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8 Epic Road Trips for Your Gap Year

A gap year is a time of endless possibilities and opportunities: though exciting, choosing what to do from these infinite prospects can be extremely difficult, daunting, and confusing.

As the old saying goes, "it's not about the destination, it's the journey!" Have you considered embarking on a road trip during your gap year? Throw your head back, put some gasoline in the ol' clunker (or "petrol," depending on where you're traveling), grab your best playlist and hit the open road. Renting a car in a foreign country can be easier than you thought! Here are 8 roads that have been amazing young travellers for years.

This post was brought to you by Stephanie Staszko, who writes for Just Motor Law, a UK based motoring solicitors firm. We highly recommend that you check the AA’s country specific guide on driving laws when you are driving in different countries. It’s important to note that driving laws in other countries are likely not the same as they are in your home country - be sure to do some research prior to your epic gap year road trip!

The Overseas Highway – Florida Keys

1. The Overseas Highway – Florida Keys

The Overseas Highway is a dream road for any person embarking on their gap year. It is a 127 mile stretch of sun-kissed road, surrounded on both sides by the deep blue ocean of The Atlantic. It was built in 1938, on the old Overseas Railroad line, which had been almost completely destroyed by a hurricane. If you’re lucky enough, or you time it just right, you can see breathtaking view of the sunrise creeping above the endless ocean views.

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North Yungas “Road of Death”

2. North Yungas “Road of Death” – Bolivia

The North Yungas Road is located deep in the South American Andes and connects La Paz with Coroico. It is a 43 mile expanse of winding, snaking dirt roads, attached to the side of a towering mountain. In 1995, it was officially named the world’s most dangerous road. Whilst not for the faint hearted, the sight of the sprawling Bolivian jungle deep in the valleys below, coupled with the white-knuckle road ride, makes this one of the most exhilarating driving experiences you can find. Some sections are no more than 3m wide - no wonder an average of 28 cars topple over the edge annually!

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Trollstigen – Norway

3. Trollstigen – Norway

The "Troll's Footpath" ascends a mountainous gorge in Norway and is a winding, spiders’ web of tarmac. Extremely challenging, this road contains 11 hairpins, has a steep 9% gradient and leaves very little room for cars to pass each other. However, the views that you will take in on this mountainous track are truly stunning, highlighted no better than when you reach the top - from here, you can look out over the entire road from above, complimented by the 320m Stigfossen waterfall nearby.

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Guoliang Tunnel Road - China

4. Guoliang Tunnel Road - China

Situated in the Taihang Mountains, in the Hunan province of China, the Guoliang Tunnel Road was constructed by 13 local villagers in only 5 years. The tunnel, carved right out the side of the mountain, is 1200m long, 5m high and 4m wide. It has been dubbed “the road that does not tolerate any mistakes.” Despite this, the stunning scenery that can be seen through the tunnel holes, coupled with the unique nature of its design, make this one of the most desirable roads to experience in the entire world.

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Col de Turini – France

5. Col de Turini – France

Located in a mountain pass in the Alps, southern France, the Cole de Turini is one of the most breathtaking expanses of road in Europe. Despite the beautiful mountain greenery, the biggest appeal of this motoring scene is the construction and design of the road itself. It's so good that every year a section of it is reserved to stage the Monte Carlo Rally in the World Rally Championship. This route combines 34 hairpins with long straights, allowing motorists to get up to massive speeds. Though certainly a challenge, the experience of this legendary track is not to be missed.

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The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road – UAE

6. The Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road – UAE

If the desert is more your thing, then this road's for you. The Jebel Hafeet Road is situated in the rocky mountains of the United Arab Emirates and stretches for 7.3 miles. From its mountainous position, it overlooks the beautiful deserts below; at night, the street lights make the asphalt and surrounding sands shimmer and glow in the moonlight. The road is a mixture of sweeping turns and long straights that merge together effortlessly, creating a perfect driving road.

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Avenue of Baobabs – Madagascar

7. Avenue of Baobabs – Madagascar

Take your gap year road trip in a new direction: leave fancy paved avenues behind in search of this dirt road. Here, you can find more than a dozen 800+ year old baobab trees lining the sandy road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. One of the coolest natural wonders on the African continent that is NOT preserved as a national park. Check it out!

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Transfagarasan – Romania

8. Transfagarasan – Romania

Built as a strategic military route by notorious dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the road took four years to build and connects Transylvania with Wallachia. This road stretches out over 90km and contains everything you could ever want in a scenic road experience: jaw-dropping mountain views, a long tunnel, twists, turns and even a view of a glacier lake (Balea Lake). The north end of this road contains some of the most hair-raising driving opportunities available in public roads, with quick turns, sharp descents and long curves, creating a truly breathtaking, inspired piece of man-made construction.

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Stephanie Staszko

Meet Stephanie Staszko, a travel blogger at Sky Park Secure, creators of their very own airport parking app. Who knows what we’ll be able to do abroad in 10 years’ time?!

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