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Budget Backpacker 360

See the world on a shoestring!

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Budget Backpacker 360

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Group Size: Varies

Trip code: BB360

Duration: Up to 12 months or longer

Guided group tour in Thailand
Find paid work in sunny Australia
Travel pass for Australia and NZ

Want to backpack around the world on a budget? Choose our amazing round-the-world packages and travel the globe on a shoestring! Our Budget Backpacker 360 offers the best of both worlds: It is ideal for the independent, adventure-seeking traveller but one who still wants great guided tours and advice along the way as well as the chance to do paid work. Our 360 trip offers flexibility and freedom to see the world at a price that won’t break the bank! Have fun in Thailand, find paid work in Australia and take a flexible tour in New Zealand for the perfect money-saving gap adventure around the world.

All our 360 trips are fully flexible and tailor-made to suit you, so if you want to add in or take out tours then let your travel advisor know and you can plan your own perfect itinerary!

Trip highlights

  • Go round the world on an epic budget backpacking adventure. This 360 trip can be tailor-made to suit you and is ideal for the independent traveller who wants freedom and flexibility but also the benefit of great guides – it’s the best of both worlds!
  • Enjoy an amazing whirlwind adventure tour in Thailand 
  • Enjoy an amazing beach and city week in Sydney and then find paid work in Australia and earn money. Hop-on and off along the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns with our amazing, flexible travel pass, valid for 12 months
  • Explore New Zealand with a flexible hop-on-hop-off travel pass through the beautiful North & South Islands
Gap 360 Trip Notes

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What's included

Thai Intro

  • 11 nights’ accommodation
  • 2 breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Airport pick up
  • Bangkok boat ride, tuk tuk ride, temple visits and party night
  • Cookery class
  • Khao Sok floating bungalow stay
  • Sea kayaking, bamboo rafting and tubing
  • Koh Phangan boat trip, Thai massage
  • Phi Phi boat trip

Absolute Oz

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 12 months job support with tax file number, sim card, bank account and medicare assistance
  • 3 dinners
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Sydney city tour & harbour cruise
  • Beach camp experience & dolphin cruise
  • 4x4 sand dune tour & sandboarding

Sydney to Cairns Travel Pass

  • Hop-on Hop-off transport from Sydney to Cairns (12 months validity)
  • Open-dated for flexibility
  • Barrington Tops visit
  • Magnetic Island ferry
  • Wine tasting
  • Solitary Islands Marine Park

Kiwi Discovery Pass

  • Hop-on Hop-off transport across NZ (12 months validity)
  • Open-dated for flexibility
  • Dune surfing
  • Huka Falls visit
  • Country farm experience
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Bay of Islands visit
  • Abel Tasman National Park

We also provide...

  • A personal Gap 360 Travel Advisor who will help plan your perfect trip
  • Assistance arranging flights and travel insurance
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Working Holiday Visa in Australia
  • Optional activities
  • Some meals
  • Extra accommodation
  • Cost of compulsory unique overnight stays on Sydney-Cairns Travel Pass
  • Ferry crossing on between North and South Islands in NZ
  • K'gari and Whitsunday Add on (enquire for price)
Further trip information

Our suggested Budget Backpacker 360 Route

To make life easier, we’ve come up with a suggested route for the Budget Backpacker 360.

Budget Backpacker 360: Thai Intro + Absolute Oz Jobs (Australia) + Sydney to Cairns Travel Pass (Australia) + Kiwi Discovery Pass (NZ)

Customise Your Own: You can choose the suggested around-the-world package, or you can design your own Budget Backpacker 360 by adding in or taking out any combination of these packages, or any of our other gap travel programmes.

Designing Your Own Tailor-Made Budget Backpacker 360

Packing all your perfect destinations into one effortless, value-for-money Budget Backpacker 360 trip is the ideal, cost-effective way to see the world and enjoy your very own epic adventure. You can sign up for one of our suggested round-the-world routes, or you can create your very own 360 trip. Whatever you want our 360s are tailor made for you! You will be assigned your own personal Travel Advisor so you can design your own dream Budget Backpacker 360.

Our Budget Backpacker 360 Package

Thai Intro (12 days)

Get set for fun and unforgettable adventures in the backpacking Mecca of the world – amazing Thailand! You’ll stay close to Bangkok’s legendary backpacking centre of Khao San Road and enjoy a relaxing boat ride through Bangkok followed by temple visits and a tuk tuk ride, before partying in Bangkok by night! Try a tasty cooking class then head to the unspoilt paradise of Khao Sok National Park. Go on a long-tail boat ride or try tubing, bamboo rafting or sea kayaking, before spending the night in unique floating bungalows on an idyllic lake.

Your next stop is the idyllic island of Koh Phangan, famous for its Full Moon Party. Take a trip to beautiful beaches and swim or snorkel in crystal clear waters. Enjoy a relaxing yoga session or opt for a Muay Thai boxing lesson instead.

Then it is off to the Phi Phi Islands to experience the paradise of the west coast on boat trips and party nights!

Want to stay longer in Thailand? Why not replace the Thai Intro with our 18 day or 25 day Thai Adventure instead?

Absolute Oz Jobs, Australia: 8 day programme + Independent work/travel time in Australia (approx. 6-7 months)

Ideal for the independent traveller on a budget, our Absolute Oz programme in Australia allows you the opportunity to enjoy an exciting introductory week of pure fun in sunny Sydney. You then have complete freedom to find paid work and plan your own stay in Australia, with brilliant job support so you can earn money to pay your way on your backpacking adventure around the world!

Within a week you will have everything you need in order to find paid work in Australia. Running for a total of 8 days, with accommodation included, you’ll spend your first few days exploring Sydney before travelling to an outback base camp. Chill out at the beach, take a bushwalk, discover wildlife, take a 4x4 sand dune tour, go sand boarding, learn about Aboriginal cultures and join a bottlenose dolphin cruise. Then you’re ready to kick-start your job search in Oz!

The Absolute Oz package provides you with everything you need to work Down Under, including 12 months of job support and access to a database of job opportunities all over Australia. The programme will assist you with finding a flat should you want one, and make your CV Aussie friendly.

Perks of the Absolute Oz programme include:

  • 12 months' access to an online jobs network with nationwide vacancies
  • CV review service
  • Orientation
  • Advice about setting up an Australian bank account before you go
  • Aussie mobile phone SIM card
  • Tax File Number
  • Medicare
  • Free Wi-Fi access while in Sydney
  • A 12-month mail holding service
  • Shared accommodation help and advice

There are a wide range of jobs available in Australia. Typical jobs include bar and hospitality work, office jobs, accountancy, sales and marketing, Au Pair and childcare jobs, labour and trade work, farm/ranch jobs, and nursing or healthcare. Wage rates vary depending on the type of job you have and its location. On average expect to earn between about £10-£15 per hour.

After the Absolute Oz introductory week, we suggest taking around 6-7 months to work and travel independently throughout Australia. This can always be extended (although remember that your visa limits you to 12 months in total for your trip) or shortened to suit your preferences. Equally, you can opt out of working in Oz if you wish. Please let us know your preferences when booking.

Sydney to Cairns Travel Pass, Australia (valid for 12 months)

This brilliant, flexible East Coast hop-on-hop-off bus pass travels one way between Sydney and Cairns and is valid for 12 months. Not only will this amazing, unique bus pass provide you with all your transport along Australia’s East Coast, but it also includes some incredible experiences of its own. The combination of bus and train travel equals fast, efficient travel times, which mean you can max out every moment Down Under. 

The route can be completed in a minimum tour time of 13 days, or you can make the most of the 12 months' validity on your travel pass and hop off to stay a little longer in any of the destinations en route. We recommend you allow at least 4-6 weeks to make the most of the East Coast, especially if you wish to add in other experiences, such as a fun tour on Fraser Island or sailing in the Whitsundays.

This travel pass heads right off the beaten tourist track and includes compulsory overnight stop-offs at set locations, so you can have some awesome adventures and unique experiences that you simply won’t find in most average East Coast packages. Go wine tasting, stay at surf camp, swim at a remote river camp, hop across to magical Magnetic Island, and explore the rainforest in Tully. The cost of these unique stays is not included in the trip price but they are available for a fantastically reasonable local payment.

