Gap Year Options That Won't Break the Bank

Updated: Jun 22, 2018

It’s no secret that taking a gap year can be a costly endeavor, but luckily it doesn’t have to be. Did you know that it’s possible to take a year away from the classroom, travel AND make money? At Intrepid Gap, we’re dedicated to spreading the word about gap year opportunities of all kinds -- we want to make sure that a gap year is an option for all of the intrepid travelers among us. If you’re working with a tight budget, we’ve got your back! We wanted to highlight some of the different gap year options that you can get paid for or at least come out even. Check out the suggestions below and reach out to us to schedule a free 45 minute dreaming session to begin the process of planning out your gap year within your budget.

Teach English abroad

Sure, there are many organizations that require you to have a bachelor’s degree to teach English abroad. Fortunately, there are also many options that are accessible to gap year students. If you’re interested in living with a homestay family, you can earn your TEFL certificate and teach English abroad for 6 to 9 months. Teaching English at one school for 6+ months gives you a unique opportunity to settle into the day-to-day rhythm and routine of the community where you’re living. Plus, you’ll develop a valuable skill (teaching!) that you can use in the second half of your gap year, in college, and beyond.

Be an Au Pair

Working as an Au Pair abroad is a great option for students who have previous childcare experience and enjoy being around young children. As an Au Pair, you’ll join an international family and live with them 2 months to a year. You’ll mostly be responsible for taking care of the kids, and in return you’ll have the opportunity to experience authentic cultural and language immersion. Plus, many families offer room & board, along with a paycheck for your work.

Work at a hostel

Some hostels will hire travelers to help staff the front desk, clean rooms, serve breakfast or do other basic tasks around the hostel. It’s not always glamorous work, but hostels may offer you free accommodation or a small stipend in exchange for your help. Working at a hostel is a fantastic way to meet other travelers from all over the world and gain some experience in the hospitality industry.

Become a farm hand

If you want to work hard, get in shape and eat amazing, healthy food, consider working on an organic farm. While you won't be paid, you'll get free room and board in exchange for your labor. Farm work-trades can be found almost anywhere - both in the US and abroad- making them a fantastic option for low cost travel.

Become a yoga teacher and work anywhere in the world

Do you love doing yoga and have always dreamed of teaching? If so, this is the gap year for you. You'll want to start out by getting your 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification, which can be done in as little at one month. Once you have this certification and some experience, the opportunities are endless for working options. There are retreat centers all over the world that are looking for yoga teachers to come and teach daily classes in exchange for room and board, and sometimes they even offer a small stipend.

If you want to learn more about more low-cost or paid gap year opportunities, check out the experiences page on our website here and drop us a line - we’d love to hear from you.