Our Top Destinations for this Year
Believe it or not, we spend quite a bit of time at gapyear.com dreaming about travel and planning adventures – not just for you lot, but for us too! Spending every day talking about travel and the best places in the world means we’re pretty good at this stuff; we know what’s good, we know what’s rubbish, and we know where we want to go next. If you need some inspiration for your next adventure, check out the suggestions here. And hey, if you decide to go to any of these places, let us know when you’re going: if our trips coincide we can meet you for a beer or ten!
Ellie Gilmore – Gap Year Travel Manager
After filling myself with copious amounts of food and booze over the festive period I’ve decided what better way to clear the cobwebs than hike to Machu Picchu?! I’m choosing to do the Lares Trek rather than Inca Trail due to the fact that it actually reaches a higher altitude, allows you to visit villages along the way and experience true Peruvian culture, and actually get to the sun gate earlier than the Inca Trailers, meaning that I can experience the ultimate peace whilst viewing one of the most beautiful sights in the world. I will also take a trip into the Amazon Jungle, visit the floating islands in Puno and travel across to La Paz in Bolivia. And who knows, I may even get to meet a llama or two along the way! Pretty exciting stuff.
Erik De Vos – Marketing Manager
Albania is going to be the next big thing for Euro beach holidays and perhaps the last country in the Mediterranean that hasn’t been washed over with tourists. Sandwiched between Montenegro and Greece… says it all really!
Cormac Scanlan – Chief Operating Officer
I spent an amazing week in Florence last summer: the city’s mix of stunning art and architecture, quirky museums, and 11-out-of-10 cuisine quickly making it one of my favourite places in Europe. In fact, I loved Florence so much that the plan to visit Rome got thrown out in favour of more time there. This summer, the plan is to return to Italy for a second bite of the olive, exploring Caput Mundi, and travelling down to visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. With pizza, pasta, and wine, of course! Salut!
Bolivia, Colombia, Peru
Joey Dyer – Gap Year Travel Manager
After visiting Peru last year, I have gained the desire to revisit and see some more places within South America – most notably Bolivia and Colombia. I would also love to explore the parts of Peru that I missed in my previous trip, such as Huacachina, Lake Titicaca and Arequipa. The language, the food, the culture, the history and the vast backpacking community is what I look forward to returning to most, and am massively looking forward to experiencing it all again later in the year!
Charleston, South Carolina
Kelly O’Flaherty – Business Development Manager
This year, a return to Charleston, South Carolina is on my list. Charleston is one of the most picturesque US cities I’ve ever been to; it’s colourful old country architecture combined with the less offensive southern charm should render it high on anyone’s US itinerary. It has something for everyone: amazing beaches, amazing bars and amazing outdoor activities. I recommend paddle boarding in Shem Creek followed by ice cold beers and hush puppies in Reds Bar, which you can paddle up to or dock your boat at.
Oh, and the food is incredible. For comforting southern-style cooking, Hominy Grill is relaxed and serves up the best shrimp and grits in town. For something more high-end, Halls Chophouse is the best steakhouse in the state. Slightly out of downtown, the West Ashley neighbourhood offers up a culinary maze. BBQ at Swig and Swine, Mexican at Mex1 and the chicken burgers at Boxcar Betty’s are a must. Having travelled the world from the young age of 6 months, I’ve finally found a place that comfortably sits at my #1 spot!
French Alps, Isle of Skye, Ireland, Venezuela
Pete Churchill – Product & Marketing Executive
The first trip of 2015 for me is a week skiing in the French Alps; it’s become a bit of an annual tradition and I’d be loathe to miss out on it this year, especially having whet my appetite earlier in the season with Snoworks. Beyond that, potential trips to the Isle of Skye and the West Coast of Ireland in an effort to explore a little closer to home. Having said that, there are also rumblings about a visit to Venezuela towards the end of the year to see Angel Falls and possibly climb Mount Roraima…
Leo Mead – Gap Year Travel Manager
I want to go to the Dolomites trekking this summer. I went to Morocco last year on an amazing 7 day trek up the Atlas Mountains with Intrepid, which has inspired me to have a go at an independent trek. So many people think of heading to the Alps for ski season, but the mountain ranges in Europe over the summer can easily be overlooked as a hiking destination. Having scenery like this so close by it’s a great way to spread your wings for a week in preparation for a longer journey in the future further afield.
Italy, Germany, Central Asia
Dave Owen – Content & Social Media Specialist
My aim this year is to see a little more of Europe. For the last couple of years I’ve taken trips further afield to Asia, and I have a tendency to overlook Europe because it’s right on my doorstep. In fact, the last time I went to mainland Europe (excluding stopovers) was on a school trip. So this year I’d love to go and be a shameless tourist in Rome and eat obscene amounts of pasta, mill around Germany and laugh at the length of sausages on offer in restaurants, or even go somewhere with ‘-stan’ at the end of its name. I’ve never been to a ‘-stan’! I’m pretty ashamed about that – time to put it right!
Kavon Bagheri – General Manager
This year I’ll be visiting Amsterdam for my stag do and the Maldives for my honeymoon. Banging. In Amsterdam I’ll mostly enjoy the culture: peaceful bike rides along the canal, gentle ambles around entrancing museums and sipping skinny decaf lattes in delightful little bistros. In the Maldives I’ll mainly be consummating my marriage.
Trans-Siberian Express, Cambodia, New York
Will Jones – Travel Editor & Social Media Manager
This year I want to take the Trans-Siberian from Moscow to China, and, time-permitting, see as much as I possibly can while doing it. I want 2015 to be the year of the epic journey. Also on the list are Cambodia and New York: the former for the temples and the food, the latter simply because I’ve just always really wanted to visit. And that’s a good enough reason in my book.
Happy travels everyone, and an even happier new year.