The best thing about planning your gap year is that it’s all down to you! You could travel around the world or stick to one continent, stay close or go further afield - and with our volunteering placements you could lend a hand on one of our projects from 1-12 weeks. Our Travel Advisors have all extensively travelled and have taken their own gap years so they can give you some advice, or put together a custom made volunteering plan for you, which could see you take part in projects on all corners of the earth.
Best Place to Start?
To make sure your journey gets off the ground, you’ll need to raise some money and come up with an initial budget. We’d advise that you make this figure as realistic as possible; consider where you’re going, how far you’re travelling and how long you want to be away for. Living costs vary drastically per country and whilst you’re volunteering with us you’ll have your accommodation (and some food) already paid for, so that’s something to consider too.
If you’re going to be travelling a lot independently, you’ll need to consider hostels/hotels, food budgeting and then some extra curricula funding. If you’re going to be living the life of luxury your trip will come to an end much quicker than if you try and strategise where your money’s going...
Although these trips are often referred to as ‘gap years’, your trip doesn’t need to last for that long. Some of our previous volunteers have just wanted to get away for a month or less, or a six month ‘gap year’ which is often more realistic budget wise. The longer you stay at a project the cheaper the living costs become too, so if you partner two of our projects up and stay for 12 weeks on each for example, your money will go a lot further and you’ll have a greater impact on the project in question.
If you’re travelling around a particular continent, make sure you allow enough time to see everything you want to during your independent travel. Remember that you’ll also get lots of free time during your time on the project (it varies per program, but generally you’d get two days off a week, plus time during the day) where you can go off and explore the local area. Our i-to-i in-country coordinators are all masters of the local area, so feel free to ask them for advice when you’ve arrived!