4 top tips to help finance a gap year

So, you’re in your last year of college or 6th Form and you’re wondering what to do after your exams...  You’re torn between university or an apprenticeship, but you don’t really know what you want to do career wise? You need a bit of time to figure things out and (pardon the cliché) ‘find yourself’?


If this is you, then a gap year might be the answer. Lucky for you, there's six whole months ‘til summer hits and plenty of time to save up for the trip of a lifetime. Chances are, the bank of Mum and Dad isn't keen on funding your gallivanting, or maybe they just can afford to help out,  but by making some smart financial decisions yourself, you should be able to save-up enough to fund your travels. Read on to hear our top tips!

1.     Get a part-time job

The concept is simple - to save money, you need to earn money. Getting a part-time job is a great way to save up some extra dosh, providing you can juggle work with your studies. A Saturday job at a local café, or shop could fund your whole trip. Let’s do some calculations…

If you’re on £5.13 per hour and working 8 hours each week, you could earn just short of £500 in only 12 weeks! Just be sure not to fritter it on burgers and clothes in the meantime. If you add in tips and do a couple of evening shifts too, you could potentially double that figure. 

2.     Cut down on those non-essential ‘essentials’

Do you need that Frappuccino in the morning? How about the new Call of Duty game? Or, Topshop’s latest crop-top? Whilst it might seem like the world is going to end without it, the reality is that these aren’t essential items. Pop them on your Christmas/birthday wish list and save your money for life experiences. It really is a case of being strict with yourself and prioritising your purchases.

3.     Work your way around the world

How long are you looking to travel for? If it’s more than a month, or two, working whilst travelling is a great idea. You could get an internship abroad, work in hospitality, or even teach English as a foreign language in Asia, the possibilities are endless! Working in a different country is an amazing way to get a real-life perspective of a different culture, something you simply can’t achieve as a tourist.

4.     Budget on the go

So, you’ve saved up enough for flights and you’re on your way, but now the question is ‘how do you maintain the traveller lifestyle?’. The trick is to make sensible choices. Opt for budget hostels over hotels, you’ll be surprised at how well maintained most of them are, plus it’s a great way to meet new friends. Don’t waste money on loads of new clothing, whilst it’s tempting to stock up, especially in Asian countries where the threads are 'cheap as chips', remember you’ll need to carry all your new gear on your back! Finally, don’t get too spendy on food. Most hostels have kitchen facilities, so you’ve no excuse to be dining out every night.

If these tips have inspired you to take the plunge, you can what your trip will cost at Compare and choose.






6th Form, CollegeWeb editor