2012: The Year of the Gap Year?

Posted on January 5, 2012 by

This is a guest post by James of Skyscanner.

With a job market that’s still somewhat unstable to say the least, it’s hardly surprising that so many people are considering grabbing the chance to widen their horizons and pick up some new skills on a gap year at the moment. In fact, the trend is so strong at the moment, surveys by American Express show that 2.5 million young adults are considering traveling in 2012, it looks as though this year may end up being the year of the gap year.

Graduates Choosing Gap Years

Gap year is often a popular option for those who have slogged their way through university only to find that the job market was worst than they’d expected. The current economic climate is still grim and unstable, so it’s no wonder that an increasing number of young people are setting their sights overseas. Many of them pick up work experience abroad – from fruit picking in Australia to teaching English in Spain, there are opportunities around if you look hard enough. Popular gap year destinations for graduates include Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Canada is an excellent winter destination, while Australia and NZ are famed for their vast prairies and natural landscapes. While Canada can be easy to fly to from the U.S. or Europe, flights to New Zealand can be quite pricey. Be sure to book in advance.

Career Change

It’s not only the young folk who are packing their bags and setting off for a year in pastures new at the moment, there are plenty of older generations thinking of giving a gap year a go. For those who are finding it hard to progress in their chosen field, the thought of booking flights to Thailand or Tokyo to spend a few months trying their hand at a different way of life is understandably a tempting one. This can not only offer people the chance to take a long hard look at their career, it can also prove the perfect opportunity for switching vocations, as they return home with a clean slate and fresh perspective.


And then there’s the other side of the coin, the people who aren’t looking for a gap year to boost their CV or give them valuable experience, but are instead looking for a round-the-world holiday that will boost their quality of life and remind them that if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing something right. From skydiving to bungee jumping; canyoning to deep sea diving; you can really test your boundaries – and find out exactly what you’re capable of.

The number of people choosing to take a gap year in 2012 might look to be on the rise, but will you be joining them?

This post was written by James on behalf of Skyscanner, a flight comparison site based in Scotland. For more information about Skyscanner check our the Skyscanner Crunchbase profile or follow Skyscanner on Twitter.

6 Responses to “2012: The Year of the Gap Year?”

  1. Car Rental USA January 5, 2012 2:34 pm #

    I think, you are quite right. 2012 may be a gap year. I also would love to travel to Canada or either of USA in 2012. After seeing your pictures,I think that you have enjoyed a lot .

  2. Gerard ~ GQ trippin January 5, 2012 6:38 pm #

    Proud to say yes as we started our RTW just last week! I'm doing more of a career break though. :) Didn't necessarily do the gap year after college, so making up for it now.

    • Nellie January 7, 2012 5:51 pm #

      It's never too late to do a gap year! :) Where are you guys going on your RTW trip?

  3. Nancy & Shawn Power January 6, 2012 5:14 am #

    Interesting facts. Proper thing.

    We are past the University years, but the around the world holiday 365 days a year has our name all over it! All the best for 2012!

  4. Christina April 4, 2013 3:32 am #

    Nice post and shots. The number of gap year travellers is surely on the rise. This type of travel has become part of a perfect carrier route since it allows young travellers discover themselves and gain real life experiences.

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