Gap Year Tours

Find your perfect backpacking holiday

Let’s count the reasons backpacking tours are awesome: there are literally thousands of options to take you anywhere in the world, covering pretty much every experience imaginable, from road-tripping Australia to trekking the Himalayas in Nepal. They offer expert introductions to places and people, both locals and like-minded travellers to share the experience with. They include all the highlights of your chosen destination, so you can rest safe in the knowledge you won’t miss anything.

Planning gap year tours is really as simple as choosing one. The best thing about a tour is that all the planning is done for you by experts, so all the essentials have been taken care of. You just need to turn up. Backpacking holidays don’t get much better than that.

Below are ten frequently asked questions about backpacking adventure tours, covering everything from types of tour to how they can be used to create your perfect adventure.

Have a look at some of our top tours around the world

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Mamma Mia

from £1300

13 days

Visit Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi coast and lots more with this 13 day tour for the...

South Island Adrenalin Junkie

from £1235

12 days

Get your blood pumping and pulse racing! Or are you someone who would love to see the very best of...

Andes and Amazon Quito to La Paz

from £1750

37 days

Experience the Amazon rainforest at first-hand in a jungle lodge, follow the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, stay overnight with...

Wild West – South Island

from £860

8 - 9 days

This trip is a hidden gem demonstrating just how beautiful and diverse new Zealand can get. Part of this trip...

Reverse Traverse – Both Islands

from £1300

14 - 450 days

Experience both islands starting from South to North. Combine amazing national parks with accommodation in stunning locations and heaps of...

Oktoberfest Opening Week

from £254

4 days

The largest beer festival in the world, held since 1810, Oktoberfest is an experience of a lifetime.The opening week is...

Amplified New Zealand Tour

from £1490

16 days

Jam-packed experience across New Zealand's top destinations in just over two weeks. Golden beaches, Māori culture, surreal landscapes and a...

Hot Rocks – North Island Adventure

from £900

9 - 10 days

Experience the best of the North Island on this unique tour which combines accommodation in stunning locations with optional activities,...

Ultimate Explorer – Total New Zealand

from £2300

27 - 28 days

Quite possibly the best way you can see the real NZ and top rated by National Geographic. This trip combines...

Summer Blast – South Island

from £1687

16 - 19 days

Experience the best of the South Island on this all points covered tour with stunning accommodation, amazing hikes, awesome bike...

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Cycle Southern Thailand

from £658

Thailand

The road is laid out before you on this cycling adventure through Southern Thailand. Beginning in Bangkok with an overnight...

Best of Southern Spain

from £1104

Spain

With some destinations, you always have to compromise on something, whether its cuisine, history, or just things to do. Luckily,...

Road to Zanzibar & Spice Islands Sailing Adventure

from £2930

Tanzania, United Republic of

From the Usambara Mountains to the blue waters of the Zanzibar archipelago, discover the remarkable diversity of Tanzania’s landscape on...

Barcelona to Berlin

from £1781

France

Discover European class and grandeur on this journey from Barcelona to Berlin. Begin the adventure in Barcelona and wander among...

Morocco Encompassed

from £913

Morocco

Visit Morocco and discover this land of contrasts - sparkling coastlines, soaring mountains, lush valleys and the vast, unforgettable Sahara...

Road to Phnom Penh

from £1989

Wander upwards through northern Thailand with street eats by tuk tuk and overnight trains. Then onto Laos to give monks...

Mountains & Beaches

from £1016

From the snowy peaks of the mighty Swiss Alps to the turquoise waters of too-good-to-be-true Croatia, you’ll set eyes on...

Explore Southern Africa

from £2213

South Africa, Zimbabwe

Experience southern Africa's diverse wonders on this 12-day adventure. Journey from the glittering beauty of Cape Town to the vast...

Mexico’s Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

from £949

Mexico

Both intriguing and unusual, the Day of the Dead festival is both a celebration of ancestors and a huge party,...

Cycle Tuscany

from £1054

Italy

Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure from Florence to Pisa. Be rewarded after...

