The ultimate backpacker’s guide to a gap year holiday
For many, an around the world backpacking trip is simply out of the question, saving for a gap year is hard enough, and for most, funds simply won’t cover the costs needed to get yourself across the world. All too often young people have no choice but to work through any gaps in education, and the effort and stress of education means any free time is needed to recoup and recover from the strains of exams and living costs. If a backpacking holiday is what you desire, this guide to taking a backpacking trip can be just what you need. There’s plenty of time to see the world, so for now, concentrate on an area you have longed to see and a place in which your budget will afford, and enjoy a few weeks or months of carefree travelling.
For those in Europe this is often the cheapest, simplest and affordable option.
It’s also a great introduction to backpacking holidays, travelling throughout the continent without the worry of visas, too much confusion regarding currency and minimal language and cultural barriers. A gap period in Europe can mean you tick all those must see spots of your list in quite a short space of time, and there’s so much to see across Europe that you won’t be stuck for things to do. Budget airlines means flights are often the most affordable way to get around, with coaches and train tickets often being just as expensive as air.
Eastern Europe/Middle East
For a little further a field and a true minefield of culture, history and adventurous spirit then Eastern Europe and the Middle East can be a fantastic option to pack in countless countries and cultures. The cities on offer in Eastern Europe are quaint, stunning and jam packed with interesting facts, features and foot notes. Venturing across the Middle East brings a cosmopolitan fusion of religious artefacts and intrigue, fascinating centres of prayer and the history of countless voyages, alongside an emerging city vibe of culture including arts and entertainment. Getting between countries is very easy and cheap by bus or coach, and the infamous hospitality of Middle Eastern countries means hitchhiking and carpooling is a common phenomenon, although caution should obviously always be exercised.
Asia is a fantastic spot for the backpacking holiday and although a more expensive option for travel and accommodation, the day to day spend here should be minimal, least of all because of the vast options and differences from country to country. Enjoy beach hopping across Asian islands soaking up the sun, sand and party atmosphere atop clear, blue waters and local villages, or get lost in the chaos and creative confusion of major cities such as Beijing. Asia is also a fantastic spot to stop for a little longer with many countries allowing foreign nationals to work on short term basis as English teachers with little to no qualifications.
The Americas is an exciting option but obviously a very expensive experience. The vastness of America means you can be voyaging through vast, desolate lands the one week, only to be navigating your way through the epic and busy centres such as the infamous NYC. For a backpacking holiday the USA is a great option, with language barriers being non-existent and a very similar culture to Britain. There’s so much to see, experience and do across all the American states that a well-planned and executed trip is often necessary to ensure you get the most from such a holiday. Of course, venturing into beautiful South America will also allow you to experience the beautiful Latin culture whilst enjoying the most out of the Americas. Travelling by bus cross-state is common and relatively inexpensive.
I never took a "gap" year, so this guest post was fun for me to read. I think backpacking across Europe sounds like fun. Some day, my hubby and I hope to make it to Europe for longer than just a couple weeks. But truly, I would love to one day set foot on every continent.
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