Every once in a while, the travel bug will bite. The one that makes you fantasise about exploring a new city’s food and culture. And, what better time to give in to that feeling, than when you’re taking a gap year. Gap years are essential during your school to work to retirement blueprint, as it helps you tackle life’s challenges more easily. Because, at the end of the day, it isn’t healthy for someone to always be busy with work or school; taking breaks once in a while can make all the difference. It can help prevent burnouts, gives you time to relax and spend time with yourself and your loved ones. So, if you’re thinking of biting the bullet, yet unsure when the right time is, then read this article to find the ideal time for you to take a gap year.

Before going off to university

If you’re still unsure of what you want to study after high school, then taking a year off is exactly what you need. Taking a year off to travel around the world can help you get an idea of who you are, what you enjoy, and what you want to do with your life. Travel agents also make it easier for you to travel. You can find a travel store in Cape Town and other cities that will help with the planning of your trip. Getting a local travel agent in Cape Town can make the whole process seamless, especially if this is your first solo trip. They can help you find accommodation, entertainment activities, and more that will make your trip worthwhile. Who knows, you might end up wanting to work in a travel agency, once you see them in action. Gap years are all about figuring yourself out, but who says you cannot find your passion while planning for it.

While you’re on school break

You may be wondering how you can take time off while you’re still studying. Well, it’s not necessarily a gap year, but you can travel during your school holidays. School holidays are usually for a week or two, and instead of spending all your time at home, you can travel for a short while. You don’t even have to travel abroad; instead, you can travel to other cities in South Africa, like Cape Town. Cape Town has many outdoor activities to keep you occupied. You won’t even need to pack for the outdoors, as there are outdoor stores in Cape Town where you can purchase your gear. And don’t worry if you purchase too many things while you’re away, as there are inexpensive luggage stores in Cape Town should you need an additional bag to pack away all your new items.

When you graduate from university

Now that you’ve completed your studies, it’s the perfect time to give yourself a break before going into your chosen career. Studying towards your qualification is no walk in the park. It takes sleepless nights and early lectures, and all that can be strenuous on one’s body. And, the last thing you need is to experience burnout in the first year of your career. Even if your friends and family want you to work immediately, always remember that the knowledge you will gain during your year off can help you be a better employee in the future.

Take a career break

You may be worried about taking a break while you’re busy building your career. Well, taking a gap year can do just the opposite, especially if you’ve been unmotivated lately. When you’ve overworked yourself, it’s hard to do the things you once felt passionate about. So, a gap year can up your skills, motivate you and help you find your passion again, or it can help you formulate a new path for yourself. The duration of your sabbatical depends on you and your needs. You can take a break for a few months or a year; the world will still be waiting for you when you get back.


For workaholics, taking a gap year when you retire seems to be the ideal move. Now, you can sit back and do what you love; may be teaching English in non-English speaking countries or volunteering and helping those in need. Or, even if you want to sit back and relax, nothing is stopping you now. You have done all that needs to be done in your career, and it's the perfect time to relax.

Final thoughts

Life sometimes can feel like an endless race, often leading to unhappiness, mental issues or a burnout. And all of that can be prevented if people took a few moments to collect themselves and regroup. Because working yourself to the bone won’t help you much, especially when your health starts affecting you. Most people think that people taking gap years just want to lie around. Well, yours doesn’t need to be like that. You can volunteer and pick up new skills along the way. So, now the only thing left to decide is at what stage in your life you will be taking a gap year.