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Gap trips focused on skills or volunteering

Gap trips focused on skills or volunteering

This year will see huge numbers of young people doing short gap trips focused on skills training or volunteer projects, according to STA Travel.

The travel company estimates that 3m young people will plan a gap trip this year – higher than recent official projections of 2.5m.

STA Travel group managing director John Constable said: “For many young people, 2012 will be their year of travel as they re-evaluate future plans.

“Young people have used travel to broaden their horizons for many years, however this avenue has become more formalised with many young people incorporating some sort of skill and CV-boosting activity while they're away.”

STA Travel says it has seen the number of students heading overseas to work, study and take part in volunteer projects rise by more than one-third in the past 12 months.

Mr Constable also noted the length of time young people were spending on their trips was decreasing, adding: “Never before has gap travel been so meticulously planned. Traditionally gap trips were a full 12 months, however for our customers  last year the average trip length was 54 days, which indicates a leaning towards a series of shorter blasts of travel – or snap gaps. “

“Usually these mini-gap trips are for a specific reason, such as to take part in a volunteer project, go to a festival or go on a language or skills course overseas.”

Posted by Caroline Fox

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