Top 10 gap year destinations revealed

26th Aug 2015
Written by: Eve Wonda

How many are on your bucket list?

You might have noticed that we quite like gap years. British students quite like them, too, and now ABTA (the UK’s largest travel association) has revealed 2015’s top 10 gap year destinations.

There aren’t any shock upsets on the list, with Australia retaining the crown while the places below it shift only a little. New Zealand has moved up a place from its 2014 result to 2nd, while Thailand has slipped down to 6th, Vietnam leapfrogging it into 5th. The USA and Peru complete the top 5.

The list is finely balanced between cheaper destinations, such as Thailand and Vietnam, and countries likely to hit the wallet a little harder like the USA and Canada, which might offer some insight into the types of gap years travellers are seeking.

“Although a gap year still represents an opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves, increasing numbers of gappers are looking to gap year specialists to provide them with opportunities to gain work experience,” says ABTA.

It also identifies a move toward adventure gap years that involve trekking, biking and rafting, as well as the increased popularity of volunteering trips.

Here’s the complete top ten:


PR & Marketing Internship in Chicago

from £5540

56 - 180 days

United States of America

Launch your career in one of the most important countries and cities in the world. Learn from experienced PR &...

Internship Belize Beach Conservation

from £1805

28 - 140 days


Add a volunteer experience for your CV! An internship gaining relevant work experience can really help any college or Uni...

Combined TEFL Course Florida

from £935

5 days

United States of America

Join our 5-day combined TEFL course in Orlando and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

Volunteer and Explore Peru

from £2525

42 - 70 days


Program includes contributing to the lives of several different indigenous communities, white water rafting, trekking to Machu Picchu and exploring...

Medical Elective Volunteering

from £180

1 - 84 days


Trusted by over 80,000 volunteers, IVHQ is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible Medical &...

Teaching in Ghana

from £895

14 - 85 days


Work alongside teachers in the local school to help inspire a passion for learning and run fun and education after...

Tanzania Wildlife Conservation

from £735

7 - 140 days


Conservation efforts are vital particularly in areas where human environments are growing such as Africa. Come carry out rewarding and...

Panoramic Peru

from £1335

11 days

Experience everything Peru has to offer, from ancient Inca ruins to delicious Pisco Sours. For an intro to Peru, this...

International Law Internship In Vietnam

from £1035

30 days


A system of rules that are created and enforced through social/governmental institutions to regulate behavior: law.

Horse Rehabilitation in South Africa

from £895

7 - 84 days

South Africa

Work hands-on with over 40 horses in rehabilitation, no previous experience required. Enjoy riding along the Indian Ocean coast whilst...


Explore Colombia

from £1083

Colombia is one of those gems of South America that many travellers still don’t know about, and this ten-day adventure...

Slovenia & Croatia Real Food Adventure

from £2035

If it’s a gourmet feast you want, a gourmet feast you shall get! This food-inspired escapade through Bled, Piran, Motovun,...

Outback and Kangaroo Island Adventure (Basix)

from £855

Capture the sprit of the Australia and witness its diversity on this adventure from the heart of the Outback to...

Best of Central America

from £1631

From ancient ruins to active volcanoes, get off the beaten track and discover extraordinary Central America – on a shoestring....

Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Express

from £669

This shorter trek is perfect if you’re looking for an adventure that’s as challenging as it is rewarding. Explore the...

Winter Sunset to the Strip

from £1099

Follow the distant chime of the slot machines as you hit the coast and make your way from La La...

4 Day Bangkok Stopover

from £339

This Bangkok reprieve focuses on the bustling city and its tuk tuk filled streets. Museums, temples and street food abound,...

Bruges Easter

Take a four-day city break to Bruges this Easter with Topdeck. Beautiful Bruges is by far one of THE best...

Best of Central America

from £2405

Explore incredible worlds above and below the water on a journey from the sunny beaches of Mexico, through the jungle...

Quito to Cartagena

from £1296

Be a part of Colombia's revival on this exciting overland trip. Start the adventure in Ecuador's capital, Quito, and travel...

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