Gap year holidays and tours, 2014 and 2015

A huge range of Gap year travel ideas & options from leading responsible operators. Make the most of your Gap year by supporting local people & the environment as well as developing yourself.
South America overland tour
A cross-continental South America adventure, from £3649 (45 days) ex flights
Horse rehabilitation project in South Africa
Work hands on with horses on the South African coast, from £1095 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteering with bears in Romania
Volunteer at a bear sanctuary in the Romanian mountains, from £1145 (14 days) ex flights
Teach children in Cambodia
Teach disadvantaged children in Cambodia, from £595 (7 days) ex flights
Rainforest conservation in the Amazon, Peru
Conservation in the Amazon, from £1195 (14 days) ex flights
Rainforest expedition in Costa Rica
Live steps from the beach and work on wildlife conservation, from £1460 - £3100 (4 weeks) ex flights
Marine conservation in Belize
Monitor reefs in the Caribbean, from US $1265 (5 days) ex flights
Game Reserve conservation in South Africa
Exciting and rewarding conservation work at game parks, from £1595 (14 days) ex flights
Cairo to Cape Town overland tour
Safaris, beaches, pyramids and rafting, from £2750 (17 weeks) ex flights
Marine conservation project in Malaysia
Become a qualified diver by conserving Sabah's marine-life, from £1169 - £2295 (14 days) ex flights
Marine conservation holiday in Mauritius
Study dolphins and whales in beautiful Mauritius, from £1675 (21 days) ex flights
Social work internship in South Africa
Social work and counselling work experience in South Africa, from £1895 (4 weeks) ex flights
Seychelles Island conservation expedition
Support conservation efforts on a remote tropical island, from £1395 - £2995 (4 weeks) ex flights
Community projects in South Africa
Take part in a project which increases employment opportunities, from £1310 (4 weeks) ex flights
Uganda wildlife conservation volunteering
Seriously experiential conservation in emerald Uganda, from £995 (16 weeks) ex flights
Thailand marine conservation and diving holiday
Diving and marine conservation on a beautiful Thai island, from £1096 (14 days) ex flights
Gap year expedition in Kenya
Take time for yourself to see what the world, from £1710 - £3140 (4 weeks) ex flights
Coach football in Brazil
Coach and play football with children, from £995 (14 days) ex flights
Community volunteering in Siem Reap, Cambodia
work with a local NGO to support communities near Angkor Wat, from £1218 (4 weeks) ex flights
Community volunteering in Fiji
Volunteer on construction programs in Fiji, from £945 - £1395 (7 days) ex flights
Volunteer with blind children in China
Teach visually impaired children in a special needs school, from £1395 - £2595 (4 weeks) ex flights
Volunteer with animals in the Andes Lake region, Ecuador
Help and work with numerous wild animals in the Andes highlands, from US $740 - US $2240 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteering in Thailand, wildlife rescue centre
Care for rescued animals including monkeys and bears, from £549 (7 days) ex flights
Teach English in Thailand
Teach English to primary children in Surin, Thailand, from £400 - £800 (7 days) ex flights
Volunteer at a shelter for women in South Africa
Fantastic care project with women in distress and their children, from £895 (2 weeks)
Transatlantic sailing and marine conservation tour
Sail U.K. to the Caribbean on a tall ship., from £5250 (10 weeks) ex flights
Marine conservation holiday in Oman
Study coral reefs of the beautiful Musandam Peninsula, Oman, from £1480 (7 days) ex flights
Hospitality internships in India
Fantastic hospitality internship in India, from £995 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteer with deaf children in South Africa
Help children with hearing difficulties, from £1095 (14 days) ex flights
Jungle trekking expedition & volunteering, Malaysia
Jungle trek in the rainforest & explore island village life, from £1056 (4 weeks) ex flights

120 reviews for gap year holidays4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent gap year holidays reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.

