Not sure how to fund a gap year? Here are a few things you might want to think about

How to fund a gap year

11 October 2013

Looking to go on a gap year? Are you worried about the cost? Is it coming round fast and you need to do something about it? Well, here at Work & Volunteer everyone in the office have chipped in ideas and tips from things they did to fund their gap years, and we’ve also got some great tips to help earn some money whilst traveling.

We won’t lie to you, traveling can be extremely difficult to cope with financially but with a bit of planning and a bit of effort, you’ll definitely be able to get together all the money you will need and maybe even have an extra bit of money to take with you.

Making money while you're out there

First of all if you are looking to take a gap year to a non-English speaking country then you should consider doing English tuition whilst on your travels. For that you’ll need to do a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course, which is known as a TEFL. This course does a bit of money to complete but it is a great qualification to have under your belt when travelling and is worth the time and money before go on your travels. You can also find these courses for as little as £100 if you do your research, so it won’t break the bank. Once you’ve done the qualification, we suggest doing some research into English Language schools near where you are travelling and seeing if they have any positions for temporary teachers. It’s also a good idea to search for a tutoring job before you travel as a lot of people look for one on one tutoring sessions. A TEFL qualification is also a good investment for the future, as there are hundreds of International Summer Schools in the UK every year where you could work even after you’ve come back from your travels and gone onto University.

 How to fund a gap year - City view

Another way you can earn money while you’re travelling is by writing articles about your gap year experience. If the articles are to a good standard you can sell them to websites and papers. You can find on Google where you can sell articles and blogs and see what you can get. It is great option to consider as you’ll be keeping track of the great time you’re having on your travels and getting a bit of money for it! It’s also something which would look great on your CV, as it would make you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, especially if you have ambitions of working in journalism or marketing.

If you are more interested in funding your gap year before you go, here are a few ideas. Now, at risk of sounding like your parents, the obvious way would be to get a job, but you knew that already and everyone knows getting a job these days isn’t all that easy. So here are a few other ways to make your travels a little less painful on your bank account.

Getting money before you go

First of all, why not think about selling some stuff on eBay? We’ve all got clothes, gadgets or other stuff laying around that we never use anymore, so why keep them…Selling even a few items on eBay is a great way to get some extra money together, and although it won’t fund your whole trip it might mean you can afford to go that bit further and experience even more when you are travelling.

How to fund a gap year - Pin in map

Our final suggestion, and probably the most boring sounding of all is planning. It’s so easy to get caught up with the dream and just think, ‘I’ll just find some cool place when I get there’, but whatever you do, don’t do it. Popular locations for travellers are ready for tourists, and if you don’t plan things such as hotels in advance, you’ll almost definitely get caught by the tourist trap. So make sure you book your accommodation before you go, and think about staying in hostels instead of hotels. The money for accommodation can clock up to a staggering amount, and burn a massive whole in your budget, which is a real shame when your money will be much better spent on having fun and visiting all the places you want to go to.

So, that wraps up our tips on how to fund a gap year, although it definitely isn’t an exhaustive list, and if you do come up with any great ideas let us know so we can spread the word. Just remember, gap years are going to be expensive, but if you take some time to do some research before you head off then you can lower the cost significantly which means you’ll have more fun when you’re out on your travels. Good luck saving.

Oh, one final suggestion for if everything goes pear shaped. Don’t forget the bank of Mum and Dad, it will probably be a massive help. Just don’t rely on it as a definite source of funds. 

by Charlie Tossell