The rise of the ‘half gap year’

Millennials abroad

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Money in the UK has released new research revealing that the traditional gap year may have been supplanted in popularity by a new trend christened the ‘half gap year’. Those who head off travelling for extended periods are now, according to both Sainsbury’s data and data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics, more likely to jet off for around six months, challenging the previously hegemonic gap year.

The Office of National Statistics suggests that 312,000 Britons travelled abroad for a period of between three and six months in 2018, compared to just 84,000 who went abroad for between six months and one year. Data from Sainsbury’s, meanwhile, suggests that those aged 18 to 25 are most likely to go abroad for an overseas period.

Looking at destinations, Sainsbury’s found that New Zealand, Mexico and Thailand were popular spots for extended long-haul trips. The Mexican Peso was the 12th most popular currency, jumping from 15th in 2016, while the New Zealand Dollar was at number 10 in the currency rankings. The Thai Baht was the ninth most popular currency, and Sainsbury’s pointed out that Thailand outranked every other country in Asia in terms of tourism spend.