Gap Year Travel: The Battle of the Sexes

There’s no denying that gap years are growing in popularity - they are an ever growing rite of passage, but who “gap years” better

Research conducted by travel website Netflights shows that whilst only 15 per cent of Britain’s over 25’s took (or still aspire to take) a gap year – a whopping 54 per cent of our 16-24-year olds have already taken one, or plan to do so in the near future.

But the bigger news is that one sex seems to be leading the way when it comes to planning and enjoying their time out – the girls!

Research conducted by gap year travel aficionados showed that not only do more girls self-fund their travels – an impressive 80 per cent – they also travel for longer. The survey of over 2040 Brits saw that whilst boys tend to stay away for an average of 6 months – over 54 per cent of girls travel for a year or longer.

The survey also showed that female “gap yearers” are bigger fans of creating their own itinerary. For every 20 boys travelling as part of an organised group tour, there will only be 8 girls.

Reasons for taking a gap year also differed – whilst 46 per cent of females choose to do so to boost their confidence and gain global knowledge; 43 per cent of males are grabbing their backpack because they believe it will boost their CV and job prospects.

Gap year trends and habits aren’t entirely divided by gender; over 81 per cent of boys and girls felt that their gap year helped them build confidence. It was also noticed that both boys and girls are keen to take their gap year as soon as humanly possible with almost 50 per cent now opting to do so straight after 6th form. 23 per cent still bide their time and take their time out after university.

The research also showed that boys and girls were united on their top destinations for gap years; the US and Australia topped the poll with a surprising entry coming in at number three –  the UK and Western Europe. This was closely followed by Canada and Thailand.

Not everyone surveyed has, or plans to, take gap year – nearly 30 per cent of all males surveyed have chosen not to go on a gap year so that they can focus on their career. 25 per cent of women have the same thinking. Romance also proved to be a factor, with 10 per cent of Brits not going on a gap year because of a loved one at home.