Planning a gap year is certainly an exciting prospect; however, while you are drawing up a list of places to see and activities to take part in, it's important to think about your travels will be funded. By going on a working gap year, you'll be able to gain paid employment in an exciting overseas destination.
There are a whole host of benefits of embarking on a paid gap year, although perhaps the most tangible is that it will provide you with the cash to finance your travels.
Whether you're going to be exploring one particular country during your year out, or a globetrotting expedition, you'll need money to pay for it. As obvious as it may sound, the likes of flights, hostel accommodation and meals out can quickly add up, so it is important that you're prepared to meet the cost of these.
Of course, you should also have some money saved up before you go, but in working for at least a proportion of your time away, you will be able to raise the cash needed to enjoy wonderful experiences and really get under the skin of the destinations you are visiting.
However, earning an income is by no means the only highlight of gap year jobs. Working is a great way to meet people - both fellow travellers and locals - so in no time at all you'll be making new friends.
It is also worth bearing in mind that having a job enables you to see a side to a country that traditional tourists often do not. Living and working in a particular place is a fantastic way to get a true flavour of the destination and will enable you to have far more exciting experiences than if you were just passing through a place.
Depending on the particular work you do, you may even be able to learn some new skills and expand your CV, something that could stand you in good stead if you're looking for a job upon returning to the UK.
Of course, it is possible to find positions that are well suited to any particular qualifications or interests that you already have. If you have experience of working in agriculture or repairing bikes, for example, why not seek work on a cattle farm in the Australian outback? Here, you will have the chance to do everything from picking fruit to rounding up livestock.
For those interested in childcare or working with young people, a summer spent as a camp counsellor in Canada could be ideal. Here you will mentor children and teach them a whole host of skills and activities. On top of this, you will also be earning an income and, once the camp has come to an end, you will be free to travel around the North American country and take in its stunning landscapes.
It's also possible to take on paid employment in countries like New Zealand, Japan and China, so there ought to be plenty of scope for you to fit working into your travel plans.
Whether you're keen to work abroad for the summer of 2012 or for a longer period of time, you can be confident that taking on paid employment will enable you to make the most of your gap year.