Slovenia and Thailand top list of destinations – for gap year backpacking trips

Slovenia, Thailand, and long-time favourite Australia, have topped a list of the best backpacking destinations for those taking a gap year, according to a travel expert.

Whether you're hoping to not break the bank, or simply seeking the perfect “Instagram spot”, the list of favourite locations has something to meet your travel needs.

Bali and New Zealand rounded out the top five, with the latter a big hit for those looking for outdoor pursuits.

But it is “underrated” Central European country, Slovenia, that has been named the firm favourite by globetrotting influencer, Monica Stott – also known as “The Travel Hack”.

From its beautiful rivers and Venetian-style coastline, to its snow-capped mountains for skiers – not to mention a pint of beer for £2.47 – the country has everything for budding gap year travellers.

Hostel accommodation starts from around £18 a night, with one-way local transport tickets costing just £1.15 on average – and even a three-course meal for two will only set you back around £36.

Plus, with its low crime rate, Slovenia is also among the safest places to travel to, making it perfect for people new to backpacking or finding their feet at the start of their gap year.

Travel expert, Monica, who has partnered with Post Office Travel Insurance to reveal the gap year destinations, said: “Slovenia is one of the most affordable destinations I’ve visited as a backpacker.

“It’s also one of the most underrated and safest destinations in Europe. Explore beautiful cities like Ljubljana, and natural attractions like Lake Bled, for a fraction of the cost of other European countries.”

It comes after it emerged interest in backpacking travel is on the rise, with Google searches for these two words up 49% from last year.

Monica added: “Choosing your gap year destinations is the most exciting part of planning your trip.

“Most backpackers choose destinations that are totally different to home, giving them a unique experience and an insight into new cultures – but it’s also important to choose destinations based on safety.”

Another option for would-be backpackers is Thailand – with the South Asian country likely to go down well with foodies.

Monica said: “Thailand has been a popular destination for backpackers for years, thanks to the incredible beaches. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and they know how to cook and throw a great party.

“Thailand is also affordable, and you’ll make friends with backpackers from all over.”

  • Holidays to Barbados, Mexico, Las Vegas and more on sale for £99 with flights

Meanwhile, Australia is historically popular with those looking to go away for a gap year and earn some extra money as they travel – and Monica doesn’t think this is likely to change anytime soon.

She said: “If you’re under 30 you can easily apply for a Working Holiday visa, which allows you to work for one year in Australia.

“Try something new and work as a fruit picker in a rural farm, be a city slicker in Sydney, or join the cool kids in Melbourne.

“I was scuba diving by day and waiting tables by night – the island life was a great way to save money.”

Finally, Monica also believes Bali is a popular tag-on for those who are working their way around Australia, as they can get more “bang for their buck” there – as well as being an “Instagram dream” thanks to its waterfalls, white beaches, and tropical jungles.

Paul Paddock, head of travel and protection at Post Office, which offers insurance for travellers aged 18-60, said: “Taking a gap year is one the most exciting trips an adventurer can experience in life, especially if you’re going backpacking.

“There are many excellent destinations to consider, as indicated in our previous Travel Safety Index.

“But even with those recommendations, it is vital to pick a suitable travel insurance cover before your trip – whether it’s a backpacker, multi-trip, or a single-trip policy – to give you peace of mind whilst on your trip.”


  1. Slovenia
  2. Thailand
  3. Australia
  4. Bali
  5. New Zealand

Source: Read Full Article