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The Virgin Student Traveller's Handbook Paperback – 16 Jul 1999
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The Virgin Student Travellers' Handbook is purpose written for young people contemplating or actively preparing for travel during a Gap year, either before or at the end of University. Tom Griffiths writes in a friendly, down-to-earth and intelligent way about every aspect of travel and working abroad. Rather than a guide on where to go, this is a book that asks and answers questions about why you should travel and when and how to do so. In the "Getting Started" chapter Tom points out that, of five young people who talk about travelling, statistically only one of them will go--this book is designed for that person. Every conceivable aspect of travelling is covered: how to budget, what employers think, who to go with and one of the most important chapters--how to deal with your parents!
The practical side of the book is brilliant and Tom's extensive experience is clear to anyone who has travelled before. It covers health, diet, insurance, drugs, visas, hitch hiking, keeping in touch, how to pack a rucksack and a brilliant checklist of what you'll need to take with you--all of which will go a long way to reassure anxious parents of your "mature" attitude to travel.
Equally strong is the theoretical side of this book. Tom weighs up the pros and cons of taking a gap year and, as MD of the Gap Year Travel Company, he obviously sees more pros than cons and his enthusiasm is infectious. His writing style is quite funny with some really good travel tales stuck in between the practical guidelines. The advice he gives is challenging and considerate at the same time and mature without being patronising; he even includes his own e-mail address with an instruction for anyone in dire straits to contact him--what a nice bloke!
The last section of the book is country by country listings of the top 50 backpacking destinations, giving statistics on climate, languages, embassy addresses, living costs and visas needed. Worth bearing in mind, at the end of all this, is the chapter on returning home. Things will seem weird/boring/sedate, but the adventure you've had on your Gap year will set you up with an aptitude for adventure in whatever field of life, work or study you then choose to pursue. --Thea O'Connor
Top customer reviews
If you are in any doubt as to whether a year out is a good idea then take a stroll through this book; it's easy to read, excellently laid out and covers absolutely everything you need to know. It's also realistic because it's written by someone who's been there and obtained copious amounts of T -shirts.
If there's one book you buy in preparing for your GAP year it has to be this one.
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