We know that travellers have a lot of questions they need answering before they begin their travelling adventures!
We have put together a list of our most common frequently asked questions and we hope that the information provided below will answer most of your travel queries.
A. Deciding whether to take a suitcase or a backpack on your travels is a personal choice. The most popular choice is to take a backpack, as they are made of canvas and fit more easily into lockers or small spaces while travelling. If you do decide to take a suitcase, we recommend using a soft canvas one, not a hard suitcase.
A. You might be surprised, but more people travel on their own than travel with friends. However, all of our trips are suitable whether you want to travel alone or team up with your mates. On some of our most popular trips we provide access to a 'buddy list' before you travel, so you can contact other travellers in your group. We also have Facebook groups where you can connect to other travellers. If you do travel alone, don't worry - our trips are designed to make it easy for you to meet other people and make friends while you are abroad.
A. We recommend that when you travel you take some cash in the local currency of the country you are travelling to, or take cash in GB Pounds or US Dollars. Most countries have ATMs available so you can withdraw cash. You should let your bank know where you will be travelling to so they allow you to withdraw money abroad, and you should also check how much your bank charges for you to do this. Another great way of taking spending money is to use a prepaid overseas card. We do not recommend you take travellers' cheques.
A. Talk to your bank about the best deals they can offer you when it comes to taking debit or credit cards abroad, as deals vary. We recommend taking a prepaid cash card with you, and there are several of these on the market. A prepaid overseas card works by allowing you to buy an amount of foreign currency and using it as and when you need it, like a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. At Gap 360 we offer the Caxton FX prepaid cash card.
A. How much spending money you will need will depend on a variety of factors; where you are going, for how long, what activities you want to do and whether or not you are planning to do paid work while you are away. If you would like specific advice about how much spending money to take on any of our individual programmes, speak to one of our friendly travel advisors.
A. You should check with your phone provider before you travel. Make sure your phone is unlocked before you go if you want to use it with a local SIM card while you are abroad. Many travellers choose to buy a cheap pay-as-you-go phone abroad and use this while travelling.
A. We recommend booking your flights as soon as you have received your final booking confirmation from Gap 360 (but not before). The earlier you book your flights the better, as you will have more choice and get cheaper deals. Our partner flights team, Flights 360, can give you flight advice or help you find the best deals. Give them a call on 01892 543943 or email [email protected]
A. We offer two great payment plans: 1) Book with a £199 deposit and pay the rest of your balance 12 weeks before you go (although you can make payments before this point if you wish) or 2) Book with a £29 deposit and pay the rest of your balance in equal monthly instalments, with the last payment due one month before you travel. Please note that some of our programmes require a larger deposit; please see our Terms & Conditions for details.
A. Yes, we offer a payment plan for most of our trips which means that you can book with a £29 deposit and then pay the rest of your balance off in equal monthly instalments (the last payment will be due one month before you travel).
A. As soon as you have decided on your preferred start date, we recommend you book your trip as soon as possible. There are limited dates and availability on our trips, and some of our most popular programmes can get booked up quickly, so if you know where you want to go, don't delay! As you can book on for as little as £29 deposit, it's best to secure you place as soon as you can.
A. We are not qualified to give you direct medical advice, but all travellers should visit their GP or travel clinic around 6-8 weeks before travelling. Your GP will be able to give you any advice about necessary injections or medication required for your individual destinations.
A. If you contact our partner team, Flights 360, they will be happy to look into the possibility of booking group flights for you. You can speak to a flights specialist at Flights 360 on 01892 543943 or email them at [email protected]
A. This depends on the individual programme you book. You can ask one of our travel advisors or check in the 'accommodation' section of each programme on our website. Once you have booked, you will have access to a pre-departure kit list for each trip, which will advise you what to take.
A. Not all countries need a visa, but you should check all your individual destinations' visa requirements well in advance of your trip. Some countries require you to get a visa in advance of travel, while other countries will issue a visa on arrival at the airport. If you want to do paid work abroad, you will need a special working visa. For detailed visa information about all the countries we travel to, check out our Visa Advice page.
A. The weather around the world varies widely from country to country. If you would like more detailed information about the climate of any of the countries you are considering travelling to, give our friendly travel advisors a call.
A. Wi-Fi access is available on the majority of our trips. Sometimes Wi-Fi access is free at your accommodation and sometimes use of Wi-Fi may incur a small extra cost. In some more remote areas you may have to visit local internet cafes to access Wi-Fi. If you have a programme or destination in mind, or have already booked your trip, give our helpful travel advisors a call; they can let you know about Wi-Fi access in your chosen destination.
A. In most areas of the world you will have access to a phone signal so you can phone home whenever you want. There are some areas where it may be more difficult to get a phone signal, e.g. African game reserves, on top of mountains or in the Australian outback. However, with the world now so well-connected there's no need to worry - you'll never be far from a phone signal!
A. There are normally lockers provided at your accommodation so you can store your valuables safely. If lockers are not provided, you can usually leave your valuables in your accommodation's office safe. We recommend you take a padlock with you when you travel, and leave any expensive jewellery or other items at home.
A. Ages on our trips vary, but our programmes are particularly popular with first-time travellers in the 18-20 age bracket. We also have many travellers in their 20's and 30's and beyond. Some of our trips have an age restriction, and you can find this out by looking at the programme information on our website, under 'minimum age and eligibility'. If you have any age-related questions then don't hesitate to contact us.
A. Group sizes vary from trip to trip, ranging from small groups to larger tour groups. You can find out the group size for each individual programme page on our website.
A. There will be plenty of opportunities to connect with other travellers. Many of our most popular programmes include access to a buddy list, so you can be in touch with the other travellers in your group before you go. Our Facebook destination pages are also a great place to make connections. Most of our trips include a welcome meeting when you arrive, where you'll get a chance to meet the rest of your group and start making friends right away.
A. If your trip includes a trek or hike, then you will need to take sturdy trainers or hiking boots. Trainers will be sufficient for many of the treks on our trips, but if you are planning on tackling a serious hike (e.g. Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro) then we recommend you invest in a pair of proper hiking boots. Once you have booked a programme you will have access to a pre-departure kit list which advises you what to take on each trip.
A. We don't allow any of our travellers to go abroad without travel insurance; it's essential! As soon as you have received a final booking confirmation for your trip you should book travel insurance, as not only does it cover you while you are abroad but it can cover you for unforeseen circumstances before you travel, such as programme or flight cancellation. While you are away it will cover you for medical costs and much more. We offer our own Gap 360 travel insurance policy, especially designed for gap year travellers.
A. You should make sure that your travel insurance policy covers you for all the activities you plan to do on your gap trip. That's why we've designed our own tailor-made gap travel insurance: Choose from our standard, plus or winter sports policies. Our policies cover all our programmes and activities, apart from martial arts and cage diving with sharks. If you are interested in these particular activities give us a call and speak to our in-house travel insurance expert for advice.
A. For most of our programmes we ask that you arrive during day 1 of your itinerary. Occasionally, if a programme has an early morning start on day 1, we ask that you arrive the night before. You can find arrival information for each individual programme on our website.
A. On most of our programmes it is possible to arrive early if you wish, and our travel advisors can advise you on booking any extra nights' accommodation. A few trips have arrival restrictions which mean you can only arrive on a set date; ask a travel advisor for more details.