30 Inspiring Gap Year Travel Ideas

Stuck on what to do for your gap year? Fill your boots with 30 inspiring travel, volunteering and internship ideas.

30 Inspiring Gap Year Travel Ideas

14 August 2015

“What will you do next?” – Probably the most daunting question for college leavers across the UK collecting those so very nerve-racking A-Level results. Whether you got the results you wanted or not, “where to next?” is a scary, scary thought, but we’re here to help you pinpoint where to go next and answer that daunting question with confidence!

If you’ve decided to go travelling on a gap year next then you should be very excited because you have an epic adventure ahead of you, filled with new experiences, amazing destinations and the chance to meet a whole bunch of new people! First you need to get past the mind-boggling decision of what to actually do on your gap year – fear not though travellers, help is at hand!

Whether you want to make a difference to the world or simple earn money somewhere new, we’ve rallied up oodles of awesome ideas of what to do on your gap year, so check them out and get ready for one of the best years of your life!

Gap year traveller

1. Walk on the wild side and volunteer with lions in South Africa – and actually help make a difference to lion conservation on an ethical programme.

2. Head to the dreamy city of Paris to get paid for teaching English to local children (and squeeze in some visits to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and DISNEYLAND).

3. Go down under and backpack around Australia. Get yourself veg picking job at a local farm when the funds get low – you’ll never want to see a zucchini again, but you’ll have so much fun on the farm, you’ll get an AMAZING tan and the extra cash will keep you travelling – it’s a winner really.

4. Take on an internship abroad, and enhance your CV whilst you travel. Not sure where to go? Try New York, London or Hong Kong!

5. Escape to beautiful Thailand to help promote elephant conservation and spend your days bathing and feeding these gentle giants.

Volunteer with lions

6. Interrail around Europe and see how many countries you can visit on this continent.

7. Teach English to Buddhist monks in Chiang Mai in Thailand or Kathmandu in Nepal.

8. Help save the sea turtles in Sodwana, South Africa.

9. Try to spot the polar bears in Spitsbergen, Norway.

10. Hang out with lemurs in the Fort Dauphin area in Madagascar.

Happy traveller

11. See the Big 5 on safari in South Africa – forget the jeep though and opt to explore the African bush on horse-back.

12. Go on a language exchange programme and live like a local in Italy, teach English and learn Italian.

13. Become the most colourful person ever by covering yourself in powder to celebrate Holi in Nepal.

14. Earn real money for working on a farm in Australia.

15. Travel around China and teach English in local schools as you go.

Volunteer with children

16. Make a positive change to local communities in Ghana and help build schools, centres and facilities.

17. Journey to the Knysna Coast in South Africa to see dolphins and whales in the wild and help with coastal conservation.

18. Jump out of a plane 007-style and go skydiving over Australia.

19. Make a snappy decision and volunteer with crocodile conservation in India.

20. Explore the jaw-droppingly beautiful New Zealand (and pretend like you’re on set of The Hobbit), and help the locals conserve this stunning environment.


21. Become an au pair in a cute village in the south of France.

22. Go diving in the amazing Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

23. Work as a hard-nosed reporter on an English language newspaper in India.

24. Protect the fastest animal on the planet and volunteer with cheetahs in South Africa.

25. Go thrill-seeking and try some of the world’s highest bungee jumps – head to the Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado or the Macau Tower in China.

Teach abroad

26. Become a qualified Game Ranger Guide with the FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) in the heart of the South African bush – AND see the Big 5 at the same time.

27. Look after orphaned children in Kathmandu, Nepal.

28. Test the waters and go white-water rafting in the frothy rapids in Nepal.

29. Run sports lessons for children in Cordoba, Argentina.

30. Venture under the sea and preserve endangered sea life in Thailand.

Feeling inspired? If you like the look of any of these ideas, then check out our website for great travel and volunteering programmes! There are SO MANY great ideas for a gap year, and if you think we’ve missed any awesome ones off our list then let us know on Twitter or Facebook – we love to chat travel with you!

Written by Alissa Johnson