How to make the most of a gap year 

So, you have just finished your A levels and your are wondering if university Is the right thing for you? So why not take a year out to decide? Taking a gap year before you move onto university or even an apprenticeship is recommended for different reasons and for different types of people.

There are many different ways to spend a gap year, so you just have to figure it out if id right for you.

Is a gap year right for you?

If you are someone who struggles with education, then taking a years break may mean it is super hard to get used to it when you do start back again. So, in this case it would be best to carry on without taking a gap year.

If you think you may struggle financially despite the universities help, lots of people work for a year before starting so that they have enough money to live off when they move out.

If travelling is your thing, then it might be a hood idea to get a bit of this in before you start at university.

Work

Working for a year before university is a great way to save up meaning you shouldn’t have to get a job whilst you are at university. This means you will be able to have more time to do other things such as socialise and revise.

There are so many jobs roles that take on students. A good place to start is Indeed.com. You should be able to find jobs in retail or hospitality.

Alternatively, if you take a wander round your area there many be some cafes or small businesses with signs in their doors looking to hire people.

Work experience

Another idea is to try and get work experience in the industry you want to go into. For example, if you want to go into banking/ finance/ accounting, then try and get a job in a bank. Lot of companies are happy to take on student who have recently completed their A levels, so it is always worth looking for these kind of things. A lot of the job roles are also for a year which is ideal.

Getting this work experience now will help you tremendously in the future when you are allying for graduate roles or even placement roles, both of which are very competitive.

Travel

Travelling is one of the top reasons to take a gap year and it can be one of the best ways to spend it. You can do this solo or with a group of friends. If you do not want to travel alone but you don’t have any other friends taking a gap year then there are a few things you can do, you can join a group on Facebook of people who are travelling solo but want to join others. Or you can book onto a program where you will meet others to travel with. This way everyone will be in the same position.

Gap 360

Gap360 is a service that operates many different travel plans and programs. You can do an individual program or do a few of them. These programs let you travel with a group. You can select the places you want to go and see if they run a travel program in those places (which they most likely do). They even offer a one-year program.

There are many more companies like Gap360 who offer a similar thing, but this is the company I liked the most when doing my own research. They also have great reviews from people who have used their services before.

Work and Travel

If you are struggling to fund your travels but still really want to take a gap year to travel, then why not work whilst you travel to keep you going. Gap 360 also have programs where you can work whilst you travel to fund your trips.

Ski season

A ski season is another great way to make money whilst you travel. There are many different programs available if you do a little research, you will be able to find one that is right for you.

Camp America

If you are looking for something in the summer season and want to go travelling in America, then working at a summer camp is a great place to start. Camps normally run for 6-12 weeks, and you get 30 days after your camp finishes to travel round America. Most internally staff would travel in a group together.

You get paid a wage whilst working at camp and in your days off you will be able to experience the local area your camp is in.

This is also a great thing to add to your CV at university as it shows great independence and ability to do things on your own and things that might be a little bit out of your comfort zone.

Australia

If working and travelling around Australia is more your thing then take a look at some of the programs there are on offer, these programs run for 3,6 or 12 months mostly.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, a lot of students struggle with funding their travels, so another option could be to work for the first 6 months of your gap year to build up a bit of money and then travel for the rest.

I do recommend using the travel packages that many sights like 360 put on as it means you can travel in a group, you get your accommodation and your travel to each city included (excluding flights to get there), which makes it a lot safer then travelling solo. It also takes off a lot of stress of having to sort accommodation and transport to each accommodation everywhere you go.

However, if you are looking at trying to travel for as cheap as possible then sorting all your travel yourself may be more cost effective rather than paying a company to sort it out for you.