Many graduates feel that they can't wait until they're 65 to see the world, and that after years of studying, they're now free to explore and travel. Here we'll look at what necessary plans should be made before you depart and how you can maximise your travel plans to ensure you make the most of your experience.
Tips before travelling
Make sure you prioritise paying off your final student bills before you leave university or college as unpaid bills could hurt your credit rating. The last thing you want while out exploring the world is to be harassed for overdue bills.
If you are leaving your student house in a good state, then of course you should receive your deposit back from your landlord. If you have an assured shorthold tenancy and paid a deposit on or after 6 April 2007, your landlord or an agent acting on their behalf, must protect it in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Make sure your bank, phone provider and even the Student Loan company are made aware that you've moved address and may be accessing accounts from multiple overseas locations.
Only borrow money if you believe you'll be able to pay it back once you've finished travelling. See the helpful NatWest Borrowing Tool to discover what products and features might best suit your borrowing needs.
Before travelling, you should look at upgrading your bank account from a Student version to a Graduate account. Many Graduate accounts offer extended overdrafts and mobile and digital banking. The NatWest Graduate account is available to UK residents only who have graduated within the last three years.
Make sure you take out travel insurance and check the terms carefully to ensure that it covers all the things you want to do while away.
You'll also need to look into the need for visas and vaccinations before you leave, and plan accordingly.
Gaining employment skills while travelling
By planning, scheduling and budgeting for your travel plans, you are demonstrating invaluable key skills that could be transferred to any working environment. By thinking ahead when it comes to vaccinations, visas, flights and expenses you are also proving you have the ability to organise your priorities and travel/work independently.
When travelling you may be thrust into unfamiliar situations with unfamiliar people. In future you'll be able to draw on these experiences as examples of teamwork. Did you work as a mediator or translator in a difficult situation? Did you help delegate as part of a group while you were travelling? These are both excellent traits within a team and also show great leadership skills.
Once you land the job and the career you've dreamt of, your travel experience could be of great use. If your company ever needs somebody to travel on business, there's a good job you'll be considered as you may have already visited that country and sampled the culture.
Becoming an effective communicator can take a lot of years' work, or attendance of several courses. If you can provide examples of having communicated to people of all walks of life, from school children in India to customers in Canada, you'll be able to add this desired quality to your CV.