Top 5 Gap Year Destinations


Top 5 Gap Year Destinations as recommended by Twin Work and Volunteer

One of the most important decisions that needs to made when planning a gap year – is where you plan to go. Some backpackers opt to travel the world, while others prefer to stay in one country and take up rewarding activities such as volunteering or teaching. Whatever your plans are, here are our top five gap year destinations, to give you a little travel inspiration…

South Africa

 south africa beach

South Africa is a country offering a wealth of experiences. Boasting abundant natural beauty, diverse landscapes, wildlife galore, deserted beaches, mountainous roads and much, much more. As well as endless travel opportunities, the majority of South Africa is set up for backpackers and travelling here can be a refreshingly stress-free experience. 

Thailand

 thailand buddha

A favourite amongst backpackers and brought to life through Alex Garland’s cult novel ‘TheBeach’, (click here for The Beach [Blu-ray] [2000])Thailand is an exotic, friendly and perfect for a gap year abroad. A hedonistic land of beach parties, crowded streets, spicy food and smiling locals set against a tropical backdrop, this is a country that’s perfect for those seeking excitement. With easy access to various South–East Asian countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam or Malaysia in the South; Thailand is a must-see destination for those looking to embark on an intense travel journey.

India

 Indian sadhu (holy man)

A destination that’s better for travellers with prior experience, a trip through India is a powerful and often life-affirming experience. Humid, dusty, overcrowded, colourful and enchanting – a trip to India can’t fail to stir the soul. A country home to stark poverty, a first-time visit can be overwhelming to say the least. However, for those who stick it out and are brave enough to delve beneath the surface India provides an intoxicating blend of cultures and experiences.

Brazil

 copacabana beach

Beautiful Brazil makes the list partially due to its sheer size. Offering giant adventures aplenty, Brazil’s diversity lends itself perfectly to those on a gap year abroad. Attractions include enchanting colonial towns, sweeping mountainous views, spotless beaches, buzzing cities, the world famous Carnival and of course, the legend that is the Amazon. Brazil also boasts one of the most diverse collections of plant and animal life in the world, making it a popular destination amongst conservation volunteers. You could spend a year exploring Brazil’s incredible terrain and still feel like you’ve just touched the surface of what this magical country has to offer.

Tanzania

 zebra - tanzania 

Tanzania is an African country with a huge heart. As well as smiling children galore, Tanzania offers up endless opportunities for the traveller. Land of the safari, visitors can enjoy wild adventures, all against a cultural backdrop of various tribal and ethnic groups. Offering the appeal of both creature comforts for first-time travellers and rough-and-ready spots for thrill-seekers, no matter which direction you choose, a journey through Tanzania with its friendly faces will open your eyes to a new way of life.

By Hannah Walton

Web Editor at Twin Work & Volunteer

For more information on Gap years and volunteering abroad check out the website here