Escape Like Houdini: 7 Gap Year Sites for Adults

Need help planning your escape from the 9-5 grind?

You’ve come to the right place and clicked on exactly the right post.

Students usually take a gap year during college, but it has become increasingly popular with professionals yearning for fulfillment outside of the rat race.

Adults embark on these career breaks to recharge their batteries while travelling, volunteering, working abroad, or learning a new skill.

Sure a gap year can bring you personal satisfaction, but it can also benefit you professionally! According to the New York Times coming back refreshed from a career break may give you better perspective on your work or lead to new career aspirations.

Before you turn in your resignation, let’s be honest. Dreaming about a break is a lot easier than being on one. Leaving the professional world for a long stretch takes money, some guts, and lots of planning. Fortunately, with enough legwork it’s 100% possible for adults to enjoy a satisfying sabbatical.

Ready for a gap? (Me too, especially after writing this post 😉 )

Most gap programs online are geared towards students of college age, but you’re in luck! For post-grads ready to escape Houdini style here is a compilation of some top gap websites that also cater to working adults.

7 Gap Year Sites for Adults

First Abroad

This site offers lots of programs including paid work, volunteering, backpacking, and teaching abroad. Choose from exotic destinations in Asia, Africa, South America and more! This site includes a travel planning advice section and step by step guide for planning extended travel.

Next Step China

Study Chinese, teach English, intern, or volunteer while exploring in China. Next Step China offers basic to all inclusive travel packages and college credit options. It includes a long list of scholarship options available to both students and professionals.

Interim Programs

As one of the oldest gap sites out there, Interim offers loads of information on budgeting and planning for career breakers and post career travelers. Looking for a one on one adviser to help you plan the ultimate break? This site is for you.

Travellers Worldwide

This is a must see resource for “gappers” interested in volunteer work. Travellers placements are flexible and ranging from 1 week to a year. For most volunteer projects the accommodation, travel, and food are included in the program tuition.

National Service

AmeriCorps offers service placements for organizations and agencies in the U.S. that provide community service programs. Members serve full-time or part-time for no more than 12 months. Full time members get a living allowance and healthcare. Choose from tons of service opportunities based on your skills and interests.

Global Volunteer Network

An international volunteer network with an emphasis on fundraising for travel funds. Site shares fundraising resources, ideas and tips. Extensive online community including volunteer journals and blog. Program locations in Africa, Oceania, Americas and Asia including climbs on Mount Kilimanjaro and Everest.


Looking for freedom to travel on your own terms? Interexchange may be the option for you! Interexchange will assist you in obtaining work permits and paid work while traveling in Europe, Asia, Australia or New Zealand. Paid work options range from child care, office assistance, hospitality, retail, and manual labor. Apply for the Interexchange grant to help fund your adventure.

Your turn! Do you have a gap experience to share? How did you fund your trip? Do you have a resource that isn’t listed above? Share below!

Posted in: Travel

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