The cost of a gap year
The cost of a gap year depends on the criteria you use - length of time, age of participants, range of activity, destination, whether leisure pursuits are included etc. See the Gap Cost Calculator www.gapadvice.org/files/gap_cost_calculator.xls for things to take into account.
The Mintel report July 2005 says 'The average spend of a gap year traveller is around £4800, with the highest-spending group being those on career gaps'.
- For 18-24 year olds the average spend is £3-4000.
- For Career Breaks (25-35 year olds) the average spend is £6-9000.
- For those in retirement, the average spend is £5000 each.
Gap Cost Calculator
Use the Gap Cost Calculator spreadsheet (MS Excel file) www.gapadvice.org/files/gap_cost_calculator.xls to look carefully at the costs of each gap year company. Check for hidden costs and don’t forget you could organise it yourself – it’s a matter of:
- value for money
- the comfort of security and support
- a balance between your effort and those of a third party
Raising money for your year out
Looking to find several £000s for your gap year can seem daunting. But many people cover their costs, without relying on money from friends and family. Work out your budget first of all, to cover flights, insurance, etc (see the Gap Cost calculator). Then consider these suggestions:
- before you go and during your gap year
- Start budgeting eg
- cook food, rather than eat out
- cycle, rather than use public transport
- look in charity shops for clothes
- don't buy books, newspapers, magazines - go to the library
- Open a gap account, earning interest
- Produce a professional-looking flyer, showing what you hope to achieve, with pictures
- Get publicity in your local paper, on the web, at work/school
- eg car boot sales, garage sales, parties, quizzes, sell things on eBay
- sponsored events eg runs, cycling
- Apply for a grant
- 'Directory of Grant Making Trusts', copy in most libraries
- local charities eg Rotary Clubs, Lions, Round Table
- from your school or work
- Let your house, if you have one!
- Select cheaper options:
- make comparisons; charges vary considerably
- If under 30, for part of the year use the 'Working Holiday Visa' schemes in Australia, New Zealand, Canada to fund your travel
- arrange it yourself, if you are an experienced traveller. But you will need to do very thorough research and talk with people who have returned from the activities you plan.