Wondering if you're ready to go on a gap year? Gap travel can be a life-changing experience, full of incredible adventures and unforgettable moments, but it's best to consider a few things before you book and make sure you're ready for a new adventure!
The only reason to take a gap year is if you genuinely want to travel and are ready for new adventures. A gap year is an exciting challenge but you need to make sure you're setting off abroad for the right reasons. Don't go on a gap trip just because everyone else is doing it, or because you think you should. Think carefully about what you want to do and where you want to travel. A gap year has to be the right fit for you. Gap travel is still a large financial commitment, so make sure you know you're ready to go!
It's important not to underestimate how homesick you might feel on your gap year. Most travellers experience some feelings of homesickness at the start of their travels, but if you've never been away from home before, it might come as a shock to your system to find yourself far away from home in an unfamiliar destination. Think about travelling with close friends and surround yourself with people you know, or try out a few weekends away to get used to leaving home.
Wondering where to go on your gap year? There are so many sensational destinations to choose from around the world, choosing where to go can be a difficult decision. Popular Asian gap destinations such as Thailand, Bali, Cambodia and Vietnam offer amazing cultural experiences, and can be best seen on a guided adventure tour or flexible bus pass. Many travellers find going to an English-speaking country a less daunting experience than trying a new culture, with Australia, New Zealand and the USA topping many travellers' to-do lists. Think about what you are looking for: The mountains, rainforests and ancient ruins of South America? Wonderful wildlife encounters in Africa? Paid work in Australia? Party time in Thailand? Road trips in the USA? Make sure your destinations suit what you want from a gap year.
A gap year doesn't have to be for a full year: It can be as short or as long as you like. With this in mind, you need to make sure that you actually have the time to spare to take a gap year. If you're in employment, school or university, you'll need to co-ordinate it to fit with your work or studies. The most popular times for gap years are just before and just after university, the times in your life when you're most likely to have relatively few other commitments. If you work, you'll either need to quit your job or ask if you can take a career break. However, you could always take a short gap trip and go during your summer holidays!
What you do on your gap year will really depend on the things you like to do best. There are so many amazing destinations offering a diverse range of exciting activities, so you'll be spoilt for choice! Consider your fitness, your hobbies, interests and your ambitions. You might want to take an active gap year filled with extreme activities, you might want to focus on party travel or maybe you want a more relaxing beach and island break? Be realistic about what you can manage. If you never take part in sports at home, don't assume you'll be fit enough to Climb Kilimanjaro just because you're on a gap year! There are so many varied gap travel programmes to choose from, so just make sure you pick the one that suits you.
A gap year is a fantastic opportunity and everyone can find a good reason to take one. Don't dawdle on the starting line... get ready, get set, GO!