For the last couple of decades, gap years have been one of the “in things” to do. It was fashionable. It was a trend. And it was something that a lot of young people thought was essential either immediately prior to university, or straight after.
Suffice to say, 2020 has changed the landscape somewhat. In truth, it’s changed all landscapes, but as gap years often involve traveling there’s no doubt that a lot of plans hang in tatters.
As such, today is all about exploring what could be on the horizon for a 2021 gap year and exactly how you could approach it.
Your travel can’t be as “planned” as it may once have been
Unfortunately, you’ve probably already predicted and thought about this first point. There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, that some people planned gap years many years in advance. Now, you might just have weeks to put together your travel plans.
While you might be able to pencil in the amount of time you are going to spend on your gap year – don’t make the mistake of making long-term travel schedules. At the moment, there are already umpteen quarantine restrictions, and you don’t want to be involved in commitments which leave your whole trip up in the air.
As such, have an array of options, but be prepared to chop and change as required. You can buy insurance for your next holiday the day before, while you can complete other formalities with similar short periods of notice. While it is preferred, you certainly don’t have to plan gap year travel a long-time in advance anymore.
Domestic gap years might be on the rise
Sure, the so-called perfect gap year may have involved galivanting around the world. Unfortunately, now is the time to make the most of an awful worldwide situation – and this is where domestic gap years come into the picture.
Granted, they’re not as glamorous and in some ways, they might still be restricted. However, there are a surprising number of options, whether it’s hopping around the country and staying with friends, or if it’s more about relocating yourself in a different region of the country.
What about a virtual gap year?
Finally, let’s talk about one option which rarely makes the headlines, but might have to for 2021.
A virtual gap year is exactly as the name suggests; it involves using the power of technology to broaden your horizons through this “year off”. Some examples include:
– Using digital learning platforms to boost your knowledge. Some people might do this to learn about a new topic (in a more informal way than a degree), or even a new language.
– It might be about completing a digital internship with a company who would, in normal times, have expected you to be on-site.
– This option also allows charity work. Charity work has been at the forefront of a lot of gap years only this time, it’s all about doing most of it online. It’s a challenge, but great for a CV.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.