Take a gap year in 2012

It'll be a great year to go travelling, suggest industry experts

It's a brand new year and travel industry authorities are predicting a busy 12 months for backpackers.

ABTA (the Association of British Travel Agents) says the global economic difficulties will hit mid-market operators hardest while budget travel holds up.

The report reinforces earlier predictions that UK students would put off going to university in 2012 as tuition fees are likely fall by 2013.

In August, Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, told the London Times that fees would drop as some universities found numbers falling short. Earlier this month, the Times Higher Educational Supplement reported that applications at some newer UK universities were down by as much as 30% on 2010.

A survey of recruiters run by gapyear.com last summer found well over half believed a constructive gap year helped young people get better value out of any subsequent education.

It looks like 2012 will be a great time to take a gap year, with ABTA predicting a good year for rising backpacker destinations such as JordanIceland and Colombia.

If you’re thinking about taking a gap year in 2012, gapyear.com is the perfect place to plan your trip. Here are five quick steps to start your journey:

  1. Get inspired - Find exciting things to do like skiing, scuba diving, skydiving and snowboarding, then check out flights and tours and peruse essential stuff you'll want to take
  2. Choose your destinations - Get acquainted with the world by browsing our list of countries, soaking up the inspiring pictures and reading personal guides by site members. 
  3. Look at volunteering or working - Make your gap year really constructive by getting work experience or volunteering in a school, doing conservation work or working with animals or children.
  4. Read advice and adventures - Browse our range of articles by staff and members, including advice on charity trips, city breaks, health guides, female travel and stories about epic adventures.
  5. Join the community - Get involved in one of the best travel communities in the world; you can post on the messageboards, upload photos, write blogs, create events and find travel mates. 

Whatever you end up doing in 2012, we hope you have a fantastic time planning your trip on the site.

We had an exciting 2011 with the site re-launching, but we're looking forward to 2012 even more and have lots of new on-site features and off-site activities planned. 

Happy new year from everyone at gapyear.com.