Have you just finished school? With no mortgage, full-time job, homework or studies to worry about, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have more freedom than you do right now. It’s the perfect time to explore and adventure. We look at the top five places to take your gap year.
Thailand welcomes 16 million international visitors each year and is a popular choice for a gap year. But there’s more to this tropical island paradise than pristine beaches.
Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis known for its fast pace, ornate shrines and vibrant street life. Travel and accommodation is quite cheap – if you know where to look. A steady stream of backpackers means you’re bound to get practical first-hand advice, and maybe leave with a new friend or two.
This country is a fantastic choice if you would prefer to spend a year in a familiar, English-speaking country. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy a variety of outdoor and adventure activities on offer.
Looking to make some spending money? A 12-month work visa is available to visitors from selected countries, aged 18-31. There is also a good backpacker infrastructure, and some hostels allow you to work in exchange for accommodation. Favourable exchange rates will also help your money last longer.
The allure of elephants and lions is enough to tempt anyone to spend a year in this fascinating country. After a year in the bush or looking to sun yourself on a breath-taking beach? South Africa offers something for everyone.
Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are the major cities, and offer many opportunities for internships or work experiences as well as world-class restaurants and nightlife. This is another great spot for adrenalin hunters with kayaking, white-water rafting, bungee jumping and shark diving all on offer.
India has always been popular with backpackers and still ranks high with the gap year crowd. Travellers are spoiled for choice with attractions and sites- from the snow-topped peaks of the Himalayas and the lush, green landscapes of Kerala, to the beauty of the Taj Mahal or Goa’s famous beaches.
If you are a budget-conscious traveller, you might not find better value than India. There are endless cheap accommodation options on offer and a daily meal spend of around £3.
London is a perfect blend of old and new. It’s popular among travellers from Australia and New Zealand for tourism and gap years. This vibrant, and sometimes frenetic, city is at the forefront of the banking and commerce world. From the ultra-cool Camden markets to the famous West End theatre district, London is jam-packed with adventure.