Best Gap Year Companies
Thinking about taking a gap year? Confused where to start? We get lots of enquiries from people asking: 'what are the best agencies, companies and websites to book my gap year with?' So to help we have put together a guide which will help you organise and book your big adventure overseas.
If you are keen to travel, work, volunteer or study abroad on your gap year view our top rated companies below.
Click on the company logo or name for more information.
Booking a tour is one of the best ways to see the world. You will get an experienced guide, travel in a group making new friends from around the world and get taken to the best places in the destination without having to worry about anything. Prices vary depending on the company, type of trip and destination. You might like to check out our guide to the best tour operators for 18-35 year olds.
Here are our recommendations for the best operators:
G Adventures offer small group tours to destinations all around the world. You can choose from over 600 trips in 130+ countries including popular trips for 18-35 year olds, African safaris, island hopping tours and overland adventures. The hard part is deciding which trip to choose andwhere to go. Most group sizes are small with around 12 people depending on the trip and you get an experienced guide to take you to the best places.
Busabout offer award-winning Hop-on Hop-off flexible coach tours worldwide. Thousands of people book trips every year and you can search so many unique adventures. From island hopping in Greece and Croatia, partying at Europe’s biggest music festivals or discovering the ancient cultures of Southeast Asia. A Busabout tour is a flexible way to explore new places, have a lot of fun and also make new friends.
Interested in seeing the world and enjoying one of the best experiences of your life? Contiki are one of the most well known travel brands in the world and offer over 300 trips of a lifetime which are aimed at anyone aged 18-35's. UK and European tours are very popular but you can also explore Latin America, Asia and other worldwide destinations.
Topdeck offer hundreds of exciting trips in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, Egypt & the Middle East, North America and Africa. Thousands of travellers book trips with Topdeck every year with trips ranging from 4 day festivals in Europe to 58 day overland safaris in Africa. There's a lot to choose from! You will usually travel in a large bus and are guaranteed to meet other travellers from all over the world.
GAP YEAR SPECIALISTS
Not sure what you really want to do on your gap year? Keen to do a mix of lots of things? Or search lots of ideas? The following companies are highly rated and offer combo travel, work, volunteer and study trips worldwide:
Frontier are one of the most established gap year companies offering hundreds of courses, programs and intern placements. Thousands of people have participated on programs which including gap year adventure trips, rewarding volunteer programs and internships and work experience placements.
Featured Frontier trips include:
- Central America ethical adventure - 10 week trip through this spectacular
- Dolphin conservation in Greece - dream of visiting Greece? Why not help dolphins at the same time!
- Jounalism internship in Fiji - gain work experience in paradise
- PADI divemaster training in Thailand - always wanted to learn to dive? Choose this trip in Koh Tao
- Sea turtle conservation in Bali - experience the highlights of Bali whilst helping marine life
- Ski instructor course in France
- Teach English in Fiji - a great way to gain teaching experience in a beautiful setting
Tenerife whale and dolphin conservation - be more than just a tourist in Spain
Gap 360 are one of the most popular gap year companies and they offer over 200 exciting trips worldwide. From working abroad, volunteering, learning a new skill or joining a tour you can find so many different experiences. You can also choose from 50+ destinations!
Featured Gap 360 trips:
- Keen to travel the world? Check out the global 360 world tour
- Plan a dream trip to work Down Under with an Australia working holiday package
- Spent 9/12 days on a Bali Intro tour
- Experience paradise on a Fiji island hopping tour
- Apply for a New Zealand woking holiday
- If Africa appeals check out this incredible South Africa volunteer and safari trip
Invasion specialise in providing unforgettable experiences. Whether you want to explore Europe’s visiting the hottest cultural sites and cities, volunteering around the world, partying in Ibiza, working at an American summer camp or teaching in Thailand - they have trips which will ignite your wanderlust. After the success of placing thousands of people on summer jobs in the USA Invasion have now taken summer camp global where you can join group volunteer and adventure trips to destinations worldwide.
Featured Invasion Trips:
- Work at a US summer camp with Americamp or apply for Canada check out Americamp Canada
- Explore Thailand, volunteer and gain a TEFL certification with Camp Thailand
- Make a difference in Cambodia as part of Camp Cambodia
- Keen to visit Indonesia and explore the spectacular islands whilst giving back? Check out Camp Bali
- If you would like to help wildlife Camp South Africa will appeal to you
- Looking to visit paradise? Camp Maldives if for you!
Would you like to work, intern or study in Spain? Instituto Hemingway offer Spanish language courses, work experience placements and jobs in Bilbao and other locations in Spain.
Oyster Worldwide are gap year specialists offering amazing trips to 20+ destinations worldwide. From working abroad, volunteering or booking a trek you can find something to match your interests.
Featured Oyster Worldwide Packages:
- Apply for a New Zealand 12 month working holiday
- Spend time helping at a bear sanctuary in Romania
- Secure a gap year job in Sydney
- Keen to experience the Aussie countryside? Work on a farm in the Australian outback
- For a rewarding experience apply to coach sports in Brazil
- Plan a dream trip to volunteer with elephants in South Africa
Plan My Gap Year are an award winning specialist in gap year volunteering programs abroad. They offer safe and affordable placements in lots of exciting worldwide destinations. They will help you plan the ultimate gap year!
Want to travel the world? Real Gap Experience are one of the UK's best gap year and student travel adventure specialists. Over 50,000 people have booked trips with Real Gap and you can choose from 160+ trips worldwide! You can book amazing gap year trips or work abroad, teach or volunteer.
Featured Real Gap Trips:
- Thailand experience - incredible 29 day adventure tour showing you the best of the land of smiles
Smaller Earth are a Liverpool based travel company with offices all around the world. They offer jobs and working holidays to some of the most popular destinations in the world including the USA, Canada, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. From working at a summer camp in the USA
Featured Smaller Earth gap year packages:
- Au pair in Italy
- Au pair in Spain
- Coach football in America
- Resort Work in the USA
- Work and travel in Australia
- Winter ski jobs in New Zealand
The LEAP have been offer gap year and volunteer trips overseas for over 10 years to destinations like Africa, Asia and South America. They offer 6 or 10 week volunteer programs and adventures where you can combine conservation, community and eco tourism projects. Prices aren't the cheapest so you will either need to have savings or fundraise to raise the money. You won't regret it though, feedback is overwhelmingly positive!
Featured The LEAP trips:
- Borneo - orangutans, jungle + tropical islands
- Cambodia elephant conservation and teaching
- Costa rica sea turtle and conservation adventure
- Cuba Spanish course and conservation trip
- Madagascar scuba diving, conservation and island hopping
Namibia wildlife and teaching adventure
As the name suggests, Xtreme Gap Year offer you the chance to have an adrenaline filled gap year. You can choose from a range of worldwide adventures including diving, martial arts, fitness camps, tours and work/volunteer opportunities.
Featured Xtreme gap year packages:
- Divemaster training, Australia
- Freediving course in Thailand
- Karate training Japan
- Fitness bootcamp Mexico
- Martial arts training in Brazil
- Work in Sydney Australia
TEFL & TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD
Founded in 1994, i-to-i are one of the worlds leading TEFL course providers and have helped 180,000+ people get qualified. They offer online and classroom TEFL courses worldwide. i-to-i also offer job hunting support, TEFL internships and lifetime advice from their excellent staff.
International TEFL & TESOL Training (ITTT) offer internationally accredited TEFL courses including online, in-class and combined TEFL courses which are internationally accredited. You can choose from over 30 worldwide locations.
Premier TEFL offer a wide range of fully accredited online courses and paid teaching internships. Premier TEFL provide you with all the training you need to confidently teach English abroad and ensure your lifelong certification makes you stand out in the global job market.
Interested in earning money on your gap year? Looking for a short term summer job abroad, winter ski season position or a long term position? You can find gap year jobs all around the world, here are some of the best recruiters:
Experience a different culture by applying to work in China with Aupairia! Aupairia offer au pair jobs and cultural exchange programs through China.
Featured Aupairia packages:
Interested in working at a summer camp in the USA? Check out Camp Leaders! They offer you the chance to spend your summer living and working at a summer camp in the USA. This is one of the best summer jobs abroad in the world where you will get to have an amazing experience and make friends from all over the world. You can work as a camp counselor or activity instructor at one of hundreds of camps throughout North America. This is one of the most fun ways to spend your summer and after your job finishes you will get up to 30 days to travel. Check out this article how Camp Leaders changed my life.
Featured Camp Leaders jpbs:
- Summer camp counselor jobs in the USA
- Horse riding jobs in the USA
- Lifeguard jobs in the USA
- Sports coaching jobs in the USA
- Watersports instructor jobs in the USA
Become an au pair in America and be part of an unforgettable cultural exchange programme. Travel, learn and make lifelong friendship with Cultural Care who are one of the most established and popular companies.
Featured jobs with Cultural Care:
InterExchange offer the chance for internationals to live and work in the USA, and also US citizens to work abroad. Choose from a range of exciting work, volunteer and intern programs including career training placements in the USA - you could work in New York City!
Featured InterExchange programs:
PGL offer summer and seasonal positions at their camps throughout Europe. You can work as an activity instructor or tour guide in countries like the UK, France, Spain and Greece.
Featured PGL jobs:
- Activity instructor jobs in Europe
- Chef jobs
- Paddlesports instructor jobs Spain
- Tour leader jobs in France
- Ski season rep jobs
- Summer EFL jobs in the UK
The Speaking agency are a French company which specializes in babysitting and teaching positions in places like Paris, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes. If you are keen to work in France and enjoying helping children these positions will appeal to you.
