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For immediate release: 6 June 2005
Sarah Horner > T +44 (0)113 2054628 / 07818 055235 > E
Lisa Berwin > T +44 (0)113 205 4565 > E

…but not necessarily on the right things

With around 100,000 UK student travellers heading for the big blue yonder this year, the gap year bill could be set to be in excess of £500 million.* But according to volunteer travel specialist i-to-i, not every penny is being spent wisely, with many young travellers scrimping on necessities and splurging on the non-essentials.

New research from the gap year provider shows more than nine in ten (92) per cent of young travellers fall foul of the ‘impulse buy’ trap, being coaxed by the likes of cheap DVD’s and didgeridoos! Similarly:

• Four in five (78 per cent) of returned gappers say they have been victims of overseas overcharging with transport charges being a fleecing favourite.
• One in three (31 per cent) have been caught out by unexpected travel charges such as airport tax.
• Whilst more than half (53 per cent) admit to general overspending during their trip.

The founder of i-to-i Deidre Bounds, herself an avid traveller says: “We have found that the average ‘gap’ can anywhere from £2,000-£5,000. With many weird and wonderful country souvenirs, low prices and good exchange rates it is hard not to go a little crazy and splash out. However, this is often on items you don’t really need that will push your backpack and your credit card over the limit.”

Be sure to insure!
More worrying than bad budgeting however, is the fact that many young travellers skimp on essentials to make room for their ‘must haves.’ i-to-i research has found up to a quarter of those students about to embark on a gap year do not plan to take out travel insurance.**

Deirdre says: “Considering that one in three gappers who do have insurance make a claim,** this could be a hugely expensive omission. For instance, an air ambulance could set someone back £100,000 or a simple sunstroke can cost up to £8,000 in medical bills.*** So if insurance is not arranged properly then students are putting themselves and their families at serious financial risk, just for the matter of a few hundred pounds.”

Contingency crisis
The i-to-i survey also unearthed that two thirds of returned gap travellers (63 per cent) either didn’t have contingency monies for their travels, or found the emergency fund they did have was just too small. Whether your fund pays for emergency dental work or an extra night’s lodging, it is vital to expect the unexpected when travelling.

“But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure (sport)...”
Falling under the contingency umbrella come the occasional overseas opportunities which just can’t be turned down. But they come at a cost. More than two thirds of young travellers enjoy a spot of adventure sport on their travels, but given that a bungee jump in Oz can cost more than £50 and a tandem sky-dive down under in excess of £100, people need to take this ‘must-have’ costs into account.

How much is enough?
When you make that decision to take time out whether it be a few weeks, months or even years, it is hard to know how much you will need to raise. Not only will you need spending money but also flights, insurance and all those hidden extras that can push such adventures out of reach of your strained purse strings.

Here are some of the major costs i-to-i suggests most travellers need to cover in order to make their dream trip a reality. (NB: all costs are approximate and will vary depending on where and when people travel):

Flights £1,000
Insurance £250
Visas £10 - £30
Immunisations £70
Backpacks and travel essentials £300
Overland travel costs £200 - £400
Adventure sports £50 - £200
Tours / volunteer project costs £1,300
Daily living costs £10 - £25 per day

Deirdre concludes: “Travelling the world is an amazing, enriching experience, and with careful planning, one which need not include money worries. By doing your research and speaking to those who have already travelled, you can set yourself a realistic budget before you step on the plane.”


For further press information and case studies, please contact Sarah Horner on 0113 205 4628 / 07818 055235 or Lisa Berwin on 0113 205 45 65

*Figures based on 100,000 gap year travellers spending between £2,000 and £5,000 (sources: the Year Out Group and
** Source: Direct Line travel insurance.
*** Sources: and Direct Line.

i-to-i research was carried out with 1065 returned ‘gap year’ travellers aged 18-22.

1. i-to-i is a volunteer travel and TEFL training organisation based in Leeds, UK; Denver, USA; and Co. Waterford, Ireland. Since 1994, it has sent around 10,000 volunteers to work on 300 projects in 24 countries worldwide and trained a further 15,000 people to teach English as a foreign language.

2. i-to-i is a founding member of the Year Out Group, associate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ‘Know Before You Go’ Campaign, member of the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations and has training accreditation from the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of i-to-i in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, for more information visit