Choice of countries. The inclination is to travel on your gap year to somewhere which is supposedly ‘glamorous’. That’s fine, but make sure you are there for the right reasons.
Or a third world country. Beware of giving the impression that you can solve problems that are somehow beyond the local people.
Don’t forget your own country and areas nearer to home. There’s a great advantage in being able to pop home quickly.
Country information: have a look at Lonely Planet's destinations section for good information.
Popular destinations: according to Travelbag (2005) the most popular countries are:
1.Australia 2.New Zealand 3.Thailand 4.South America 5.USA 6.India 7.South Africa 8.E.Europe 9.W.Europe 10. Malaysia
Most popular Round the World (RTW) trips: Four of the most popular (according to the Mintel 2005 Gap Year Travel report) are:
1. London-Nairobi (overland to Johannesburg) Sydney-Auckland (overland to Christchurch) Fiji-Los Angeles-Miami-London
2. London-Cape Town (overland to Johannesburg) Singapore-Vietnam-Perth (overland to Sydney-Christchurch (overland to Auckland) Fiji-Cook islands-Tahiti-Los Angeles (overland to New York) - London
3. London- Nairobi (overland to Dar Es Salaam) Bombay-Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane-Auckland-Fiji-Los Angeles-London
4. London-Cairo-Kathmandu (overland to Delhi) Hanoi (overland to Singapore) Australia-New Zealand-Tonga-Samoa-Los Angeles-Mexico-Fort Lauderdale-Kingston-London
New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme: Under this scheme there are unlimited places available to young citizens of the United Kingdom. To be eligible you must be at least 18 years old and not more than 30. You must also be able to meet the criteria specified in the New Zealand Government website.
You can stay for up to 23 months and work for up to 12 months. You are not restricted in the type of work nor the number of jobs you can have. The website has links to employers, so you should be able to find a job before you leave the U.K. You can apply on-line, and most applications are approved within days, with 12 months allowed between the visa being issued and entering New Zealand.
The New Zealand Government website link is www.immigration.govt.nz/whs