So, let's get this straight - you've decided you'd like to see the world before knuckling down to three years of university education. But you're not sure where to go.
Thanks to the magic of online surveys, interviews and careful analysis, travel company Real Gap Experience have found that, predictably, travel improves your CV. That’s right - grabbing your passport and heading to a far-flung destination makes you more employable.
85% of employers interviewed stated that they would encourage students to travel in order to gain confidence, independence and decision making skills, so you can't lose. Whether you have one week or one year to fill, Real Gap Experience has something for everyone, whatever their travel interests and budget.
With over 170 trips to 40 different countries, they've got everything from island hopping in Thailand and Great White Shark monitoring in South Africa, to volunteering in South America and gap years in Australia.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out their top five destinations for 2016...
The 'Land of Smiles' is the perfect destination for first-time travellers. With a warm, friendly culture, stunning beaches, delicious food and endless things to do, it’s top of most travel bucket lists.
Whether you want to give something back to a community by teaching, or lend a hand with elephants, there are loads of volunteering opportunities. Alternatively, if you want to party the night away, make sure you head to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Parties.
Bali is definitely 'up there' on the list of hottest destinations for 2016. It has everything from temples and yoga retreats to surf lessons and the Gili Islands. Quite simply, it’s paradise on earth, and not one to be missed.
For the ultimate in rest and relaxation, try one of the yoga and meditation projects where you can quite literally sit back and embrace the Balinese culture. Plus, in your spare time, you can explore what the country has on offer and try out the Bahasa language.
Halong Bay - need we say more? As a popular Asia destination, Vietnam combines the best of culture, history and delicious food. With so much to see and do, you'll never be bored - you can explore jungles and hidden villages, Chi Chi tunnels and rooftop bars.
Halong Bay is our favourite, however, so make sure you get up early for a tranquil kayak through the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trust us – this is a once in a lifetime experience.
With Rio 2016 fast approaching, it’s no wonder that Brazil is up there on the bucket list of destinations. With stunning natural beauty, 5,000 miles of epic beaches, lush jungles and THE most famous carnival in the world, it’s no wonder so many tourists flock here each year.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture, try one of the volunteering projects deep in the favelas of Rio. Here you can teach, coach football and get creative with underprivileged children and adults.
Head Down Under for sun, surf and so much more. Australia is a huge country, with a never-ending list of things to see and do. Whether you want to hit up the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, get active on the Great Barrier Reef and Surfers Paradise, or embrace the Aussie Outback, there is something for everyone, whatever the time of year.
Real Gap Experience’s most popular trip is the Ultimate Aussie Paid Work, meaning you can travel around this stunning country and get paid at the same time. Done deal.