Gap years might conjure up images of bright young things having activity-filled gap year fun and whizzing off round the world, and potential travellers past university age might not even consider a gap year for fear that they have, quite literally, missed the boat. But the notion that gap years are only for a certain age group is a gap year myth that needs to be bust wide open: The reality is, gap years are for grown ups too and age is no barrier to gap year greatness!
There is absolutely no age limit to enjoying the benefits of a gap year, so don't deny yourself just because you think your gap year window has closed. Don't hold back; it's time to fling open the windows and let the travelling breeze take you where it will! If you think about it, it makes perfect sense saving up your gap travel until later on in your life and career; you have more money saved up, better earning potential, more freedom and greater maturity than you would have had when you were in your teens and early twenties. Gap years aren’t just for school and university leavers, and there are many varied reasons for taking a gap year throughout your life. If you never got the opportunity to travel when you were younger, then all is not lost!
One concern that often puts people off taking a gap year is the word 'year'! These days, the year part of gap year is somewhat misleading, as most people take a shorter period of time to discover gap travel, which can be a few months long or as little as a two week break. Everyone needs a holiday, and the chances are if you work you'll take a two week holiday at some point in your year, so why not turn it into a 'little gap' and do something more adventurous with your holiday allowance?
If you fancy a slightly longer gap travel experience then why not consider taking a career break or sabbatical? Taking an extended break from work is a great way of switching off, seeing the world and doing something different. You'll be amazed how many exciting activities you can pack in to a month or two off! There are an amazing range of gap year tasters on offer which enable you to try out a variety of sensational activities, valuable volunteering projects or tasty tours. If you choose to take a career break, or decide to spend your redundancy money on the trip of a lifetime, or just take a holiday with a difference, then you can enjoy all the delights that gap travel can bring!
When you reach retirement you'll suddenly find yourself with a lot more spare time on your hands and you may find yourself wondering how to fill your years of new-found freedom? Why not take yourself off on what is now frequently called a 'golden gap year', the mature traveller's ultimate wish-fulfillment. Maybe you missed out on seeing the world when you were younger and always hankered after a chance to jet off to dynamic destinations? Work, families and responsibilities can get in the way of secret travel dreams and now you've finally got some leisure time to yourself it's time to treat yourself!
If the idea of jetting from place to place seems more of a young person’s game to you, don’t feel disheartened. There are so many exciting destinations across the world just waiting to be explored but you don't have to do them all. Over time, most of us form an idea of our top ideal destinations and a gap break is the perfect time to finally visit the country of your choice - you know, the one that's been tempting you secretly over the last few years?! You can stick to seeing one country in depth, and make your life easier by choosing from an exciting range of country-wide tours which will give you a hassle-free way of seeing all the top highlights. If you do feel like indulging in some serious round the world travel then choosing an all-inclusive trip is the best way of having a headache-free gap year, as it's all there on a plate for a fixed price. If you're busy with work or life, then sometimes you want the options to be clear, simple and straightforward so you don't have to devote too much time deliberating over the details.
Your gap year can be the perfect opportunity to fulfil some lifelong ambitions; maybe you always fancied trekking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in Peru and discovering the lost city of the Incas? Maybe it's been your burning ambition to climb some of the world's most challenging mountains, or maybe you've been longing to learn to speak Spanish but have never really found the time? Maybe you are already a teacher and fancy a busman's holiday, or have always fancied a change of career but never had the chance to try your hand at teaching? If so, you might want to take a gap break teaching English abroad. Sometimes you can find that life is all take, take, take and you wish you could find time to give something back. Becoming a volunteer abroad allows you to see exotic places, and has a rewarding end goal for the ultimate feel-good factor. Taking a leisurely tour and seeing the sights is a relaxing way of sepnding your gap break and can be a real reward for years of hard work.