Getty Images
Travel + Leisure
January 14, 2016

This story originally appeared on Money.

Related: This Brilliant New Design Makes the Middle Row the Best Seat on the Plane

Related: Flight Delayed? Here Are 6 Great Ways to Kill Time in the Airport

Take a year off before college and explore. It can really work for you in the long run, says Ethan Knight, executive director of the American Gap Association.

Related: 4 Legendary Golf Venues With Great Off-Season Deals

This year off is often referred to as a "gap year" and the trend is starting to take off in the states. There is evidence to suggest that a structured gap year—one that focuses on building character and self-esteem through volunteer service and learning—can actually help students perform better once they enter the college classroom. Some research shows that students who take some time off from college will exceed expectations.

You May Like