Those against young people taking a gap year will argue that it's a waste of time. A cynic would say after 6 months of pulling pints to save money then spending it all on a lengthly beach bum holiday, you're no more prepared for university life than you had been 12 months prior.
Those in favor of taking a gap year argue that it can be a valuable opportunity to stand on your own two feet before facing university life. A year where you'll see the world, broaden your horizons and learn how to work a washing machine and cook a decent meal along the way.
Let's say boo-ya to the cynics. If you get your gap year right, you'll not only have the life changing experiences people boast about and be ready and eager for the pressures of university, but you'll also and walk away with something that will make your CV stand out in a crowd for years to come.
The key to getting your gap year travel right on a CV? Make sure you fill your year with something active, and something that you'll be able to speak about with passion on your return.
Here is some inspiration for starters, five of the best ways to spend a gap year:
5. Work on a cruise ship - This is the perfect way to see the world and earn money while doing it.
4. Teach scuba diving on an island - Get certified as a dive instructor and head over to Thailand, the Canary Islands, Turkey - take your pick! Be warned though: a year in the service industry is harder than it sounds!
3. Work at an animal sanctuary in Africa - whether its rearing injured or lost animals back to health, restoring damaged habitats or general maintenance within the sanctuary, you will be so much richer for the experience.
2. Teach English as a foreign language in Asia - This is an opportunity to teach and learn at the same time. You'll mingle with other travellers doing the same thing and earn some money to travel during your off time.
1. Volunteer Abroad - from rebuilding damaged echo systems in the Philippines, to orphanage projects in Brazil, there are endless opportunities to spend a year of your life helping a developing country.
Do you have any questions about travelling during your gap year? Have you just returned from your gap year and have advice to pass on? We'd love to hear from you!
Don't Forget: Essential Travel offer a fantastic gap year travel insurance policy. Two years non stop coverage with a trip home included as well as coverage for over a hundred sports as standard!more blog posts