Featured Speaking Agency jobs:
Spending time on a volunteering program abroad is a fantastic idea. You will get to do something rewarding and unique, meet nice likeminded people, learn about new cultures and countries and get a cultural experience like no other. There are literally hundreds of opportunities so narrowing down where to go and what to do can be difficult. Check our recommendations for the best volunteer abroad companies below:
Projects Abroad are one of the most respected names in the volunteering industry. They have helped thousands of people go on structured projects in developing countries. They also offer amazing summer volunteer programs for 15-28 year olds.
Featured Projects Abroad programs:
- Short term volunteer projects for 16-19 year olds
- Care for wildlife in Argentina
- Medical volunteer programs
- Help children in Ghana
- Turtle conservation in Mexico
- Shark conservation project in Fiji
The International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) are one of the most popular volunteer organisations in the world and have placed over 80,000+ people on programs worldwide.
Love Volunteers are the perfect organisation if you would like to spend your gap year helping communities around the world. They offer rewarding life-changing intercultural volunteer projects in developing countries where you can make a real difference.
Would you like to spend your gap year working with animals in some of the most incredible destinations? Apply to volunteer with The Great Projects who offer unique wildlife conservation projects and tours where you can learn about and help endangered species.
Featured Great Projects experiences:
- Peru amazon rainforest conservation
- China panda conservation
- India tiger volunteer projects
- Borneo orangutan conservation
- Turtle projects in Sri Lanka
- Help gorillas in Uganda
- Whale conservation in Maldives
- Sloths and wildlife projectsin Costa Rica
Concordia are a Brighton based charity offering affordable short and long term international volunteer programs to UK residents. You will get to make a real difference to local communities and the people in destinations all around the world.
Featured Concordia trips:
Fronteering offer volunteer programs and adventure trips that are off the beaten track. Choose from epic trips in remote places from the Canadian Arctic to the deepest reaches of the Amazon jungle in unspoiled Guyana. All projects and trips focus on wildlife, the environment and indigenous people.
Featured Fronteering programs:
- Amazon jungle survival
- Desert island survival in Belize
- Environmental internship in Canada
- Help bears in Canada
- Highlands conservation in Scotland
- Surf and volunteer in Panama
- Help animals in the USA
- Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary in Hawaii
Original Volunteers offer very cheap volunteer programs in over 20 countries with most trips starting at £125 or less. You can apply to join projects helping children, animals, healthcare and building/construction.
LEAD Adventures (Ecuador / Galapagos)
LEAD Adventures is a travel company based in Quito, Ecuador and offering responsible gap year volunteering and trips throughout Ecuador and the stunning Galapagos Islands. Enjoy volunteering and learning about the places you visit with expert local guides.
Featured LEAD Adventures packages:
- Galapagos islands 3 weeks volunteer trip
- Help animals in the Amazon
- Professional internships in Ecuador
- Biological research station volunteering in the Galapagos
Spending time in your gap year to learn a new language is highly recommended. Here are some of the most popular language schools worldwide:
Would you like to study French in France? Check out the Accent Francais language school located in Montpellier. They offer beginners courses, activities and also combo experiences like internships and volunteer placements.
- Intensive French classes in Montpellier
- Internship and French classes in Montpellier
- Study French and volunteer in Montpellier
- Summer beginners French course in Montpellier
Interested in learning Portuguese? The Caminhos Language School offer Brazilian Portuguese language courses in Brazil. They are located in spectacular Rio de Janeiro and offer beginners group classes and sightseeing activities.
If you would like to study German check out the Humboldt Institut in Berlin. They offer a range of group courses perfect for total beginners.
The following websites are recommended if you are ready to your trip:
There are lots of travel agencies and flight websites but we rate Skycanner as the best. Skycanner is a flight comparison website which is easy to use and makes finding cheap flights easy.
If you are not on a structured gap year program and are keen to go backpacking it is important to book somewhere to stay in advance.
Hostelworld offer a huge selection of hostels with cheap dorms and private accommodation at really low prices. Perfect if you are going overseas on a low budget.
Booking.com is the best hotel booking website where you can search accommodation for all budgets from all the major websites.
One of the most important things to do before you depart is to make sure you are covered for any accidents or medical emergencies, for travel insurance check out:
World Nomads offer extensive travel insurance to destinations all around the world. Included is 24/7 support perfect if anything happens whilst abroad.
Browse Gap Year Trips & Programs By Destination
- Africa Gap Year
- Asia Gap Year
- Europe Gap Year
- Central America Gap Year
- South America Gap Year
- North America Gap Year
- Ocenia / Pacific Gap Year
- Middle East Gap Year
How to Choose the Right Gap Year Company
One World 365 is the ultimate website to book your gap year featuring thousands of amazing trips, jobs, programs and courses worldwide. We work with a number of worldwide operators and the companies in our list can be trusted for authenticity. If you are thinking about booking a gap year with a company not listed above please check reviews and really research as there are a lot of bad companies in the market. If you need any advice about planning a gap year please contact us. You might also like to view our gap year guide for trips, ideas and information
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