Questionnaire: Should You Plan a Gap Year With Friends?
Many young adults picture their gap years as a chance to see the world and have fun with friends. Yet travelling with friends could cause a whole host of annoyances, compromises and even arguments that you might not encounter should you travel with strangers in a programme or even on your own.
To help you work out if you should plan a gap year with friends we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each question honestly, then count up your answers and match the totals to the explanations at the end.
Questionnaire1. Have you travelled with your friends in the past?
2. Do you recognise and accept your friends' flaws?
3. Do you recognise and appreciate your friends' strengths?
4. Would you and your friends have similar travel budgets?
5. Are you and your friends interested in travelling to the same areas?
6. Do you and your friends enjoy participating in the same activities?
7. Do you and your friends keep similar sleep schedules?
8. Are your friends sensitive to other cultures?
9. Can you trust your friends to pay their share of expenses?
10. Do your friends cope well in the event of emergencies or other surprises?
11. Would you and your friends equally appreciate alone time while travelling?
12. Would you be sad to experience a gap year without your friends?
Should You Plan a Gap Year With Friends?0 - 5
If you answered "yes" to between zero and four questions then you may want to reconsider planning a gap year with friends. Travel can be stressful, expensive and often surprising and it doesn't sounds as though having your friends around would make your trip any easier. But if you are unable to even contemplate striking out on your own then try to plan a short trip prior to your gap year to find out more about how your friends would cope. Even an overnight trip somewhere relatively local will help you discover more about your friends' travel expenses, planning skills, expectations and typical behaviour. Don't be afraid to think critically about your friends before planning a gap year, after all it's better to have these thoughts at home than to be surprised by them when you're already travelling and don't have many options for dealing with them.
5 - 8
If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you might enjoy planning a gap year with friends. It seems as though the benefits of travelling with your friends would be more numerous than the risks, but look over your answers carefully. Did you answer "no" to any question that would be so important to you that it would cancel out all of your "yes" answers? For example, would having to compromise on gap year destinations or activities mean more to you than if your friends keep similar schedules or are good to have around in an emergency? Your are the only one who can decide what is the most important part of a gap year, and if it turns out that it's not travelling with your friends then move on and begin planning a trip to really suit your own interests and goals.
If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you most likely should plan a gap year with friends. Your eyes seem to be wide open to any potential drawbacks of travelling with friends, but there don't seem to be many of those. Travelling with friends can be a real comfort, not just because you'll have friendly faces around but because you'll get to share your gap year with those you care about and who care about you. If you haven't discussed gap year plans with your friends yet, get your own ideas straight and decide what components you'd be willing to compromise on. Then discuss your gap year ideas with your friends and get set for the trip of a lifetime.