If you would like to take some time out from studying before heading off to university, or you have finished and you want to see a bit of the world before getting a job, perhaps you should consider travelling for a while. Thousands of young people head off into the far corners of the world each year. However, there’s a lot to consider before you book those plane tickets. First off, you will need to plan your trip and where you want to go. There are too many locations to list here. However, most popular are the Far East (Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia), Australia and New Zealand, and Europe. Some people decide to go all the way and travel the distance around the globe.
India is one of the most exciting and diverse destinations for people considering a gap year of travelling. It is also a common stop-off point for people touring around Asia. With a rich and easily accessible culture which contrasts to the cultures of the West, many young travellers have chosen India for the adventure it can offer. One other major factor that attracts travellers is that the cost of goods and services are far cheaper than in western countries, and it is quite possible to enjoy a few months in the country on a relatively small budget. However, there will be very little opportunity for a working holiday in India, so it is highly recommended that you gauge the cost of your holiday and have sufficient funds before you travel. Most travellers fly into Delhi and make their way South, visiting cities such as Agra (home of the Taj Mahal), Jaisalmer and Udaipur. The architecture in these locations is truly a sight to behold and is easily among their most attractive qualities. But the chance for a rural escape is what brings most people to India. The Himalayas are the tallest mountain range in the world – has become well known amongst travellers for offering remote and hospitable villages which offer a unique insight into the traditional way of life in the country. The scenery of North India is vast and varied, and as well as the barren peaks of the Himalayas, the country is full of thick over-grown landscape.
Thailand is often the first port of call for many young backpackers and gap-year holidaymakers taking in the Asian and Australian continents. The country has developed a huge tourism industry and is famed for its unique culture, bustling cities and exceptional scenery. The capital Bangkok is one of the biggest tourism cities in the world, with a population of six million. It has a high crime rate, with pickpockets often targeting travellers. However, the range of exciting attractions to discover is sure to appeal to any visitor. Elsewhere, the vast and wild landscape of Thailand is an immensely popular location for getting up close with wildlife. Elephant-riding is just one activity on offer, and the famous Elephant-riding football tournament attracts plenty of interest. Discovering the ruins of ancient civilisations such as the Buddhist Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple at Ayutthaya cannot be missed. There are a vast range of renowned historical sites in Thailand, with other famous landmarks including the Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace in Bangkok. In addition to the fascinating history that there is to discover, another huge draw for tourists are the stunning islands that lie off the southern coasts. Phuket, Krabi and Trang are just a selection of the well-known locations, and many of these paradise islands have been featured in films such as The Beach and The Man with the Golden Gun. Working in Thailand is not too commonplace for travellers, but there are openings for English teachers in schools across the country. If you are planning to visit Thailand, it must be noted that laws are quite strict in comparison to western countries.
Planning a visit to Laos for your gap-year getaway is highly recommended. Not only is it surrounded by popular destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, but it is a must for anyone looking to experience inspiring and untamed scenery. Laos is situated in the south-east corner of Asia and has a population of fewer than six million people. The capital city and usual landing point for most travellers is Vientiane. This is where you will find the majority of hostels. But further out into the countryside, the accommodation will get quite basic. Backpackers and adventure enthusiasts are especially attracted to the wild terrain of Laos. As well as all the white-water rafting and kayaking action on the many rivers, elephant trails are also proving to be a highly sought after activity for young travellers, as are mountain-bike tours through the countryside which can cover up to 50 miles per day. Another option to consider is the opportunity to stay with a local family in one of the rural villages. This will undoubtedly be the best way to experience the culture and customs of the Lao people, and they have a reputation for being extremely friendly and hospitable. Most visitors will try and fit everything Laos can offer into one trip, and many travel operators will pride tours that cover the most popular locations in the country. As it is a less tourist-focused location as the neighbouring Thailand or Cambodia, budget-friendly accommodation and restaurants will never be hard to find.