Top five gap year websites

 

Whether you want to spot polar bears in the Arctic Circle or trek around Peru, we have listed the best websites to help you plan your trip.

Responsibletravel.com

Do they offer a wide range of destinations?

Yes, even stretching to remote and unusual areas such as the Arctic and the Antarctic.

Is it easy to navigate the website?

Very. The website is clear and concise, and the destinations and types of trip are all arranged alphabetically for easy browsing.

Can you book the whole trip online?

You send off an enquiry form, which goes directly to the company that runs the holiday. They respond through whatever medium you choose and you can then book directly with them.

Are the prices reasonable?

Yes, although each of the prices quoted covers different costs. Some are per person, some are per night, and some exclude flights, so make sure you read the details carefully. There may also be surcharges added.

Does the website provide enough information on each destination?

Yes, and it also explains how booking that particular holiday will make a difference, as Responsibletravel.com is particularly concerned with lessening the negative effects of tourism on local people and the environment.

9/10 www.responsibletravel.com

Trailfinders

Do they offer a wide range of destinations?

There are trips available to every continent, with several destinations per country.

Is it easy to navigate the site?

There is a map on the homepage showing various destinations and you choose your preferred one to find out more.

Can you book the whole trip online?

No - there are various numbers to call depending on where you want to go and you can make an appointment to get advice from a consultant at a UK centre.

Are the prices reasonable?

Yes, and you have the assurance that there are "no hidden extras". Check the website for current deals and offers, too.

Does the website provide enough information on each destination?

There is an overall description of the destination, a quoted price and links for further information.

9/10 www.trailfinders.com

Madventurer

Do they offer a wide range of destinations?

All the destinations offered are quite unusual and exotic, including trips to Peru, Uganda and the Antarctica, but there is a limited number.

Is it easy to navigate the website?

The Madventure finder allows you to input the preferred details of your trip and the site generates options for you.

Can you book the whole trip online?

You can apply for the project online, and a deposit must be sent off. The company will then contact you and secure your booking over the phone.

Are the prices reasonable?

The prices quoted are, but for many of the projects the website doesn't provide a quoted price, so you call the company on 0845 121 1996 for more details.

Does the website provide enough information on each destination?

The website provides all the information you need, including suggestions on how to raise enough money and getting suitable travel insurance.

8/10 www.madventurer.com

Lattitude Global Volunteering

Do they offer a wide range of destinations?

There are over 20 different countries that you can volunteer in.

Is it easy to navigate the site?

Clicking on a relevant question about your trip leads to all the information you need.

Can you book the whole trip online?

As this site is for volunteer work you have to apply before you book. You can fill out the application form online or request a paper version.

Are the prices reasonable?

Each placement costs £1,300, but depending on the destination, this may not include food or living allowance, and it doesn't include the cost of flights and visas.

Does the website provide enough information on each destination?

There is an overview of the destination, then breakdowns of the various projects - such as working in schools - and placements available at that destination.

8/10 www.lattitude.org.uk

Gapwork.com

Do they offer a wide range of destinations?

This gap year directory provides links to almost all available destinations.

Is it easy to navigate the website?

You simply fill in the preferred details of your trip and the site searches to find suitable websites.

Can you book it all online?

It depends on the individual booking policies of the websites you visit.

Are the prices reasonable?

The website gives you a wide choice of companies and you can select the one that has the best value for money.

Does the website provide enough information on each destination?

There's a useful breakdown of the most interesting aspects of each destination.

7/10 www.gapwork.com

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