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Five ways to pay for your gap year

20th August 2012

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Thousands of young people got their A-Level results last week, but thanks to high tuition fees and few job opportunities, it’s no surprise that so many are opting to taking gap years and have fun while they can.

Common choices for working abroad include teaching English, fruit-picking in Australia and working a ski season as a chalet girl, but why not do something that stands out on your CV, and that you can brag about to your new mates at uni? Skyscanner presents 10 ways to pay your way round the world.

1. Travel writing and photography

Got a way with words? Write about your adventures and pitch your work to magazines to earn up to £300 per article. Or start a travel blog. Know your ISO from your aperture? Sell your snaps to travel titles or image banks like Good with video? Set up a YouTube channel. It may not pay straight away, but you could be a star - like Matt Harding!

2. Sing for your supper

Can you play guitar, violin, or the bagpipes? Then play your way around the world like violinist David Juriz who funded an entire world trip by busking Bach from Berlin to Sydney. Juriz averaged £83 per day, but you can earn up to £2,500 in an hour in London, especially in prime spots like Covent Garden. Do check licensing laws and follow busking etiquette before tuning up.

3. Sail away

Working on a yacht isn’t always glamorous. You could be serving martinis to models off Martinique, but usually it’s hard work with long hours. You’ll certainly get a good tan, maybe travel the world and earn up to £3,000 a month. Check sites like Crewseekers International for vacancies from steward to skipper, with jobs currently on offer in the Med, the Azores and the Caribbean.

4. Plant trees

Prince George in British Colombia, Canada is the world’s ‘tree planters’ capital’, where forestry companies need people to plant seedlings. It’s tough, and you’ll be stationed in the middle of nowhere for weeks, but it pays well. Check Tree Planter for info. Veteran tree planters can bag up to £200 a day (though £75 is a more realistic figure). You’ll need a visa to work in Canada – not a problem if you’re under 35.

5. Just get a visa and go!

You’re young, you’re free, so live a little! It’s possible to get working holiday visas for many countries of the world, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. A visa enables you to take on casual work or longer term employment, as long as you don’t overstay your time limit. Favourite paycations include grape picking, working in youth hostels and bar work. 

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