British gap year students are prepared to rack up the air miles after completing their A-levels and college courses, new research shows.
A study by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has found Australia is the most sought-after destination, followed by New Zealand and the USA.
None of the top ten destinations are in Europe, with Peru and Vietnam also featuring in the top five.
The list is completed by Thailand, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and India.
Tens of thousands of school and college leavers will be deferring their university places and many of these will be taking a gap year trip before starting their courses in 2016.
Some ABTA members specialising in gap year travel have reported increases of more than 10% in bookings over the last 12 months with Australasia, South East Asia, the USA and South America being the most popular destination choices.
Nikki White, for ABTA, said: “Thousands of young people will be heading off on a gap year which for many will be one of the most memorable and rewarding 12 months of their lives.
“However, foreign travel can offer a range of challenges and it is important that gap year students prepare carefully if they are to travel safely and also get the most out of their experience overseas.”