5 ways to fund your gap year (no parents required)

Your gap year has finally arrived but how are you going to pay for it? If you’ve been saving for years or your parents are able to cover the costs, lucky you!

If not, don’t worry – you can still have the most amazing trip ever. Here are five tips for doing a gap year on a budget.

1. Planning is key

This one’s a bit obvious, but also the most important. According to Money Supermarket the average cost of a gap year overseas is between £3,000 and £4,000, so plan accordingly. Don’t forget to include all factors such as travel, accommodation, food, activities and emergency funds.

2. Get a sponsor

In the world of sport, sponsors pay big bucks to have athletes promote their brands. There’s no reason why you can’t apply the same principle to your gap year experience, right?

When you’re looking for sponsors, choose businesses that are relevant to your project. For example, if you plan to travel around helping small communities start organic gardens, you could reach out to local farmers and green businesses. Then work your way up to larger corporations that share your goals.

3. Crowdfund

If you’re not having any luck finding a sponsor, you can always launch a good old-fashioned fundraiser. Reach out to your community or try crowdfunding with Kickstarter or Indiegogo. This works particularly well if your gap year project has a charitable or creative angle to it.

4. Work while you travel

You may have saved up some money working a part-time job, but if you run out of cash along the way, there are tons of options to earn money abroad. If you’re in Asia, consider getting a working holiday visa in Australia or New Zealand. Teaching English is a good way to cover costs while helping others, as is working in a hostel.

5. Get creative with your accommodation

Aside from flights and food, accommodation can be one of the most costly parts of a gap year. You’ve probably heard of Couchsurfing, but did you know you can house-sit anywhere in the world for up to a year? Wwoofing and Workaway are also good options for free room and board while you volunteer or work on anything from an organic farm in Cambodia to raising huskies in Lapland.