Ticket to Ride Group: The changing face of Gap Years

Ticket to Ride Group: The changing face of Gap Years

Will Hayler co-founder comments “Any student who doesn’t go directly to university this year will face university costs of up to £40,000 over three years so you can understand why many are thinking twice about taking the traditional pre-university gap year.

Year on year figures have seen an impact but instead of halting travel, travellers are simply changing the way and when they travel for example many more are taking gap years after university instead of after A-levels. We pride our ability to understand and connect with our clients and in response we’ve developed Mini Gaps which are designed to give a flavour of a year out experience but cover a much shorter time span.

Basecamp, our ski adventure specialist, has also designed a modular system that allows students to undertake courses over a couple of years rather than consecutively in one season.

We’ve also noticed a significant increase in travellers in their late 20s and early 30s which we are accounting for by the current austere financial climate. Those that are in the position to do so are making the most of voluntary redundancies and taking a career break.

We’ve weathered the storm relatively well compared to some of our competitors which we put down to the educational nature of our trips.


Despite indictments to the contrary the concept of a gap year isn’t a year-long party explains Hayler. We’ve had to learn how to communicate more effectively that our trips give young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in a local culture whilst achieving a qualification and building a raft of life skills which help them become a more well-rounded person, add value to CVs and help distinguish in an interview.

Matt Lacey’s ‘gap-yah’ video satire which went viral last year has also been quite damaging to the industry and certainly generated some anti-gap sentiment. We expect going forward it will be trips which offer qualifications or a tangible social benefit that ride the storm of the gap year wave.

We are offering more post-trip support, working with our clients to help them communicate the benefit of transferable skills which can be invaluable in the work place.” he concludes.