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Written by The Leap on 14 / 09 / 2017

Gap Year Advice

How to earn money on your gap year, while contributing towards your CV.

When deciding to go on a gap year the idea of money is often the first thing you think about. How are you going to afford to travel to all things instagram exotic? Or, come to think about it, even buy next summer's festival ticket? Another thought might be directed at the fact you’re entering the adult world with maybe not a lot of ‘adult things' on your CV.

But lets not be beaten...

So, here are some of our best ideas that will give you a helping hand towards those much-needed funds, while making your CV a bit more attractive to employers. Who knows, you might even start to love the world of work.

Multi-taking at it's best. Genius.

1. Festival volunteering

You can volunteer at a festival in 2 ways. One is that you can work for your ticket. This would include working three 8 hour shifts at a charity linked to the festival. The alternative is to work at the festival. Examples of jobs you may find yourself doing are health and safety, security, working behind the bar or even a shuttle driver. Either way, you’re at a festival, while earning money with the possibility of a free ticket and the evenings off. Sounds pretty good to me. If you need a bit of help to find festivals in the UK that are looking for volunteers, Hotbox is an awesome site to give a helping hand.

If you are unsure which festivals are definitely not to be missed, we've compiled a handy list of THE festivals to go to around the world.


You gain valuable experience, showing the ability to work with others.

Builds confidence and communication skills.

Shows initiative.


Working at a festival isn’t easy.

Workers camping isn’t for the faint hearted.

2. Sports event’s

Volunteering/ working for sports events, no matter if it’s the Olympics or just a fun run in your village. It looks great on your CV, especially if you’re looking to go into an area of expertise in sport.

Working or helping in projects such as the Olympics would definitely stand out on your CV as the selection process for these events is rigorous and precise. Showing your future employer your strength of character.


It’s a unique experience

Helps expand possible professional horizons

You’re making a difference to your local community, showing that you care!

You may even get to watch some of the amazing sporting events


May not be the most fun job in the world.

Pay might be low also.

3. Summer camps

Summer camps may sound like a dreaded nightmare (or a dream) but either way, it’s a fantastic way to work with children and show off your leadership skills. Working in the great outdoors can benefit yourself and give you a chance to recharge. While having the possibility to travel around the UK or even further afield if you wish. The renowned American summer camps could be your next destination!


You can proudly put on your CV that you survived a summer of camping, children and arts and craft.

You show an ability to be a role model.

Show good communication skills as you're dictating a group.

The pay and possibilities of location are all promising.


You may have a tricky group of kids (but that may benefit you and your level of patience).

Camping/glamping for a whole summer may not be for you.

4. Internships

The word ‘internship’ gets thrown around a lot. Interns have a bad rep for the person who ‘fetches coffee’. Don’t be fooled, internships give a huge amount of experience for people just starting off. The more internships you can squeeze onto your CV, the better.

You can get an internship in almost any field. Yes, they may not be all paid but what you gain from them will make it up in bucket loads. An internship can take you half way across the world, giving you valuable life lessons. They don't always occur in a concrete building, depending on what you want to do you could be standing on a beach helping baby turtles. The possibilities are endless.

Find out more about internships abroad

Take me there...


Make connections.

You learn about the field you’re interning in.

Have the ability to assess your interests and abilities against the field you’re interning for.

Gain valuable experience and accomplishments.

The possibility of a job offer at the end of the internship.


Even though some internships pay, does not mean the pay will be much. It may even cost you money, travelling to work for example.

You may end up just making coffee if you don't do your research

5. Shop assistant

Don’t think that being a shop assistant is all about clothes or beeping produce all day. It allows you to work flexible hours, meaning that you can still have a social life in your year off. You also can make lifelong friends, helping to pass the hours away with fun in the workplace. Don’t forget about the benefits of working in a shop (discount!!) that can help towards your travel wardrobe and birthday and Christmas presents.


Customer service skills.

Communications skills.

Help towards developing business awareness.

Improving time management.

Show’s your future employer that you can work under pressure.


The customer is always right.

There’s unpredictable work flow, meaning some days you may be bored (but still getting paid to be bored, think of the positives).

You may come across some harsh customers, however, that just benefits your customer service skills!

Check out our gap year programs

We have award winning 'planet saving' programs across Africa, Asia, South and Central America.

Reducing plastic in our oceans, protecting turtles and saving the rhino is just the tip of the melting iceberg.

All experiences include a mix of projects and adventures, travelling with a team and, of course, are risk assessed.

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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.

Jot a message below or call us on +44 1672 519 9222

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Yes please, let's keep life simple.