With gap year travel programs, you have the chance to explore new corners of the globe. Whether you prefer an adventurous gap year, a backpacking gap year, or service-based travel, there are gap year programs that allow you to travel, meet new people, and learn more about yourself and the places you visit.

When planning your gap year to travel for a year, the world is your oyster. This is a wonderful feeling -- but can also feel overwhelming as you consider your options.

Here are things to keep in mind as you start designing your gap year itinerary:

  • Do you want to travel to just one destination or multiple destinations?
  • How long do you want to stay in each destination?
  • What visa(s) will you need during your gap year?
  • What activities do you want to do on your gap year?
  • When do you want to take your gap year?
  • How will you pay for your gap year?

As you can tell, there’s a lot to decide -- and for many gap year takers (gappers), this is an exciting time to have complete control of your decisions!

If you want to plan a gap year full of adventure travel, look for gap year programs that offer activities like Scuba diving, hiking and trekking, kayaking, and wilderness experiences. Popular destinations for adventurous gap years include New Zealand, Australia, Patagonia, and Nepal.

If you want to plan a backpacking budget-friendly gap year, look for destinations and activities that allow you to live locally and immerse yourself in your destination. Book cooking classes, stay in homestays and hostels, and travel slowly to make the most of your time on the least possible budget. Budget-friendly gap year destinations include India, Southeast Asia, South and Central America, and parts of Eastern Europe.

If you want to splurge on a luxury gap year (lucky you -- can we join?), look for destinations and activities that offer the standard you’re looking for. Destinations like Switzerland, the U.A.E, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. offer plenty of places to relax, unwind, and shop to your heart’s content.

If you want to give back on your gap year, look for volunteer and service-oriented gap year programs. These gap year programs exist all over the world, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about a culture as you help support local development efforts.


Displaying 16 - 30 of 460
5 reviews
New Zealand
Highly rated for Support, Fun, Value
2 alumni & staff interviews
Join us for an exciting educational opportunity in a remarkable country. New Zealand's South...
6 reviews
Highly rated for Support, Fun, Value
1 staff interview
Touch down in the ancient and mystical world of the Himalaya and prepare for a semester packed...

Recently Reviewed Programs

Freya Gibbs
I miss waking up at camp every morning surrounded by an incredibly special group of people, knowing that each day would start with a new adventure and end watching the insane Namibian sunset. Red and...
Tristen Blackwell
I've learned much more on this 6 week trip about myself and the world then I did in four years of higher education. This trip has showed me alot about myself and what really makes me happy. I am...
Lily Langos
Going on this trip was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. Global Works was super easy to work with and made me feel super prepared going into my trip. The leaders were great ( shoutout...
Tara Amidon
I cannot begin to express how much fun I had in Costa Rica. As soon as we arrived, the group of students automatically clicked, and friendships only grew stronger as the trip progressed. Even though...