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Natalie
Shenzhen

General Travel

Suggestions of places to go for a gap year?

Im a student so can't afford go to places that are too expensive. want to go to somewhere nice and warm, like beach where I can surf and not so crowded. Don't really want to go to big cities where there's a lot of people.


13 Answers

top answer by
Michelle from Los Angeles

Hi Natalie,

I haven't done this myself yet, but I am in the midst of planning such a trip and so have spent the last year doing research! I would say if you're looking for an affordable beach vibe where you can swim and surf your best best is Southeast Asia or Central America. For less crowded areas you'd probably have to do some research on the less touristy towns, but I would say Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Vietnam would be great places to look into. Bali and the Gili Islands may be a great option as well.


Hope this helps!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Southeast Asia (region)
  2. Central America (region)
  3. Nicaragua (country)
  4. Costa Rica (country)
  5. Thailand (country)
  6. Vietnam (country)
  7. Bali (island)
  8. Gili Islands (attraction)
5 thanks


answered by
Elizabeth

Peru. Mountains, beaches, cities, rural areas. Wonderful country with friendly people.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Peru (country)
1 thanks


answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

Hi Natalie,

I recommend you consider the south of France.  You would be surprised that it can be affordable there, like the city of Nice or Marseille. The beaches are wonderful, and the food is great.  The best part is you can get a rail pass and explore everywhere is Europe.  I don't know Spain as well as I know France, but Spain also a possibility.  Lots of beaches, very hospitable people and great food.  It's warm there.  Europe is very well organized from the transportation perspective.  Another good point for Europe is that lots of students go there, it is very safe.  I think you could have a memorable gap year there.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. France (country)
  2. Nice (city)
  3. Marseille (city)
1 thanks


answered by
pedro from Lisbon

Hi Natalie, 

Come to Portugal, specially the Lisbon coast. It's one of the cheapest capitals in Europe and surf is amazing (that's what my sun says, he surfs 5 times a week, all year long, and is even in the junior national championships). if you're a surfer, you'll have fun here, I will even introduce you to him :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portugal (country)
  2. Lisbon (city)


answered by
Zita from Budapest, Hungary

Goa (India) is very cheap and beautiful. Bali is quite crowded and not cheap at all (double the price of India). Gili Islands (Indonesia) are great, very remote and beautiful.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Goa (city)
  2. Bali (island)
  3. Gili Islands (attraction)


answered by
Zac from Dubrovnik

Croatia! Tons of beaches, favorable conversion rate to the USD and low prices outside of Dubrovnik. Loads of excellent food.




answered by
Edward from Seattle, Wa Usa

Australia and, I think, New Zealand offer "working holiday" visas.  You know about Australia, lots of surfing there- but it is not cheap.  That is where the "working " part comes in.  You don't have to work full time or for your whole visit.  The base wage is ~ $15/hr and jobs are not hard to get.  Worth looking into...




answered by
Sally from Los Angeles

Hi Natalie,

Echoing what Michelle said: Central America and Southeast Asia are your best bet for good weather and surf and low cost of living. I would also add Portugal to the list. It's pretty inexpensive, especially compared to the rest of Europe, and is really well-known for good surf. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portugal (country)


answered by
Greg from Chengdu

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bocas del Toro (state)


answered by
Lola from Leitrim

I suggest the caribbean side of Costa Rica. I have being to Cahuita and it's a nice laid back town. It was not crowded and low cost. You would not be far from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca another great location for surfing but more lively.

In Panama, you can look into Santa Catalina, Playa Venao or Colón Island. You can experience pacific side surfing or head for a Caribbean flavor in the island...try Bluff Beach, Red Frog Beach or Wizard Beach here. Panama uses the US dollar and is budget friendly.

Have fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cahuita (city)
  2. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (city)
  3. Santa Catalina (city)
  4. Playa Venao (attraction)
  5. Colón Island (attraction)


answered by
Jeff from Lake Worth

I'm not sure of the currency exchange, but Bali, given the local to where you are could be a great place for surfing and being in less crowded areas.  I visited there several years ago; had a great time surfing, cycling down the volcano, and meeting great people. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bali (island)


answered by
claus

Plces like Jijoca de Jericoacoara and Pipa Beach in Brazil are great places to hang out and surf and prices in Brazil has been dropping recently making it cheaper than i the past. I have a little article on this link on why I think Brazil has the best beaches in the world:http://travellingclaus.com/brazilian-beaches-are-the-best-in-the-world/


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jijoca de Jericoacoara (city)
  2. Pipa Beach (city)
  3. Brazil (country)


answered by
Riley from Boca Raton

You could go to the coast of Colombia?


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Colombia (country)




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