Marine conservation project in Seychelles
Great staff, professional, very helpful and great fun! (more)N Prinssen
Very hard work, but worth the effort. I've seen some amazing things that I'm not likely to see anywhere else in the world...our work was mostly focused on monitoring nesting sea turtles and the protection of their nests, as well as conducting a census of the Coco De Mer tree and Giant Tortoises. (more)Naomi Parker
This is one of the most awesome adventures I've had and can't wait to go back. (more)Una Gallinetti
From £1950 - £3750 excluding flights
South America overland tour
Memorable parts? Iguassu Falls the Uyuni salt flats and the Inca Trail. Tips? Donít go with this operator and donít worry about the language barrier. Local benefits? In parts but I think it could have been better in particular on the Brazilian leg (I did the southern cross with this operator) where I donít think there was any effort to interact with the locals. Overall rating? Overall it was an amazing experience I think the trip needs a few tweaks and if Iím honest... (more)Tim Antill
From £3649 excluding flights
Marine conservation in Belize
The diving was fabulous. The instructors are brilliant, very patient and informative! (more)Lucy Keech
The most memorable part was diving with like minded staff and guests who love and appreciate the ocean and contributing to research and conservation...Excellent opportunity and experience. (more)Michelle Lamarca
Tom Owens Caye was a magic location for a chilled week diving in Belize. Polly, Patty and the team were generous hosts. The food was delicious with the lionfish and banana pancakes particular highlights! Diving was excellent. Still feeling good about the lobster survey! (more)Karen Whitham
From US $1265 excluding flights
South Africa wildlife conservation expedition
Memorable parts? Too many to list, but if I had to pick one it would be finding a leopard and her cub with a 4.5m python that they had just killed. The python was swollen with a small antelope that it had just killed. Working at the Karongwe Game Reserve was a truly amazing experience. Tips? Dive in. Do as much as you can. Enthusiasm will be rewarded with an amazing experience. Come prepared for the weather and some sacrifices in creature comforts, but it's all worth it. Local... (more)Ralph Perrella
From £1145 - £3445 excluding flights
Cairo to Cape Town overland tour
Very good for the adventurous and independent type! (more)Ferry Lubis
Seeing Victoria Falls and all the wildlife in Africa was the most memorable part of the holiday...Fantastic. (more)Andrew Service
From £2750 excluding flights
Jungle conservation & research, Peru
Memorable parts? Getting to spend time walking through the jungle and seeing so many great animals and birds. The best moments were the tree frogs, manu poison frog and the rainbow boa! I really enjoyed the construction of the bird hides and biogarden even though sometimes it was really hard work! Pancakes for breakfast were great! Tips? There was a lot of walking and physical activity so itís really important to expect to do lots when you get there and probably need reasonable fitness! Local... (more)Melanie Veal
From £995 excluding flights
Volunteering with bears in Romania
Bears! Bears ! Bears!......absolutely amazing to spend time with these wonderful creatures. (more)Sarah Burman
I have volunteered with other organisations in conservation and animal welfare and found in comparison the co-ordination for this was exemplary, the time working was balanced by time I had to wander the sanctuary or explore the surrounding area. Highly recommended! (more)Clanci Ferguson
Amazing! I was taking a year's sabbatical and this trip was the top of my list. It didn't disappoint and should be on every animal lover's 'bucket list'. I went for 6 weeks, returned for another 6 weeks the following year and fully intend to go back as soon as I can! (more)Estelle Barnes
From £1145 excluding flights
Volunteering with bears in Cambodia
I loved every second of my trip - the people, the country, the bears I worked with... (more)Louise Bednarz
Meeting the bears and being able to really make a difference to their day-to-day lives with enrichment, feeding and cleaning; some of the things we were doing (such as enrichment to keep the bears active and happy) wouldn't get done unless we were there to help out! (more)Heather Reynolds
We were so close to the bears and keepers that you feel part of the project rather than just a short stay helper. I think we were really lucky... to have the baby bear (Lola) arrive when we were there too. (more)Anon
From £595 excluding flights
Belize marine conservation internship
Memorable parts? 1. Snorkeling with the whale sharks. 2. Good diving instruction to next level of qualification. 3. Chance to do conservation surveys as something more than that which you usually do on a regular dive holiday. 4. chance to dive in Caribbean at dive sites that are not crowded, never were there other dive boats at the sites we dived, thus only 4 to 8 divers at the site from the boat. Tips? 1. To the extent your baggage allowance allows it, take items identified including... (more)Simon Timms
From £2250 excluding flights
Marine conservation holiday in Mauritius
I really enjoyed it, wish I could have stayed longer! The boats trip to see the Spinner and Bottle-nose dolphins, which often included sightings of Green and Hawksbill turtles and some amazing birds too. We had some beautiful views of the dolphins. (more)Vicky Jackson
One of the best holidays I have had! The experience has been amazing! Dolphins are incredible animals. People working on the project are really nice, competent and sharing their knowledge very easily. I learnt so many things I had no idea of! (more)Annie Guex
