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  • Writer's pictureAlmeera Eman

Budget-friendly Tips for Travelling on your Gap Year with CanGap Ambassador Claire

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Claire-Marie - 00:00

Hey guys it's Claire and right now I'm currently doing a Work Away in the South of France in a small town called Prod and I thought that this would be a really great time to talk to you about the benefits of travel during your Gap Year and how we can make affordable choices so that travel can be a big part of your Gap Year if that's what you want it to be.

For many reasons travel is a lot of people's number one goal during a gap year, but it can also seem like the most unattainable part because it does traditionally cost a lot of money.

In my experience I found a couple ways to deal with this and a couple ways to travel differently and kind of shift your mindset while traveling so that it can cost you less money, but also it can kind of provide a different experience than your traditional vacation traveling.

The first method you might have heard me mention at the beginning of the video is what I'm currently doing, which is a Work Away, a Work Away is basically doing a little bit of work each day for a family or somebody who needs it on the site in return for accommodation and food.

Claire-Marie - 01:00

This is a really great way to travel when you're going, you want to stay somewhere longer and you also want to gain skills.

Not only are you visiting this region and getting to know people who are local to the region, you're also gaining experience doing whatever kind of work they need you to do.

For example, during this work away, I've learned how to set a floor, dig up a floor, also learned how to sit down heating coils, how an air source heat pump works and a lot of cooking as well.

Claire-Marie - 01:36

Now it's different for each work away, and sometimes you could be doing a big building project, or you could just be taking care of kids.

Really, it's whatever you and the person who you're staying with agrees to at the beginning and as long as you make sure to do your research on the person, read all the reviews on the site and make informed decisions about where you're going to stay, then you'll have a good time.

For the travel where we weren’t doing a Work Away, we had to be really careful with our money. We had to decide and budget it out ahead of time so that we didn't run out of money while traveling and also so that we stayed within our vacation budget. What we did was a mixture of three things.

Claire-Marie - 02:14

The first was going and planning ahead of where we wanted to stay and seeing the cheapest time to travel as well as the best time to get a hotel deal.

There are a couple of really good systems, one thing you want to think about when you're booking a hotel is if there's any student rewards. So I use the SPC card and that allowed me to get really good deals on hotels, about 50% off on a lot of them.

Look around, see what rewards are available for students as and you don't always have to be a student in school to reap those benefits.

Claire-Marie - 02:53

Another recommendation I have for if you want to go find a hotel to stay in is looking for somewhere outside the city center. I know it's nice to go stay right in the city center and be able to kind of walk out your door and have that ability to just have all the city in front of you, but a lot of times it'll be a lot cheaper to get a hotel a bit outside the city center.

Although this means a bit of walking, it also gives you the opportunity to look around the area and kind of see some of the parts of where we were traveling that you might not have seen before.

Just make sure you know about the area beforehand so you know what those areas outside of the city are like especially at night time.

Claire-Marie - 03:36

The next thing I would recommend looking up on is credit cards. Whether or not credit cards can help you on your traveling journey is something that you need to decide for yourself, and you need to look at for yourself, but I know for myself a lot of things that have helped are getting a credit card and then paying for my journey with the credit card and then getting points to use for another travel journey, which has been really useful.

Just remember to look at your credit card and make sure not to overspend and pay it off every month so that not only your credit score isn't impacted, you're also able to continuously have positive benefits from the credit card itself.

So I'm still learning about this myself, so I'm not too sure how to talk about it in depth, but something that you can look up on your own is travel hacking.

It's basically using credit card rewards to get really cheap flights and hotels, so by doing travel hacking it can really reduce the amount of money that you're spending specifically on traveling and basically turn the money on groceries and rent and other things into traveling money as well.

So another option that I would recommend checking out is couch surfing.

Claire-Marie - 04:47

It's basically a website that connects you with the host and that host will let you stay somewhere in their house for free. Now this is a really great option if you want to meet a local and also do some cultural exchange.

My only recommendation with this would be to of course do your research on the person and look at the reviews beforehand.

Many money saving hacks allow you to see the world from a different perspective, whether it be giving you the opportunity to live in a local's house, connect culturally with a place or simply stay longer in an area and get to know the people and landscape.

Regardless of the method you choose to save money while traveling, one thing to keep in mind is an open perspective.

I found that when you're able to shift your perspective and your expectations on what travel should look like, you'll find that more opportunities and options come available to you to budget your travels more.

Claire-Marie - 05:34

That's all the tips I have for today! Remember, stay creative, have an open perspective and research, research, research!

If you enjoy this video, don't forget to leave a like and if you want to see more from the Canadian Gap Year Association, why not subscribe to the channel and hit the Bell notification!

That's all for now, bye!

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