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Gap Year Travel Specialists

Team volunteering adventures, and backpacking advice

Africa, Asia, Central and South America

Combining off-grid travel + challenge + volunteering

Gap year travel made easy

Volunteering, adventure, and fun combined

Booking a Leap team programme is the perfect addition to any gap year. Not only do you get the chance to join a volunteering project that will leave a hugely positive impact on the communities you meet, but you get to do all of this with a team of like-minded people your own age. Many gap year companies will advertise their programmes for people age 18-30 but here at The Leap we know that an 18 year old will be at a very different stage in life to someone who's approaching 30! Everyone on our Leap team programmes is between 18-22, meaning that you'll be surrounded by people just like you - perfect if you're looking to make friends to onward travel with after the programme.

If you've not done much backpacking before then this is the perfect way to build your confidence, with team leaders with you throughout to offer support, as well as the UK team, who are available 24/7 should you need us. Everyone in your team will be in the same boat as you, but by the end of your time with The Leap you'll have the confidence and skills you need to continue your backpacking adventures (maybe with your new friends).

So, kick start your gap year with a Leap team programme, all of which combine a mix of locations and contrasting projects, 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.

Never has gap year planning, travelling, and volunteering been so easy, so get in touch with the gap year experts.

Access our travel expertise
Gap year planning

We've been in this business for over 20 years, and have sent gappers to all corners of the globe. We've had many years of helping intrepid explorers plan their adventures and feel confident helping Leapers find their perfect programme, or independent travellers plan their routes and itineraries. There's no question too weird or wonderful, at this point we really have heard it all and we're here to help you plan a gap year filled with exciting and contrasting experiences.

Reasons to take The Leap

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, often with the new friends you've made whilst on a Leap team programme.

CV worthy programmes
Get your soft skills in place for a cracking CV

Travelling on a Leap programme will ensure you develop specific CV worthy skills that make your gap year count. Don't be just another traveller.

D of E approved
Make it count

We are Duke of Edinburgh award approved. Travel with us on our programme and you will qualify for the 'residential' part of your training.

Team experience

Travel as part of a team of like-minded gappers providing a guaranteed social scene and great campfire moments.

Explore our Leap gap year programmes

It's impossible to showcase all our gap year programmes on this page, so we have chosen four gapper favourites 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 or Zoë and they will walk you through each one (without being biased).

Gap Year

Volunteer on your gap year

Impactful Projects

All of our Leap gap year programmes contain an element of contributing back to the countries you're visiting. Whether that's building jiko stoves for local women in Kenya, helping baby turtles reach the ocean in Costa Rica, or teaching in a local school in Colombia. We're passionate about the NGOs we work with, and we know that the work that they're doing, that you would help with, is hugely impactful. If you've wanted to help with something bigger than you whilst on your gap year then now is your chance.

View our projects

Gap Year

Team travel is fun travel

We do team travel for a reason

Because it's fun and the camaraderie is tangible. 99% of our Leapers join a team without knowing anyone else, so if you're worried that you'll join a team where everyone is already friends then don't be. Everyone joins because they want to experience contributing and adventure with a like minded travellers. Not only will you all have a great time on the programme together, but we've found that many Leapers then go on to backpack together afterwards with their newfound travel buddies.

Take me to team programmes

Gap Year

Gap travel admin sorted

Here to get you organised

We're here to help you every step of the way with your travel planning admin. As soon as you've signed up to a team programme, we'll then advise you on what flight to book, what vaccinations you'll need, if you'll need a visa, and what gap year insurance you'll need to buy. Closer to the time Milly will host a Zoom call with the team to talk through any other admin such as money, SIM cards, safety etc. We know that many of our Leapers have never travelled before so we're on hand to offer any advice and help you could need.

Get in contact

Read our blogs

Download our free gap year planning guide for parents.
Beyond the Classroom: A Parent's Guide to Gap Year Planning
Read more


"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.

- Jessica

"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.

- George Lockwood

"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!

- Julia Rooth

" 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!).

- Rose

"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.

- Tania ( mum )

"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!

- Selina ( mum )

"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!!).

- Anne ( mum )

"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!

- Caromy (Grandmother)

"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!

- Justine Barnes

"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...

- Katie Turnbull

"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!!

- Andrew Fairs

"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.

- Paula & Lloyd

Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

Jot a message below or call us on +44 1672 519 9222

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