Gap Year Accommodation

If you are planning a Gap year independently, choosing accommodation during your trip can be a tricky business.

Where you decide to stay may vary from place to place depending on how long you will be spending there, how remote the destination is and how much money you have.

There are 4 main types of Gap year accommodation that will potentially be available to you:

1. Hostels

Staying in a hostel is a great way of meeting like-minded travellers without spending too much of your budget.

These days, hostels are no longer the flea-ridden pits with scummy floors, ragged blankets and dirty curtains they used to be.

Although they are no means luxurious, you can at least expect a decent bed and showering facilities.

Most hostels also offer private rooms with en suite facilities, at extra cost.

The cheapest bed will probably be one in a dorm shared with a large group of people.

2. Hotel/motel

Even though there are plenty of decent cheap hotels out there, they will become expensive in the long-run.

It’s best to mix hostelling with the occasional comforts of a hotel room so you don’t run out of money, although you may want to book a hotel room for your first few nights away to settle any travelling jitters!

3. Rented room/flat

This is the best option if you are staying in a particular place for more than a month or so.

Make sure you research carefully to prevent being ripped off or entering an agreement with a dubious landlord/lady.

Contact some reputable letting agencies to help you find some good lodgings, and read the small print before signing anything!

4. Host family

This form of accommodation is where you pay a certain amount of money each week or month to stay with a family in their home.

A host family is an alternative to a rented flat or room if you plan on staying in one place for quite a while.

This is not a suitable option for everyone, as you may have to follow certain rules, do household chores, and act responsibly and considerately most of the time.

You may also find you do not like their food or find it difficult adjusting to their way of life.

However, it has the benefits of being a good way to learn a new language, and experiencing a culture first-hand by learning its customs and talking to the local people.

Think carefully about whether this is the right option for you before contacting any organisations that specialise in locating host families.

5. Camping

There are many campsites around the world, and if you enjoy the outdoors or are on a tight budget, camping is a good way of ensuring accommodation on a shoestring, as well as a unique experience!

You can buy a cheap tent in the UK to take with you, or pick one up on your travels if you don’t fancy camping for the whole trip and/or find yourself running low on funds.

Before you go

We recommend you book the first 2 or 3 nights of accommodation before you leave.

Travelling to a new destination can be a daunting prospect in itself, so save yourself the worry of finding a roof over your head when you get there.

It’s a good idea to make a list of all the places you intend travelling to, and write down the name, address and phone number of several places you could stay in those areas.

This will save you time searching for accommodation, as well as having knowledge of other places to stay in case your first choice is full.

To help you find appropriate accommodation, check out the links below to some useful websites.


Hostel World

Hostel Bookers

Hostel Planet






Travel Supermarket


Gap Campsites


The Camping and Caravanning Club


E-camping directory

Australian Explorer

Further information

For more tips and advice about planning gap years, please see: