Guest Blog by Lily Slydel
As I left school, in the height of British recession, I noted a dramatic increase in the number of my friends opting to take a gap year instead of immediately pursuing higher education. Entering the world on a quest to discover foreign lands, fantastic foods and most pertinently, to find ‘themselves’. Whether you choose to grace the golden shores of Bali, trek through the Peruvian Amazon or brave bustling streets of Bangkok, with the ever-soaring university tuition fees, escaping to a hotter climate has never looked so appealing!
The prospect of a gap year entices a wide variety of people, providing an opportunity to experience culture and working in a way previously unobtainable in the confines of secondary education. Not just this, but the ‘gap year’ is often seen to ‘broaden your horizons’ and ‘build character’, both of which are desirable for future career and education prospects. It is also, for the large portion of gap year takers, the first time they step out into the world truly alone.
Gapyear.com highlight some of the most popular gap-year destinations, naming Thailand as the number one choice, closely seconded by Australia and with Malaysia coming in a comfortable third. All these tropical destinations offer a multitude of positives, Sun, Sea, Culture and exotic foods, however, with the tempting hot climate brings a plethora of insects and their associated diseases.
According to Rob Pineda, Gapyear.com’s resident expert, over 2,000 people a year enter the UK with Malaria, a portion of whom will die. So as a parent of a ‘gap year taker’, obviously you want to minimise the chances of your children being affected by tropical diseases. Altering travel plans to avoid malarial areas is no longer a necessity for those who are super attractive to mosquitoes. So as we embark on a new academic year, those in between studies are starting to plan their next intrepid adventure and so there are a few things that are important to remember.
First and foremost, if you are heading to particular areas in Thailand, where the biters are larger, more ferocious and can be transmitting Malaria. Some of these most popular Thai destinations, including Bangkok, Phuket and Ko Pha-Ngan, are considered to be relatively low risk, however, the entire central boarders are high-risk. It is important to remember to take a suitably sized, impregnated mosquito net. incognito®mosquito nets have 365 holes per inch, over twice the recommended standard for effective malaria protection and whilst the powerful insecticide is deadly for mosquitoes, it is completely safe for humans. Lightweight, portable with long lasting impregnation, there is no excuse not to have optimum protection wherever you may be staying, perfect for those backpackers who are in it for the long haul.
Of course, incognito® spray is a backpackers must have, and for the concerned parents the hand-luggage size natural spray is the perfect, and more effective, alternative to DEET. With four years of testing in the Bolivian Amazon, incognito®spray is the strongest insect repellent on the market, lemony fresh and 100% natural, makes it the perfect gap year adventurers product. With strict luggage restrictions, it is of optimum importance to keep all your toiletries to a minimum, therefore the pocket-sized crystal deodorant is the young travellers must-have. In addition to the trademark spray, the innovative crystal formation guarantees long lasting protection and reduces the additional insect attractants present in normal deodorants.
All in all there are many ways you can have fun, healthy, bite-free travels!
incognito® is delighted to have teamed up with our friends at Intelligent Pelican for essential gap year travel kits and discounts on incognito products.
Brown, Paul. “Mind the Gap: Why Student Year out May Do More Harm than Good.” The Guardian. 06 Sept. 2003. Web.
Pineda, Rob. “Malaria: A Guide by Rob Pineda.” Gapyear.com, Web.