Staying healthy on your gap year is a top priority and part of this is making sure you practice safe sex. If you do have sex during your travels, please look after yourself. Even if you don't intend to meet someone whilst travelling, you should nevertheless be prepared just in case you do. A gap year is meant to be fun, but not at the expense of you staying safe.
Making sure you practice safe sex at all times is very important. Not only will this help protect you against pregnancy, it will help protect you from HIV and AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. Pack some condoms before you leave home so you know they're of good quality and are manufactured by a reliable brand. Quality does vary around the world. Visit your GP or travel clinic for more advice before you travel if you want more information.
If you're off on a night out, take some condoms with you, even if you are not planning on sleeping with someone. It's best to have some just in case. Keeping yourself safe on your gap year is very important so the motto is: Be safe and be prepared.
One reason why some people have unprotected sex is because they have had too much to drink. Watch what you drink, and don't get so drunk that you don't know what you are doing. Be sensible and know your limits.
Sex is only fun if you are having a good time and if you are safe. Most people are careful when they go for a night out in the UK and have their own rules about who they are prepared to sleep with. These rules should also apply when you are travelling. Don't let your guard down. If you are going to go off with someone, make sure your friends know where you are and who you are with.
Girls, if you decide you do want to sleep with someone, we would recommend taking them back to your hostel/hotel. By doing this you know where you are and your friends will be close by. You don't need to worry about walking back alone or trying to get a taxi back that late at night. If you do decide to go back to his place, then ensure your friends know where you are and that you have enough money and a phone number for a licensed taxi. Don't forget condoms!
Do not feel pressurised into sleeping with someone you have only just met or are unsure about in any way. If they are a nice person, they will wait until you are ready. It's worth your while spending some time getting to know them and letting your friends suss them out as well before you take it any further.
Remember, you have the right to say no if you are unhappy with someone or feel uncomfortable with them. If you start to think that the person is acting strangely or being too full-on, remove yourself from the situation immediately. Don't worry about being polite or wondering what they will think, just get yourself away. Find your friends or even a group of other travellers who you can sit with until you feel safe again.
Sex is fun, but only when it's safe. You are important, so look after yourself! That's it, lecture over!