Thailand tops list of most popular gap year destinations

Thailand tops list of most popular gap year destinations

With thousands of teens opening their A-Level results today, Abta has revealed the top gap year destinations for British teenagers.

It is estimated that 24,000 students will embark on a gap year this year, the trade association said.

Thailand has topped the list of the most popular gap year destinations, reported by Abta members specialising in travel for school leavers.

Runners up included Australia, USA, South Africa and Peru, while other countries in the top ten were Vietnam, Brazil, India, New Zealand and Fiji.

Abta members specialising in gap year travel have reported increases in bookings over the last twelve months as interest in taking a gap year returns amongst school leavers, heightened by the rise in university tuition fees.

Members also said there had been an increase in the number of travellers looking for shorter experiences such as month-long tours rather than the traditional full year.

Victoria Bacon, head of communications at Abta, said: “Gap years have become even more popular among British teenagers since the rise in tuition fees in 2012 and increased competition for graduate jobs, with many students now looking to travel experiences to help make their gap year stand out on the CV.

"There is now an incredible choice of activities and destinations to support young travellers in developing and learning new skills.

"It’s very important that if you’re planning a gap year, you research your options thoroughly: talk to a travel professional, who will be able to offer you advice about destinations and experiences; check travel advice with Abta and the Foreign Office and always book with a reputable company.”

Abta has urged students to book with a reputable company if they are considering a gap year, and has also issued a series of tips to help ensure students have a safe and good time.

Travellers have been encouraged to check with travel agents and the Foreign Office for dos and don'ts for the country they are visiting, and to also check for no go areas.

Other advice includes researching local customs and cultures, getting all the necessary jabs and inoculations, getting good quality travel insurance and keeping an electronic version of all important travel documents. 

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