Gap Years and Backpacking in the USA

Countries  »  United States of America

Why go?

Gap Years in the USA

With buzzing cities, wide-open spaces, endless opportunity for adventure, friendly people and no language barrier to contend with, the USA is a great place for either seasoned or first-time backpackers. You could easily spend months travelling around this enormous country and still not see everything.

As well as offering incredible travelling opportunities, the USA is also a fantastic place for UK gappers to find paid employment, which is usally in the form of working with kids at summer camps.

The cities

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the USA is that all those cities you saw in the movies are real! There's New York's world class nightlife, culture, and near-endless iconic buildings, the urban sprawl of sizzling Los Angeles, cool San Francisco (home to the Golden Gate Bridge), Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle... the list of cities worth seeing would be very long indeed.

It's really a case of working out what you want from a city - be it nightlife, sights, shopping, or something else entirely - and planning your trip to make sure you'll be satisfied. It's incredibly unlikely you'll see it all in one go, so make sure you don't miss out on your most desired destinations!

The scenery

The same goes for natural sights. The USA is so vast, and home to so many different kinds of landscape and climate, that it's simply impossible for one trip to include it all. Head towards Arizona and Utah to find the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Yosemite National Park in California offer up huge slabs of American wilderness and wildlife, and Niagara Falls in New York state is a sight (and sound) you won't be forgetting in a hurry.

From the giant redwoods in California to the parched expanse of Death Valley, the steamy Florida Everglades to the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska, the range of natural wonders in the USA is far too vast to see in a lifetime, let alone a single gap year.

We're here to help you plan your perfect trip around the great United States of America.

Itineraries

Make the Most of the USA

There's so much to see in the USA, and thankfully we've got a huge range of tours, projects, and jobs to suit your every American dream. You can experience this incredible country at your own pace, hop on a guided tour to make sure you cram in as much as possible, or make it a (big) stop on your global journey.

There are also plenty of summer jobs for UK gappers, too, working in USA summer camps. It's not only a really rewarding experience, but also somethingt that looks great on your CV.

Experience Argentina

Best of the West

Best of the West

Road Trip USA

Road Trip USA

The Ultimate Roadtripper

The Ultimate Roadtripper

Camp Exchange USA

Camp Exchange USA

View all USA itineraries

Advice

Advice & Tips on Backpacking in the USA

We have lots of great articles about travelling and working in the USA, and they've all been written from first-hand experience by backpackers who have been there and done it.

Have a browse of our top picks below, and to see all articles about the USA just click the big blue button at the bottom.

USA travel articles

The Camp Counsellor Survival Guide

Camp Counsellor Survival Guide

24 Hours in Las Vegas

24 Hours in Las Vegas

Working on a Ranch in Wyoming

Working on a Ranch in Wyoming

A Guide to Road Tripping the States

A Guide to Road Tripping the States

View all USA articles