Taking a year out between high school and university is a great way to gain valuable life experience, explore the world, and learn about other cultures. Gap years are becoming increasingly popular as more students realise that jumping straight into university isn’t a necessary next step, but working out how best to use that year away from home can be challenging. If you want to travel but don’t know how to make the most of your gap year, we’ve got some great ideas to inspire you.

Wondering How You Should Spend Your Gap Year? Madrid is a good start...

  1. Visit Australia and boost your CV. Australia is an incredibly popular gap year destination, and for good reason. It’s beautiful, offers a diverse cultural experience, and is a perfect spot for young people to explore and have a real adventure. If you’re planning to visit Australia after you finish school but also want to continue some form of education and get a head start on your next career step, you could look into international student courses brisbane. There are courses available from institutions like ACIT that allow you to learn new skills while you travel. They’ll also help you to secure your visa, and will give you a home base on the beautiful Gold Coast.
  2. Give back through volunteering. If you’re more interested in doing something for the needy during your gap year than extending your CV qualifications, a volunteer trip will be your best bet. There are volunteer organisations around the world offering gap year programs for young people. You can choose the location that suits you best and a project that interests you and then head off on a truly life-changing experience.
  3. Take a working holiday. Not everyone can afford to take a gap year without earning some money while they travel. Fortunately, there are plenty of locations around the world that will allow you to do part-time work while you visit. Bartending, waiting tables, and au pair jobs are particularly popular options, and usually offer flexible shifts so that you can experience the country you’re visiting while earning extra cash to fund your travels. Just make sure you check the visa restrictions and plan ahead before you arrive.
  4. Hop around the world. Round the world tickets and inter-railing are great options if you want to see more than one country during your gap year. In Europe, inter-railing allows you to travel between various EU countries on one package train ticket deal, so you can see all of the major European cities without breaking your budget. Travel agencies also offer round the world plane fares if you really want to explore the planet. Do plenty of price comparisons and speak to travel agents to get a good sense of your options and price ranges.
  5. Plan ahead and save up. The best way to ensure that you have a memorable and life-changing gap year experience is to be thoroughly prepared before you go. Depending on what you choose to do, gap years can be expensive, so saving up money beforehand will probably be necessary. Put money aside regularly before your trip so that your cash is ready and waiting by the time you graduate. Research and planning will ensure that you know exactly what you’re doing; saving you stress and money once your big year arrives.