Pick up these top guidebooks for advice and inspiration (Dreamstime)
List Words : Best books from Stanfords | 24 September

9 guidebooks for gap years and career breaks

Thinking of taking a career break or gap year? Look no further for guidance, advice, inspiration and a bit of... banter

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Your Gap Year1. Your Gap Year (£12.99)

Your Gap Year contains a wealth of information to enable you to create the adventure of a lifetime for yourself. Leading gap year specialist Susan Griffith reveals up-to-date information and advice for exploring every corner of the globe.

Not only what to pack and where to party can be found in Your Gap Year, but informed suggestions on fundraising for your trip, insider tips on not getting ripped off and budget guidance (so you don’t run out of cash) are all provided. In addition, hidden travel secrets are revealed alongside a host of real life accounts from gappers who have been there and done it!

Gap Years - The Essential Guide2. Gap Years – The Essential Guide (£8.99)

Gap Years – The Essential Guide takes you step-by-step through the process from planning to participating in a gap year in an accessible summary fashion, and aims to arm you with the information you’ll need to enjoy a fun-packed adventure safely and within your budget.

Chapters cover planning your trip, packing the essentials, practicalities, health and safety, saving money/fundraising, travelling around the world, volunteering, studying, working, and re-adjusting to home life, with continent overview pages guiding you towards the must see and do things in Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, Australia/New Zealand and Pacific, and Europe.

Lonely Planet's Shoestring Guides3. Lonely Planet's Shoestring Guides (From £16.99)

The Shoestring guide series from Lonely Planet are market-leading, comprehensive guides aimed specifically at those travelling independently on a budget and cover popular backpacking destinations. Frank and informal in style, the guides explore an extensive range of sights, activities, accommodation, restaurants and nightlife and are designed for practical use while travelling on the road. Written and researched by a team of experts, each book is independent in its recommendations and suggestions, often offering individual takes on each destination.

Gap Years for Grown Ups4. Gap Years for Grown Ups (£12.99)

If you're thinking of taking a trip of a lifetime, be it with redundancy cheque in hand, career break, a much needed sabbatical, recent retirement or just grabbing life by the horns, Gap Years for Grown Ups is your essential guide to your time away.

Covering everything you need to know for your trip of a lifetime Gap Years for Grown Ups will help you prepare for your year out, from taking the plunge with your employer and what to pack for your travels to the practicals of your time out there and reaping the benefits of a gap year on your return home.

Know before you go and gain a real insight into what to expect while travelling with over 100 first-hand accounts from adult gappers, retirement gappers and those travellers who have been there and done it. Learn the tips for safe, successful travel, get insights on the best places, hidden treasures and the ideal experiences out there for adult gappers.

Lonely Planet's The Big Trip5. Lonely Planet's The Big Trip (£11.99)

Lonely Planet’s The Big Trip is the perfect guide to those who are preparing for gap years, career breaks or simply an adventure to take them to parts of the world they’ve never dreamed of experiencing.

The book is full of ideas, such as swimming with dolphins off the coast of New Zealand; learn Spanish in Guatemala; hike your own pioneer route through Canada; get a soaking at Thailand’s Songkran water festival. Billed as the ultimate guide to gap years and overseas adventures, the book is sumptuously illustrated with full colour photographs and packed with useful information, with essential pre-trip planning for health, safety, costs and much more.

With regional overviews, maps, tips and stories from experienced travellers and even a comprehensive directory of essential resources, this is an ideal gift for anyone itching to get out there and experience the world.

Work Your Way Around the World6. Work Your Way Around the World (£12.99)

Work Your Way around the World, written by industry expert Susan Griffith, is crammed with information and tips provided by people who are out there living their dream, already working their way around the world. The manual explains the best job opportunities in places the world over, as well as up to date red tape, work permit and visa information, and ideas and contact details for hundreds of jobs.

The guide is divided into sections focusing on Europe and the rest of the world, and looks at all manner of roles, including working a passage on a cruise liner, local enterprise, working on a farm, teaching English, looking after children, conservation volunteering, temp agencies and bar work.

The Grown Up Gap Year Diaries7. The Grown Up Gap Year Diaries (£8.99)

Many of us watch in envy as school or university-leavers jet off to far away places to relax, explore or fulfill a long-held ambition. Now, many adults are taking the opportunity to go on their own gap year adventure.

The Grown-Up Gap Year Diaries recounts the highlights of a mid-life female traveller, including unexpected experiences and tips on how to be a responsible traveller wherever you go. Laura Bloom set off to travel around the world from Africa to Asia and the Pacific. Charmed by local tribes and long lost royal relatives, confronted by wildlife and hitting an emotional low after a robbery, she also gathers the experiences of a fascinating bunch of grown-up gappers aged from 30 to 70.

This book warm-heartedly details her highs and lows of her time travelling, providing a rare insight into the day-to-day life as an adult traveller. It advises adults on the practicalities of travelling, offering money-saving tips and advice on where to go.

Amazing Gap Year Adventures8. Amazing Gap Year Adventures (£9.99)

Amazing Gap Year Adventures charts the highs and lows of independent travel and will help everyone make the most of a year out – parents and gappers alike. This year approximately 200,000 people between 18 and 25 will head off on, what they hope, will be the adventure of a lifetime. For anxious parents, left at home nursing an empty nest (and even emptier wallet), a gap year can appear more like a nightmare than a dream.

Besides stories of bungee-jumping and swimming with sharks, teaching children English in Africa, tending baby jaguars in Bolivia and studying film in New York, author and journalist Tammy Cohen has selected some remarkable accounts of gappers who've helped save communities. Then there are the travellers who've survived kidnapping, pirate attacks and acts of God to return with a fresh outlook on life...

And one for fun...

The Gapy Yah Plannah9. The Gap Yah Plannah (£9.09)

"The Gap Yah Plannah is the ultimate guide to your gap year bantering. Grab your lashmina and get ready to chunder. So, you didn’t get the grades, and you’ve decided to take a gap yah. Well, this is the gap year guide for you.

"Or, you massively love life and want to have a cheeky beer in loads of waard places around the world, and have decided to take a gap yah. This is the gap year guide for you, too.

"From budgeting for your time away (mummy and daddy’s credit card) and what not to bring (respect for the law – that only inhibits your fun), to how to say ‘vomcano’ in Spanish, this is the absolutely essential spiritual, political and cultural guide to making the most of your gap yah."