Phillip Garlick is Head of Commercial at the travel money provider H&T. Here, he shares the 3 cheapest gap year destinations and his top tips on how you can save money while you’re away.

In just a couple of months, you’ll be done with the last term of this school or university year. And, if you’re looking to take a break before you jump into something new, you might be considering taking a gap year abroad. This can be a lot of fun and a great way to learn more about the world outside the UK, but it can also get very expensive if you don’t plan properly.

There are plenty of things you can do to save money on your gap year. For example, at H&T, we have a guide to travel money that can help you to ensure that you get the most out of the cash you do have. And, you can make smart decisions when it comes to food and accommodation while you’re abroad.

But, your chosen destination is the factor that will make the biggest difference to how much your gap year will cost. I’m going to fill you in on three of the cheapest gap year destinations for 2018. Read on to learn more.


Overall, India is a relatively affordable place to spend a few weeks, or even a couple of months. And, if you venture out into the rural areas, you’ll spend even less.

If you’re looking to do some city-hopping, I’d highly recommend visiting Delhi’s Red fort, as well as the Taj Mahal, which is easily accessibly on day trips from Delhi. Spending some time in Mumbai is also a great idea — just make sure you fit in a trip to the Gateway of India, and visit the city’s iconic railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site that offers a glimpse into the chaotic the everyday lives of those living in India can be.

Of course, there’s so much more for you to explore outside of the main cities, too. Whether you would like to hike through the foothills of the Himalayas, or hire a house boat in Kerala, there are so many sights and experiences just waiting to be discovered.

While exploring India, you could also make the short and affordably journey to Sri Lanka. A flight to the country’s capital can cost as little as £50. If you would like more tips for taking your first trip to India, Rough Guides has a great guide that offers all of hints and tricks you’ll need.


Thailand is a particularly popular backpacking destination, and with good reason: there’s plenty to do, it’s incredibly easy to travel around the country, and the cost of living is very low.

Be careful not to underestimate the bigger cities as, while the likes of Bangkok and Hat Yai may seem intimidating to begin with, they offer plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, and a visit can help you to get your bearings before you head off out into the more rural areas.

If you’re looking to spend some time relaxing on a beach, Trang is a great area. It’s on the west coast and is far less crowded than well-known regions of Phuket and Pattaya. It also isn’t as developed, which means that it’s a more affordable place to stay. Plus, it’s where you’ll find Hat Chao Mai National Park, which is famous for its clear turquoise waters.

To ensure you’re prepared before you jet off to Thailand, make sure you check out Nomadic Matt’s guide and tips, which contains plenty of useful information you’ll value during your trip


While it’s a stunning country that offers plenty for travellers to see and do, Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s least developed countries. This means it’s one of the cheapest to explore, too.

When visiting Cambodia, most people’s first port of call will be the beautiful temples of Angkor Wat, but there’s plenty more to see in the way of beautiful beaches and bustling cities like Battambang and Phnom Penh.

But, what is most likely to stand out to you in Cambodia is the positive spirit of the people living there. Although the country has a very turbulent history, its residents are incredibly optimistic, and ready to offer a warm welcome to every traveller who pays them a visit.

If you’re trying to plan a gap year on a budget, choosing one — or a combination of — these 3 cheapest gap year destinations is guaranteed to help you save some money. Plus, they still offer plenty for you to see and do. So, just because you don’t have plenty of cash to splash doesn’t mean you have to miss out on anything.

Gap Year Programmes

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