How to Fund a Gap Year

Budgeting and funding your gap year doesn't have to be stressful. Learn how much the average gap year costs, and different ways to fund it in our guide.
Colby Brin
May 3, 2023
min read

Taking a gap year can be an amazing way to explore the world and gain lifelong memories. It’s also a way that students can become more independent and get out of their comfort zone.

Many students want to experience the thrill of a gap year but don’t have the tools to properly plan for one. For students who are searching for what to do after high school or university, a gap year is a perfect option, but knowing how to fund a gap year is a key step.

Funding a gap year can be tough but this blog will give you some tips and tricks to help you.

How much does a gap year cost?

Having a good idea of how much a gap year costs is the first step in planning.

The costs of a gap year can vary depending on destination, activities and personal preferences. The price of a gap year can also differ depending on a student's financial situation.

The average cost of a gap year is £2500, but some gap year programs that include housing and lodging can cost up to £2000 per month.

8 steps to funding your gap year

These 8 steps will let you plan an awesome gap year while keeping your wallet in mind. By following these steps the daunting task of funding a gap year is made easier with careful planning.


1. Start planning ahead of time

You should try to start planning your gap year at least 6 months ahead of time to ensure that you give yourself time to get all the details sorted out.

By planning the ins and outs of your gap year in advance you can give yourself a clear idea of your activities  and how much it will all cost. Having a clear plan early on not only helps with budgeting, but also gives you the chance to learn more about your destinations, sort out your passport or visas, and plan activities. 

2. Figure out your gap year budget

You’re probably wondering ‘How much should I budget for a gap year?’ But as mentioned before, there’s no clear answer to this question.

Finding a budget that is customised to your needs is the best way to figure out your spending. A gap year budget can range from £200 to £2000 a month, so it’s important  to set up a realistic budget that is tailored to the trip you’re planning.

You can read our post to learn more about how to set up a proper budget. 

3. Create specific bank accounts

Creating separate bank accounts for your travels is a good way to set aside money to save up for your travel expenses. Separate accounts let you set money aside and save yourself from spending it on other things.

HyperJar can help you here. By separating your savings into different Jars , you can create a budget that splits up your cash into your different expenses.

For instance, you can create a Travel Jar, a FoodJar and an Accommodation Jar to have a clearer plan for where your money will go.

This is a perfect option for a gap year, as you can load your money into the account before leaving on your trip and spend from it like you would with any other card. With the HyperJar prepaid travel card, there are zero fees for paying in any currency — which can end up saving you a lot of money on your travels.

4. Use creative ways to save

Taking up a summer job or having a job while you’re studying is a stable and reliable way to save up money for your gap year. And there are many other ways to make money as a student, including freelancing, selling your clothes, or delivering food.

There are also many creative ways of saving money, such as the no spend month challenge, which involves limiting your spending to only the essentials for one month straight.

We’ve also outlined the best tips for saving money as a student, which will give you more creative ways to save up for your gap year. 

5. Consider a gap year job

Many students decide to take up a job during their gap year. There are a variety of exciting and unique jobs that will give you a chance to learn new skills while earning money that will go towards your gap year trip.

It’s a great opportunity to try something new, gain work experience, and stay productive in your gap year. Many students look at teaching English abroad, because it can be a fun way to make money while living overseas.

6. Have a look into sponsorship opportunities

If you’re planning to do charity work on your gap year, it’s possible to raise money through sponsorships.

If you’re volunteering abroad, you may be able to find groups who are willing to pay for part of your gap year . Many schools and universities have charitable trusts which may be able to offer you a grant. This website will help you determine if you’re eligible for a grant, and tell you the best charitable institutions for travel grants.

7. Talk to family and friends about your gap year

It can be a good idea to look to family and friends to support funding your gap year.

For the months leading up to your gap year, you could ask for your birthday or Christmas presents to be money that could go towards your travels. Inviting friends to join you on your gap year experience is another good way to alleviate the burden of saving up.

You can use HyperJar’s expense sharing features to split money between friends and budget together.

8. Save wisely and remember to enjoy it!

The ultimate goal is to enjoy your travels and avoid the stresses of worrying about money.

By planning enough ahead of time and creating a clear budget using HyperJar, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to save up and have an awesome gap year.

And this blog has many helpful articles that will help you avoid money stress and learn to budget better. 

How to budget for a gap year

Budgeting for a gap year is important to ensure that you can make the most of your time without running out of money or overspending.

Budgeting for a gap year differs from budgeting as a student since it includes many expenses that you wouldn’t normally encounter in your day-to-day spending. Some of these expenses include:

-    Flights and transportation (average cost of flights from London to Europe £26, to Asia £113, to Africa £85, to Australia £747 and to America £427)
-    Cost of special gear like backpacks, shoes and travel essentials (£300-£500)
-    Cost of day trips and activities (£30-£40 per day or activity)
-    Extra spending money
-    Passport/visa (£82.50 for passport and £100 for visa)
-    Travel insurance (average is 5% of your trip costs)
-    Vaccinations for specific countries (£60-£85)
-    A good phone plan (£25 per month for an international plan)
-    Food budget (£150-£200 per month)


Taking a gap year can be a great opportunity to gain new experiences, develop skills and explore the world. Planning ahead, establishing a budget and finding creative ways to save for your trip are all things that will help you have the most enjoyable experience during your time away.

By using HyperJar, you’ll set yourself up for success in planning, budgeting and setting aside cash for your trip. The Prepaid Travel Card is a good place to start for saving up for an amazing experience overseas.

And by using the tips in this blog, you should be able to make the most of your gap year without breaking the bank.

Colby Brin

Head of Copy

Colby Brin is Head of Copy at HyperJar. With over 17 years of professional writing experience, Colby’s been a journalist, ghostwriter, language consultant, and writing trainer. Having previously served as Head of Copy at Wise, he’s worked in fintech for over six years. A native of New York City, Colby graduated from the University of Michigan, and has lived in London for two years.

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