Seeing the spinner dolphins, jump and spin in the air was the most memorable part of the holiday (more)Peter Macdonald
From £1675 excluding flights
Wildlife conservation holiday in South Africa
Memorable parts? Working with people who are dedicated, informed and enthusiastic about conservation in a practical and realistic way. And of course, seeing the wildlife as they are meant to be. Tips? Be prepared for it to change your views on life. Local benefits? Many local people were employed in the reserve and the studies that were being carried out influenced how the reserve was managed and that benefited the locals. As the research carried out was the same as the normal... (more)Louise Sexton
From £1395 excluding flights
Galapagos conservation projects
Flying over San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos then landing on the tiny airstrip right by the sea and seeing unique plants and animals for the first time that I had only seen in books or in documentaries was the most exciting part. (more)Sue Gardner
Most memorable? Swimming with sea lions but a close second was the community of people that is jatun sacha. (more)John Sheehan
From £1195 excluding flights
Community projects in South Africa
Memorable parts? On my last day in the village where I had been with children developing a bike track and teaching them to cycle, we had a special Olympics race day! About 100 of the locals turned up to compete! It was a load of fun and very special (and my 30th birthday). Tips? Be prepared for the impact of coming back! You'll have an amazing time, really connect with the community and things in your head will shift, just a little ... but when you get home, nothing will have changed... (more)Emma Finlay
From £1310 excluding flights
Volunteering in Thailand, wildlife rescue centre
I went to the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Thailand, this was a fantastic project helping animals who had been mostly kept as pets. Itís hard to say what was the most memorable part of this holiday as there was so much variety and different experiences, itís difficult to decide what was the best part of it. (more)Cathy Bisset
I had so many fantastic experiences, and the centre itself was in an idyllic area, on the grounds of a Buddhist temple. One highlight was spotting wild elephants in a nearby national park, after dark. (more)Olly Carney
From £549 excluding flights
Volunteer with children in Ecuador
Memorable parts? The people I met definitely made my trip unforgettable. Tips? Just to relax and enjoy. Local benefits? I think so as I collaborated in a very nice project for children in there and tried to be as environment friendly as possible. Overall rating? Excellent. (more)Raquel Orcajo Miranda
From £749 excluding flights
Community & holiday project in Uganda
The best part of my holiday was meeting the local people. I was inspired by the vision that many of the local people had, and their commitment to helping the community climb out of poverty. It was amazing to see first hand how a micro credit project can empower people to develop a profitable business. (more)Peter Harrison
Amazing holiday. It felt like such a privilege to be able to get to know the local community in this way. The people of Uganda are so warm and welcoming - and this family and community are a great example of this. (more)Liz Charsley
From £300 - £1000 excluding flights
Orangutan volunteering in Borneo and Malaysia
Memorable parts? Helping to catch a Crocodile, and a 13 foot long python that had eaten a monkey.... Definitely not your average holiday, which is nice... Tips? Go with an open mind, and be prepared for some physical workÖ Local benefits? Yes. Overall rating? Very enjoyable, thanks for having me. (more)John Broome
From £1495 excluding flights
Volunteer with elephants in South Africa
Fantastic!.... The whole experience was very good (the organisation of the trip, the travelling itself, the people...) but of course being able to spend time with these amazing animals was the highlight of the holiday and possibly of my last few years as well. (more)Darina Brejtrova
Most exciting holiday ever...Go for it (more)Ailish Scanlon
Amazing! It was my dream to work with elephants. It really was a trip of a lifetime. I learnt so much and made a few great friends out there which I still keep in contact with now. (more)Melisa Dora
From £801 excluding flights
Community adult volunteering in India
Memorable parts? Being welcomed to the village at Night School with the children performing by singing and dancing to their native music and being presented with scarves and flowers as part of the ceremony. Tips? Such an amazing experience. If you want to experience the overnight train then you can do this as part of this experience and it is one of the best lines to do it on in India (very comfortable travelling 2AC), otherwise fly to Bagdogra Airport and it is quite easy to get... (more)Leah Wenban
From £400 excluding flights
Teach English in Thailand
Memorable parts? Riding an elephant! Tips? Prepare for hot weather and brush up on Thai etiquette (for instance, taking off footwear in someone's house.) Apart from that, just expect to have a wonderful time. Local benefits? All three, I hope but I noticed particularly, that the children appreciated hearing English from a native speaker. Overall rating? Fantastic! The perfect balance between worthwhile activity and leisure. (more)Anne Rock
From £400 - £800 excluding flights
Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa
