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Travel organisation ABTA has warned gap year students to take all possible steps to ensure their safety, following the tragic murder of two UK medical students who were on a work placement in Malaysia earlier this month.
The warning has been issued just as the summer travelling season hits full swing, with thousands of students and young adults hoping to travel out and explore the world adventure by adventure. Over 25,000 school leavers are deferring their university place and most of them will be taking a gap year trip before starting their courses next autumn.
According to ABTA, the most popular type of gap year requested by school and college leavers for 2014 was work experience placements abroad, including bar work, internships and teaching English in foreign countries. Many people also applied for volunteering trips, with young people choosing to head out and see the world whilst also helping local communities in developing countries.
The popularity of gap years has seen significant increases in recent years, with a trip to Asia, Australia or through other European countries often seen as a rite of passage for those leaving school or university before entering the grown-up world of work.
ABTA Communications Head Victoria Bacon has said, “Doing plenty of research and talking to reputable gap year travel companies can help you decide what to do and where to go.”
ABTA have also said that operators specialising in gap year travel have reported an increase in booking over the last 12 months alone, with Australia being the most popular destination, followed by Thailand, the United States and New Zealand and Peru. They have warned for students and young adults to stay safe and secure whilst overseas, especially following high-profile incidents in Zanzibar and Malaysia.
Insurancewith offer great quality longstay and backpacker insurance aimed at people travelling abroad for an extended period of time, and who might suffer from a pre-existing medical condition. With Insurancewith travel insurance, you are covered for things such as cancellation, emergency medical expenses, personal possessions, personal liability and legal expenses whilst you’re away on your gap year. With the world not seeming particularly safe for gap year travellers at the moment, it is important to listen to the advice of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and take sensible precautions which includes making sure you have the correct travel insurance policy for your needs.