Gap Year Travel: Top 3 Countries to Work and Play
Planning your gap year is daunting for many as there is so much to choose from. Working your way around the world is a great way to save some money as well as giving you a chance to see a very different side of a country.
Getting to do some good and experience a local rather than tourist culture is rewarding in many ways including budgetary constraints. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of 3 of the best countries to work in on your gap year.
All of these are good places to work but make sure you are with a reputable group, people know where you are and that you have suitable travel insurance for backpacking. Whilst in many of these countries you will be welcomed by all there are of course dangers when you are distant from cities and amenities.
First up on our list we have Australia. Australia isn’t the best country if you’re looking for charity work but there are still some programs and some great working options. The top sights to see are of course Sydney, the outback and the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia is the most popular backpacking destination for UK gap years so has a fantastic infrastructure for backpackers and a lot of bars and hostels catering exclusively to the younger backpacker. Finding bar work is fairly easy but for something more adventurous you can work on tour ship or on a farm.
Working on one of the countries farms is slightly isolating but it is great fun – especially if you come from an urban background. You will usually get bed and board while you work so it’s a cheap option. If you are looking for charity work there are a plethora of conservation projects in the country with the best options being conservation on the Great Barrier Reef.
If you can swim well and have diving experience there are a lot of opportunities but you’ll need to apply early to get a good spot.
Second on our list is India. India is a rapidly developing country but it has huge problems with poverty and a hue drive for English teaching.
Teaching English in India is a very rewarding experience and you don’t need any specialist qualifications to join most programs. Teaching English gives you a great chance to interact with locals and being in India gives you the chance to see me of the world’s finest sights from the Himalayas to the Taj Mahal.
India also has many other charity project opportunities from house building to conservation so there is something to suit all tastes and skill sets. Most projects include bed and board but the cost of living is very low anyway so you can easily self-support when there.
Transportation around the country is cheap but unreliable so lave plenty of extra time to get between places.
Thirdly we come to Africa. We decided not to pick a specific country as there is good charity work going on in almost every country in the region.
South Africa is the most popular destination for the variety of conservation work going on in the region. Working in one of the many nature reserves is incredible as you will get the chance to be up close and personal with the animals and hopefully see the big five.
Conservation projects exist throughout the continent though so don’t be put off if you can’t find something in your fist choice. If you want to do something more humanitarian centred though South Africa is probably not your best choice.
The sheer diversity of projects on the continent are overwhelming at first so search around and find something that fits with your personality and desires. Options include teaching in schools, digging wells, building houses, working in youth centres, hospitals and growing gardens.
With so much on offer you will find something life changing and we wish you a great time – just remember that as much as you won’t want to you do have to come back.
Mike the author of the “Gap Year Travel: Top 3 countries to work and play” is a travel blogger and writer for travel sites covering worldwide destinations, budget travel and tips on how to find the best deals for your holiday abroad.