Gap Year Destinations: The Top 10

Written by: Macca Sherifi

Where do you want to go on your gap year? Struggling for ideas? That’s why we’re here to help. We’ve come up with 10 gap year destinations that we think you just have to see on your travels.

We’ve got all the continents covered (sorry Antarctica but you’re just too darn expensive), so if you’re planning a gap year then you can’t go wrong with any of these destinations.

However, if your gap year destination isn’t featured in our top 10, head over to our country section for more advice and information on where to go and what to do.

The real question is, how many destinations can you fit in on your gap year?

1. Thailand

Thailand is now considered the number one gap year destination. It’s easy to get to (only a 12 hour flight. Trust us, that’s easy when it comes to travelling), it’s cheap, and there’s so much to see and do. Thailand really does tick all the boxes and more.


2. Australia

Australia is perfect for the first time traveller. For those who want the creature comforts of home yet an amazing adventure, then you can’t go wrong with Oz. There are so many sights and activities you could easily spend your whole gap year Down Under trying to see everything.


3. Malaysia

Malaysia is always a popular gap year destination as it’s such a transport hub. Often, any flight going to Australia or New Zealand has a stop-over in Malaysia. It’s a blend of Chinese, Indian and local Malay culture, giving you three countries in one. Once you hit Malaysia, you may not want to leave.


4. New Zealand

New Zealand is the perfect place for all you adventure lovers. If you’re looking for climbing, hiking, trekking, bungee jumping, skydiving, white-water rafting, zorbing, or anything else for that matter, then New Zealand is the place for you.

New Zealand

5. Tanzania

If you’re looking for a gap year destination to travel and volunteer in then look no further than Tanzania. There are plenty of volunteering projects to choose from, such as teaching English as a foreign language or building a community centre, and in your down time you’ve got safaris and treks up Mount Kilimanjaro on your doorstep.


6. Peru

Peru is one of the most popular countries in South America. When it can boast of sights such as the Amazon jungle, the Nazca lines, Lake Titicaca, and of course Machu Picchu, it’s easy to see why a lot of backpackers and travellers make this a must on their gap year.


7. USA

Gap years often start or end in the States, and the two most popular cities are New York and Los Angeles. Both are absolutely perfect to either kick-start your trip or to kick back and relax at the end. Expect an extremely fast paced and lavish lifestyle for a few days.


8. Vietnam

Vietnam is a little edgier than Thailand, a little harder to travel, yet offers just as much as its close neighbour. Often a lot of people travel around the four countries of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam on their gap year in South East Asia, and Vietnam is always a firm favourite among backpackers.


9. Fiji

Fiji is still one of the most popular gap year destinations in the world. Expect perfect pristine beaches, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and bright blue waters for as far as the eye can see. Fiji is the perfect place to chillax for a week or two. The hard part is leaving.


10. Brazil

Brazil is the country of the samba and it really is the place to be for a party. Carnival is fast approaching and the country seems to be buzzing with Olympic and World Cup fever already. It’s hard not to get caught up in it all making it an infectious country to travel to and through on your gap year.



Check out these top gap year packages


Totally Trans-Mongolian

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Southeast Asia Uncovered

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Great Ocean Road Adventure ex Adelaide (Basix)

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Set off on a short but sweet road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne and experience southern Australia's wild natural beauty....

Polish Pathway

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Come explore this glorious part of Europe on a tour of Poland and beyond that will reveal some of the...

India Encompassed

from £1439

From the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal to the unforgettable backwaters of Kerala, this comprehensive Indian journey is a...

Mekong River Encompassed – Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

from £1449

Experience Cambodia and Vietnam from a truly different perspective – the waters of the mighty Mekong River. Sail for eight...

North & South Patagonia – Expedition Add-on

Both culture and passion run hot in Patagonia, and there’s no way to experience it quite like jumping right in...

Ecuador: Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes

from £1129

Get in touch with the power of the planet on this nine-day adventure packed with many of Ecuador’s natural wonders....

Pure Galapagos (Daphne)

from £2935

Few destinations rival the Galapagos for up-close encounters with wildlife, and this adventure focuses on the stars of the show....

The Falklands and South Georgia

from £11050

Reaching Antarctica is the ultimate achievement so if you have the time, you’ll want to explore comprehensively. Spanning 23 days,...

Broome to the Bungle Bungles (Original)

from £1145

A region of astounding natural beauty and great spiritual significance, Western Australia's Kimberley region is Australia untamed. And while the...

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