10 Best Gap Year Destinations Which Must Be On Your Bucketlist
So, you've just passed out of your high school/ college, and thinking 'What Next?'
Well, for the past few years, your dreams have been made of graduating with good scores and putting your best efforts for that - but now is the time for an amazing gap year abroad!
And the first step towards making your year-off a brilliantly vivid experience, you need to know about the best of gap year destinations around the world and add them to your bucket list, one by one. So here's for you, the list of the best countries for a gap year in 2019 - 2020!
Ready to get your fix of adventure?
From fantastic beaches to the great outback, from cosmopolitan urban vibes to quaint towns, from amazing road trips to meaningful conservation volunteer work - if you’ve got a big travel-appetite, Australia’s got it all to make you feel full! One of the top choices amongst gap year travelers from all around the world, Australia is not only a travel paradise for hundreds of 20-somethings flooding in the country every year. Its 12-month work visa is a blessing in disguise for all you budget travelers out there, craving for a gap year in Australia - work on your own time, earn some good bucks and explore Oz like a nomad! Beyond the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, and many such natural wonderments, this country truly is an adventure nation! If living on the edge is what your gap year is going to be all about, then you’re surely in for a screamfest in Australia!
The vast wilderness, amazing wildlife, jaw-dropping natural beauty, an abundance of adventure activities, opportunities to work with the local & make a difference - South Africa is all that gap year dreams are made of! Let your hair loose and feel the wind on your face while you're on one of the world’s best road trips through Garden Route and make an amazing travelogue out of your experience. Walk with a few Lions or check out the African Big 5, abseil down from Table Mountain or dive with some Great White Sharks in Gansbaai -- there’s nothing ordinary about a gap year in South Africa! To top that off, you can also get involved with our volunteer teaching, wildlife volunteering, and community development projects that are perfect to earn you some brownie points on your gap year abroad!
A backpacker's heaven, traveling in Thailand is mostly about experiencing an amazing culture and soaking in the authentic vibes of the land. And the best reflection of that is their delicious cuisine and absolutely lip-smacking food items that’ll make any foodie go crazy and make you suffer from a food-coma! You can explore the crazy life of Bangkok, or head off to the beaches, for some beautiful times by the turquoise waters, on the white sands! Thai elephants are quite popular and volunteering experience in an elephant village of Surin has become somewhat quintessential for a Thai gap year! Bangkok’s hustle and bustle, sacred monasteries, amazing islands & beaches - Thailand surely can be rated as a favorite amongst travelers and adventurers. Go for a quaint retreat in the Northern Thai villages, spend some time exploring the hilly areas and meet the famous Karen tribal folks! And of course, how can you miss the Full Moon night parties in Koh Phangan?
Might sound a little strange to you, but the USA is an amazing land to explore during your gap year! A great American road trip through the backroads of USA is one of the most classic journeys that there ever could be! From the high fashion streets of New York to the celebrity thronged streets in Los Angeles, from the 'night of no regrets' in Las Vegas to the day of amazement in the Grand Canyon, it is impossible to surmise all of the travel greats of the USA - the only thing you can do is see it for yourself! Food, fun, adventure, beaches, parties, people, carnivals and more - an American Gap Year is something truly out of this world! Also, don’t forget to drop by NASA in Houston - it'll surely add more to your experiences, and maybe you can just opt to learn something new during that time. Meet some amazing people from different parts of the world, widen your social network and have fun till it lasts!
India is another name for diversity - be it culture, language, cuisine, geography, climate, or people! Relaxing beaches, lush mountains, sprawling deserts, metropolitan cities, wonders of the world and centuries-old mysteries - India’s what you call a one-stop gap year destination for all adventure lovers out there! From the mind-boggling architecture of Taj to the wondrous colors of South India, from idyllic backwaters of Kerala to the mind-numbing parties of Goa - a gap year in India is the best kind of sensory overload that one can ever ask for! The quaint spiritualism of India is yet another thing that attracts travel bugs on sabbaticals from all around the world. Hundreds of intrepid travelers flock to India every year, not only to travel but also to volunteer for community development programs, contributing something back to the Indian society. The biggest pro of choosing India - it's fantastically cheap and a perfect choice for travelers on a tight budget!
