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Summer job ideas to help fund your gap year travels

Written by The Leap on 23 / 05 / 2023

Gap Year Advice

Funding your gap year

It will come as no great surprise that with a gap year comes a pretty hefty price tag. It also doesn't take a genius to figure out that you will need to raise these funds somehow. The race is on - a typical gap year calendar would be to finish school, get A-Level results in August and then knuckle down and earn as much money as possible between September to December before hitting the road in January.


This is easy work, and can be done by word of mouth, or putting an ad up in the local newsagent, primary school, village hall or local facebook group. It might be worth going on a basic babysitting and first aid training course, believe me, after that, parents will feel confident with you around. This looks good on your CV.

Work whilst travelling

This is the dream, make money whilst you're away on your travels. Read our blog here about the best ways to do this, but this is a great way to cut down travel costs and allow you to travel longer.

Dog walker

Love animals? Need a bit of exercise yourself? Walking dogs for friends, family and people who live close by is a great little money spinner and fills a need for many households out at work all day. Because it’s possible to walk more than one dog at a time, you could be quids in.

Pet sitting

Not dissimilar to the last suggestion, this job obviously requires a love of animals. Many dog owners head off on non-doggy vacations and would much rather leave their pooch with a trusted pal or have someone come into their home to spend time with their dog than shell out on expensive kennel services. Find out what the kennels in your area charge and offer less – you’ll be amazed at the response!

Painting jobs

This is a great job because it's suitable for basically any age group, and you don't need much training as long as you’re relatively neat and tidy. Find out if any neighbours are planning to redecorate their interiors or paint the outside of their house before the weather sets in. It will be cheaper for them to employ a student than pay for professional decorators to come in.

Seasonal Work

Depending on the time of year will depend what kind of thing you'll be looking at. From working in a Christmas hamper factory to mowing lawns, the possibilities here are huge and they pay well. Put the hours in and your gap year will be well on its way.

Become a tutor

If you've just finished school and are looking for a little bit of extra cash to fund your gap year or university, then why not place an ad in the paper to tutor kids over their school holidays? All that information will be fresh in your mind, and it’s a great way to learn how to communicate and teach with different age groups. Parents are desperate to make sure their kids keep up with study over the long holidays and some may need help with homework. Make an ad for community notice boards, ask around or check out something like Tutorhunt to find opportunities in your area.


If you’re a good swimmer and don’t mind listening to squeals all day, this could be the perfect gappie job. Most pools need additional lifeguards and are willing to train you up – a qualification which will make it much easier to find work in the future. Simply search and apply at local pools/hotels/gyms.

Bar work

They say you haven’t really lived until you’ve pulled a pint (not really sure who ‘they’ are), and this is a skill which will bag you work anywhere. So it’s well worth finding pub or bar work to get your gap year piggy bank nicely topped up.

Head down to pubs before the Christmas party season kicks in and offer your services out there. It’s a great way to kill time, work as a team and also learn how to run a bar or wait tables in the process.

What's more, if you're really desperate for cash then this is the perfect job. Bar work usually involves night shifts, making it easy to get another job during the day or meet up with friends. The tips are helpful too!

Catering companies

If you’re a presentable people person, drive a car, and are happy to sacrifice weekends then give this some serious thought.

Although some companies require basic training, others are happy to teach you on the job. Events can range from weddings to 21sts and corporate events, which means they're usually quite interesting and you'll find that time passes quickly.

Hit google to find caterers in your local area or apply for work with a national caterer like At Your Service.

Golf caddy

…bear with us! This may sound like a random one but it could be the best job going, but ask at any golf club in your area and they may be taking on caddies. It doesn’t take a genius to caddy (although a passion for golf helps) and if you get in the right circles caddies can be very well paid, with some very generous tips to boot.

Office jobs

Ask any office worker - there is always something to be done. Offer to help with general admin, work as a receptionist, assist with ongoing tasks and generally making yourself useful.

Depop / ebay / vinted

Offer your services to help your parents sell items – believe me this is a confusing area for us oldies – save them the time and take some of the commission.

Taxi driver

Time to drive your parent’s friends back from parties – late nights but you will hear all the gossip and they will tip you well.

Create a mini business

Sell your sister’s clothes on depop, buy designer clothes that you can sell on, think outside the box. Offer your services to wrap your entire family's Christmas gifts so they don't have to - sounds mad but Christmas is very busy and one less task to do is greatly appreciated - no peeking at your own presents though.

Work experience or an internship

No better time to do this before you hit university.

Film extra

Channel your inner Tom Cruise, well paid and fun. Expect long days though!

Retail jobs

Gappers and retail go together like fish and chips. Any shops that might need your help stacking shelves, on the till…easy money. There will be demand for this in the run up to the busiest time of the year.

Gap year student at a school

Go back to your old school, do they need your help?

Hopefully these ideas have set you on your way to finding yourself a job and getting those pennies to roll in. Now all you need to do is go out there and get ‘em! And remember all the jobs listed above will look great on your CV and give you vital funds to enjoy yourself next term, or head off on your world travels.

More information on funding my gap year

Gap year useful to do list

Get your driving license – this will give you so much freedom once you have passed.

Renew your passport – there are huge delays so sort this out before you get out your backpack.

Go on a gap year safety coursehttps://www.objectivetravelsafety.com - a necessary course to prepare you for any dramas that might occur when you are abroad – guaranteed to keep your parents happy.

First aid course – always useful if you have the time – a skill for life.

Cocktail course – expensive but gives you an entrée into another world of jobs and who doesn’t want to know how to mix the best mojito?

Barrista course – always easy to get jobs once you are qualified in putting hearts onto a cappuccino.

Learn to cook – another life skill – and opens up your job opportunities – ever wanted to know how to cut an onion into 200 micro squares with one of those very sharp knives...

Online courses- post-covid there are no excuses, from your home desk you can learn zillions of new skills online, don’t waste this precious time.

Learn to touch type – one word…invaluable.

Learn a new language – learn how to order a beer in Spanish when in South America.

Check out our gap year programs

We have award winning programs across Africa, Asia, South and Central America. All include a mix of projects and adventures. All are supported. All involve team work.

Gap year programs

Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

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