Plan my gap year: top 10 gap year experiences

Year out, sabbatical, Gap Year, running away from “real life”; whatever you call it and whenever you take it, a big trip is good for the mind, the soul and even the CV. To some though, months of travelling can seem like a daunting prospect. Where do you start? How can you make the most of your time? What do people even DO on a gap year?
Well fear not. We’ve got 10 amazing experiences to inspire you for your next great adventure. Almost no one could fit all of these into one trip (though internet kudos for anyone who has!), but hopefully they will spark your imagination and give you an insight into some of the incredible options out there in the world. It’s your adventure – follow your own course.

Round the World

Let’s start big. We’re not saying you need to go round the world to see the world (in fact there are some amazing multi-stop routes which focus on one or two areas in more detail), but you may never again have the time and energy to take on such an epic adventure.

Don’t think you have to stick to the “standard” stops either, how does UK > Dubai > Japan > Australia > Chile > Peru > NYC sound? That’s just one of the of options out there, find out more and get planning!

One of our most popular Round the World Routes

Working Visa

There’s nothing more appealing than earning while you travel. If you’re between 18 and 30 and have no dependants or criminal convictions, you’re likely to be accepted for a working visa in Australia, New Zealand or Canada. They all have different conditions which you have to adhere to, but a visa will allow you to work for up 12 months in your chosen country with the possibility of extending. And what kind of job you can do? Anything from bar work to office jobs to nature guiding!

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a big place. Bare minimum we’re talking Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore along with Indonesia, The Philippines, Taiwan and Papua New Guinea for the slightly more adventurous among you. In order to really get to grips with this region you should dedicate some proper time to it and explore slowly. Take the train, stay longer than you expected, go off on an unexpected detour, eat food you never thought you would. You’re unlikely to regret it!

Java, Indonesia


Learning how to teach English as a foreign language can literally open up the world to you. It’s a great way to plan a long term stay in a culture totally different to your own, and and even save a few quid in the process.

If you’ve got your heart set on a certain country be sure to check their policies on English teachers (Japan and Korea are quite strict, China and Thailand less so). If you’re after shorter term options take a look at internships which often guarantee you a qualification and a placement for a certain number of weeks.


Nothing gives you a deeper insight into a different country than living amongst the people and getting involved with community activities, lessons in the local schools or conservation projects helping to preserve the natural wonders of the area.

Choose your project carefully, make sure it’s been vetted by an international organisation and really contributes positively to the area. Here are few ideas to get you started.

Because working to conserve awesome creatures is never a bad thing.

Learn to cook

Especially if you’re going travelling before heading to uni and are concerned that your egg boiling skills will only get you through so many weeks! You can do local cooking courses all over the world, from India to Thailand, from the Australian Bush the mountains of Peru. Just think how jealous your housemates will be when you whip up a perfect pad thai for dinner in week 1.


Trips like this really exist. Seriously. And you could be on one.

Get Active

There are so many incredible physical challenges out there, your only issue will be choosing which one to go for! Whether it’s climbing above the plains of Africa at Kilimanjaro, trekking the ancient paths of the Inca Trail, heading deep into the jungle to visit the Lost City in Colombia or hiking the trails of Yosemite National Park, wherever you’re heading in the world you’ll find something to push your limits.

Learn to Dive

Now, we’re not saying that a reservoir in Scunthorpe isn’t a great place to learn to dive. We’re merely suggesting that, given the choice between the cold, grey, waters of the UK and, say, the crystal blue seas of the Thai Islands or Costa Rica, you might JUST swing for the latter. Just. Maybe.


Adrenalin Rush

There’s no better way to celebrate the feeling of freedom you get from long term travel than throwing yourself off something high. Did you know you can sky dive over the Great Barrier Reef? Or zipline over the gorge at Vic Falls? Or take on the tallest abseil in the world in Tasmania?

Have we inspired you to take on a big trip? Whether it’s a no matter your age, your destination or your future plans, there’s an adventure out there for you. Time to go find it.