The mystical Inca city of Machu Picchu looking over the Urubamba Valley is a wanderlust essential for every traveler, and trust me when I say this, it’s a long trek to feast on a view of a lifetime! From the rich historical heritage of ancient civilization of the Incas in Machu Picchu to the inexplicable mysteries of Nazca Lines, from the awe-inducing floating islands of Uros to the Oasis town of Ica, Peru is full of amazing things that are sure to tickle those little grey cells of yours while you are on your gap year. The Rainbow Mountains in the Peruvian Andes is yet another unique God’s Creation, the beauty of which is beyond explanation, and travelers are going gaga for it! Make the most of your time in Peru soaking on the authentic cultural vibes, polish your Spanish skills, binge on delicious Cheviche and make the most of your gap year in Peru by being a responsible traveler.
A paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, Kenya is a gorgeous East African nation which can be a perfect destination for gap year travelers who are looking forward to doing something incredible during their journey! A developing nation which has several pockets of underprivileged people still living a tough life, you can share a hand and help in making lives a tad bit easier for them, by volunteering for a meaningful program. Nature lovers can also choose to work with professional conservationists, learning more about Big Cat Conservation, while living a life amidst wilderness! And of course, you'll have ample scope of experiencing thrilling game drives, to spot some of the rarest species in the world. You can also head off to the beaches on the East, bordered by the Indian Ocean, and spend a few days learning scuba diving! Indulge in knowing more about the land where humankind originated from, binge on delicious Swahili cuisine, meet the Maasai tribal folks and live life to the fullest while you're there in Kenya!
A piece of paradise tucked between India & China, Nepal is one of the most gorgeous nations in the world, housing 8 of the world’s highest mountains, including Mt. Everest. A Himalayan abode, this is also the most budget-friendly destination in the world, according to the Lonely Planet, and it can be a perfect gap year destination for those who are looking to spend their days amidst solitude. Blessed with rich culture & heritage, Nepal will welcome you with wide arms and you can traverse through the cities, soaking in the beauty of the places & people. You can opt to volunteer for a meaningful program, hike along the Himalayan trails, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, learn to cook authentic Nepalese delicacies and meet some amazing people from different parts of the world. If you are still looking for reasons to spend your gap year in Nepal, then let me tell you that this journey will surely change the way you look at life and turn you into a more humble & compassionate human being.
In recent years, Costa Rica has become extremely popular among gap year traveler who are looking forward to exploring Latin America! And it’s mostly nature lovers, who are flocking there, to either work at the Amazon Rescue Centers or to volunteer for Turtle Conservation Programs. As called by the Ticas (natives of the land), it’s a nation of pure life - and you’ll get to sense it from the moment you step in! With ample greenery and virgin, unexplored place - what more can one need to unwind? Hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, zip lining - if you've got all these in your travel bucket list - then Costa Rica is the perfect destination for you!
If Europe has been there on your mind since forever, then now is the time to pack your bags for that much-awaited gap year trip. Well, what can be better than Spain - a country that has an incredible history, amalgamated with the sparkles of modernity! Your gap year journey in Spain will be absolutely breathtaking, and the best part is that you can also hop off to the nearby countries like France and Portugal, and then hop in to continue further! Set out for a road trip with your bunch of fellow mates, or just stay at one place, doing something meaningful. You can attend a language learning course, or maybe cookery class - it would just keep adding to your skillsets! In case you’re there for La Tomatina - go out and paint the town red! Wanna know everything about your gap year in Spain? Well, you can get in touch with Team Go Discover Abroad anytime, and we’ll love to assist you!
Already contemplating where to go? Maybe you can take this Quiz to sort your doubts a bit and figure out which would be the best choice for you!
Otherwise, as I’ve already mentioned, our Travel Experts are there to help you anytime you want! You can simply write to us at [email protected] and ask us as many questions as you want.