Tips for a gap year at any age and WIN a backpack!

backpack winning

Whether you are coming to the end of your official gap year between school and university or you are coming to the end of your youth, or even the end of your working years… It’s never too late for a gap year!

Forest Gump Monument Valley

I’ve had two gap years… so far, and I am sure there will be another gap of sorts at some point in my life. Gap years can be anything, they don’t have to be typical backpacking across South East Asia… though I do recommend that. Here are a few ideas for Gap Years for people of all ages… and make sure you read to the bottom where you can enter to win a backpack from the Gap Year Travel Store.

Go back to school

I did just this back in my first gap year between finishing school and starting university. Many thought I was crazy, but I genuinely had the best gap year I thought possible … spending a year studying at an American High School.

I went through the English Speaking Union Secondary School Exchange Scholarship, who paid for my whole year in the USA at one of the top boarding schools in the country. The Lawrenceville School was everything I dreamed it would be, I made lifelong friends, had some of the best teachers I had ever had, took part in school plays, travelled and possibly the best of all, spent many a weekend in New York City, just one hour away by train.

If you are currently in 6th form and wondering what to do next I recommend looking into the ESU Scholarship.

Lawrenceville School Alumni 2004

If you’re a bit older, it’s still not too late to go back to school… live in another country and take classes to learn the language, or study for a masters abroad or take a few classes in something you have always wanted to learn about. I am great believer that no education is a waste of time and you’re never too old to learn!


Naturally I am going to encourage you to volunteer in your GAP year. Whether it is for a full year or a few months, I recommend going for longer than a few weeks to make the biggest impact to the project you volunteer with.

VSO, where I used to work have some great opportunities from 2 years to a few months. They are currently recruiting for project leaders age 23+ for their International Citizen Service programme. I highly recommend them as an organisation, I’m sure you will be well looked after.


They also do some great sponsored treks, like this one to Myanmar, if you are wanting a shorter gap!


Well duh, of course you should travel. In fact the options above all involve travel too. Whether it is a full on long term travel or lots of shorter trips I can’t recommend a travel gap year enough. I could write several posts on tips for this alone… but for now how about you just enter my travel competition to win a backpack and then step one (win a backpack) is already sorted 🙂

Gili islands beach

WIN a Gap Year Travel Store backpack

*This competition is now CLOSED

and the winner is… Alice Megan Wooo congratulations!

This backpack is the perfect size for a long travelling adventure or shorter trips abroad and includes a small rucksack you can zip off for day trips.

To enter to be in with a chance of winning this backpack simply answer the question below in the comments:

What would be your dream gap year adventure?

win this backpack

For extra entries you can follow me on social media and share the competition with your friends and followers. See the rafflecopter links below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules and Guidelines

  • This competition is open until midnight on the 30th May, 2015.
  • Entries must be from the UK
  • The winner will be announced on the blog on or shortly after June 1st 2015
  • The backpack will be posted to the winning entry by GapYear Travel Store
  • One entry for commenting on the blog and extra entries for using Rafflecopter to follow and share on social media
  • The winner will be picked at random by me, Jen 🙂

Good luck everyone and I can’t wait to hear about your travel adventures.

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  1. I would love to hire sailing yacht in Mediterranean Sea and visit as many countries as I was able to.

  2. I like the road less travelled so for me, it’d be time spent visiting Pitcairn Island and as many other non-touristy Pacific islands as possible then a long break to really explore Paraguay.

  3. I would love to travel round Asia. Been to Hong Kong but would love to go round other countries too.

  4. I would love to visit Russia, it’s always had a mysterious and enthralling pull on me and I know i have to make it out there at least once in my life to find out why.

  5. Central America is still on my list… I like the far away, off beat counties and volunteering on the way 🙂

  6. I would follow the sun around the globe, spend Christmas in Central America, surfing in Nicaragua, yoga in Tulum, partying in Costa Rica and buying far too many fabrics in Guatemala. Then i’d travel south to party in Rio for the New Year, trek the inca trail in Peru, sail around the Galapagos islands and tango in Argentina. I’d then make my way over to Africa for a spot of volunteering in a school, spotting wildlife on a safari and drinking wine in the vineyards around Cape Town. By June, I’d like to celebrate my 30th in Bali, and after 6 months of travel I’ll likely need the detox with all the fresh fruit and juices, daily yoga classes and a spot of spirituality. I’d then head to the Philippines to check out all of the unspoilt beaches before making my way to New Zealand to meet up with my best friend who is currently on her own gap year adventure. How I’m going to afford all of this I don’t know, but it would be good to have the backpack sorted before I go 😉

    1. Aaa that all sounds soo amazing! My tip would be just do it! Great answer.

      PS. I am celebrating my 30th this June… only a few weeks left, eek!

  7. I’d love to take a trip along the Great Ocean Road, Victoria and see the 12 Apostles!

  8. Not many people know it but my dream gap year would be starting a road trip with my husband-to-be in America (by the way, this fiancé doesn’t even exist yet). We’d drive like crazy happy people, eat lots of stupidly glutinous food, visit weird and kitsch off-road attractions and finally after a year (because we would travel so slowly), we’d end up in Las Vegas. We’d hire a pink Cadillac, get married by Elvis, drink lots of whisky, gamble some cheeky dollars and party with randomers. That’s awesome true love for me and the best gap year ever!

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