Inspirational articles about epic tours

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What is an adventure tour?

Adventure tours are packages with set itineraries that take you around a country (or multiple countries) for a certain length of time. Tours can last for anything from three days to a year, and might all take place in a single destination or let you explore a whole continent. They are complete packages, providing everything you need to enjoy your chosen experience. You will travel as part of a small group, usually somewhere between 10-20 people.

What kinds of gap year tours are available?

Loads! There are tours available to cover almost anything you can think of. The most common types of tour take you on an incredible journey through a destination, seeing all of its famous sights (and often a few hidden wonders) while getting to grips with its culture by meeting local people, eating delicious local food, and experiencing the local nightlife. Multi country tours offer something similar across multiple destinations in a region, for example a tour of South East Asia might include the highlights of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

There are also more specific or specialist tour options available around the world, for example hiking across New Zealand, overland tours through Africa, or cycling through South East Asia. Tours offer everything you need to have a safe, unforgettable adventure. If you can dream it, you can do it.

What do adventure tours include?

Tour inclusions will vary depending on which tour you choose, so we always recommend checking carefully before booking. As a general rule, backpacking packages will include an English-speaking tour guide, transport, accommodation, and a set number of meals. Most will also include the admission fees for any tourist sites visited. This is why backpacking tours usually represent incredibly good value.

Many tours will also provide optional activities that will cost a little extra on top of your initial fee. These can often be viewed before departure.

Do adventure tour prices include airfare?

The majority of backpacking tours will not include flights to the destination where the tour begins. You will be responsible for arranging your travel to the tour’s departure city, where you can usually be picked up from your accommodation. Internal flights or flights necessary for multi country trips will be included in the tour price.

Can tours be part of a bigger trip?

Although tours have fixed itineraries and duration, they can work incredibly well as part of larger backpacking holidays. Many travellers spend much of their gap years linking together different tours in different parts of the world, using them to move from destination to destination. So you might spend a couple of weeks getting wild in Bangkok, Thailand, before taking a tour across South East Asia – Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam – as part of a tour before ending up in Hanoi. After settling there for a few weeks, you might fly on for a tour through Malaysia and Indonesia, or head up into China. Think of tours as the links in a flexible trip, and you’ll soon realise the possibilities are endless.

Do tours include some free time to explore?

Many tour itineraries include some free time to explore destinations along the way, though the nature of some tours means it isn’t always possible. It’s more common on backpacking trips that take you through cities, such as tours in Europe, some turning you loose for the night and others incorporating whole days to do with as you will. If free time is important to you, check the tour itinerary carefully before booking.

How many people can join a tour?

Tour group sizes are deliberately kept small so that you can experience a destination without always having to do so as part of a crowd. Group sizes vary depending on the tour you choose, but you can usually expect a maximum of 20 travellers, though the average is closer to 10. We think intimate group sizes are ideal for meeting people and making new travel mates, one of the best things about travelling as part of a tour.

Are backpacking tours always rowdy?

While you can never quite guarantee what type of person will be joining you on your tour, different tour providers offer different types of experience. If you’re interested in partying as well as visiting tourist sites, there are tour providers that foster that kind of atmosphere. If you would rather keep it a little quieter, there are also plenty that focus on providing a cultural experience. We recommend speaking to your consultant about what kind of experience you’re after.

Can I find out who will be joining me on a tour?

Due to privacy reasons we can’t tell you exactly who you will be travelling with on any individual tour. Gap year tours appeal to a wide range of travellers, so you can expect to meet plenty of people with the same outlook and ideas as you. Most tours are conducted in English, so the majority of travellers hail from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, North America, or Europe. Specialist departures in other languages are often available too.

Can I join a tour late or leave it early?

It is usually extremely difficult to join a tour after it has begun, while it will usually be possible to leave a tour early if you wish. However you will be responsible for your own travel arrangements after leaving, and any associated costs. If you think you may need to leave a tour early, make this clear as early as possible in the booking process.

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