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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Kingdoms & Carnivals

from £3545

84 - 105 days

An adventure for anyone yearning for an awesome road trip around South America’s most famous sites and undiscovered corners, from...

Land of the Northern Lights

from £836

5 days

A tour to discover Iceland’s nature and cultural life, with two nights in Iceland’s vibrant capital Rykjavík and two nights...

Gorillas & Gameparks

from £695

19 days

See awesome wildlife including Mountain Gorillas in their natural environment or if you want an adrenaline rush, try quad biking...

Ultimate Eastern Adventure

from £939

15 - 15 days

In Bond movies, Eastern Europeans are always the bad guys. But casting directors need to grow up and get real...

Andes and Amazon Quito to La Paz

from £1750

37 days

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

Southeast Asia’s Biggest Adventure – Do the Lot!

from £1620

40 - 365 days

Do the Lot! The ultimate flexible hop-on, hop-off guided travel pass offering a fun and hassle-free way travel to Thailand,...

Felucca Odyssey

from £192

9 days

A tour full of history, tradition and the best of the Nile on Felucca! Uncover the jewels of the Nile...

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...

Highlights Of Spain & Portugal

from £423

7 days

A 7-day jam-packed tour giving you a quick highlights experience of Spain and Portugal, from the main cities to the...

Mick – Sydney to Cairns Hop-On-Hop-Off

from £1135

13 - 365 days

From bucket list spots to our own little secrets, take in the best of the East Coast with Mick. Travel...

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Central America Explorer

from £2422

Mexico

Enjoy a Central American odyssey on this adventure from the chaos of Mexico’s capital to the heady heights of San...

Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland

from £4003

Bhutan

Experience remote and picturesque parts of India and Bhutan on this incredible overland adventure. From India's cultural capital of Kolkata...

The Best of Costa Rica Independent Adventure

from £779

Costa Rica

Can't decide between the jungle, volcanoes or the beach? Do all three on this ten-day independent journey that proves why...

Morocco Family Holiday with teenagers

from £935

Morocco

This heart-thumping adventure will have the family mountain biking down the slopes of the Atlas Mountains and horse riding on...

Cambodia & Thailand Traveller

from £1287

Cambodia

Touchdown in Vietnam amid the chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh City, travel through Cambodia and down the east coast...

Southern Explorer

Argentina, Brazil, Chile

From natural wonders to some of the region’s most vibrant cities, experience the riches of South America on this comprehensive...

Central American Adventure

from £1717

Mexico

Explore incredibly colourful worlds - both above and below the water - on an epic journey from the sunny beaches...

Eastern Turkey Adventure

Turkey

Spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles reward those willing to get off the beaten path. From ancient...

Inca Trail Express

from £855

Peru

Travel to Peru to retrace the steps of the Inca, Peru's fascinating ancient civilisation. Follow the Inca from Cusco, through...

Great Ocean Road Adventure ex Adelaide (Basix)

from £195

Australia

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

Inspirational gap year articles

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