One of the best things about this brilliant travel pass is the ease of booking. The booking app can be installed easily onto your device so you can book departure times, accommodation and activities all at the touch of a button. Alternatively, you can access all information and booking directly through the website.

The bus pass has some of the most well-informed and helpful tour guides in Oz. They travel with you on every stage of the fixed travel route. The guides offer endlessly helpful advice and information about everything from local culture, fun activities in each area, tasty local meals, wonderful wildlife, and all the best things to see and do on the Aussie East Coast.

Kiwi Discovery Pass, New Zealand (Minimum 30 days, recommended: 38 days, pass valid for 12 months)

This open-dated, hop-on-hop-off bus pass in New Zealand offers the ultimate flexibility for travel, as you can spend as long as you want in each stop off along the tour route. Valid for 12 months, your bus pass allows you to spend up to a year exploring New Zealand, or if you prefer you can complete the entire tour route in a much shorter timeframe. The tour route has the bonus of being fully-guided yet still allowing for independent experiences, and the route can be completed in a minimum of 30 days (although we recommend at least 38 days).

Starting and ending in Auckland, the route runs through the North and South New Zealand Islands, going right off the beaten track. Enjoy highlights including the Bay of Islands, Wellington, Rotorua, Queenstown, Tongariro NP, Lake Taupo, Franz Josef Glacier, Stewart Island and Lord of the Rings country. There are loads of incredible optional activities available along the route. Trek the famous Tongariro Crossing, hike or heli-hop at the Franz Josef Glacier, or try bungy jumping, ziplining and much more in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world!

Please note that we will book the travel passes for Australia and New Zealand as open dated, so you can decide the date that you want to start the pass- please download the trip notes for more details.

Please note all activities, itineraries and routes are subject to change

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Arrival information


You should arrange your arrival into Bangkok airport on day 1 for the start of your Thai Intro tour. An airport transfer is included.Your trip ends on the Phi Phi Islands on day 12. You should book a flight out of either Phuket for after 3pm or the following day.Your guide can advise you on getting from the Phi Phi Islands to Phuket airport.


You should arrange your flights to arrive into Sydney Airport (SYD) your programme start date. You will need to go to a pre-set meeting point at Sydney airport and a greeter will direct you to the shuttle bus which will take you directly to your hostel to begin your first week of fun and adventure!

The East Coast Travel Pass is flexible and begins in Sydney, ending in Cairns.

New Zealand

Day 1 of the Kiwi Discovery pass begins in Auckland with an early 7am bus departure, so you will need to plan your arrival in to Auckland for at least the day before you have booked your first bus, and arrange accommodation at your own cost. We can help advise you about accommodation in Auckland, just ask one of our travel advisors for more information. The tour route ends back in Auckland. 

Accommodation & meals

Thai Intro

11 nights accommodation is included as part of the Thai Intro tour.

2 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners are included on this tour. You will need to purchase the rest of your meals yourself. This is a great opportunity to soak up Thai culture and sample some delicious local delicacies! 

Absolute Oz

Accommodation for the first seven nights of your stay is included, in a city centre hostel in Sydney during nights 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7, and in shared accommodation during your stay at beach camp on nights 3 and 4.

In your hostel in Sydney, you’ll enjoy modern facilities in shared dorm accommodation with up to 10 people. In your first week, some meals are included, including the group welcome dinner on Monday, Beach Camp dinners and four free drinks on your Sydney bar cruise.

After the first 7 days of accommodation you have the option to find an apartment to rent in Australia, either on your own or with some of your new travelling friends. Alternatively, you can choose to extend your stay in a hostel. Our team in Sydney will be able to assist you with this, and during the first week you will be given an accommodation tour of Sydney to explore the local options. If you head off to another area in Australia the Sydney team can help you find the best available options. You can expect to pay £150-£200 per week on average for rent in Australia. The minimum contract is normally 3 months but some agencies will ask you to commit to six months.

Sydney to Cairns Travel Pass

No accommodation is included as part of this flexible travel pass, but in each overnight location you will have accommodation reserved for you. The cost of this is to be paid locally. Overnight stop-off locations en route include Byron Bay, Noosa and Airlie Beach.

This travel pass includes some compulsory, scheduled overnight stops in locations off the beaten track, complete with amazing and unique adventures and experiences.

Each of the overnight stops listed below are at extra cost to be made by local payment:

  • Barrington Tops Overnight Stay (AUD 60): Stay on the edge of Barrington Tops National Park, in a private lodge overlooking the Barrington River. 
  • Surf Camp Overnight Stay (approx. AUD 60): Stay at a beautiful beachside location in a laid-back surf camp.
  • Remote River Camp Overnight Stay (AUD 50): Journey to the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve and camp beside the river overnight. 
  • Treasure Island Overnight Stay (AUD99): Cruise across to Great Keppel Island and enjoy snorkelling, turtle spotting and a treasure hunt adventure. 
  • Tully Rainforest Experience (AUD120): Visit a swimming hole, spend the night in a historic country pub and enjoy a sunrise mountain hike and champagne breakfast.

You will also spend one night on an overnight train travelling from Rockhampton to Airlie Beach. The train does not have sleeper carriages but it is modern and comfortable, with reclining seats, a bar and a dining car.

If you choose to hop on and off for some more independent travel you will be responsible for finding and paying for your own accommodation, although your helpful tour guides will be able to advise you of the best local options.

Meals are not included on this trip. Self-catering options are sometimes available, or the group often chooses to go out for a meal together. Australia is bursting with restaurants and cafes, so you’re never far from a good, cheap meal. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are readily available.

Kiwi Discovery Pass, New Zealand

Accommodation and meals are not included as part of this hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Each stop-off on the bus route offers unique accommodation options, which we offer our travellers at a reasonable cost, with a typical night costing about NZD25-30 for a dorm room and NZD60-80 for a twin or double room. We reserve accommodation in all our overnight stops so you’ll be guaranteed one night’s accommodation in each overnight stop if you want it. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, tell your guide/driver and they will book it for you and you pay as you go.

If you wish to choose your own accommodation, or want to stay longer in any of the locations along the route, to make the most of your 12 months flexible bus pass, then you are free to select your own accommodation and your guide can help you with advice and booking.

Extra Accommodation Around the World

As the Budget Backpacker 360 is designed to be ideal for the independent traveller looking for a flexible itinerary, you may well need to book some of your own accommodation as you make your way around the world. If you want to extend your stay at any of the places on your itinerary we can offer you helpful advice about where to stay and how to book accommodation on a budget. Just have a chat with your travel advisor for more advice and details.

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to join this Budget Backpacker 360 is 18. Due to working holiday visa restrictions, the upper age limit for our suggested route is 30. This trip requires you to show evidence that you have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 (final dose administered a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the trip).


Without a visa, British nationals arriving by air can remain Thailand for a maximum of 30 days, though if you arrive across a land border this may be shorter. If you wish to extend your trip you should apply for a 60 day tourist visa before you leave the UK.


Due to Working Holiday Visa age restrictions, the Absolute Oz trip is only available to 18-30 year olds. As you are planning to work in Australia whilst you’re here you’ll need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa. You can choose to book a visa through us (extra cost), please ask for more details.

Basic requirements:

  • To be eligible, applicants need to meet the following requirements:
  • Hold a passport issued by an eligible country or region
  • Be aged 18-30 (inclusive) at the time of applying
  • Not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during their stay in Australia
  • Meet health, character and financial requirements
  • Not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (unless applying for a second visa)
  • Be outside Australia when they apply and when their visa is granted
  • Apply within 12 months of intended travel to Australia.
  • Have sufficient funds to cover your expected living/trip costs during your stay
  • Have funds for a return or onward ticket to depart Australia (or an actual ticket)
  • Have health insurance

New Zealand

UK citizens can stay in the country for up to six months as tourists. If you are planning on working at all during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (available to 18-30 year olds) and can do this by visiting the New Zealand Immigration website. We are happy to help, so please don’t hesitate to ask us for more details.

Visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.

Please note: Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check relevant embassy websites for up to date visa information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.