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Issue #2 - January/February/March 2018

Welcome to Taking a Gap Year, a quarterly mini mag from PAYAway. No matter if you are 18 or 80, every three months we will present some ideas for your year out - regardless of how long that may be.


English Language Assistant in Chile

Become an International Assistant in Chile

Apply now to take advantage of this perfect opportunity to make a real and lasting impact in the lives of Chilean public school students and in their school communities. Placements are available country-wide and volunteer benefits include a stipend, host family stay, health insurance, and a fee free visa!

Help Exchanges

Free Volunteer Work Exchanges

Arrange your stay with farms, homes, eco- villages, backpacker hostels, surf lodges, ranches, and schools. Expose yourself to other cultures, experience another lifestyle, share and learn new skills, all in exchange for a few hours of honest help.

Teach in a Public School in Colombia

Teach in a Public School in Colombia

Teach children, teenagers or adults at government schools throughout Colombia. The Program includes two week orientation in Bogota with free accommodation, a monthly stipend of 1.5 Million Colombian Pesos and Colombian national health insurance. No program fee.

Get Abroad Now

50 Ways to Leave Your Country

Just hop on a bus, Gus, and make a new plan, Anne, because we have found a half century of jobs available now that mean you don't have to save up and wait to head off on your adventure abroad.

Teach and Travel in Austria with a Non-Profit!


Teach English to Austrian schoolchildren as part of a nonprofit initiative while working towards the Trinity CertTESOL and Cambridge CELT-P qualifications!

Blogger's Guides

The Blogger's Guide to Lisbon

We thought of doing a guide to Lisbon but after careful reflection decided, nah! Let someone else do it. Luckily, Lisbon is a bit of hotspot for travel bloggers at the moment so we enlisted them without their knowledge or permission to put together this handy guide for you.

Kaya Pansion

Stay With Us In Bodrum

We stay with Kaya Pansiyon whenever we are in Bodrum. Whether you are visiting the town before, after, or during a volunteer stint in Turkey the family owned and run Kaya Pansiyon welcomes you from the heart of Bodrum, where everything you need is just one step away.


Welcome to Bodega Hostels in Thailand

Join us in Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai for great vibes, drink specials, a nice bed and a butt load of fun.


The Best Tours of Ireland

Our team of 100% Irish Tour Guides are passionate about their home country and they will provide you with stories to last a life time.


Palmers Lodge, Award Winning Boutique Hostels in London

Award winning boutique hostels, ensuite rooms and dorms with great service in unique buildings with bags of character. Bar, restaurant and parking onsite

Our 15 Favourite Upcoming Help Exchanges

Working for your keep is a great way to stay on the road and an increasing number of platforms exist to bring together hosts and helpers for, at most, a small fee. Here we list the best projects we have found available in the next few months. 

5 4 3 2 Guan

5 Free Things to do in... Istanbul

If our grandparent's were willing to spend three days to get here, to begin their journey further east along the hippie trail, there's no excuse to miss out on one of the world's most fascinating cities.  While Istanbul remains an affordable destination your money will go even further with these suggestions of free things to do.

Pop your head inside a mosque

The Sultan Ahmet Mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque due to the hand painted blue tiles adorning the mosque’s interior walls, is one of the city’s most famous architectural sites and tourist draws. Unlike the number one on that list, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque is still a functioning place of worship but is free to enter outside of prayer times.

Walk around a market

Not just any market, the Grand Bazaar is (consults Wikipedia) “one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops.” While it is possible to just wander around the shops here, especially if you surreptitiously lurk behind richer looking tourists, any visitor to Turkey will face numerous offers of just looking, no buying, so take this as a chance to practice not buying souvenirs and genuine imitation fakes. Though don’t blame us if you come out covered in Dolce and Gabbana with a carpet in the post.

Catch a ferry

Okay, this one isn't free but when you can cruise from one continent to another for less than a dollar it feels like it is. The ride is a short one across the Bosphorus from Europe to Asia, and beyond the chance to tick off a new continent from your bucket list both the upcoming Kadıköy and the residential neighbourhood Üsküdar are worth a short wander around. Ferries leave every 15 minutes or so from Eminönü and tokens cost 1.75 TL.

Go for a swim

The ferries, fishermen and even Russian submarines trying to sneak into the Med are the better known water based activities in Istanbul. It didn’t even occur to us to take a swim the last time we were in the city but it was snowing heavily so feel we can be excused for our lack of imagination. Even in summer these won’t be Turkey’s warmest waters but many public beaches in and around the city are admission free.

