The Best Travel Destinations For A Life-Changing Gap Year Are Waiting

by Ciara Johnson

Have you ever considered taking a gap year? We spend our earliest years in school, but there is so much to learn and experience outside of the classroom. Travel can expand your horizon, and a gap year is a great opportunity to do exactly that. You can take a break after high school or college to spend time volunteering or studying abroad on your own terms. The world is your oyster, so you have the freedom to choose where you'll spend your gap year. To help you out a bit in the planning process, these are the best travel destinations for the ultimate gap year.

There's no denying that a gap year could prove to be an extremely valuable life experience. Once you've decided to spend a year abroad, you'll be faced with decision of where to go. There are so many factors to consider, such as immersing yourself in a new culture and the distance you'll be from home. You can spend a year studying art in Italy or volunteering at an animal conservation center in Tanzania. You'll want to invest time in making this decision, because it will effect your entire experience. It might feel overwhelming at first, but all of your research will pay off in the end.

This will likely be one of the best periods of your life. You'll have so many memories tied to this location, and whichever destination you choose will always have a place in your heart.


Australia has so much to offer to nature, beach, and animal lovers. You can learn about indigenous culture, discover unique animals, or spend time surfing at some of the world's best beaches. English is the most popular language spoken in Australia, according to World Atlas, so you can dive right into the culture without any language barriers. This destination provides for an unforgettable gap year experience.

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According to a 2018 article on, Montreal is the best city in the world for students. This Canadian city has a heavy French influence and it's full of culture. It's perfect for anyone who has a desire to learn French. There are plenty of museums, markets, festivals, and restaurants to visit that will keep you busy.

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London is a great place to take a gap year. History buffs will love visiting landmarks, and theatre lovers will enjoy the shows. Have a ball seeing Big Ben up close, taking pictures in front of Buckingham Palace, and riding the London Eye. It's clear you'll never run out of things to do or people to meet in this cool city.

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Guatemala is the perfect destination to brush up on your Spanish skills. This Central American country has so much to offer in terms of culture and nature. You can consider a homestay with a Guatemalan family to fully learn about everyday life.

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The wildlife and natural wonders in Tanzania are unmatched. If you love the great outdoors, then this East African country might be the best gap year destination for you. You'll have an endless number of opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the most remarkable animals in the world.

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Do I really need to convince you that Italy is an ultimate gap year destination? If the sweet gelato and homemade pizza isn't enough to convince you, then you should think of the amazing art, history, culture, and markets you'll experience. From the iconic city of Rome, to the dreamy streets of Florence, and the breathtaking landscapes of the Amalfi Coast, Italy is waiting.

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Japan is a remarkable country that will constantly take you by surprise. You'll experience ancient Japanese tradition among modern technology. There is so much to learn and see in this country that you just might not want to return home in a year's time. Whether you visit Tokyo or Sapporo, you'll find yourself blown away by the beauty of Japan.

With a bit of research, you'll discover which destination is the right match for you. Get ready to give in to the travel bug.