Ross Fraser, a seasoned backpacker, knows all there is to know about backpacking all around the world. He runs a leading backpacking website within the UK known as Backpacking Holidays. The website offers advice and articles about backpacking around the world. Here are his tips to the student backpacker: "If you about to start University or are already there, working hard with the aim of completing your degree and joining the rat race, one thing you should do is go away travelling out-of term time, you will regret not doing it!"

"However there are lots to think about before you plan anything so here are my tips (from my own personal trips) for a happy backpacking experience from my own personal experience on the road."

  • 1. Travel Alone

    It's often difficult to coordinate with friends or find friends who have a stash of disposable cash lying about to go away travelling on a whim with. Travelling alone sounds like it will be a misery, but it is actually easier, and you are less likely to end up falling out with your best friends (which all too often happens) Travelling alone means you get to do exactly what you want - and if you make sure you stay in youth hostels and get involved in activities when you are away you will make friends quickly and settle into the life on the road easily.
  • 2. Take your anti-malarial tablets

    It sounds like a stupid thing to say, but I ended up not taking mine, I got lazy and they made me feel a bit ill. The outcome was I got malaria and nearly died in hospital in India.
  • 3. Plan ahead

    When you're on the road, it is good to plan your transport ahead. Unlike the UK where you can hop on a train/bus the same day, places like India require booking of your public transport many days in advance. So don't just turn up at the train station expecting to get on a train.

If you are slightly undecided about taking a gap year, then perhaps contemplating the reasons why you may just take the year out and explore the world is just what you need:

  • Getting away from education.

    After spending years in the classroom staring at the clock wishing the bell to ring for home time, along with the endless nights revising until the early hours of the morning, it may just be time to escape it all for a year or so. Perhaps your studying hormones have taken a little break and the only way to find them again is a nice long break from study. In some cases, taking a year out can actually allow you to benefit in future educational courses.
  • You simply need to see the world.

  • You have the finances to do so,

    or perhaps the determination to make the money to fulfill your dreams.
  • You want to re-apply to university;

    you may have to re-adjust your choices or courses, in which case would have a year to waste until you start university/ college.
  • You need to get away and meet new people,

    whilst gaining a little more confidence.

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