Stroke a cat

Yes, technically, you could pet a cat most places, but Istanbul’s tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of strays have been a fixture of the city for centuries. Residents of Istanbul are happy to make a fuss of them, sharing the responsibilities of looking after the neighbourhood felines, so once in a while feel free to join in and give one a stroke behind the ears or, even better, share your kebab.

4 House Sits

Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets
Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer to join here). Sits currently available include:*

Look after our renovated farmhouse on an authentic Argentinan cattle ranch. During the Spring, from October to Early December, we are looking for House-sitters to keep house and garden tidy and occupied.

We moved to Heidelberg from Texas to travel Europe. We travel regularly and it's not always possible to take our dogs.


I am looking for someone with demonstrated experience living with several cats. Real animal lovers only.

We live in beautiful tropical North QLD on the beach, we need someone to be present in the house, water garden and do some odd gardening, spending time with our fur baby.

* at the time of writing

3 Gap Years Worth Splashing Out For

We are all about the cheap and the free here, but sometimes it is worth splashing the cash for skills that will repay themselves in the future, for an unforgetable life changing experience, or - you lucky sod - because someone else has offered to pay.

Gain experience of reporting and content production in a remote location on Frontier’s Madagascar NGO Media & Journalism Internship. A perfect entry into the world of travel journalism, your journalism placement provides the opportunity to work as a field journalist, reporting or documenting the work and social activities of volunteers on Nosy Be, Madagascar's largest and busiest tourist resort. The two month placement costs £1519.

Madagascar NGO Media & Journalism Internship
Learn to identify the Stoplight parrotfish, spot a colourful Flamingo tongue feasting on a Sea fan’s tiny polyps and navigate your way between diverse corals whilst living on a remote palm dotted island, washed by the turquoise shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea. Prices vary on Blue VenturesMarine Conservation Expedition in Belize, but expect to pay around £3000 for six weeks.
Zoo Volunteering in Malaysia

Immerse yourself in the life of a zoo keeper working alongside experts at a leading Malaysian zoo. Volunteers are able to gain first hand experience working with primates, sun bears, elephants, tigers and other animals, all whilst actively promoting animal welfare and improving the lives of these exotic creatures. Prices begin at £1114 for two weeks through Oyster Worldwide.

2 Inspiring Working Travellers

If they can do it, so can you

Though she now makes a successful living online, (and has a great selection of posts on travel blogging to prove it) Vicky Philpott is no stranger to taking jobs abroad to fund her travels. Despite once almost getting fired for drunkenly pole dancing off the end of a tractor, she spent two summers as a camp counsellor in America, describing it as the best experience ever. She has worked for festival tickets and volunteered on several occasions, including at English immersion camps in Spain and a work exchange in the Czech Republic . 

Vicky Philpott


The Runaway Guide

Aged 16, Leif ran away from home and, after blowing most of his savings in the first week, explored much of Europe and the Middle East without a dime. He is still going over a decade later having tried his hand at numerous jobs abroad including working a passage on a sail boat in Panama, and starting a tour business.

Leif Harum

The Runaway Guide


Cheap Ways to Volunteer: Quetzaltrekkers

Nature lovers will enjoy the challenge of working as a volunteer guide leading trekkers around the volcanoes near Leon. Duties include recruiting customers, making promotional materials and cleaning the equipment. With the money they make from leading tourists on adventurous hikes Quetzaltrekkers help to fund an organisation that takes care of at risk children. Guides should have hiking experience and be in good physical condition, have first aid certification and basic Spanish. Minimum commitment is three months.

Free Money

Yes, really. Get some cash towards accommodation

Airbnb is the best way to rent unique, local accommodations on any travel budget. Sign up here and get money off your first trip.

My Bad Travel Photo

Tam Coc, Vietnam

I thought the hat made me look like Indiana Jones. Someone had said so. But after years of folding and refolding to fit inside a coat pocket when not in use it better suited Farmer Giles. It has long since been lost to drunkeness in Turkey but as I stared at this photo I wondered just how the hell I managed to get my own head in the shot. After a while I realised I had given the hat to my girlfriend. I'd been nice. I'd been kind. I got sun burn. And this crappy photo.

Get a Job Abroad With JAB

The Jobs Abroad Bulletin is our bulletin board full of job vacancies posted by employers looking for staff. Over the years we have helped our readers to finance their travels by working as powerboat crew in Greece, bar staff in the Czech Republic, chefs in Austria, English teachers in Japan, au pairs in Dubai, holiday reps in Turkey, halet girls in Switzerland, tour leaders in Southeast Asia, snackbar attendants in Portugal, eco trail leaders in Costa Rica, hostel workers in Panama, ski instructors in Italy, and caretakers in Uganda. 

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