Being so hands on with the Vervets and baboons was an amazing experience, as was helping to build the release site for the Vervet troop that was about to be set free. (more)Sara Lee
I would recommend this volunteering experience to anyone of a similar mindset who cares about the planet and all the creatures that we share it with. (more)Angela Crossland
From £795 excluding flights
Marine conservation in Malaysia
Everything was exciting, having breakfast while watching dusky lungers, doing snorkel tours and swimming with sharks, doing jungle treks, enjoying a beautiful Island and meet a lot of people which became very quickly friends. It was the most exciting holiday in my life and I really recommend it. (more)Wendy Heck
Engaging with nesting turtles during the night and witnessing the hatching of baby turtles from nests in the hatchery. This was truly memorable... I loved every sandy, sweaty moment! (more)Chris Smith
The most memorable part was watching baby turtles hatch and then releasing them down the runway. (more)Fiona Best
From £500 - £1800 excluding flights
Uganda volunteering projects, Bwindi National Park
The most memorable part of the holiday was being in a community without feeling like an outsider. Everyone was willing to help and also be open about their lives. I loved everything about the experience. (more)Christina Hanazawa
The most memorable parts were the women I met and worked with as a volunteer in Uganda. The women were strong, resilient, courageous, determined and inspirational. They were also welcoming of a white woman from Australia - making me feel one of them as we walked or sat in a circle to meet and explore opportunities. (more)Cheryl Phillips
Our two weeks voluntary work in Uganda flew by with so many highlights, it is impossible to name even a few. The people, their positive attitudes and their willingness to learn, the scenery and of course the gorillas. (more)Jennifer Soddy
From £995 excluding flights
Teach children swimming in India
Memorable parts? The best memory was the last day, probably, when I said goodbye to the children I've been teaching for almost 3 weeks. I could feel how much affection and trust had been given to me, and I really felt very emotional when I left. Tips? Especially to the young travellers: Remember that this is about volunteering. The rest is secondary. Yet the staff at the volunteer camp is exceptionally available, helpful and trying to make our life easy and also enjoyable. But still.... (more)Patricia Quillacq
From £895 excluding flights
Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa
It was AMAZING! (more)tracy ciotti
My whole time at the reserve was so incredible with thrills everyday from hurtling along dirt tracks to see elephants, watching porcupines and honey badgers battle right next to camp to the first time you lead a class by yourself. (more)Deirdre McClean
Working with all of the animals and children, and meeting wonderful people were most memorable - the whole experience was memorable and exciting. The trip well and truly exceeded my expectations. I would happily recommend it to anyone. (more)ThťrŤse Hutchins
From £460 - £3390 excluding flights
Summer camp in Thailand, teaching English
Memorable parts? There are so many to choose from, but the most memorable has to be when we visited the mainland to teach in a Thai school. The children were not used to foreigners and were really excited to see us, they had us signing autographs and posing for lots of photos!! The school had organised and practised dances for us which we really appreciated and enjoyed watching!! The snorkelling trip on Koh Tao was also brilliant!! Tips? The only tips I could give would be to prepare... (more)Justine Martin
From £895 excluding flights
Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa
Memorable parts? So many amazing things happened during my stay. My top 3 were: 1) Seeing the cheetahs being fed 2) Helping to rear a meercat baby and Clarke a serval 3) All the jokes and banter between the volunteers Tips? I would recommend bringing some DVDs, although the selection is pretty good already. Additionally make sure you bring warm clothes it gets really really cold at night. Finally make sure you bring a good torch. Overall rating? 9/10 of course there will be... (more)Cecilia Stilwell
From £995 excluding flights
Volunteer with children at a creche in Brazil
Memorable parts? Meeting the kids i was working with Tips? Be prepared for it to cost more than you expect. Be prepared for the heat and exhaustion. Have fun Local benefits? Absolutely. Overall rating? (more)Sandra Hawkins
From £595 excluding flights
Marine conservation expedition in Mexico
Memorable parts? The diving and marine life, the culture, the beauty of the place, i.e too many memorable parts. Tips? Take enough mosquito repellent and enjoy. Local benefits? Yes, definitely from the diving to the teaching English, to the football match with the town. Overall rating? Excellent and returned to Mexico shortly after. (more)Rebecca Emmett
From £1795 - £3395 excluding flights
Safari field guide courses, South Africa
Memorable parts? Learning so much in such a short period of time, and the excellent people I got to know. Tips? Do not book the test before going. It costs £200 to book this test in the UK, and £50 to do it when you're there. Also, the test is only useful for people looking to be actual field guides. Otherwise it's just an unnecessary expense. You'll learn the same stuff, and have more fun, if you don't take it. Local benefits? Sure. Overall rating? Excellent. (more)Karl Malmstrom
From £7950 - £8950 excluding flights

Holiday Reviews

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really
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