Africa, Asia, Central and South America
Combining off-grid travel + challenge + volunteering
Booking a Leap gives you the double whammy of a rewarding and fun Leap programme plus access to our backpacking advice hub, which gives you all the information you need to travel after the programme (more often than not with your new Leap friends).
This gives our Leapers the best of both worlds - a structured programme as well as insider travel tips to make the most of a backpacking phase. Of course, you can still just do a programme or just access the hub – but the double whammy has become the first choice for so many. So, kick start your gap year with a Leap team programme, which combine a mix of locations and contrasting projects opportunities, with a broad focus on global warming, climate change, conservation, community and language skills. Our in-country guides are on hand to take care of all the logistics so you hit the ground running - contributing and exploring from the moment you arrive.
The backpacking phase is supported through our travel hub which gives access to gap year planning consultations, off grid travel opportunities, backpacker itineraries and 24/7 emergency back-up, plus so much more.
Never has gap year planning, travelling and volunteering been so easy, so get in touch with the gap year experts.
Access our leap teams who will help you plan and deliver unique and rewarding gap year experiences.
Starting your gap year travel with us allows you to hit the ground running and everyone can relax knowing you're in safe hands. Through the Leap programme you have the chance to ‘give something back’, head off the backpacker trail, make friends for life and develop many ‘soft skills’ that are coveted in the workplace and will definitely enhance your CV.
Our programmes enable you to become travel savvy, knowing that if anything goes wrong we are on hand 24/7 to assist. We know that after a programme you will be ready for the challenge of independent backpacking.
Access our black book of global contacts and their life changing projects.
Travel as part of a team of like-minded gappers providing a guaranteed social scene and great campfire moments.
It's impossible to show case all our programmes on this page, so we have chosen one from each continent to get the ball rolling and inspire you. All our programmes weave a mix of projects and adventures but, of course, some are better for community, others for conservation. Keep scrolling until you find your perfect fit. Alternatively, arrange a zoom call with Milly, Zoë or Alice and they will walk you through each one (without being biased). Just so you know, we accept anyone between 18 - 25 years old, who are on a gap year or looking for an exciting summer, and are compatible with the programme and its challenges.
Firstly and most importantly - ask yourself if you want to travel independently or with a team.
The independent backpacker wants to travel with utter freedom, making decisions daily and changing them on an hourly basis either with mates or alone, but not as a team programme. They are happy to make friends pool side, arrive in new places with no plans. Is this you? Or are you a pack animal and prefer to start with some structure?
We have created a travel advice hub, which is a one-stop-shop for travel consultancy for the independent traveller. We help sort out itineraries, flights and insurance.
Also, we can put you directly in contact with our in-country hosts who get you right into the heart of the country, off the beaten track and mixing with local people.
Remember, although we are calling it a gap year, your gap year experience doesn’t have to take a full 365 days.
Most gappers travel for about 3 - 6 months and try to mix and match several different experiences to create a varied itinerary.
Ah, the age old question.
Money – it’s probably the most important thing to consider before you start planning your gap year, and the most common question we get asked. We suggest that you need to earn about £300 per week and you will spend between £200 - £250 per week when travelling. FYI Asia is cheaper than South /Central America and Africa
Oh yes…a new era of gear and gadgets is upon you that will have you climbing mountains, surviving the jungle and sleeping like a baby in the nosiest of hostels.
I promise you the effort you put in beforehand will reap reward when you are out on your gap year. You can be the traveller who can access anything in a nano second, have light when the generator breaks, hang up wet clothes in the middle of the jungle and sleep in the middle of a rave with your earplugs wedged in.
"I would highly recommend this trip."
This trip has left me with a group of life long friends from around the world, experiences that have plus will affect me forever, and skills to help me through life.
Everyday was a new adventure, from building hatcheries for turtle eggs to teaching English at a local school to playing volleyball with the Costa Rican Cost Guard to hearing stories from past poachers to watching a turtle lay eggs to have a sing-a-long with the group.
"I would love to come back"
I came in with my open water and I was very happy to gain the extra speciality courses. The marine conservation part was incredibly rewarding and I would love to come back.
"Unstinting & cheerful help!"
Just to say Ollie got to CR & has now met up with his friends! Quite a journey! Thanks to you & all The Leap team for your unstinting & cheerful help! I fear I may be in touch in due course about exiting CR but meanwhile best of luck with all your current trips & I’ll leave you in peace!
" I felt really enriched by the end of it"
I just wanted to let you know that I'm safely back in the UK, and missing Costa Rica already! A huge thank you to you though, as I had an absolutely wonderful time - everything was so well organised, and so comprehensive. All the volunteering was great, and I felt really enriched by the end of it, and well prepared for the little bit of solo travelling I did. I'm so so glad that I went and I will really treasure the time I spent there (especially in the months until lockdown ends!).
"I can’t think of a better company"
Clementine has just finished her Costa Rican adventure with you and has absolutely loved it. She says it was fantastic from start to finish and the group couldn’t have asked for a better team looking after them led by Chris. The same applies to you too. You have been brilliant from the get-go and nothing seems to have daunted you – ever! Getting the children out there was no mean feat and your ability to switch the programme to Costa Rica from Cuba at such short notice was very impressive. The photo at the beginning was a great touch and you have been incredibly responsive to every query however small. Thank you both for everything, I can’t think of a better company to have used for Clementine’s trip.
"How fantastic you all are"
We really can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to make this amazing adventure happen, and for all the hand holding for Mimi and us along the way! It’s incredible that they have managed to have as close to normal a gap year as it must be possible to have right now and we are enormously enormously grateful to you and everyone at The Leap who has helped make this happen. Thank you. We have been spreading the good word about how fantastic you all are!
"Your support is very much appreciated"
We knew in choosing The Leap she was travelling with your ‘safety blanket’ and so it proved. Rachel at Trailfinders is also just the best. Very best wishes for continued success in such a challenging environment. The Leapers who are able to travel this year owe you and your team lots of gratitude for getting them away (and back!!).
"Change the course of their lives"
I am filled with admiration at all the trouble you have taken over every detail, so much appreciated when filling in all those damn forms! And it was brilliant that you kept us all (in our case 3 generations!) involved and informed about the changing situation every day. It has been so difficult for this group of 18 year olds unable to do their A levels properly and with all the attendant problems of the pandemic. I think the programmes you are offering may well change the course of their lives not only for the future of the planet but also by giving them opportunities to work hard together at the same time as having fun. Huge thanks and congratulations, I’m telling everyone how fantastic you are!
"So clear and straightforward "
I’d just like to say how impressed I’ve been by all your amazing organisation, plans and communication. I know she’s mainly communicated with you herself, but it’s all been so clear and straightforward – so thank you. I know this must have been an incredibly difficult time for you and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending The Leap to any prospective Gappies in future!
"Quite an extraordinary responsibility"
Thank you, Milly. You've been an absolute star - quite an extraordinary responsibility and you're doing it admirably. Great friend of ours, has signed up for Namibia in March after hearing about Skye's adventures ahead...
"How on earth you have managed to pull this off I don't know!"
But you have all been absolutely incredible. I never could have imagined Charlie being able to take part in such a fantastic project in this, the strangest of years! I have huge admiration in your professionalism and ability to deliver in the toughest of times. Thank you so much, I'm sure the presence of the team will do wonders for the project and wonders for the Team Members... what a fantastic opportunity for them all!!
"Well done Team Leap!!"
Thank you so much for all the hard work in getting them there! You have all been amazing. I do not underestimate how much work and pressure there has been in making this happen during such challenging times. They are now able to do something positive and rewarding during their gap year which is only possible because of The Leap.