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Top five places to take your gap year

by 1st Contact | Dec 10, 2015
  • Have you just finished school? With no mortgage, full-time job, homework or studies to worry about, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have more freedom than you do right now. It’s the perfect time to explore and adventure. We look at the top five places to take your gap year.


    Thailand welcomes 16 million international visitors each year and is a popular choice for a gap year. But there’s more to this tropical island paradise than pristine beaches.

    Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis known for its fast pace, ornate shrines and vibrant street life. Travel and accommodation is quite cheap – if you know where to look. A steady stream of backpackers means you’re bound to get practical first-hand advice, and maybe leave with a new friend or two.


    This country is a fantastic choice if you would prefer to spend a year in a familiar, English-speaking country. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy a variety of outdoor and adventure activities on offer.

    Looking to make some spending money? A 12-month work visa is available to visitors from selected countries, aged 18-31. There is also a good backpacker infrastructure, and some hostels allow you to work in exchange for accommodation. Favourable exchange rates will also help your money last longer.

    South Africa

    The allure of elephants and lions is enough to tempt anyone to spend a year in this fascinating country. After a year in the bush or looking to sun yourself on a breath-taking beach? South Africa offers something for everyone.

    Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are the major cities, and offer many opportunities for internships or work experiences as well as world-class restaurants and nightlife. This is another great spot for adrenalin hunters with kayaking, white-water rafting, bungee jumping and shark diving all on offer.


    India has always been popular with backpackers and still ranks high with the gap year crowd. Travellers are spoiled for choice with attractions and sites- from the snow-topped peaks of the Himalayas and the lush, green landscapes of Kerala, to the beauty of the Taj Mahal or Goa’s famous beaches.

    If you are a budget-conscious traveller, you might not find better value than India. There are endless cheap accommodation options on offer and a daily meal spend of around £3.


    London is a perfect blend of old and new. It’s popular among travellers from Australia and New Zealand for tourism and gap years. This vibrant, and sometimes frenetic, city is at the forefront of the banking and commerce world. From the ultra-cool Camden markets to the famous West End theatre district, London is jam-packed with adventure.

    Do you have itchy feet? Let us make your travel dreams a reality. Chat to us about your visa for the UK or Australia and start your adventure.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



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    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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