After completing their A-Levels or during the course of their studies, many students opt to take a gap year from studying in order to experience new adventures and cultural delights around the world. Unfortunately, the number of young people injured or killed on their gap year is alarmingly high. Accident Advice Helpline wishes to reduce the number of accidents on gap years to 0. Here’s our handy guide on to minimise the risk of an accident:
When it comes to gap years, the importance of planning can’t be understated. Many students elect to take a gap year spontaneously, hoping that adventure will come their way as they travel. However, gap years are often undertaken across several countries, sometimes even continents. It is essential to plan ahead for an emergency. Ensure that you check the medical services of your intended destination. In the UK, we are fortunate to have the NHS whereas other countries may have either sub-standard medical care or astronomical medical costs in the event of an accident.
Crime and personal safety
Being the victim of a crime can be an unpleasant and nasty experience. You could be the victim of a crime anywhere in the world and unfamiliar surroundings and lack of local knowledge can be terrifying. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) security advice before you go. Register with the free FCO LOCATE service.
Drugs and alcohol
Many young people see a gap year as a chance to experiment with alcohol and drugs. Although there may be different attitudes towards drugs and alcohol in other cultures, this does not make them any less dangerous. Avoid using any illegal or illicit substances and try to limit your consumption of alcohol as alcohol is a major contributory factor in many of the accidents that occur during gap years.
Rather than trying to source accommodation at your destination, it is best to book well in advance. If possible, try to avoid sharing a room with strangers. Make sure that all locks in your room work properly and make use of a safety deposit to store valuables to prevent them from being stolen.
Can I claim compensation if I am injured during my gap year?
In the unfortunate event that you are injured over the course of your gap year and it isn’t your fault, Accident Advice Helpline could help you to claim compensation even if the accident happened outside the UK. Call us today for more information. Our lines are open 24/7 where a friendly, professional advisor is waiting to take your call.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice