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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South West Ireland Adventure

from £599

5 days

Ireland

Valentia Island, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Inis Oirr

South Island Heli Tour

from £3075

7 days

New Zealand

Welcome to New Zealand’s Ultimate Heli Ski Tour! Over 7 days we will heli 3 different mountain ranges and head...

Best Of Turkey By Gulet

from £428

12 days

Turkey

This amazing tour offers you the choice to mix it up and relax in the crystal clear waters of the...

South Island Mountain Bike Tour

from £1025

7 days

New Zealand

The South Island is renowned for its outstanding beauty and adventures. Plant your feet on your pedals as you take...

Eastern Highlights

from £539

8 days

Hungary, Romania

Their cobbled lanes are useless for cars, their castles have terrible insulation, and their Baroque buildings cost a fortune to...

Winterless North Tour

from £210

3 days

New Zealand

Experience the Northland and soak up the sunshine. With a huge range of activities to do ranging from dolphin swimming...

Ultimate Explorer – Total New Zealand

from £2300

27 - 28 days

New Zealand

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

Kamchatka Adventure

from £2107

13 days

Russia

Rafting, climbing, flying by a helicopter and exploring volcanoes - everything is combined in this exciting adventure. The holiday you...

Mamma Mia

from £1300

13 days

Italy

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

Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour

from £250

3 days

Australia

Explore surfside town and watch the sunset over the impressive 12 Apostles. Hike your way to the top of the...

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Nepal & India Overland

from £6334

Journey Overland through the amazing lands of Nepal and India, taking in the colourful cultures, impressive icons and stunning sights...

Morocco Expedition – Walking with Berber Nomads

from £765

Each year, thousands of people migrate into the High Atlas Mountains to escape the heat of the lower valleys. Following...

Vietnam Family Holiday Comfort

from £2060

With its friendly locals, delicious food and incredible scenery, Vietnam is a great place for a family adventure. Stroll the...

West Africa Overland

from £5789

The quintessential West Africa overland trip, this tour from Dakar to Ghana leaves no cultural, natural or historical stone unturned...

Cape Town to Zanzibar

from £3035

Travel from the southern tip of South Africa to Tanzania’s famous Spice Island on this epic Overland journey through Africa....

Las Vegas to Los Angeles

from £2027

From the staggeringly fast pace of Las Vegas to the tranquillity of the Zion National Park, this trip journeys through...

Complete Galápagos – Estrella del Mar

from £4729

This two-week-plus adventure is loaded with astounding experiences among the wildlife of the world-within-a-world of Galápagos Islands. Observe giant tortoises...

Southern India & East Coast by Rail

from £734

It’s common knowledge that India is a huge tourist destination – so what do you do if you want to...

Amsterdam New Year

from £389

Welcome to Amsterdam! From amazing museums to pumping nightclubs, this city of contrasts has everything you need for an unforgettable...

Borneo : Hike, Bike & Kayak

from £1139

Borneo’s Sabah region is a natural paradise of steamy rainforests, towering mountains and beautiful beaches. This trip will get you...

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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