Fancy a spot of travelling but don't have a year to spare? Don't worry, with a bit of research you can have your mind suitably blown in a fortnight, so you could fit your adventures between leaving school in the summer and starting uni in the Autumn. Or, if you're taking a year out, you could earn some money first, have a month travelling, then try some other things like work experience, volunteering or topping your funds up in preparation for uni. Some of the great adventures in the world are a lot more accessible than you think!


Here are five ideas to get you started, plus info on how you could win an epic adventure...

Trekking


New Zealand
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking,” said philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. That may or may not be true, but there's definitely something to be said for strapping on a backpack and hitting the trail.

Where can you go? A classic is the Inca Trail in Peru – the journey begins in the high altitude city of Cuzco and winds through mountains towards the vertiginous temple of Machu Picchu. It's a well-travelled route that's great for group travel and you can do the whole trip – including llama spotting – in around three weeks.

Other options include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, roaming Torres del Paine national park in Chile or walking the pilgrim trail through Europe – experts like STA Travel will be able to advise you and help with planning.


Scuba Diving


Thaliand
The underwater world is pretty miraculous, especially when you don't have to hold your breath to gawp at it. Learning to scuba dive will show you a part of the planet that still holds all kinds of mysteries, and you can do it in some of the most beautiful places on Earth: Australia's Great Barrier Reef; off the coast of Costa Rica (steer clear of any dinosaur theme parks, it never ends well); or even as part of your stay on a Fijian island.

A few weeks is more than enough time to have a go at scuba diving – or if the surface is more your thing, there's fine snorkelling and surfing to be had in any of those spots. Plus, where's there's scuba, there's usually a nice beach...



Safari


Zebras
Up for some lions and tigers and bears? A wildlife-based adventure might be the one for you. For big cats, elephants and feeling humble in the cradle of humanity, Africa is hard to beat: short safari packages are widely available and it's another opportunity to join a group and meet some new people in between leopard spotting (no pun intended). Still not sure? One word: giraffes.

You can marvel at the natural world in lots of other places, too. It might be spying on lemurs in Madagascar, whale watching in Canada or penguin peeping in Patagonia. All possible in a few startling weeks.

Exploring the ancient world


Peru
You can cram a lot of ancient architecture into a few weeks. India, for example, can offer temples and the Taj Mahal, which really does live up to its 'wonder of the world' status; or you could explore lost cities in Colombia. A group trip can help you get your fill of ancient marvels in short order, as well as providing company to go 'ooooh, pretty' with.


Don't forget: people come from all over the world to see ancient culture that’s right on our doorstep – Stonehenge, Avebury, many, many castles – so you could spend a month roaming ancient Britain and take in sights that many UK residents will never get around to seeing, all while staying within reach of the Marmite.




City hopping


Finally, exploring a foreign city or two is a fine way to spend a few weeks. You might pick San Francisco and New York City in the USA, for radically different visions of American life; or head to Japan and take in Tokyo and Kyoto for a blitz of neon and zen temples. Equally, a fortnight in Europe is plenty of time to snoop around cities from Amsterdam to Zurich; or you could get lost in South America and see some mad, brilliant sights. Your head will spin, but in a very good way.

Ready to start packing? Get some travel tips from our forums – and visit STA Travel, they are looking for the ultimate student adventurer, so for a chance to win an epic adventure of your own visit the website. Send us a postcard...