Unfortunately travelling isn't free (if only!), and most of us have to raise the funds ourselves to afford a gap year.
However, travelling doesn't have to cost a fortune. With proper planning and budgeting, you can soon get the money together to afford your dream trip!
Before you go on your gap year, calculate the costs of living in the destinations you'll be travelling to. There may be some costs you haven't factored into your budget, such as visas or vaccinations, so don't get caught out. Proper research is the best way to know how much you'll need to realistically afford a gap year.
A good thing to do is to set up a bank account specifically for your travel money. This way you can track how much you have saved and try to leave it untouched until you set off. You should also be able to get better interest and fewer fees on this kind of account, which will help you afford a gap year more quickly!
Money doesn’t grow on trees, so you’ll have to do the dirty work and get a job to afford your gap year. Find some part time work, or spend a few months working full-time as part of your gap year. There is no better incentive to get a job than the prospect of an amazing trip at the end of it!
If you're planning on doing charity work or something similar, you could raise some of the money through sponsorships; for example, finding groups who will pay for part of your gap year if you are prepared to do charity work. If you're spending your gap year volunteering abroad you should find out exactly what funds are available to you before you go. Many schools or colleges have a charitable trust and may be able to offer you a grant. Local organisations such as the Rotary Club have grants available for gap year travellers, so check all avenues.
Birthday and Christmas presents can become a good source of income. Let your family know you're preparing for a gap year and they'll be delighted that they finally know what to get you - whether that's helping out with money or buying essential items for your kit!
Why not ask for a Gap 360 voucher? You can buy our vouchers online or over the phone. Our vouchers can be used towards any Gap 360 trip and in conjunction with any special offer on at the time of redemption.
In addition to this, you could run some fundraising events. Sell your old, unused possessions online, or get your friends to sponsor you to run a marathon. Events like those can often be a lot of fun, and raise a lot more money than you might expect. If you're going to be fundraising then make sure your fundraising ideas are as original and exciting as possible. Inform the local press about what you're doing; publicity will go a long way. Also be sure to get local businesses involved; they might be willing to give you money or offer you items to auction or give as prizes. Most banks have an allocated amount of money to give to charity, so try and make some contacts. Not only will fundraising get you a lot of money, it will also look great on your CV for any future jobs.
If you are still having trouble raising money to afford your gap year trip, why not consider working in your destination country? There are a wide variety of paid positions available so check out our paid work opportunities - not only will you fund your travels but you will gain some great work experience too!