Written by Olivia Peace.

The Linc’s rating: 4/5

The 23rd edition of the gap-year guidebook proves to be a compelling information provider, especially for people like me; from the account of someone who had absolutely zero understanding of a gap-year or even how to go about taking one, I found the book an interesting read despite my doubts.

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My initial thought was that the guide seemed very intimidating; the book is in likeness to the thickness of an actual piece of fiction. Each page has small text, is paragraphed frequently and is very detailed.

Debatably however, there were some pieces of information that I felt were unnecessary content, such as the paragraph titled ‘Finding a Job’. One piece of advice is: “The more places you can send your CV to, the greater chances of you getting a job”, which I thought was fairly obvious to include as advice for someone who is serious about taking a year out of studying?

As I went further on into the book, however, it became less intimidating and instead much more informative. It even taught me things I underestimated the importance of for example, medical insurance: “Should something go wrong while you are overseas, costs can quickly escalate with average prices ranging from £15,000 to over £100,000 (in Europe and America respectively) for treatment and re-scheduling flights back home”.

This means that having no medical insurance could potentially cost you more than the actual savings for the gap-year itself. Bad idea not to have medical insurance then.

But the guide book becomes even more helpful as the final third of the book is filled alphabetically with contact details, including email addresses, telephone numbers and websites for you to contact directly and easily.

My friend, Liam McCullion, currently living in Hull, is starting his gap-year in January 2015 and when I asked him how difficult it was to arrange, he said: “It was really easy to be fair, I went with a company who organise them and did it through them”.

When I further asked if he wished he had had a guide book to use, he said “I did not at the start of planning, but now I am always looking at books about travelling”.

This proves that guide books like this are worth the money and time to read for help with planning the perfect gap-year.