Imagine a gap year encyclopaedia. One that can answer all those niggling questions, like what the latest Covid-related travel restrictions are, what’s the best time of year to visit a certain country, and exactly which tours you should do. You won’t find these fonts of knowledge in a library, as they are living, breathing gap year consultants, and they can help you research, plan and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

We’re often asked why you should use a gap year consultant, so here are our top reasons:

Gap year consultants will save you time and stress

Planning a gap year can be fantastic fun, but there are also quite a few tedious elements. The planning stage involves a lot of research and takes a considerable amount of time. There are also A LOT of options out there, and trying to decide between two tempting programs or tours can be hard.

The global pandemic has made planning a gap year even more challenging, so gap year consultants are an excellent source of knowledge and information. They know how to work with Covid restrictions and can share advice on where you can visit and what insurance you need.

For example, Leap VIP offers gap year consultancy services and describes themselves as ‘Covid travel experts’, who can help you navigate the complexity of pandemic travel.
It’s a gap year consultant’s job to know the intricacies of planning an amazing trip, so they will breeze through tasks and help you plan your trip without the stress. Their services typically involve researching, finding options that suit you, planning the trip with you, assistance with booking different elements and providing help and support.

En Route Consulting provides gap year consultancy to families in the USA and beyond, and offers different packages depending on the level of support you need. The Standard Consultation includes 15 hours of meetings to help travellers structure and clarify their plans, plus unlimited support via email. You’ll receive program and activity recommendations, help with budgeting and itinerary planning, and support both before you depart and during your trip.

Most gap year consultants charge a fixed fee for a package of services, and many offer a free initial consultation to help you decide if they are the right choice for you. The Center for Interim Programs provides a complimentary 90 minute phone or Zoom consultation so you can get gap year advice and talk through the options available, such as making art in Italy, working with animals in Costa Rica or trekking in Peru.

Looking for a specific gap year program? Try a consultant

A gap year consultant will make sure the program and trip you go on fulfils all of your objectives. They can also provide mentoring and coaching if you’re not sure what you want to get out of your gap year, or what you want to do.

They’ll do their best to make sure you don’t have to compromise on anything that’s really important to you. And if your plans simply aren’t possible – whether that’s because of Covid restrictions, availability or something else – they will give expert gap year advice and help you find a fantastic alternative.

Consultants like J2Guides work with you to thrash out exactly what you want to do. Their Plan The Gap service includes one-on-one sessions with your gap year mentor to create your gap year plan. It will include quality, vetted program recommendations, which are tailored to your interests, needs and budget.

Gap year consultants can also ensure that you maximise your time away. As part of the services offered by the Taylor The Gap consultancy, you’ll receive support and advice on planning your trip, and you’ll discover how to turn your adventures into valuable entries for your CV.

Gap year consultants can help you source an internship

If you’d like to do a working internship during your gap year, then a gap year consultant can help you find the ideal position. Companies like Gap Year Solutions help people find in-person and virtual placements in a wide range of sectors. These are typically for six to ten weeks, working between eight and twelve hours a week.

These internships are often part of a longer gap year, and Gap Year Solutions also offers The Gap Year Plan, which helps travellers plan and enjoy their trip.

If you’re ready to find an expert to help you plan the trip of your life, check out our recommendations for top gap year consultants.

A gap year is a chance to travel to destinations you’ve never visited, meet new people and challenge yourself to learn new things. There are so many benefits of a gap year, and here we round up five great reasons to take a gap year:

To take a break from education

How long have you been in formal education? If you started aged four or five, the chances are you’ve been hard at work for 10 to 15 years. You definitely deserve a break!

Lots of people choose to take a gap year after finishing school, college or university. Some feel burned out from working so hard. Some need time away from learning to decide what to do next, and to consider their next step. For others, it is a natural break before they head to college or university or before they start work.

Wherever you are on your education journey, a gap year can give you time off to reflect and regroup.

To explore the world

Your gap year could see you volunteering in Kenya, having adventures in Australia or working in the USA. There’s an entire world out there, and a gap year is the perfect time to see more of it.

The beauty of a gap year is that you can tailor it to exactly what you want to do. Would you like to explore one country in detail, or do you want to travel across a continent? Perhaps you have several destinations you’d love to visit, or have your heart set on a round-the-world ticket.

On a gap year you can venture to villages, towns, cities and countries across the globe.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely made it more challenging to plan a gap year, they are still possible. Countries’ travel restrictions and entry requirements are constantly changing, so if you are planning a gap year for the future the travel landscape could look considerably different to now.

We’ve rounded up details of travel restrictions for gap years in our blog.

To learn new skills

One of the most popular benefits of a gap year is the chance to learn new skills. You could return from your trip with a wealth of new skills, including:

  • Financial skills
  • Learning a language
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Increasing your confidence

To boost your CV

Alongside the skills you’ll learn, other reasons to take a gap year are to gain valuable experience and talking points to add to your CV.

A gap year can be the perfect opportunity to try some of these CV-boosting opportunities:

  • Volunteer on your gap year: You will be able to use this experience on your application form for college or university, or when applying for jobs.
  • Do an internship: You will gain valuable experience in a sector that interests you, which could help you decide if it’s the career for you. Even if it’s not the perfect fit, it will be useful experience for your CV.
  • Teach English as a foreign language: You will gain a valuable qualification and have an impressive addition on your CV. Plus, if you want to move into a teaching role it will demonstrate your ability to lead a class and plan lessons.
  • Work on your gap year: You will amass new skills and experience if you choose to work during your gap year.

To have a ridiculously good time!

You now know some gap year benefits: it’s a sensible choice, which will give you a break from education, make your CV stand out and help you learn new skills. But even better? It can be the most wonderfully amazing, brilliantly fun and gloriously exciting time of your life!

Most people go on a gap year when they haven’t got too many life commitments. Perhaps you’ve got a mobile phone contract to your name, but the chances are you haven’t committed to a marriage, mortgage or mini people. It’s the perfect time to focus on yourself, what you want to do and where you want to go.

A gap year is your chance to meet new people, explore new places and try new things. To sample dishes you’ve never heard of, lie on beaches you didn’t know existed and venture into cities you’ve only read about in books. There’s a reason people fondly look back on their gap years as the best time of their life.

We thoroughly believe that a gap year is one of the best things you can do for your CV and future career prospects. But it’s also one of the best ways to have fun! To help you get ready, check out our guide to how to plan a gap year in eight steps.