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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Legendary New Zealand Tour

from £2005

21 days

New Zealand

From Auckland, we make our way down the beautiful and volcanic North Island to the capital, Wellington, before catching a...

Land of the Northern Lights

from £836

5 days

Iceland

A tour to discover Iceland’s nature and cultural life, with two nights in Iceland’s vibrant capital Rykjavík and two nights...

Backpacking Tour of Thailand and Laos

from £576

12 days

Laos, Thailand, Vietnam

Maximize your time in South East Asia on our 12-day tour of Thailand and Laos. The local and western guides...

Andes and Amazon Quito to La Paz

from £1750

37 days

Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru

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

Summer Blast – South Island

from £1687

16 - 19 days

New Zealand

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

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...

Rock 2 Water

from £480

6 days

Australia

Spend four nights camping under the Australian night sky in 'swags' and one night underground in the Opal capital of...

Kenya to Cape Town Grand Adventurer

from £2175

75 days

Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Ta...

An awesome trip for those who want a hands-on adventure with like-minded travellers and who have plenty of time to...

South Island Lick Tour

from £695

7 days

New Zealand

Be awed by stunning mountains, fantastic views, and the amazing Queenstown on this South Island trip where you'll experience unbeatable...

Ultimate Bali

from £530

10 days

Indonesia

Discover the best of Bali on our 10 day Ultimate Bali tour. If you’re looking for the perfect combination of...

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Highlights of Ladakh

Those who visit Ladakh are usually adventure-seekers looking for the next high-altitude thrill, but we wanted to focus more on...

Northern Peru

from £1121

Unlock the secrets of the Andes on this adventure, discovering lost cultures and landscapes in the process. Embark to the...

Backroads & Highlands of Peru

from £999

Get off the beaten path in the highlands of Peru and discover stunning mountain scenery and remote cities few tourists...

Morocco Active Adventure

With a landscape as diverse as Morocco, the transportation must be built to match. The simple pleasures of getting around...

Turkey Multisport

from £759

A bridge between continents and cultures, Turkey has always been a meeting place for travellers eager to exchange just about...

Thailand Island Hopping – East Coast

from £749

Relax under swaying palm trees then jump into crystal-clear waters – spend time island-hopping through the best of the Gulf...

Pronto Italia

from £1025

As you travel from the romantic beauty of Florence to the ancient sites of Rome by way of the fashionable...

Indonesia on a Shoestring – Java to Kuta

from £919

Home to 136 million people, the Indonesian island of Java is the most densely populated region on Earth. But while...

Guanacaste Beach Break Independent Adventure

Costa Rica specializes in adventure, but this beach break is all about relaxing and recharging in style. Let us take...

Desert Tracker 25 Day

from £460

Ain’t nothing like the scenic route. Hit the dusty trail on this once-in-a-lifetime expedition from Cape Town to Johannesburg –...

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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