Are you thinking about taking a gap year? Need inspiration and ideas for where to go and what the best things to do are? Start planning a dream gap year with our guide which includes suggestions for trips, programs and experiences. You can also get advice for planning, flights, round the world trips and recommendations for affordable packages.
Gap Year Trips, Programs & Ideas
Best Things to Do on Your Gap Year
The following pages will give you ideas and help you book the ultimate experience:
- Language Courses
- Study Abroad
- TEFL Courses
- Teach English
- Scuba Diving
Gap Year Guide
A gap year is your chance to have a break from your normal life / routine and the opportunity to travel and so something different, this is also very similar to taking a career break. A gap year is time out spent doing something different, a lot of people travel abroad but there are lots of opportunities to spend a gap year in your home country. People have been taking gap years or time out for many years and in the past decade this has become more and more popular.
Perhaps you've been in school/college/uni/work for who knows how long. You need a break, you want to see some of the world, you want to achieve something new and have a totally unique experience. There's a world out there and it's only a plane ride away. Anyone can take a gap year, there are no restrictions or age limits and there are options for after college, before university and also after graduation. A growing number of older people are also now deciding to take time out – a trend that is being encouraged by educators and employers alike.
This is an opportunity to have a break – not just from education, though it is very popular for high school and university graduates, but a break from routine. There is no right or wrong time to take a gap year, some people decide to take a gap year before university, other take one after and before joining the working world. A lot of people also take a gap year, sabbatical or career break when older to have a break from working. Not only can you have the time of your life, a gap year is highly valued by many universities and employers. It demonstrates maturity, problem solving and interpersonal skills like no other experience can.
If you are young, healthy and are able to raise money to fund travels we highly recommend taking time out. Ask most people what they regret when older and most will say not doing more when younger so if a gap year is an option, try not to let this happen to you. We aim to inspire you to plan the most incredible experience of your life and our gap year programs are open to students, graduates and anyone wanting to travel the world.
One World 365 features gap year travel opportunities all around the world including structured, cheap and free gap year programs perfect if you are thinking about taking time out. We help thousands of people book amazing gap years every year. View our gap year guide and book the most amazing time of your life today.
What to Do on a Gap Year
There's just so much on offer - and it's all about making the right choice - for you. So what do you want from your gap year abroad? Experience a new culture, Have the thrill of adventure, learn a language? Do you want to improve your CV, volunteer with a charity or do you simply want to lie on a beautiful beach all day? Maybe you want it all? It's estimated that each year over 200,000 people take a gap year, almost 50,000 of those before university and we help many of these plan the trip of their life. When planning a gap year you can choose from destinations across the world – multiple cities, countries, projects, travel – you decide where you want to go & what you want to do and we’ll build the gap year programme around it.
There are lots of opportunities around the world which provide you with a new experience in a different part of the world. Whether you are young or old, possibly you are looking to take a break from studies or want to do something exciting before joining the working world you will find something to match your interests. There are so many things you can do on a gap year, from just travelling overseas, volunteering, working abroad, taking a TEFL course and teaching abroad, joining a tour, learning a new language or just relaxing on a beach. You can join programs all around the world, there are lots of options to choose from. You could stay in your home country or travel abroad the choice really is yours. There are gap year travel opportunities in countries all around the world - we have placements, trips, accommodation, flights and transfers.
- Find paid summer jobs
- Take a TEFL course and get paid to teach English abroad
- Explore the world on a backpacker tour
- Go on an overland adventure tour in South Africa
- Apply to work in Australia or spend time on a working holiday in New Zealand
- Apply for summer camp USA
- Teach in Asia
- Go island hopping on tours in Thailand
- Learn Spanish in Spain
- Work as an au-pair in France
- Go to volunteer in India, work with elephants or help pandas in China
Best Gap Year Programs
Spending a gap year on a structurd package will be an incredible experience. There are trips and programs available all around the world and we recommend applying through our website as this will make your whole experience a lot easier. There are a lot of gap year opportunities so making a choice what to do can be difficult. Most gap year organisations have long established links with projects and experiences around the world. Some companies offer thousands of opportunities worldwide, whilst some are more specific and offer a small range of gap year programmes in a limited amount of countries. Our website connects you to trips and programs from the leading gap year operators in the world.
How to Spend a Productive Gap Year
Sometimes we are judged according to a piece of paper that summarises our lives: education, experience, interests. It’s considered to be the sum of who we are. And while many people jazz their CV’s up to suit the situation, it’s never a good bet to present a version of ourselves that doesn’t add up. Having a good reason for taking off across the world on a gap year, for example teaching English, participating in building projects in third world countries, doing an internship, working overseas etc, all demonstrate that you can be a good asset for any company hiring. We recommend you plan a structured gap year and join a work and volunteer program - you will be able to gain practical hands on work experience which will look great to potential employers in the future. A structured gap year can certainly help your career prospects, you can join internships for example and gain hands on work experience abroad learning new skills.
Apart from accommodation costs, one of the major expenses when travelling is the cost of flights. If you want to save money on worldwide flights, there are a variety of things you can do to avoid breaking the bank. Carry out research before booking your flights and book early - this can potentially save you a lot of money. There tends to be cheaper flights online and thorough research can end up saving you hundreds of pounds. Don’t just book the first convenient flight you find. There are so many options from return tickets to round the world stop offs, a popular gap year route includes London > Bangkok > Sydney > LA > London. All prices differ so please research options before booking.
