Gap Year Destinations
Independent travellers and gap year backpackers have long had their favourite destinations. We take a look at the most popular destinations for gap years and backpacking trips worldwide.
Sometimes it's India, sometimes Asia or South America. The organisations on this site can find you amazing opportunities to live, work or volunteer in these countries, to make a difference to local communities and add a whole new angle to your travel itinerary. After all, many tourists have visited Macchu Picchu, Angkor Wat or the Taj Mahal. But how many westerners have actually lived or worked with the people of these countries, sometimes in remote villages and communities? You may be doing a degree in architecture or economics, but how would building a school or helping a community set up a business add to your knowledge?
Or how about working abroad destinations such as Australia, Canada and the USA? Gapwork's destinations are no ordinary tourist options. And if you are looking to really go the extra mile, you've come to the right place for travel ideas, gap year advice and travel suggestions for your year out.
Where to Travel to in 2012
Knowing where to go on your gap year is one of the toughest questions when planning your year out. Every year we see backpackers heading off to top backpacker destinations, and these are our top predictions for dream gap year destinations for 2012.
- South East Asia - particularly Cambodia, famous for its Angkor Wat temples, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its friendly people. With Laos, Thailand and Vietnam as neighbours, spending part of your gap year in Cambodia means you are well placed to explore the rest of South East Asia and experience classic backpacker destinations such as Bangkok or Koh Tao, while still being able to get off the beaten track.
- Africa - As well as volunteering in Africa, this continent is on many "must-see" lists because of the diversity of experiences and destinations. Capetown in South Africa is one of the world's great cities, while the dunes of Namibia, the Victoria Falls, Mount Kenya or the atmosphere of Cairo also make for a really memorable gap year trip. Safaris in Kenya are also something that most visitors to Africa will want to take part in, with some fantastic accommodation to suit all budgets in game reserve or camping lodges, which mean that you get to experience the wildlife of Africa in places like the Okavango Delta in real style.
- South America - What about a gap year adventure in South America? Start with the Inca trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru, then head to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador to experience unique wildlife that you will not see anywhere else in the world. Or maybe a trip through the bio-diversity of the Amazon rainforest, exploring some of the world's most extraordinary wildlife with a combined trip to Rio De Janeiro? South America is a great continent to visit on your gap year or year out, with plenty of backpacker travel and volunteer options.
The world's best backpacker and gap year destinations are just recommendations. Obviously, where you choose to travel to and what you do on your year out is up to you, but is limited only by your time, your budget and your imagination. So get planning now, find out about working abroad to supplement your travels, make sure you give yourself enough time to do what you want to do, and broaden your gap year horizons by taking a look at the destinations suggested on this site.