Top Ten Places to Go on a Gap Year

by - 11:47:00 PM

Gap years are becoming increasingly common as more and more people choose to take a year out from school or work to travel and expand their horizons. With the world at your fingertips, the options for what to do and where to go can seem infinite. There are some destinations that are renowned as gap year hot spots. Below are ten of the best.

Whether beach, city or outback, Australia is an ever popular choice for the backpacking crowd. With no language barrier to contend with and year-long work visas available, the country is easy to access and even easier to settle into.

New Zealand
Famed for its friendly welcoming atmosphere, New Zealand has also been long established on the backpacker trail and its abundance of hostels reflects this. A land of adventure, just about every type of activity can be undertaken on any number of terrains.

The laid back will find a haven in Fiji, an island paradise in the Pacific. With a year round tropical climate, it is the perfect destination for stress-free beach time, snorkeling and diving, as well as for soaking up the friendly local culture.

Offering a unique mix of old customs and edgy, futuristic modern living, Japan is a country that is one of a kind. Straddling two worlds, while top clubbing scenes and cutting edge gadgets define city life, traditional Japan is found just a short train ride away.

South America is fast becoming the place to go on a gap year and nowhere more so than Peru. With a rich culture to explore, the country is one that retains a unique sense of identity. The country is perhaps most famous for its Inca Trail trek to ancient Incan site, Machu Picchu.

The nation is one of the cheapest in South America and even those travelers on the tightest of budgets can find themselves having a good time. A great destination to pick up Spanish language skills, it is also excellent for those who love the outdoors, with climbing and trekking in the country's coastal and highland areas.

Mexico is a budget friendly choice that offers perhaps one of the most diverse ranges of cultures and landscapes, enough to satisfy even the most curious of travelers  It is a hot spot for cheap snorkeling and diving and is also an excellent destination for conservation work along the coastline.

South Africa
Beyond its lively social scene, this country is the ultimate destination for those looking to lend their hand to wildlife conservation, as well as for thrill seekers, who will have their hands full enjoying everything from surfing to bungee jumping.

Zambia is fast emerging as a destination, in large part for its variety of placements that range from childcare to wildlife conservation. Like South Africa it is a haven for adventure seekers and animal lovers alike.

India has been a gap year fixture for years. The combination of cheap living and an eye opening experience of Third World life holds wide ranging appeal to those who want to see a different type of world and to feel they are making a real difference on their gap year projects.

From Australia to South America to the vast African continent, the globe is covered with fascinating locations. The purpose of a gap year is to explore these and there are a number of destinations that hold particular appeal to travelers  offering a chance to learn, explore and find true adventure in another part of the world. Wherever you plan on going, make sure you get backpacker’s travel insurance to cover your belongings, as often tourists are a target for pickpockets and scammers.

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