Travelling is a great experience. You get to see new and interesting places, meet new people and experience different cultures.

Most people who take a gap year will do some form of travelling. This is usually done over a period of a few months and on a budget – with people moving from hostel to hostel, often staying in dorms rather than private rooms. The temporary nature of this form of travel, where you carry everything you need with you, helps to explain why it is often referred to as backpacking!

Some people will choose to focus on one region (such as South America or South East Asia), whilst others buy a round the world ticket and try to see as many countries as possible. The most popular gap year destinations all have towns which act as ‘backpacker hubs’, attracting thousands of young people from all over the world every year.

As with all travel, backpacking as part of a gap year comes with its own set of dangers. For up to date travel advice we recommend you use the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice service.

We have written a number of gap year guides for specific countries and regions. You can find these below or in the individual country guides.