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Gap Years

Gap years are not just for the young and they don’t have to take a whole year… so really the term ‘Gap Year’ is a little outdated.

So with this understanding that a Gap Year can be shorter or longer than a year and taken at any time in life what are the advantages of a Gap Year?

The first and most important advantages are that they can be a lot of fun, an incredible experience, a life-changing process and give an insight into a magical world. The second is that it could be the only opportunity you have in life to take such a long ‘holiday’.

Let’s be honest selling the merits of a gap year to the person planning one is not difficult. The difficulty comes in ‘selling it’ to friends, family, partners and potential employers; they may have concerns about your safety or about the effect it will have on your ability to find employment when you return.

So how do you deal with these issues:


Friends & Family

Include them in the planning process and make them feel they are a part of your plans. Demonstrating that you are planning effectively and are taking their concerns seriously will go some way to stopping the worry they may be feeling. If they are less stressed they will also give you less ‘hassle’.

Remember that it can be very difficult for those you leave behind, for parents especially. Agree a strategy for staying in touch, how often you will contact them, how you will contact them; they might just need help setting up a facebook page of their own to help them follow your adventures.



20 years ago taking a gap year was seen by most employers as an extended holiday, this put an element of doubt in their minds about how serious a candidate was. Fortunately employers are now more aware of the positive benefits which gap years can provide and that the experience gained by the challenges ‘gappers’ have to overcome, demonstrates their ability to problem solve in difficult circumstances.

The cultural awareness gained by travelling the world also helps develop the skills required to deal with people from different cultures in an increasingly globalised world.

The emphasis however is still on you to prove how you benefitted from your gap year and taking part in and organised volunteering project or work programme during part of your ‘year’ is the easiest way of doing this.

Get it right and on your return you will spend much of the time at job interviews talking about your gap year; a good sign you have got the balance right.



Taking a gap year has become a rite of passage for many people and those who missed out on it first time round are keen to catch up. It is never too late to enjoy the rewards a gap year offers.

Our aim at Safe Gap Year is to ensure that as far as possible all the memories from your gap year are positive ones and you overcome the challenges you encounter with the confidence to continue your travel without consequence.

Our Independent Travel Safety & Cultural Awareness Workshop will help you to plan and execute your gap year more safely, allowing you to appease the concerns of those you leave behind and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.