Most Popular Countries
The well trodden backpacker path generally includes Australia, The USA, Japan, Thailand and Brazil and for good reason. In these popular gap year destinations you’ll get stuck into a different culture with plenty of other backpackers to keep you company, enjoy easy transport links and relax safe in the knowledge that millions of other travellers have done the same route over the years.
Australia has remained the most popular gap year destination for years. Thanks to the warm climate, adrenaline-fuelled activities and inclusive visa rules gappers just love it out there. It’s a great destination if you’re planning on extending your travels by working, or if you just want to visit somewhere where you won’t experience too much of a culture shock. Head over to Australia on your gap year and you’ll be in good company with your fellow backpackers, and a kangaroo or two.
Thanks to the country’s on-screen presence, and the fact you can visit a few states in a short space of time, the USA is another hugely popular gap year destination. First timers usually head to the bright lights of NYC or the Hollywood Hills, but the lesser known destinations like Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee also deserve a look in. Whether it’s city sightseeing, national park trekking or theme parks you prefer, the USA is a popular destination because it has it all. Working at a summer camp in America is a great way to extend your stay there and to meet people too.
Japan is fascinating. From the food to the fashion to the culture in general, it’s a country that tops many a gapper’s wishlist. Working out there as an English teacher is a good way to extend your visit, given that it’s pretty expensive to get by out there. Or there are plenty of funky hostels popping up and cheap eateries a plenty if you just want to pop in for a flying visit. Spotting a geisha, seeing the cherry blossom festival and visiting Hiroshima are among the top travel trips in Japan.
Ever popular among any age of traveller, Thailand is an awesome place to spend your gap year. With great value hostels and hotels and some tasty street food, travelling life is simple and cheap. It’s well geared up towards backpackers making it easy to get around and of course it plays host to the notorious Full Moon Parties, and those buckets you might have heard of. If you’re planning on visiting Thailand on your gap year make sure to fit in the islands as well as the big city life.
Over in South America it’s Brazil that takes the award for most popular gap year destination. Interest will only peak what with the footie in 2014, but whatever year it is it’s the Rio Carnival that brings in the most interest. You’ve got to see it to believe it. Year round it’s a great destination with beautiful beaches, nice looking locals and of course, you have to get that all-important photo next to Christ the Redeemer.
Fancy somewhere different?
If you want to go somewhere a bit different, or just want to include a stopover somewhere more unique in your itinerary, browse through our country pages and you’re sure to find somewhere that fits the bill. How about the Cook Islands? Samoa? Or even Fiji?