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Top 5 Things To Do In A Gap Year in 2024

Be inspired to find the best gap year experiences for you

By Jemma Dicks | 30th November, 2018
Updated on 05th December, 2023

Sometimes you just need a break, whether after graduation or on a sabbatical from work. But you may be asking yourself is it a good idea to take a gap year?

And we’d say yes. Why continue a terrible job or pursue a degree if you’re not sure it’s for you? You could end up feeling burnt out if you don’t take some time out to reflect.

But after you decide to take that year out, you may be left asking yourself, what can I do in my gap year? Planning a gap year trip can be overwhelming – we’ve all been there!

To make your decision process easier, we have put together a list of the top five things to do in a gap year. We hope they’ll spark a few ideas and encourage you to make the most of your time off.

1) Travel the world

Volunteers visit Machu Picchu during their Gap Year trip

One of the most popular things to do during a gap year is travel. This is your chance to explore and broaden your mind.

From the jungles of Peru to the beaches of Thailand, there's a big world out there. What better time to explore it than now?

Here's our top pick of things to do on a gap year abroad:

  • Explore Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Hike the Himalayas in Nepal
  • Explore the historic Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Learn to dive among the coral reefs in Fiji
  • Spot wildlife on a safari in Tanzania

2) Volunteer abroad

Projects Abroad volunteers paint a wall during their Building volunteer gap year programme in Ghana

Volunteering is definitely something to consider when planning a gap year. Choosing the right project can be incredibly rewarding. You’ll contribute to communities, learn new skills, make friends, and increase your confidence.

We offer the best volunteer projects around. That’s because we don’t leave our impact up to chance. Our projects are carefully planned and monitored so that you know you’re actively making a difference.

Make sure you choose a gap year programme that you’re passionate about. You could do Childcare, Conservation, Building, or any of our other volunteer abroad opportunities.

Volunteering overseas may just be the best decision you ever make.

3) Have authentic experiences

Discover local customs and culture

Travelling for more than a few weeks gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. On an authentic adventure, you’ll get to live as local people do.

Our expert guides will teach you about a country's history, culture, and traditions. They'll take you to places many tourists never get to see. 

Our projects often offer the option to stay with host families. This allows you to experience real life in that destination and create a bond with a group of people that will last a lifetime.

Alternatively, a volunteer apartment gives a sense of independence, so you can create your own home and social life.

For a truly immersive introduction to a new country, check out our Discovery Tours. Learn local crafts, cooking skills, and languages while visiting the main sights of the country!  

4) Learn a language

Projects Abroad volunteers participate in a language lesson as part of their gap year programme abroad

If travelling features high on your ‘things to do on a gap year in 2024’ bucket list, then learning a new language should be up there too! The ability to speak a little Español at a bus station in Peru will help you no end. It also adds a bit of spice to your growing CV.

Learning a major international language like Spanish will benefit anyone thinking of entering the business world. For more information, take a look at the language courses we offer.

5) Boost your CV with an internship abroad

Volunteer joined a medical internship in Mexico while planning her gap year abroad

For university hopefuls and career-seekers, a gap year programme offers practical work experience. This will certainly help you stand out from the crowd.

We provide a variety of internships including Medicine & Healthcare, Law & Human Rights, Journalism, and more. This experience will provide you with skills and confidence that’ll benefit you in your studies or career. You’ll also have some great stories to draw on in job interviews.

Looking for something shorter?

A group of volunteers at the Himalayan Conservation Expedition in Nepal

A traditional Gap Year could involve travelling for an extended amount of time. But it's possible to get the whole Gap Year experience in the span of just a few months.

Check out our Gap Semester trips!

Each programme covers a variety of areas. They include a mixture of humanitarian and conservation work, with plenty of sightseeing and adventure. You’ll get to experience a bit of everything. This is ideal if you're still figuring out what you want to do in life or looking for more variety.

Our Gap Semester programmes are between 6 and 10 weeks long, packing in all the experiences you would want from a Gap Year. You’ll travel with a group of like-minded adventurers across multiple countries. Together, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime!

Choose from a Gap Semester in Asia, Africa, or Latin America. You could even combine all three in our Global Gap Year abroad!

"I would recommend it 100%, because you see so many parts of the world and experience so many adventures. You meet a lot of locals and get to know everyone in your group with each their own background and culture. You can learn so much from all of them. If you're in for the adventure, you should go for it." - Mandy J, Global Gap volunteer

Projects Abroad volunteers stretch their muscles before starting their Surfing gap year programme in South Africa

There is no good or bad way to spend your gap year in 2024. Just bear in mind that employers are likely to question how you spent your time off. Volunteer work, knowledge of a second language, travel, and work experience are all valuable additions to a CV.

To combine travel with volunteering or work experience, take a look at our gap year options.

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If you'd like advice on creating a Gap Year trip that works for you, contact one of our team today!

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