Things to Do on a Gap Year

Advice on planning a gap year

It’s time to start piecing together your dream trip and plan your gap year! It might seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. There are so many different ways to see the world that you can choose to do it however you please. This is your journey – make the most of it.

You might keep it simple and opt for classic backpacker tours, guided adventures around some of the world’s most amazing destinations, or complete packages that offer a complete trip off the shelf. There are also opportunities to volunteer around the globe, find paid work, gain valuable job experience, and study aboard. If you’re feeling confident, you can even just look at round the world flights and handle everything in between by yourself.

A gap year plan goes something like this: sketch out your ideal trip, and then look through all the options to make it a reality. There’s also advice on cost, travel kit, and other essentials so you can get the complete picture. Happy planning!

Tours

All the perks of an incredible adventure around the world, but none of the stress – adventure tours make planning your gap year fun and easy. You’ll get all the top sights, an expert guide, the nitty-gritty of accommodation, transport and other practical stuff sorted, and share the experience with like-minded travellers. Whatever your travel plan, tours can make it happen.

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Volunteering

Plan your travels to include a volunteering project and you’ll feel like you’re making the most of your time away. There are plenty of different opportunities available: rehabilitate animals, work in developing communities, or protect vital ecosystems. You’ll have amazing experiences in unforgettable places, and give something back along the way.

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Jobs

Want to get paid to travel? It’s time to find a job abroad! A little gainful employment can fit into your travel plan more easily than you think, whether you want to teach children, work a ski season or gain experience in hospitality. You’ll get a placement in the country of your choice, and earn enough money to either keep travelling when it’s over, or explore your chosen destinations during your time off. You’ll also come home with valuable job experience under your belt.

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Internships

If you want to travel the world and gain priceless professional experience along the way, plan on including an internship in your itinerary. Living abroad and immersing yourself in another culture is what gap years are all about, and internships give you the chance to work alongside industry experts, gain professional contacts, and make new friends. You can choose from all kinds of internships, from journalism, to law, to education, to medical, to engineering.

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Packages

Fancy a ready-made gap year plan so you can just sit back and look forward to going? Complete gap year packages are for you. Simply choose where you want to go! A gap year package means you don’t have to worry about accommodation, flight connections, meeting people, or anything else. All you need to do is grab your passport and go.

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Study Abroad

Travel and live in another country and culture, meet exciting new people and broaden your horizons, and gain invaluable education, qualifications, and life skills… sounds pretty great, right?! Studying abroad is kind of the ultimate travel plan. There are plenty of options, so you’re bound to find something to suit your goals and aspirations.

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Activities

You’re going travelling to escape your day-to-day life, so it would be rude not to throw in a little bit of adrenaline-pumping adventure. Sound like a plan? Great! Whether it’s extreme sports, scuba diving or expeditions, or something else completely, adventure activities get you out of your comfort zone and show your chosen destination in a whole new light.

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RTW Flights

If it’s a lengthy gap year plan you need, round the world tickets are the easiest and cheapest way to make it happen. Whatever route around the world you want to take, a multi-stop ticket lets you plan it out and see as many destinations as you want on a single trip, so you won’t have to worry about piecing it all together as you travel.

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InterRailing

One of the cheapest and most flexible ways to travel around Europe, an InterRail pass gives you the freedom of European trains, allowing you to plan your own route around the region. There is so much to see and do on this incredible continent, and InterRailing means you don’t have to miss out on anything that’s important to you.

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Short Trips

Ignore the name – a gap year can be as long or as short as you want it to be. If you’ve only got a few weeks or months, it shouldn’t stop you planning the trip of a lifetime. Short gaps can be every bit as epic as an entire year abroad. Remember: it’s not how long you’re away that matters, it’s all about what you do with the time. Don’t miss out!

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Destinations

One of the most exciting parts of planning a gap year is deciding where to travel to. This will depend on a large extent on the kinds of things you want to do (volunteers often find themselves looking at countries in Africa and South America, for example). When deciding on your gap year destinations, it’s usually best to think in terms of wider regions first.

