How To Pull Off a Gap Year On a Budget

Man with backpack standing outside with Mayon Volcano in the Philippines  in the background; how to pull off a gap year
Mayon Volcano in the Philippines

Taking a gap year is a great way to experience the world and other cultures before starting a job. Your last year in college can be extremely exhausting and even burn you out. Additionally, many students used to having the summer off tend to jump right into a full-time job after graduation. Taking the summer or even a whole year to yourself and traveling seems unrealistic if you have limited funds. But lucky for you, we’re here with a few tips on how to easily pull off a gap year!

Refinance your loans

Most recent college grads have some type of loan to repay after they graduate. While student loan repayment is often portrayed as a long-term headache, it doesn’t have to hold you back. Be proactive and look into refinancing your student loans as soon as possible.

Refinancing and consolidating all of your different loans can help make it easier and cheaper to pay them back. Instead of multiple loans with high interest rates, you can have one loan with one low rate. It’s easier to pull of a gap year when you don’t have to stress about expensive monthly bills every month.

Find odd jobs

Woman on a wooded track with several dogs; how to pull off a gap year
Dog walking in the countryside

Finding odd jobs while traveling is surprisingly easy, and the benefits are unmatched! You’ll have a sustainable income for bills and living expenses, and even have extra spending money. It’s easier than ever to find consistent jobs with apps that will help you pull off a gap year.

Apps like Rover and sites like are great for when you’re abroad in a big city. Simply find jobs that fit your travel schedule, doing things you love! If you want a gap year in a developing country, seek out language teaching or farm labor opportunities.

Use group travel

Maybe you want to take some time to travel after graduation, but not a whole year. There are plenty of awesome and affordable opportunities out there for about a month of travel. You can pull off a gap year or even a gap month.

Group travel companies, like EF Ultimate Break, are made for young adults to travel together! Plus, these companies tend to be more affordable because of the airfare and hostel rates you get as a group. You can sign up for a trip lasting anywhere from a week to over a month with others your age. You’ll be able to travel to multiple cities or countries in one trip. And, you’ll have knowledgeable tour guides and a unique experience to meet new people your age.

Woman on Asian city street; how to pull off a gap year

Try backpacking

If you are more of an independent traveler, then backpacking may be for you! Backpacking is an affordable way to travel for long periods of time and experience many new places in one trip. Talking to experienced backpackers is the best way to decide on a location, essential gear and meal planning.

However, backpacking isn’t only for outdoorsy people and adventure-seekers. Backpacking can be done in urban cities too! It just means traveling with only you, a few essential items and the will to meet new people. This mindset will help you pull of a gap year on a budget.

About LizBrook

Liz is a total home-body; she's obsessed with cooking, watching Netflix and spending time with her cat. However, her passion is writing and looks to inspire young adults to be their best selves!

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