au, and register your travel plans with DFAT (dfat.gov.au/travel) before heading off.

  3. In the moment

    Be sure to soak it all up and stay in the moment. You’ve planned your trip of a lifetime – pay attention, take lots of photos and videos, and don’t spend the whole trip either hungover, or with your eyes glued to your phone. You’ll thank us!