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Essentials

Once you’ve decided on a rough plan of where you want to go and what you want to do, you’ll need to consider some of the more practical aspects of your trip. These things can range from figuring out what measures you can take to stay healthy, how to budget while on the road, what travel insurance to take out and what travel kit to pack.

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Amazing gap year experiences

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Yamabushi 16-day tour of Japan

from £2500

16 days

Japan

Not your average tourist experience, this tour is specifically designed for the nature lovers out there. See a completely different...

Ultimate Bali

from £530

10 days

Indonesia

Discover the best of Bali on our 10 day Ultimate Bali tour. If you’re looking for the perfect combination of...

Eastern Highlights

from £539

8 days

Hungary, Romania

Their cobbled lanes are useless for cars, their castles have terrible insulation, and their Baroque buildings cost a fortune to...

Vietnam – 14 Day Tour

from £955

14 - 365 days

Vietnam

Immerse yourself in all that Vietnam has to offer. Complete the Dong Flexi Tour in 2weeks, or hop off, spending...

Andes and Amazon Quito to La Paz

from £1750

37 days

Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru

Experience the Amazon rainforest at first-hand in a jungle lodge, follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, stay overnight with...

Travel Cambodia & Vietnam

from £1078

24 - 360 days

Cambodia, Vietnam

Go 'Stray' in Cambodia and Vietnam and look forward to an exciting adventure through old world cities, UNESCO temples, ethnic...

Winterless North Tour

from £210

3 days

New Zealand

Experience the Northland and soak up the sunshine. With a huge range of activities to do ranging from dolphin swimming...

3 Island Explorer

from £269

7 days

Greece

Tick 3 of the most popular Greek Islands off in one go! Enjoy the natural beauty, laid back lifestyle and...

New Zealand Mountain Bike Tour

from £2365

16 days

New Zealand

The best of the North. The best of the South. They both come together over an epic 16 days to...

Stoke Passport

from £490

12 - 720 days

The Stoke Travel Passport gives full flexibility to the open-minded traveller, so you can experience Europe’s biggest cultural festivals, surf...

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Best of the Red Centre & Eastern Australia

from £3839

Australia is over 7 million sq km (4.35 sq mi) of sand, reef, rock, koala, wine, sailing, ocean, city, culture,...

Sailing Thailand – Phuket to Koh Phi Phi

from £559

Snorkel in hidden bays, laze on pristine beaches, and feast on tantalizing Thai cuisine prepared by a local chef. Get...

Cape Town, Falls & Kruger Adventure

from £2141

Like action, adventure, and wildlife documentaries? Then you’re going to flat-out love this trip. The itinerary reads like a special...

Croatian Riviera

from £1069

Ready for an incredible, can’t-stop-reminiscing-about-it week cruising Croatia’s incomparable islands? Yeah, we thought so. Do yourself a favour and go...

Darwin to Melbourne Overland (Basix)

from £2015

Embark on a Northern Territory adventure, from Darwin to Melbourne, taking in the region's biggest and best-known drawcards along the...

Best of Sumatra & Java

from £1789

A staggeringly beautiful land of volcanoes and tropical rainforest filled with all manner of unusual wildlife, the Indonesian islands of...

Cloud Forest Independent Adventure

Head for the clouds – cloud forest, that is. Experience it from your lodge in the middle of the Mindo...

16 Day Kiwi Encounter

Wherever you look it’s beauty, beauty and more beauty. You’ll see everything from thermal grounds, soaring volcanoes and towering mountains...

Ultimate Japan

from £6360

Ever-welcoming and always fascinating, Japan is a land of ancient cultures, austere traditions and groundbreaking technology. Join us on this...

Cruise the Hidden Gems of Greece

from £1964

Discover a side of Greece riddled with myth and magic as you cruise through the Aegean – soaking in sights,...

Inspirational gap year articles

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