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Here at The Leap we’ve heard it all. We’ve been sending gappers off on adventures for over 20 years, so it’s rare to come across a question that we haven’t been asked before. So here are some of our most frequently asked questions:

How old are the Leapers?

Most of our Leapers are between 18-20. Whilst we have no age limit, we do tend to find that most of our teams are made up of people on their gap year, although we do also get uni students on their summer breaks too.

How big are the teams?

This totally depends on when and where you go. Our Costa Rica teams can take up to 24, while the rest of our programmes take a maximum of 12. Minimum numbers are usually around 5.

When is the busiest time to go?

Our busiest period is between January-March. We find that most gappers tend to get a job and work up until Christmas and then start their travels in the new year. Most of our teams during this time will fill up so book early to avoid missing out! We also see a rise in Leapers again over the summer as lots of people want to squeeze in an adventure before heading straight to university or work in September.

How long are the programmes?

Most of our programmes are 4 weeks long, with the exception of Costa Rica Plastic Oceans which is 6 weeks, and Kenya which is 5 weeks.

I have absolutely no idea which programme I should do— help!

Don’t worry, this is totally normal. Often people are stuck between two programmes, or some have no idea at all. Give us a call in the office on +44 (0) 1672 519922 and tell us a bit about what it is you're looking for and what kind of person you are, and we can suggest which programmes we think will be the best match for you.

Do I have to be from the UK?

No, we welcome Leapers from all over the world, some as far flung as Australia. Whilst the teams are predominately made up of Brits, we also get a handful of Americans, and a handful of Europeans.

Will you help with flights?

Absolutely. We’ll send you an admin email which has details of a team flight from London and the number for the corporate team at Trailfinders; you can then book your flights through them and arrive with the rest of your team.

If you're coming from somewhere other than the UK then we can help you co-ordinate your arrival as close to the team flight as possible.

What if I find cheaper flights elsewhere?

That’s totally fine too. We understand that with the rise in air fares that you might want to try and find something cheaper, especially if you’ve booked last-minute. We ask that you try and arrive on or before the day of the team flight, as it’s easier for us to organise an early arrival rather than a late one. We ask that you run any non-team flights by us before you book so we can check that the logistics work.

Why are the dates on the website different from the flights you’ve sent?

The dates on the website are always provisional and may change a day or two either side once we’ve sourced a flight. We try and find a flight that’s the best value for money, and therefore that might be a day or two earlier or later than the date on the website.

Do I have to pay the programme balance all in one go?

No, you don’t. If you would prefer then you can pay in monthly instalments, split the payment however you want, or just pay the whole thing in one go. As long as the full balance is paid by the time your programme starts then we can be flexible around you.

Do I need a visa?

You need to apply for a visa for Kenya and Cambodia before you fly, for all our other programmes you’ll get your visa on arrival.

What vaccinations will I need?

We have recommendations on each programme page and in your My Leap area, however we always recommend speaking to a medical professional and getting their advice too.

Will I need insurance?

Insurance is an absolute essential, and we recommend getting yourself covered as soon as possible once you decide to join one of our trips as this will cover you in case you have to cancel for whatever reason. We recommend Campbell Irvine, but if you’re already covered by family travel insurance then don’t feel like you have to take out another policy. You need to be covered for all aspects of the trip so don’t just settle for the cheapest insurance you can find if it doesn’t properly cover you.

Do the team in the UK keep in contact with the overseas team leaders?

We stay in close contact with all our leaders overseas and they give us regular updates as to how the teams are getting on. If there were to be any issues then we’d be the first to know. They also send us plenty of photos that we then share on social media so that your family and friends can see what you’ve been up to.

Should I take a suitcase or a backpack?

This is one of our most-asked questions and the answer is a backpack or something soft like a duffel bag. Hard-shelled suitcases are a big no, they’re more at risk of being damaged and they’re harder to store when you arrive, unlike a rucksack which can be shoved under beds/crammed into a wardrobe etc. Take an 80litre backpack and a smaller day rucksack and you’ll be set.

Is food included in the programme price?

Breakfast and lunch is included in all of our programmes, and some of our programmes also include supper, whilst for others supper isn’t included so that you can go out and explore local restaurants. Any snacks and alcoholic drinks you want to buy are extra. We provide safe drinking water throughout the trip too — something you might be surprised to hear not all gap year companies do!

Will there be free time?

Don’t worry, we’re not going to be working you from dawn until dusk seven days a week. Depending on the programme, most give Leapers the weekends off in order to chill or go off and explore the local area. During the day you’ll also get down time amongst all the project work you’ll be doing, so hopefully you’ll enjoy a good mix of challenge and chilling.

Is there WIFI available?

Each destination is different in terms of how easy it is to access WIFI, but you’ll have a chance to connect to some on whatever trip you choose. Some people buy a local SIM card whilst out there so they can use data to send messages home and post to Instagram, some just use the WIFI in cafes and restaurants.

Can you help me plan onward travel post-programme?

If you sign up to one of our programmes then you’ll automatically be made a member of Leap VIP, giving you access to our database of knowledge. You can also speak directly to Milly who can help you put together an itinerary of where to go once you’ve done your Leap trip. We don’t do any of the booking for you, but we can talk through ideas and share with you our tips and tricks.

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With the covid travel experts

Worried about how to travel and plan your gap year through this pandemic?

We can help. We have sent lots of gappers away through the last 12 months and can confidently call ourselves Covid Travel Experts. Get in contact to start the ball rolling.

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