Affordable gap year destinations

12 May, 2023

Affordable gap year destinations

Spread the love

If you are a keen traveller and looking for affordable gap year destinations then read on. In this article we offer a range of fascinating places around the world where you might want to visit on your gap year between school, college and work. We offer opportunities to save money like choosing countries with a cheaper cost of living and travelling and housesitting for free accommodation.

Affordable gap year destinations and travel ideas

affordable gap year
Thailand is one of the most exciting places to visit and very affordable on small travel budget

What are the advantages of a gap year?

A gap year is a fantastic and exciting opportunity to explore new places, gain new experiences. It helps you to learn about different cultures. It’s also a great chance to take a break and breathe after the long, hard slog of graduating from high school or college. However, you are a student and you might ask yourself – how much does a gap year cost?

Is taking a gap year a disadvantage?

While you will have some costs, you can make an affordable gap year using different travel methods. Do some research and find some of the best gap year programs, think about housesitting and other ways of saving money. It can make a big difference. It can help you to travel further.

However, taking a year off from school can be an expensive business. Many people take a part-time job to help pay for their experiences, but it is still a serious cost to bear.

The good news is that there are many affordable gap year destinations that offer unique and exciting experiences for young travelers. Whether you want to take last-minute offers to cruise, try housesitting or you prefer the world of backpacking and hostel-hopping you have options.

Here are some of the most affordable destinations for taking a gap year.


Thailand is one of the classic gap year destinations, an amazing, exotic world of natural beauty, ancient mystery, and wild parties. Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, delicious food, and friendly locals, it is also one of the most affordable countries in the world to explore.

Ensuring that you can maximize your Thailand travel adventures without straining you wallet.

Inexpensive transportation in Thailand

Accommodation, transport, and food are all great value for money. What is more, there are amazing guesthouses, delicious street food, and fascinating Buddhist temples to explore everywhere you turn.

Many gap year travelers enjoy volunteering in Thailand during their year abroad, which can be a great way to save on accommodation and make new friends!


affordable gap year
Mexico is rich in history and Mayan culture – there is so much to see and it is easy on the wallet

Mexico is another wonderful place to visit, with a huge variety of amazing destinations to discover. It is also incredibly affordable for gap year travelers. Situated just south of the border, it is also one of the easiest places to get to!

Mexico has lower cost of living than Europe

With its rich history, stunning beaches, and delicious cuisine, it is easy to see why it is such a popular destination. Traveling around Mexico is incredibly affordable. Intercity buses are high-quality and great value, while there is an abundance of excellent and affordable accommodation in every city and town. The food, some of the best in the world, is cheap, and major attractions won’t break the bank either!

Plus, if you completely run out of money, the beach is always free!


affordable gap year
Portugal offers an ancient culture and a wonderful climate

Europe might not be the first place that jumps to mind when thinking about gap year travels on a budget. True, most of the main countries and most famous cities like London, Paris, and Madrid are expensive. However, Portugal is a hidden gem and a great option for an affordable gap year for young travelers on a budget. It is also a great destination for grey gap year travellers.

Affordable travel in Portugal

Portugal is known for its stunning coastline, charming cities, and delicious food and wine, and it is also one of the most affordable countries in Europe. Accommodation in Portugal is good value for money, and it’s easy to find hostels and budget hotels that won’t drain your funds.

Some of the top activities in Portugal include exploring Lisbon’s historic neighborhoods, visiting Porto’s famous wineries, trying Portuguese seafood, and surfing in the Algarve.  All in all it makes for a very affordable gap year in Europe.


Cambodia is a beautiful and affordable destination in Southeast Asia. it is also an off-the-beaten-track affordable gap year alternative to more popular (and more expensive) options like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Inexpensive travel in Cambodia

It has many stunning temples, beautiful beaches, and fascinating and tragic history. As such it makes a fascinating option for gap year travelers, albeit one that can be grim and disturbing to deal with at times.

For anyone willing to mix gorgeous ancient architecture like Angkor Wat with some of the darkest historical monuments the world has to offer in the form of the Killing Fields, Cambodia is a unique and memorable place to visit. You may even find some volunteer gap year programs to explore.

Try housesitting on your gap year

If you enjoy travelling, have a grasp of taking care of animals and plants and can maintain the house in a perfect state try housesitting. Being a house sitter can make an affordable gap year go further and longer.

The role of a house sitter might suit you if you are happy to take on some responsibilities while you secure free accommodation. It is a very affordable way to travel. Because you pay nothing for your accommodation.

Housesitting lifestyle

What is housesitting
Alex dogsitting Daisy and Amber on a gap year

Many young professionals consider housesitting a dream job. It can help you make a very affordable gap year go even further.

In fact this lifestyle also appeals to large numbers of retired and semi-retired people wanting to discover new locations and visit new countries on a fixed budget. However, it is worth remembering that as a housesitter usually you do not get a salary for your services!

House sitting is growing in popularity

Greater numbers of people are choosing to become house sitters instead of having a full-time job. Housesitting is proving to be an alternative lifestyle and is growing in popularity. Moreover, you can easily combine this work with your online job, for example in a writing business.

If you don’t lead a luxurious lifestyle and traveling is your passion, it’s a perfect option. However, not every person can become a house sitter, and not everyone is suited to the lifestyle.

Final word your affordable gap year travel

A gap year is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Finding a way to have an affordable gap year without long lasting debts is a great way to see the world from a different perspective. Don’t forget to check the immigration requirements with a local lawyer before you travel, and choose your destination with care, for a truly memorable adventure!

Consider the range of wonderful exotic and affordable gap year destinations. Research the available fully funded gap year programs and some free gap year programs. You can combine them with a cruise, housesitting and a whole variety of options to enrich your gap year experience.


Click here to Join as a trusted house sitter


Further reading about housesitting and housesitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and house sitting in London useful.

Budget travel guide Budapest – Housesitting

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

The Affordable Alternative to Dog Kennels

What is House Sitting?

Spread the love


Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.