Gap years are a growing trend among young adults.
A common gap year tends to be post high school graduation, postponing a first year of college until some future date. It’s filled with travel, work, and often volunteering. Many people believe it’s a good way to get some work under your belt before going to college and assessing what jobs may be in store for your future.
These gap years give young adults a chance to explore the world before hitting the books.
It provides an opportunity to broaden one’s perspective, learn about other cultures, and create relationships with people from different backgrounds. It’s a chance to see something other than a classroom before another four years of schooling. The gap year can also allow one to get to know themselves better through solo trips and pushing one’s comfort zone.
The decision to take a gap year should be heavily thought out and planned. You’ll need to do research on locations, opportunities, vaccines. Here’s a few questions you might need to ask before crafting a safe, fun and fulfilling gap year:
What should be my gap year destinations?
Fiji, New Zealand, India, Brazil, Vietnam, Peru, and South Africa are some of the most popular places to go for a gap year.
When debating destinations, focus on the proximity of one country to others and how easily it would be to travel between the countries. You also need to think about the safety and health concerns of a country. Each place you visit could potentially require certain vaccines to maintain good health on your year of travels.
Nothing puts a damper on traveling like getting sick.
Should I join a group or program during my gap year?
Groups like Education First, Adventures Cross Country, and National Outdoor Leadership School are all options to aid your gap year. They provide programs that connect you with volunteering and adventure opportunities. These groups tend to focus on volunteering and education in a more structured environment.
Groups like this can help you keep from having a lonely gap year. You’ll be around other young adults through these programs that all have a similar interest in travel and exploration.
What experiences should I prioritize during my gap year?
To maximize the impact of your gap year, it’s crucial to balance work, travel and volunteering. All three aspects are needed to have a successful gap year.
The work experience will help contribute to later life skills and will help fund the getaway. Volunteering gives your gap year substance, allowing you to give back to others and open your eyes to the world around you.
The travel aspect is possibly the most important key to a gap year. You get to explore places you only dreamed and see the beauty and culture of different countries.
What kind of mindset do I need before starting my gap year?
Any successful gap year requires a constant open mind.
This kind of mindset can turn the gap year from a fun vacation into a life-changing trip. Be ready to step out of your comfort zone and learn things you never knew. Embrace the trip and immerse yourself in all the possible moments and experiences that will be memorable for years to come.
This doesn’t mean you should lose all your inhibitions.
Know your own limits, both mentally and physically. Always travel safely, but make sure to explore the world around you.
Want to get started on planning your gap year? Passport Health can help with every part of your trip.
From travel visas and passports, to vaccines and health tips, Passport Health can keep you healthy and active during the trip. Contact us at or book an appointment online to get started.