GAP YEAR RESOURCES

Looking for some great gap year resources? We’re veritable travel experts, so know just which products and services work, and which don’t. Here, you’ll find some of the best travel resources that we’ve used ourselves, and personally recommend. Be sure to check them out before you book or buy anything else!

Please note: We have some affiliate links on our page, which means if you purchase through our link, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps fund G.A.P. Not all links are affiliates as we only recommend products that we love, whether they have a affiliate scheme or not.

GAP YEAR PROVIDERS

Frontier
Frontier
Frontier was established in 1989 and is a non-profit NGO gap year provider who offers a wide range of projects including volunteering placements, ethical trekking and work opportunities. Project lengths start from one week and go up to thirty weeks. Their focus is on education, safeguarding biodiversity and building sustainable livelihoods. They have long-term relationships with all the projects that they work with, ensuring lasting positive impact.
Quest Overseas
Quest Overseas
Quest Overseas is an ethical team adventure company who run short expeditions in both South America and Africa. They have a great reputation with previous participants. Their team adventures consist of project work or trekking, or a bit of both. Ethical volunteering, sustainable development and responsible travel are important to them and they consciously do not expand their business in order to be able to deliver a personal and well managed service. Perfect for those who are looking for a ‘mini gap’ before starting university.

VOLUNTEERING

Grassroots
Grassroots
Grassroot Volunteers is a database of volunteering projects and social enterprises. The volunteer projects listed are either free or low-cost and can be contacted directly by the individual. The social enterprise database lists businesses and organisations that have an underlying social interest, meaning some of the money spent there will have a direct positive impact on the local community. A great site for the conscious traveler who wants to volunteer on a smaller budget.
WWOOF
WWOOF
WWOOF connect volunteers with organic farms and smallholdings all over the world, giving them the opportunity to learn about growing food and looking after livestock. It works on a exchange basis; the volunteer helps for 4-6 hours a day in exchange for accommodation and a full day’s food. The length of stay is organised directly with the host and can range from one week to six months plus. A perfect way to learn about alternative living whilst meeting interesting people and other travelers.
International Citizen Service (ICS)
International Citizen Service (ICS)
Funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development, ICS place volunteers overseas in projects aimed at making a direct and positive impact on poverty. 80% of the placement is funded and the individual is responsible for fundraising the remaining 20%. They also provide UK based volunteer training before departure.

INSURANCE

Alpha Travel Insurance
Alpha Travel Insurance
We have been using Alpha Travel Insurance since their launch in 2012. They offer some really competitive and comprehensive backpacker insurance and they are highly rated by both us and its other customers.

TRAVEL GUIDES

Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
We wouldn’t leave home without one! These are the perfect travel buddy; listing all the best places to visit, local travel options, activity providers and accommodation available to suit any budget but most importantly the backpacker budget. They have guidebooks for most destinations and come in both paperback and eBook format.

EQUIPMENT

Cotswold Outdoor
Cotswold Outdoor
Cotswold Outdoor has a huge range of clothing available for all sorts of environments as well as equipment for traveling, camping, trekking and climbing. They also have fantastic discounts and sales for some of the most well-known brands out there.
Nomad Travel Store and Travel Clinic
Nomad Travel Store and Travel Clinic
Nomad Travel is run for travellers by travellers. Their travel store doesn’t have a huge selection of stock, but instead offers a more refined choice of top quality clothing and equipment, and you can grab yourself a bargain when they have clearance sales on. They have four travel clinics in London and others in major UK cities. There is a handy vaccination search tool on their website and also offer a free consultation.

TRAVEL

Skyscanner
Skyscanner
In our opinion, Skyscanner is the only flight search tool you will ever need. Very rarely have we found a ticket price that matches theirs, and so we always use them when buying a flight. You can also search for hotels, car hire, airport transfers and even campervan hire!
AirTreks
AirTreks
AirTreks is one of the leading round-the-world ticket providers, and they have a great personal service to help you design the ideal RTW trip. They also offer comprehensive travel insurance with their packages, something you won’t find anywhere else.
Priceline
Priceline
Priceline have a unique service called ‘Name Your Own Price’ where you can bid for flights, hotels and rental cars. You can get excellent deals and make savings of up to 40%, and sometimes much more. Due to the nature of the business there are some restrictions, such as hidden stoppage time until ticket purchase, so make sure you read the terms first.

ACCOMMODATION

Airbnb
Airbnb
This is a service that we have used many times, simply because we love it. An alternative accommodation service where you can book a homeowner’s own home, or just a room within it, at a fraction of the price of hotels. Perfect if you’re fed up with the inside of a hotel room and prefer something that feels more like home.
Hostel World
Hostel World
Hostel World was one of the first online hostel booking sites around, and they offer one of the best services around. They have a huge database of over 33,000 hostels in 170 countries. You can search for hostels and read reviews from travelers who have stayed there, and your booking is 100% guaranteed, or they will pay out $50 to you.
Homestay Accommodation
Homestay Accommodation
Homestay provide a cheaper alternative to hotels and the chance to spend some time with a local family, allowing you to live and breathe the local culture in a truly authentic way. They have homestays in over 150 countries and are very affordable. The accommodation ranges from basic rooms to luxury beachfront villas, so there’s something here for everyone. Most stays include at least a light breakfast in the price and other meals can be arranged directly with the host at an extra cost.
Couch Surfing
Couch Surfing
Another alternative accommodation option; Couch Surfing is a platform that connects you with people all around the world who let you stay at their house for free. It’s all about meeting other like-minded travelers and exploring new places. They hold events globally so you can meet groups of other couch surfers and see how it works before signing up.

PREPAID TRAVEL CARDS

Revolut
Revolut
One of the best prepaid travel cards around, Revolut offer the best exchange rates available when the card is used to withdraw money or pay for things. Also there are no fees for at least the first 12 months. The card is managed by an app and can be topped up easily via bank transfers and instant transfers from other Revolut account holders.