The year between high school and college is the best time to escape your everyday life and experience something totally new. You’re also young and fit, so there’s no excuse not to have a real adventure. There are tons of different adventure vacation packages out there for your gap year: we’ve narrowed it down to the very best.

New Zealand Campervan Tour

There’s no better way to enjoy the stunning landscape of New Zealand than from the open road. Give yourself the freedom and independence to explore this beautiful island in its entirety with a self-drive campervan vacation. The roads are easy to drive on and you’ll be able to explore the rolling hills, mountainous regions, volcanic pools and wild coastlines without ever having to check into a hotel. Grab a few friends and hit the road- just don’t forget the map!

Encounter the Australian Bush

There are plenty of reliable tour companies offering trips into the Australian Outback. These tours will take you deep into the Bush, where you can take in the incredible scenery of Australia and hang out at some tiny outback pubs, channelling your inner Crocodile Dundee. Australia is so huge and full of natural wonders that you could easily spend a whole year exploring the country, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time. You can go snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, visit the late Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo and wander around the lush rainforest surrounding the Daintree River.

Ride The Train To China

Get off the beaten track for your gap year and do something a little different. You can ride the longest railway in the world- the Trans Siberian Railway, all the way from Moscow through Siberia, until you reach China. This amazing journey allows you to see the Russian countryside up close and watch the landscape transform through Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. You’ll see the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal, plenty of beautiful rolling hills and cultural landmarks, and then will be able to cross the famous Great Wall of China before you arrive in the great city of Beijing. You will need to book your train tickets in advance, but the effort is well worth it for this incredible one in a lifetime experience.

Hike The West Coast Trail

This trail is not for the faint hearted, but conquering it could be the ultimate gap year achievement. The West Coast Trail stretches along the south-west edge of Vancouver Island in Canada. It’s a challenging but beautiful hiking trail, with plenty of fascinating First Nation archaeological sites and stunning views along the way. You’ll see a huge range of wildlife from grey whales to bald eagles, and multiple lookout points that are popular stopping points for hikers to rest and hopefully grab a bite to eat. You can take the West Coast Trail at your own pace, and as long as you have the necessary equipment packed up you should be able to manage it!

Go InterRailing Through Europe

If you’re looking for a great gap year adventure on a tight budget, InterRailing could be your perfect solution. InterRail passes are designed to give you the freedom to travel around Europe for the cost of just one train fare, so you can hop on and off wherever you like and see the sights in all of Europe’s exciting cities. You can choose your own route to target the sights you’re most interested in seeing, and alter the length of your trip to suit your budget. Read up on the routes and cities that you’re considering visiting and make sure you have everything you need, then sit back and let Europe’s smooth and speedy trains take you where you want to go.

Image: “West Coast Trail” by Chris Breikss on Flickr.