Top Rated Gap Year Companies
Thinking about taking a gap year? Wondering what are the best agencies and companies you should book a gap year with? We have put together a guide to the best gap year companies 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 the companies featured on our list will be able to help. Our list includes recommendations for:
- Specialist gap year travel companies
- Tour operators
- Volunteer organisations
- Recruiters & companies offering jobs abroad
- Language schools
Click on the company name or logo for more information or browse our website for hundreds more trips and opportunities.
Top Rated 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:
Plan My Gap Year are an award winning specialist offering 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 and have placed thousands of people on 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.
Travellers Worldwide are one of the most respected names in the gap year industry. They have been offering voluntary gap year placements, work experience internships abroad since 1994. Choose from hundreds of gap year and career break trips, placements and adventures worldwide.
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. Invasion brands include: Americamp, Americamp Canada, Camp Thailand, Camp Cambodia, Camp Bali, Camp South Africa and Camp Maldives.
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.
Tru Experience Travel offer over 100 amazing gap year trips and programs worldwide. From rewarding volunteer programs, internships, work experience to road trips and other exciting adventures, you are guaranteed to have a satisfying real-life experience.
Letz Live specialise in gap years, working holidays and volunteer trips and is one of the most popular companies offering opportunities worldwide for young people. Choose from placements in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, the United States and the United Kingdom. Wherever it is you go, Letz Live will be there to help you every step of the way.
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.
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!
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.
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. View our recommended companies below:
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.
If you would like to experience some of the best festivals and events in Europe, Stoke Travel are your number one choice. Enjoy some of the best and craziest festivals including La Tomatina, Oktoberfest, surf camps, music festivals, city breaks and more! If you enter code ONEWORLD365 when booking on the Stoke Travel website you will get free unlimited beer and sangria and a discount of €10 per day!
Spending part of your gap year volunteering 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. Check our recommendations for the best volunteer abroad companies below:
Projects Abroad are one of the leading volunteer organisation in the world and have helped over 100,000 people participate on programs around the world. Discover what you're capable of by volunteering or interning overseas with Projects Abroad and become part of our ongoing efforts to support communities in developing countries.
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 in the world? Apply to volunteer with The Great Projects who offer unique wildlife conservation projects and tours where you can learn about and help endangered species.
Volunteering Solutions, offer 100+ meaningful volunteering opportunities around the world. Programs are very popular with students, graduates and people looking to make a difference on a gap year or career break. All nationalities can apply; you don't need any previous experience but just a desire to help.
Popular experiences include working with elephants in Sri Lanka, helping local NGO's in Kenya and teaching English, working for a magazine in Thailand and working with impoverished communities in India. These are just a few of the opportunities but there really are inspiring projects all around the world which you could join.
Project Everest Ventures are social entrepreneurs with goals of creating real sustainable impacts and social change. You can join trips in Malawi, India, Timor Leste and Fiji helping local communities.
The purpose of the trips is to solve the world’s issues using enterprise, and we develop sustainable business solutions to tackle problems including food security and agricultural practice, social consulting, health, and environmental sustainability.
Applying to spend your gap year with Project Everest Ventures exposes you to the experience of building a social enterprise in a developing country from a grassroots level, learning and applying your skills to something aimed at creating genuine impact for real people.
Keen to spend your gap year helping animals? Check out Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers who offer volunteer trips in a wide range of exclusive animal welfare and conservation projects. Oceans to Earth are committed to the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of wildlife and marine conservation initiatives and recruit international participants to help.
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.
Since 2000, idex have been offering volunteering & travel programs and authentic cultural trips in 5 Asian countries (India, Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand).
Idex creating volunteer trips that offer exceptional value to travellers in return of their “investment” – value, that cannot simply be bought off the internet.
Deep Blue offers two Marine Conservation Programs in a tropical paradise, an Adventurous Volunteer Program and PADI Diving Internship in Sodwana, South Africa. By booking with Deep Blue you will get to experience a really beautiful region of South Africa, get PADI certified and help marine conservation efforts. If you have a passion for the ocean and are looking for an amazing adventure whilst helping the ocean, Deep Blue are the organisation for you.
Volunteering Journeys are a volunteer travel agency based in India. They offer authentic experiences in India by combining volunteer and travel in two distinct and great locations - Kerala and Kolkata. What really differentiates Volunteering Journeys from other volunteer organizations is that they combine bespoke experience in India and make sure you are not stuck in touristic locations.
You will get a really authentic experience of India working with local people and on weekends you will be doing fun tours that are organised for you. Volunteering Journeys provide everything from airport pickup & drop, accommodation in a nice and clean guest house/home stay, 3 meals a day, 24/7 staff support, project costs and all logistics to project sites.
The ORCA Foundation was established in 2001 and offer conservation and educational volunteer programs in South Africa where you can help marine animals like whales and dolphins. Their ORCA whale and marine conservation project in the Plettenberg Bay is highly recommended.
The Elephant Freedom Project is a small family run wildlife shelter for ex-captive elephants in Sri Lanka. Visits and volunteer tasters can be arranged all year round. As an ethical shelter no elephant riding is allowed but you will get to accompany the elephants on walks. Travellers, families and anyone interested to learn more about elephants in Sri Lanka is welcome to visit.
Based in the spectacular Perhentian Islands of Malaysia, Ecoteer offer responsible volunteering holidays where you can contribute to local causes and also help wildlife. Projects can be joined in the Perhentian Islands, Merapoh, Ipoh and Yogyakarta. Highlights include getting to help sea turtles, orangutans and conservation.
iSPiiCE are one of the lesser known organizations on our list but we highly recommend you check them out if you are interested in making a different in India. They are educational and community based programs helping children, women and communities in Dharamsala Northern India.
The Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is a non-profit foundation and registered NGO opened in 2016 with the aim of giving elephants the best life possible in Thailand. This is one of the best elephant sanctuaries in Thailand. Kindred Spirit are dedicated to helping elephants and offer visits and also opportunities to international volunteers to learn more about and help these magnificent animals.
TEFL & Teaching English Abroad
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.
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.
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:
Interested in working at a summer camp in the USA? Check out Americamp! 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.
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!
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.
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.
Language Schools & Studying Abroad
Spending time in your gap year to learn a new language abroad is highly recommended. Here are some of the most popular language schools worldwide:
Richmond Vale Academy is a non-profit school located in St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Their aims to train international participants to become development instructors and climate activists from all over the world to fight global warming and poverty. Since the start of the school in 2007, about 500 people have participated on projects in Latin America & the Caribbean.
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.
Olé Languages Barcelona is a professional Language schoool in Spain dedicated to teaching Spanish as a foreign language in an open, personal and enjoyable atmosphere.
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
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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