Monday, 19 September 2011 2:00 PM
If you'd like to plan an around the world trip, you might be wondering how to go about it. Perhaps you'd like to take some time out after finishing university, or maybe you've always fancied travelling and have booked a sabbatical from work to do so. Whatever the reason, you'll want to make sure your time abroad is well spent.
Of course you'll need to think about what you'd like to do during gap year trips. There are all kinds of adventures to be had, whether you'd like to volunteer in another country, explore new landscapes, get close to wildlife or just have a memorable holiday that'll make you smile for years to come.
A round the world trip typically draws on all these elements, and more besides, allowing you to see a number of continents and experience the different cultures, flora and fauna as you travel.
You might choose a break that sees you journey to Africa and meet some of its animals by helping out at a monkey rehabilitation centre before heading off to Australia and New Zealand to learn about Maori culture and try your hand at surfing.
Afterwards, make your way to Fiji for some rapids rafting and rainforest exploration and journey on to the USA's deep south, where you'll witness awe-inspiring deserts and canyons.
If you'd prefer to visit south-east Asia on a getaway, why not consider a break that takes in India, Thailand and Vietnam?
You could spend a number of weeks in the former achieving a strong sense of satisfaction through volunteering at a special needs centre or helping teach underprivileged children at a community in the foothills of the Himalayas.
As well as working, you'll have plenty of time to see the sights, which are likely to include the stunning Taj Mahal, Mumbai's Gateway of India and Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi.
Next, you can venture on to Thailand, where you can choose to teach youngsters, offer your services as a child caregiver or work to preserve the habitats of native elephants. Explore the unspoilt spots of Kanchanaburi and Sangklaburi and enjoy some relaxation time on the beach on the island of Koh Pha Ngan.
Spend a couple of weeks in Vietnam with local families and visit the floating markets and the world-famous location of Halong Bay while offering your help to disadvantaged and orphaned children at care centres in the capital of Hanoi.
Many gap year programmes are tailored so they can be classed as adventure breaks, volunteering, teaching or working getaways, and you'll find a wealth of options to consider. If you're fond of animals, for example, you could become a wildlife explorer, helping conserve habitats in Thailand or getting close to creatures like native American wolves at an animal sanctuary in Florida.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to work while away, you could find a gap year package that whisks you down under where you can get a job to tide you over as you learn to dive at the Great Barrier Reef, cook up a storm at beach barbecues or sail around the east coast of Australia.
Whatever you decide to do, you can be sure of finding something that will provide you with fantastic memories you'll treasure forever. All that's left is to organise your finances, find some travel insurance and you'll soon be on your way abroad for the adventure of a lifetime.