In The UK and Australia, just over 10% of students take a gap year. Around 22% of students don't end
up taking a gap year because they don't feel they can afford to. The cost of a gap year, paired with the stronger
desire to build a career from an earlier age, and combined with the higher amounts of remote working
opportunities and entrepreneurial opportunities means that they are no longer a given for students.
In fact, many people look at extended trips and travel later on in life, partly because travel
is so much cheaper than it used to be. In the 1940's it would cost two years worth
of average earnings to afford one single airline ticket, compared to tickets as low as 0.99p
in modern times. Careers are also more flexible and many of us prioritise travel and making the
most of these short lives we have been gifted with.
The fact is, gap years and trips can be taken at any point in life. With later life, travel comes a new
consideration that isn't something students need to worry about when they travel and that is home
ownership. If you own your home and don't rent, you can't just sign off your contract and live without
a home for the duration of your trip. So, what do you do with your house? Let's take a look at some
great options for you to consider as you plan an amazing trip for the future:
If you don't mind your home being stripped of your belongings, and any personal aspects of your life,
then this could be a really good option for you. Any trip that is six months or longer would open up
the opportunity for long-term rental in your property. It does need to be safe, you will need to
'neutralise' it with plain walls and features.
You can check out Estate Agent Networking for a guide on what you need to do to prepare your
home for rental. You do need to put a bit of effort in, but you could get hundreds of pounds a month
in return or, your mortgage paid.
You could rent using an agency who will do everything for you but they will take a fee for this. You
could also be a private landlord but you should be contactable and have connections local to the
property and know plumbers, gas technicians and other workmen in case anything needs doing with
For a little more work and organisation than long-term rental but for a chance of making more of an
income and keeping all the furniture and decoration in your house, Airbnb could be a great option.
It is a really useful option for shorter trips enabling your house to be looked after and enjoyed,
and to get a bit of extra money in the bank, all without moving much out of your home.
Do read the Airbnb small print carefully though to check it is the right choice for you.
Pet Sitters/House Sitters
There are proper pet sitting sites where pet sitters need to go through referencing and checks
before they can take on a 'job'. The way it works is they look after your pets in return for staying
in your house for free. So if you have pets, you could save money having them looked after
and enable them to avoid kennels or the cattery. You could also have the peace of mind knowing
your home is being looked after.
Pet sitters will list how long they are available for and jobs can be for a few days or a few months
. The same services are available if you do not have pets and just want a house sitter. A good
site for both pet sitting and house sitting is https://www.housesittersuk.co.uk/ which has more
information on this type of agreement for you to take a look at.
Do you know any friends or family who might benefit from caring for your house whilst you are
away? Maybe they will stay in your house for free, saving themselves rent and providing you
with a live-in caretaker in the meantime. Maybe you could offer them a deal where they pay the
very basic rates of mortgage and bills in exchange for living in your home. If you pay a very low
mortgage this could be inviting for some people.
Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories with the ones you love - Brian Chesky
However, you choose to care for your home as you travel, do it as smart and as informed as you
can. Ask others what they have done, take a look at forums and Youtube videos, podcasts
and posts about it and always put the safety and security of your home and pets first. By making
the smartest decision, you will not only be able to travel, but you can do so with the peace of
mind that your home is cared for and safe, and maybe your bank balance will get a boost too!
This is a collaborative post.