Why Take a Gap Year after 25?

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Taking a gap year isn’t just for 18-24 year-olds: people in their late twenties, thirties, forties and fifties are all increasingly taking extended trips away. After all, your curiosity doesn’t end at 25, and there are plenty of reasons to go gapping. Here are just a few (do they strike any chords with you?)


  • You want to see more of the world – whether that’s discovering new lands, meeting new people or a bit of both!
  • You want to combine travelling with work to gain new skills and qualifications.
  • You want to challenge yourself and fulfill personal goals.
  • You want to take a career break to figure out what you really want to do.
  • You’ve been made redundant and want to use the money for something fun and different.
  • You’ve finished a long relationship and want a change of scene.
  • You’re tired of the daily grind and want to re-charge your batteries in a new environment.


Plenty of people dream about taking some time out to travel, but never do it because they’re scared. This is certainly be truer for people over 25, when you can feel you’ve got more to lose than gain from taking a long trip. You might be worried about leaving a gap in your career, or abandoning the comfortable (if unsatisfying) life you know. If you have kids, it can be nigh-on impossible to imagine uprooting them from school for life on the road.


The important thing to remember is: if it’s your dream, it’s possible! It’s now cheaper and easier than ever to visit places your parents couldn’t have imagined going. Here are three ways to make a gap year work for you, depending on what stage you’re at in your life.


20s-30s: Work your way around the world


The benefits of working while you travel are huge. It’s a chance to learn new skills and gain qualifications, as well as improve your language skills and confidence in new environments. Just think, too – a stint abroad (whether it’s France or Borneo) will really make your CV stand out! It’s up to you to choose what kind of work will suit you best – whether it’s paid or volunteering for a cause or charity you believe in.


30s-40s: Travel with your family

It is possible to go on an extended trip with your kids – whether it’s over their summer break, or for longer. Travelling with your brood requires lots of organisation, but pays off hugely in terms of family bonding and teaching your kids first-hand about the wider world. The sky’s the limit on what you can do, as long as you prepare beforehand – i.e. arranging time out of class with your kids’ school and making sure your family has the correct inoculations for travel. Popular trips for families include road-trips across Australia or the US and inter-railing in Europe.


50+: Travel with your partner


Gap years are ideal for over-50s: you’ve more disposable income than when you were in your teens and twenties, and your kids will have left home – removing many of the ties and responsibilities you had for staying in one place! Adventure tours, wildlife-spotting and long train travel are all popular ways to see more of the world, with destinations like New Zealand and Australia coming out top.


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About The Author

Budget travel specialists hostelbookers.com explain how you don’t have to be a student to take a gap year. AnyTrip.com has properties in over 3500 destinations, including cheap hotels in London.


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