5 Great Gap Year Vacation Ideas

Sometimes, you just need a break. It could be because you’ve been studying non-stop for the past few hours and it’s time to watch a few funny videos on YouTube for 20 minutes. You might have been working at your summer job for five days in a row and the sixth day, you’re heading to the pool with your friends.

Other times, you could have been going to school for the last 16 years of your life and it’s time for a long break. Plenty of students take a gap year between finishing high school and heading to university. Gap years are more than just traveling to a new place or seeking out new adventures. Many students say it helped them clarify what they want to do later in life or what they want to focus on while studying.

If you’re thinking about taking a gap year but you’re not sure where to go, we’ve got some ideas down below to help get your gears turning.

Backpacking Across Europe

One of the more popular vacation ideas for many, backpacking across Europe is the perfect way to enjoy a gap year. Europe is stuffed with options and you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

You can do a Western European tour, hitting Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, and Ireland. You can go central and go through Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Hungary.

You could easily spend a few months bopping around Greece, switching between the mainland and the beautiful isles. Travel through Eastern Europe to Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. You’ll definitely get lots of language practice.

You really can’t go wrong in any place!

Road Trip Across the USA

“Get your kicks on Route 66” are the famous words of Nat King Cole. Formerly one of the more popular driving routes in the US, Route 66 seems to attract plenty of tourists these days, and for good reason.

Starting in Chicago and winding all the way to Los Angeles, the route stretches nearly 2500 miles and crosses through 7 states.

Route 66 is just one option, as the United States is a big place. You could spend months driving around the southeast, northeast, or midwest, stopping in big cities as well as tiny towns.

Just make sure you’ve packed plenty of music and road games because you’re going to be in the car for a long time.


Australia is blessed with its own section because of the special holiday and work visa it offers those between the ages of 18-30. Essentially, this visa allows people to come live and work in Australia for an entire year.

The visa is only valid to people from certain countries and the application period takes some time. Your job pool is a bit limited, as you’ll likely be put into a temp job or those that don’t require much experience but it’s all good, mate!

This is your chance to travel, gain some experience, and earn some money all at the same time!

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is home to a number of beautiful countries that have something for just about everyone. You can find stunning nature areas, metropolises with towering buildings, beautiful forested islands, and so much street food your stomach will explode.

Moving between these countries is plenty easy as their immigration laws are a bit more relaxed than others on this list. Not to mention that these countries are pretty inexpensive, so you won’t have to worry about burning through your wallet over the course of a month or so.

South America

For this, you’re going to have to pick a country first. Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, and Uruguay are countries that offer plenty of volunteer opportunities. You can either teach English, work with children, or do something for the environment.

Practicing your Spanish is also a great idea, since it’s one of the world’s most spoken languages. That’s definitely something to go ahead and put on your resume!

You’ll be able to visit ancient cities and beautiful mountain ranges all in the same week. Or maybe you fancy a trip to the beach instead? You’re going to have plenty of options down there!

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