Welcome to our brand new 'Gap Years With A Difference' series. Each month we'll be helping you think outside of the travel-based box by showcasing a destination, trek, package or route that'll not only scratch those itchy feet in just the right way, but also quench your thirst for a unique travelling experience.
OK yeah so Thailand is great, and who doesn't love Australia - but for all those looking for something slightly more original, we're here to help.
Kicking things off this month is Contiki, with the WaP year.
What is it?
Aside from being quite fun to say, a WaP year stands for a 'Work and Play' year - and it's all about using your gap year to your advantage, so that when it comes to rejoining the real world and starting your career, you're ready.
It's about using those 12 months off to see the world *and* build up your CV - so that you stand out when it comes to entering the world of work, or applying to university.
First, knuckle down and get that all-important work experience or training, then spend the remainder of your year off taking an extended holiday, seeing as much as possible in a shorter period.
How do I go about planning a WaP year?
Going it alone is obviously an option, but companies that focus on youth travel can make things easier.
Using their yeeeears of expertise, they'll create the best itineraries that get you to the heart of the world's most incredible destinations without any fuss, and with like-minded people, so you can focus on fun and adventure and get the most out of your time away.
For example, Contiki has a number of extended trips, which are the perfect addition to a 'working' Gap Year.
Like the 56-day Epic Adventure around the USA, which includes big cities and monuments, the great outdoors, historical sights, cool nightlife & endless experiences.
The trip visits the best of the USA & Canada, including: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Durango, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, Panama City, Orlando, Miami, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Niagra Falls, Cleveland, Chicago, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole.
This is a great option for anyone a bit nervous about travelling alone, too - because you'll be with a group of people from the get go.
How much is it going to cost me?
Prices start from £6,615 per person for the 56 day USA Epic Adventure, but that includes hotel and lodge accommodation, 66 meals (that's 40 breakfasts and 26 dinners), sightseeing tours of all major cities, an air-conditioned coach (with power points for charging), an experienced Trip Manager and Driver Team.
If that still sounds a bit out of your price range, there's cheaper options too. Like The Big Chill freestyle camping adventure around Europe, which heads to Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria, before winding along the Dalmatian Coast up to Prague and Amsterdam. Prices for this trip start at £2,450 per person.
These are literally just two options but there's loooooooads more - just head over to www.contiki.com and have a look. Or give them a call on 0845 075 0990 and have a chat.
HAPPY WaP YEAR, FOLKS.