Did you take a year off to travel before starting university or college? Or did you take a break from the 9-5 life to explore the world? Share your stories to help first-time travelers prepare for their first big trip!
We’d love to hear from you, our community, to help first-timers prepare for their gap-year. There’s no better way to learn about life on the road than to hear it from those that have been there, and done that.
Have a look through the article titles below, and in the application form, share your tips, or pitch your own stories to be featured in the individual articles!
Please note, anything you write in the application form might be used on our Explore or Travel Safety blog. We will include a link back to your personal blog, or social media channels, if you supply the links.
Deadlines: We will require all applications by 30th July.
Payment: This is an unpaid opportunity, but we’re happy to link back to your blog/page in the article.
The Brief: In the application form below, list the number of the article, followed by your own stories, or tips from personal experience. Please note, your application may be edited by the editorial team for brevity, and clarity.
1. Motivations for Your Gap Year
What type of gap year did you take? Where did you go to explore? How can a traveller identify which location is right for them, and what they will get the most experience out of.
Was your gap year motivated by adventure? E.g. cycling from one end of the country to the other, or sailing from one continent to another.
Explain the importance of identifying what you want to get out of your gap year to find the best activity – e.g. exploration, cultural immersion, or examining ancient history sites you’ve just studied for 12 years?
2. Traveling with Friends vs Traveling Solo
What are the pros and cons? Do you ONLY travel solo? if so, why? We want to hear about your experiences. Provide tips on how can travelers identify which is right for them. Do their interests align with their friends?
Talk about the perks of traveling solo vs traveling with friends.
3. How I Saved For My First Gap Year
We want to hear how you saved for your first big trip. Did you work for $7 an hour at a chicken shop? Did you sell all of your belongings and then buy your first flight? What do you wish you did differently?
4. Alternative Methods of Traveling Around
Looking for traveler tips on any of the following modes of transport: Overland travel, freighter travel, hiking, cycling, hiring cars, vans, sailing.
Please include a story or a tip about how you traveled, including where, costs, and the benefits of doing travel that way.
Please also tell us what motivated you to take this mode of transport, e.g. did you use freighter travel because you are afraid of flying? Did you choose to rent a van because it would mean both transport and accommodation?
5. Learning Opportunities for Travelers
What new skills and work opportunities have you pick up along the road? Share your tips on how you learnt your craft on the road, and why traveling will teach you more than a university degree, or college degree will.
6. Fitness & Health Before You Travel
What do you do before you go overseas to boost your immunity, or get your gut health right? What types of training have you done to prepare for high-altitude treks, or hiking, cycling and backpacking?
What do you do to stay healthy on the road?
7. What’s In My Pack
Tell us what you won’t leave home without when you go overseas. Share your top gadgets and items of clothing for different climates and activities. Or share tips on what to buy on the road, and what to pack before you go.
8. Networking & Making Friends Overseas
Are you an introvert, and did you find it hard to make friends overseas? Share your tips on how to make conversation, and how you overcame the awkward first-impressions barrier.
We’re also looking for tips on how to make new friends on the road, and how to use existing networks to get work while traveling, or tap into the family tree to find free accommodation, and get to know your extended family.
An example might be if you used Tinder/dating apps to make friends on the road.
9. How to Ignore that Pre-Travel Fear Factor
Did you get last minute jitters right before you packed up and left? We want to know how you got through the overwhelming stage right before you went overseas, to help travelers ignore that feeling that they might have made the wrong decision.
Share your last minute fear factor, and your encouragement to help travelers overcome that fear, and anxieties on the day you leave friends and family behind.
10. Travelers Admit Their Faux Pas
What did you do wrong overseas, and what at point did you realize? What were the consequences? Why it’s best to research before you go. How do you navigate the difference between being culturally-appropriate and cultural appropriation?
11. Hostel Etiquette
We want to know your first-time hostel mistakes! Do you have any tips on meeting new friends, keeping your bags safe, what you’ll encounter in the hostel, and how to deal with it.
12. Shit Happens When You Travel: Here’s How to Cope
Share your stories about how you dealt with last minute changing plans, how to cope when awful things happened on the road, what to do in an emergency, common misunderstandings of how difficult travel can be.
13. What My Gap Year Did For Me
Tell us why your gap year was a great idea. Looking back now, are you’re glad you took time off to travel and learn about the world, meet new people etc? Did it help you achieve your goals, did you choose to make a big move overseas?
Where will my tips be featured?
Your tips will be published into a blog piece, alongside tips from other members of our community. The articles will be featured on our Explore blog, or in our travel safety section. Your tips could also be reformatted to become part of our downloadable Insider’s Guide.
For an example of how this format works, please take a look at the articles below:
How will I know if I’ve been published?
Our editor will email you to confirm that your tips/stories will be published.