Top five destinations for your gap year

Brighton, UK

So you’re considering taking a year out and seeing the world. There’s a lot to do and see out there, so what’s the next step?

Well, why not have a look at some of our suggestions to get the ball rolling; then shop around to see who offers cheap flight tickets to your dream destination. Always remember to ensure you have a ‘Work Permit’ if you think you’ll need to work. And if you’re travelling with your friends, don’t forget your head-phones for a bit of peace and quiet?

Here’s a few of our top destinations? Feel free to tell us about your own highlights and experiences.


Thailand is home to some 2 million students, and boasts a landscape that’s just begging to be explored, such as mountains, islands and jungles teeming with wildlife. Whilst there, you can work with local villages and communities, learning about rural life and visiting some of Asia’s remotest villages.

Thailand also offers travellers the experience of visiting numerous islands, which feature everything from popular, crowded holiday spots – such as Ko Phi Phi and Ko Samui – to practically deserted islands like Ko Phra Thong. There are even spa resorts located on Ko Lanta and Ko Chang if you feel like relaxing after some adventuring.

While Thailand doesn’t offer a working holiday Visa, a work permit (for teaching English, for example) costs around £155


One of the more popular choices among students looking to work abroad, Canada offers sights and activities that other countries can only dream of. If you’re the outdoorsy type, British Columbia offers stunning vistas and some of North America’s most challenging rock climbing routes. If you prefer some winter sports, why not try the country’s renowned Whistler-Blackcomb snowboarding slopes?

If you’re more of a city slicker, then try Toronto, Canada’s most well-known city. Two hours from the US border, Toronto offers travellers the chance to visit the famous CN Tower or take in an ice hockey game, one of the country’s signature past times.

Working holiday Visas for Canada cost £90 minimum.


Offering celebrated ski and snowboarding experiences in the Alps to the north, and a wealth of water sports in the Mediterranean to the south, Italy is a popular choice for those looking for a working adventure holiday.

Famous for its art, cuisine, rich history and glamorous reputation (helped in no small part with exports such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Dolce & Gabbana), Italy proves popular with tourists, families and adventurers alike.

EU nationals can work in Italy without a Visa. People from New Zealand, Australia and Canada can obtain a work Visa, which costs € 75.


Perhaps most famous for its chocolate, Belgium is also home to NATO and the EU, making it the beating heart of democracy in Europe.

Highlights that always prove popular with holidaymakers include the Kusttram (coast tram), which takes passengers along 40 miles of coastline, and Brussels, the nation’s capital, which possesses stunning architecture and a terrific night life (Belgium boasts a healthy reputation for the quality of its beer as well as its chocolate). And of course the musée Hergé for all you Tintin lovers.

EU nationals can work in Belgium without a Visa. People from New Zealand, Australia and Canada can work in Belgium with a working Visa, which costs € 90.


Arguably the most popular destination for those looking to work abroad, Australia offers pursuits for all kinds of adventurers, as well as numerous working opportunities for those taking a gap year.

Highlights include the country’s wealth of extreme sports, such as windsurfing, paragliding, surfing and all-terrain windsurfing, as well as climbing the country’s wondrous rock formations and long-haul treks through the outback. Guided tours along some of the most impressive locales in the country are available, and national nature reserves offer a bounty of information on the country’s indigenous Aboriginal population.

For those keen to sample Australia socially, nightlife in all the big cities offers plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with laidback Ozzy locals.

A working holiday Visa for Australia costs AU$285.

DisclaimerThis is sponsored content, paid for or otherwise remunerated through partnership with MDBG.

Image credit: Garry Knight – Italians On Holiday @ Flickr

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  • Jacquimaxted

    When can I go, your blogs always make me want to pack my rucksack & get out there & explore.

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  • Very cool list!  You’ve included my favourite country in Thailand and where I’m from Canada.  Hard to argue with that 🙂

  • South Kensington Taxis

    Awesome list,Really informative and nice awareness post thanks to share it with us.


    I heard a lot about Moscow and I wondering if could visit it next year , I like to visit saint-petersburg as well .


    I want to surf this spot