Real Gap Experience have been pioneers of gap year travel since 2004, so we like to think we know a thing or two about adventures overseas. Since starting out, we've grown to offer over 200 projects and travel options in over 35 countries across 6 continents.
We don't do average travel - instead we're proud to be among the world's leading experts in providing hundreds of exciting adventures and volunteering opportunities that are beyond the ordinary. Our experts have been everywhere and anywhere across the globe and can help you find the perfect trip for you.
Just in case you need a bit more convincing about our expert credentials, here are the top 10 reasons you should opt for a Real Gap Experience...
1. Expert guidance
'My Real Gap Experience travel advisor was great, she explained what I'd be doing, what to expect and answered any questions I had. Real Gap Experience provided me with all the right information before I left'. Qamran Hussain, Goa Volunteer
Speak to someone who's been there and done it - 5 days a week. We help fit the skills and interests of our travellers to the right projects and experience, bearing in mind of course that you want to have fun as well as make a difference! Our pre-departure packs give you detailed information in preparation for your trip.
2. The opportunity to make a difference
'I thought I was too old and 'over the hill' but apparently not! The project touched my heart - I went for adventure and came back home with commitment.' Julie Jones, Kenya Community Outreach
Our projects need all the help they can get. Whether you simply bring your time, energy or focus or have special skills, we want you all! It sounds rather fancy, but we believe that in the wider scheme of things, the interaction between Real Gap Experience, people and their projects will help to bring a better understanding between communities across the world.
3. Real Gap Experience lets you know what to expect
We make sure that everyone knows in advance what their role will involve. We also make sure that you know what to expect and that you're comfortable with it before you commit.
4. A warm welcome
'Upon arrival I met many volunteers, and also Mary and James - my project leaders! Immediately they were very welcoming and I felt straight at home.' John McClelland, Kenya Community Outreach Project
You've probably made the biggest leap of faith of your life. And we know how important it is to feel confident and supported in your choice. So, we meet you at the airport, and once you've drawn breath, take you through an orientation, which gives you all those useful little tips that help you live and work comfortably. We also introduce you to other people on the projects and the communities with whom you will be working.
5. Help where it's needed the most
Volunteers have made all the improvements at this wildlife centre. It is their hard work and dedication that drive the project forward and give orang-utans in this part of the world a great chance of survival. Guillaume Feldman, Malaysia Orang-utan Experience
We work with individuals, organisations, NGOs and Christian groups. We only work with established partners on the ground who know where the help is most needed and how best to channel and co-ordinate the skills and time of volunteers. We know all of our project partners personally and keep in close contact with them.
6. 24 Hour Safety & Security Assistance
'The trip was better organised than if I has planned it myself. Also Real Gap Experience made me feel more safe and secure whilst I was out there.' Kate McCue, Kenya
Our co-ordinators are always on hand to help. We also regularly assess our programmes - identifying and minimising potential risks, as well as evaluating the overall benefits for all concerned. Everyone travelling with Real Gap Experience has 24-hour emergency backup and can contact a member of our team should they need to.
7. Know where your money is going
Costs vary from programme to programme depending on destination, duration and programme particulars. Your money is used to cover the costs of developing and managing the Real Gap Experience business, services on the ground, such as food, accommodation, local transport, and coordinators, and of course, project donations.
The success of Real Gap Experience directly contributes towards the success of our partner projects. We are committed to running a lean and efficient business, focused on our customers and our charitable partners.
8. Witness real progress
'Each contribution, no matter how small, can help make a difference.' Kofi Annan
We will show you how your contribution makes a difference in the context of the long-term goals of the project. During orientations, you will learn about what has already been done by current and past volunteers to ensure a smooth 'hand over'. We also encourage volunteers to document their work to help new volunteers when they come in.
9. The big picture
Real Gap Experience volunteers come back with first hand experiences of the challenges faced by other communities less fortunate than ours. This often means that you will develop a deeper interest and awareness in global issues. We hope that this will stay with you throughout your life and that you will take this greater understanding wherever you go. We ask all our travellers to complete a feedback form, which helps us to evaluate our programmes, maintain the high standards that we expect and continue to develop and respond to the needs of our customers and partner projects.
10. Real Gap Experience's contribution
Real Gap Experience's success is based on the success of the projects we support. They are at the heart of what we do. The collective commitment of Real Gap Experience volunteers has helped improve the lives of communities in over 35 countries across hundreds of projects.
Volunteering Not For You?
50% of our programmes are just about having fun - going there and doing it. They include sports, expeditions, adventure travel and paid work. But what all our experiences offer is a taste of the REAL place and the REAL culture.