Is there such a thing as a luxurious gap year?

The traditional gap year is an exercise in penny pinching. You eat the cheapest food you can find, stay in the cheapest accommodation available and travel by the cheapest means going. But is it possible to throw off the shackles of a shoe string budget to enjoy a luxurious gap year? We discuss the possibilities in this article.

Save Up Before you Go

School leavers and students are not normally hugely endowed with great reserves of money, which is why it is important to be economic with your finances on a gap year. So, if you want to take a luxurious trip then you are likely going to have to bolster your coffers.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can boost your bank account before you go. For instance, you could try to strike it lucky on online gaming sites, you can find a good selection of these at This tactic is quite high risk and if you don’t play your cards right you could actually end up losing money.

A less speculative way to build up some gap year funds is to sell some of your old stuff. You should have quite a few things that you won’t need if you’re going away for an entire year. You could try to off load items such as films, game consoles and pets. You might be surprised what you could get for them on Internet auction sites.

Perhaps the best way to save up before your trip is to get a job. This will give you a consistent flow of money before going away. There are a number of positions that you could try if you’re looking for short term employment, such as bar work, construction work or retail.


Luxury is a relative term: what is luxury for you is not necessarily luxury for someone who knows nothing other than a life of pampering, like the Queen of England. Similarly, in poor parts of the world, a normal hotel room for you could be beyond the wildest dreams of some of the locals.

If you go to traditional gap year hot spots, like Southeast Asia, it is important to manage your expectations of what luxuries you can expect to find over there, this way you will avoid disappointment when you arrive. However, if you don’t want to change your perception of luxury then you may want to look away from the traditional gap year haunts and set your sights on more affluent areas, like Europe and the Middle East.

Ultimately a gap year should be an experience that is enjoyed by the person taking it. If you can save money and effort by living on the cheap then that is great. However, if you need your home comforts then it is more than possible to take a luxurious gap year, it may just take a little more time and money to prepare, plan and carry out.