Consider smaller airports - if you are willing to fly into smaller airports which are typically further away from city centres, then your flight costs could be significantly reduced. These airports normally offer transport from the airports to the nearest city centres, where the only issue is the transfer time. Try to avoid major school holidays and bank holidays - flights dramatically increase during school holidays, so try and avoid these dates completely if possible. Fly mid-week - if you are flexible on the days of the week you can travel, then avoiding the peak rush hour flight times like early Monday morning can save you a lot of money. If you can fly off-peak hours and days you can sometimes half the flight costs.
Round The World Trips
Gap years are increasingly popular, but deciding on one destination can be infuriating. So why limit yourself to one continent when you can experience many? Round the world trips allow you to purchase a series of flights at a discounted rate. It can be a great way to travel as it enables you to see a great variety of different sights and experience everything that the world has to offer. Only with a round the world trip can you go from the snow capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the hot Egyptian deserts. The world is an amazing place and there is so much to see and do. Nothing can compare to an around the world experience and you will obtain memories that will stay with you for a life time.
Whether you want to take a gap year or just have a truly unique summer, round the world trips make memories that will last forever. You are able to tailor your holiday to your interests and passions. You are not limited to one continent, so with a round the world trip you can visit places like South-East Asia, Australia and America all in one trip. By booking your trip in advanced, you can forget any travelling stress. A round the world trip are flexible enough to make your gap year unique but secure enough that you will not have any last minute worries about transportation and flights. Make the most of your travels by taken a trip that will be unlike anything that you have ever done before. There is so much variety in the world and with an around the world trip you can experience it all.
Top Tips for Planning a Gap Year
- Investigate your options first, and think about what kind of gap year is right for you. While travelling around the world this is a hugely exciting and rewarding experience, often the easiest way to get to know the country is through living and working with its people. One of the most popular options is usually a combination of work and travel
- If you are planning to work, volunteer or join tours always research companies. Some opportunities might be cheaper but it might mean they are not as good. Try to use websites like Facebook to get feedback or tweet us @gapyear with questions
- If you intend on travelling with a friend, ensure that you are compatible enough to be able to spend long hours together without strangling each other. Remember that one of the joys of travel is meeting new people and making new friends
- Visit your GP and make sure you have all relevant inoculation jabs well in advance of departure
- Time your visa application well - remember that visas are valid from date of issue and not from date of arrival
- Always take good care of your valuables and keep a separate record of your travellers cheque numbers and some photocopies of your passport
How to Budget for a Gap Year
If you are looking to travel on a shoestring try to avoid expensive countries, for example in Asia Thailand is generally more expensive than Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. In Central America Costa Rica and Panama are very expensive whilst Brazil has one of the highest costs in South America. If you are planning a trip Down Under Australia is an expensive destination so if you are not doing a working holiday you will need to have sufficient funds. Try to calculate the cost of the country you want to visit and work out how much you will need for a daily budget, try to include accommodation, food, drink and sightseeing.
There are lots of ways you can save money whilst overseas, here are a few recommendations:
- Book flights and accommodation in advance for the cheapest deals
- Stay in hostel dorms instead of hotels, this is generally cheaper
- Seek employment overseas to cover your outgoings
- Eat locally and avoid large restaurants
- In touristy areas prices are generally more expensive
- Shop at local supermarkets and make your own food, this will be cheaper than eating out 3 times per day
Free & Low Cost Gap Year Programs
If you are researching ideas for a free or cheap gap year you have a lot of choice. Some companies offer paid/free placements but it really depends on what you want to do/go. Our directory features lots of affordable gap year packages in destinations all around the world.
Gap Year Reviews & Testimonials
Have you ever taken a gap year? Would you like to review a company, trip or experience? Contact us.
"I took a gap year to South-East Asia because if was the cheapest destination, highly recommended there are way too many things to mention just go." Matt B, Wales
"I find that as I try more and more, I want to experience more and more. At 21 I took a gap year I’ve now skydived, parasailed in Bali, raced around a V8 track, glided through glaciers and mountains on a jet boat in New Zealand, helped elephants in Thailand, cuddled up to rescued dogs and collected crocodile eggs in Africa, been pushed out of a raft into frog and fish infested water, had paddle fights, nearly been thrown off a speedboat from the power of the waves amongst the Phi Phi Islands, learnt to surf and skateboard, snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef, been whipped off a blow up banana and put my feet into a tank full of fish who ate the dead skin right off me! I think I’ll try bungee jumping next! I’m off to Peru soon, so trekking Machu Piccu may be on the cards as well. Get out there and enjoy life - safely of course - you really don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve tried it!" - Madeline L, USA
"My gap year was an amazing decision, I made lifelong friends and did some unbelievable things." - Lisa, UK
"I spend my gap year working in America and Australia which was incredible" - Alan, UK
"I booked a round the world flight on my gap year and there were so many highlights. I went backpacking in India and then travelled to Australia, New Zealand and the United States. You won't regret the decision" - Gillian, UK
Help & Advice
Get inspiration for your gap year by searching our featured structured, free, low cost & paid packages. If you need any advice about planning a gap year please contact us and we will be happy to suggest options, trips and programs.