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Advice for Parents

Welcome to The Leap

Hello Parents, here is a handy page to help you navigate the gap year planning.

Right now we can help both types of gapper - the team traveller and the independent hostel hopper.

Team travellers are joining our volunteer programmes which combine projects and adventures providing them with an dynamic travel experience, led by project co-ordinators who are passionate about what they do and professionals in their field. They are on hand to get everything arranged so they hit the ground running, exploring and contributing from the moment they arrive without having to worry about logistics.

The team element guarantees the camaraderie of others to share the adventure with and in the background we remove the stress by helping with the travel admin. They will have someone to turn to before, during and after their programme. What we have found this year is that the majority of team Leapers continue travelling post-programme with their new found travel confidence and with the help of independent travel advice hub called Leap VIP.

Independent travellers are looked after through our LEAP VIP travel advice hub. We know there are masses of gappers out there who pre-covid would have happily popped on their backpack on and headed off on their own. Today's independent traveller wants a sounding board and an element of support - we offer this through Leap VIP. This resource is aimed at giving them the confidence to travel and plan a great itinerary.

Next step:

Give us a call - 01672 519922 to chat about how we can help your gapper.

Who are we?

We are one of the UK’s most experienced Gap Year companies, set up (and still run) by Guy and me (Milly) Whitehead in 2002. We provide a collection of financially-protected, high-quality, structured gap year programmes where safety and customer care comes first from our office in the pretty market town of Marlborough in Wiltshire.

A personal service – this is our daily mantra – the office team go beyond the call of duty to make sure every volunteer (and family) feels confident abroad and is being supported from start to finish by our UK staff and overseas project co-ordinators.

Read more about our team

P.s. If you are starting to feel somewhat envious of the amazing adventure your child is about to commence on, why not think about heading away yourself? We now offer snappy MidLife trips for the adventurous. Have a little look over here...

Advice for Parents

How do we manage risk?

With every challenge comes an element of risk – so our detailed risk assessments, safety audits and management systems are paramount to our programme planning and execution. We follow the highest standards, guidelines and industry/government practice expressed by: BS8848 Trading Standards, The Year Out Group and Gap Year Association.

On arrival in country the team will be given a thorough safety briefing at each location and will be provided with secure accommodation, risk-assessed vehicles, medical evacuation access, and tested emergency communications, with access to professional medics and healthcare professionals to ensure emergencies are swiftly resolved.

Our detailed risk assessments and safety audits for each of our destinations are available on request.

Advice for Parents

The Structured Traveller

We've found from experience that lots of gappers like to begin their travels on a structured programme, meaning they don't have to worry about logistics, getting from A to B, and where they're going to sleep each night. This gives them the perfect introduction to travelling, without the stress and worry, all with a group of like-minded Leapers their own age. As a parent you can also relax knowing that they're in safe hands with us, and that we're on hand 24/7 should any issues arise.

Browse programmes here

Advice for Parents

The Independent Traveller

We know there are masses of gappers out there who don't fancy a team programme, which is why we set up Leap VIP, our travel advice hub. Through this resource we can offer advice and guidance to gappers who are looking to either travel alone or with a mate or two.

This resource is aimed at giving them the confidence to travel, and to share our knowledge with them so they feel prepared and excited about their upcoming adventures.

Take me to Leap VIP

Advice for Parents

The Leap difference

We deliver travel experiences that they can't easily create themselves, pushing gappers beyond the hostel-hopping trend.

Variety - each programme is a carefully crafted itinerary which includes a mix of conservation and community projects, set in different locations, interwoven with adventure to provide a dynamic, ever changing travel experience.

Team travel – our Leapers travel as part of a team of like-minded gappers, from all over the world. This team experience gives confidence to the traveller, reassurance to parents, a great social life, and more hands to complete the projects.

Personal development - through this unique experience the gapper is able to build self-confidence, spread their wings and gain independence all vital for making a successful transition into adulthood.

Read more about how we deliver our programmes

Advice for Parents

FAQs about deposits and invoices

To secure a space on one of our teams?

Fill in a booking form and pay your deposit of £150 to secure your place. This fee is redeemable against the programme cost yet non-refundable, however we will happily slide the deposit to another date or programme if given enough notice.

What if my gapper decides they don't want to go before paying the full balance?
No problem, they simply pull out and enjoy the access to the LEAP VIP knowledge hub to help them navigate independent travel.

When is the balance due for the programme?
About one/two months before departure - at the time we start organising flights and complete the travel admin. For full details of our terms and conditions.

Advice for Parents

Are we good value?

Yes indeed and right now a trusted company is worth its weight in gold as we help navigate the challenges of international travel.

Cost wise you are receiving a complex itinerary of multiple locations, projects, adventure activities, group accommodation, food and drinking water (not industry standard!), transport and all project materials overseen by project leaders who live and travel with the team.

Time wise the gapper hits the ground running, they are exploring and contributing from the moment they arrive. The project leaders help them navigate their new surroundings without having to worry about logistics.

In the background we remove the stress. From first-aid trained project leaders on the ground managing risk to our 24-hour personal phone service should the unthinkable happen, to being on hand to get all that pre-travel admin in order. You'll have someone to turn to before, during and after the programme.

Advice for Parents

Who organises the extra bits?

Like flights and visas etc? We do and we will advise with the new administration requirements.

We organise a team flight through Trailfinders, who provide great service and value. This ensures everyone flies out together making the long-haul journey more enjoyable.

Visas/injections/kit/travel advice etc. – on booking you will be given a family login to a personal account where you will find all the information required for pre-departure organisation in your 'Knowledge Hub'.

Advice for Parents

Are we industry recognised?

Yes, we are.

We're a member of the Year Out Group and the first British company to be accredited by the Gap Year Association, which let me tell you involved 6 months of grueling interrogation.

Our safety procedures are led by the advice of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 'Know Before You Go' campaign.

Your money is financially protected through www.ipplondon.co.uk and your flights are booked through Trailfinders.

Read more about these accreditations ->

Advice for Parents


Communication is key for us and this is a key part of all our programmes and how we run The Leap.

Our team in the UK and overseas are all connected so regular updates can be accessed and information shared if required. Where possible there is always wifi so the Leapers can keep in touch with families directly. If there are periods when this isn't possible we will let you know. We send out weekly updates to parents whilst your Leaper is away with us, keeping you updated as to what they're getting up to.

On departure we will provide you with the emergency numbers for The Leap's 24 hour emergency phone number. At all times whilst on the programme the Leapers will be supported by our caring staff and they will be encouraged to talk to them if they have any issues or concerns. If you as a parent have any concerns we ask you to contact us in the Leap office first.

Advice for Parents

Find your perfect leap

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

Opt in below to help us keep track of your planning, so each time you talk to us you can pick up where you left off.

Yes please, let's keep life simple.