Spend Your GAP Year Guiding
Looking at getting into the tourism industry? Do you want to travel, but do not have the money? Well, tour guiding is an option that will allow you to see the world, and get paid at the same time, but what if you just want to go overseas for your GAP year or learn about the tour guide industry in more detail before applying at colleges?
Well, this is where many organizations around the world have decided to offer special GAP year programs and offer volunteer tour guide positions. Voluntourism as it is widely known, is the term for volunteering whilst touring.
This is one of the best ways to start out being a tour guide and will give you the valuable experience that you need, and will allow you to travel at the same time. Most students decide to go overseas for their summer vacation to explore and offer their services for free, in exchange for free board and food. Some organizations like the WWOFF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) have openings in France, Italy, and Spain among other countries where you will work and stay on the farm, with the opportunity to go out and travel on your days off.
GAP year program are popular in Africa, where various conservation projects rely on volunteer students to offer training, assistance with the actual intricacies of the program, work in the surrounding communities, and offer short tours of the parks and wildlife sanctuaries to international visitors. Safari guides and conservation guides are in short supply, and by volunteering you will be helping a good cause, but also gaining the touring experience you need to eventually become a paid tour guide.
GAP Year Programs and Volunteer Opportunities Abroad
Taking a GAP year is something that most students do. It allows them to travel, see the world, and work for a worthwhile cause at the same time. Whether a small amount of pay is involved, an exchange of service or completely voluntary, GAP year programs are extremely popular and if you are interested you should apply well ahead of time.
Some GAP year opportunities could be the following:
- Gap Year Overland Tours
- Gap Year Expeditions
- Gap Year Safaris
- Gap Year Scuba Diving
- Gap Year PADI Courses
- Gap Year Field Guiding
These types of GAP year program are similar in nature, all being ecotourism related, but this is where the majority of the demand lies for English speaking tour guides.
Quick Fact: GAP year jobs and volunteer work are found all over the world.
GAP Year Programs and Volunteer Tour Guide Jobs in the U.S
Contrary to popular belief, GAP year programs volunteering as a tour guide and working in the conservation field can be found right at home on American soil. Various organizations like the Sierra Club, which has offered over 350 environmental and protection programs, offered throughout the year.
Many people do not even realize what amazing places there are right in their own back yards, which is what the Sierra Club wants to showcase. Many of those who volunteer for this organization end up working in the American tourism industry, as they find how fascinating it can be to work right in their own country.
Some examples of American based GAP year jobs are assisting to clean up the beaches in Northern California at the breathtaking Point Reyes, or working in Colorado at the expansive Mesa Verde National Park. You can explore the stunning rainforests while you help clear trails and help the U.S Forest Service to protect the land in Puerto Rico.