Real Gap Experience


Real Gap Experience are the Gap Year experts! If you're thinking of volunteering abroad, adventure travel or touring a country, look no further. Real Gap Experience offer travel opportunities in over 45 countries, with 150+ trips ranging from two weeks to two years. You can go all over the globe with experiences based in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Australasia. Country specific and multi-country travel options are available, including Around the World trips.

Real Gap Experience's awesome portfolio offers meaningful travel opportunities which can enhance the best of CV's. This includes; volunteer work, paid work abroad, community development, teaching projects, sports coaching and skills based internships. Or if you just fancy having some fun, meeting some great people and seeing the world they can sort it out!

Experienced travel specialists are available to answer any questions and help you embark on your big adventure. Visit their website for more details.

Programs from Real Gap Experience

Program Reviews

  • Chris
    Age: 25-30
    Most incredible time away

    I had the most incredible time on the Big 5 reserve, the things I saw I will never forget!

    Tracking the Big 5 was amazing and getting to see them up close in the jeep was unbelievable. The other volunteers I met were all really lovely and it was great to share my time with them.
    The accommodation was so nice and in my down time I swam in one of their pools and played pool, darts, table football, air hockey and ping pong all for free, hopefully the gym will be ready on my next visit!

    I would 100% recommend going for as long as possible to this reserve, you won't be disappointed!

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  • Cally
    Age: 31-50
    The land of smiles

    I visited this project and not only was the project fantastic - you really do get up close and personal with the beautiful elephants that live on the safari - but, having visited maybe 25 countries over the years, Sri Lanka was by far the friendliest I have visited. Everyone smiled. They didn't stop smiling. Wherever I went, whoever I spoke to, everyone smiled!
    I loved working with the elephants and getting to know the mahouts - even though they don't speak English, it was easy to interact and it was great to see how much they care about their elephants. The work was varied - mucking out, tidying the elephants' beds, planting food for them, washing them in the river, helping to entertain the tourists who come to ride them. And the community work was so rewarding. Again too many smiles to remember and really lovely kids enthusiastic to learn English. I loved it and would recommend it. Rosiee the coordinator made this trip - so warm, motherly and funny!

    How could this program be improved?

    Fewer geckos in the bedroom! But the mosquito nets meant we were safe when we slept!

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  • mel33442
    Age: 19-24
    united kingdom
    University of Bristol
    Would not recommend.

    I cannot emphasise how much i would NEVER recommend this group to anybody planning on travelling.

    To start off with, the night we arrived they had miscalculated the number of beds booked and did not have enough space to accommodate all the people on the group. Beds ended up being shared which is uncomfortable in small cheap accommodation and with new people. I do not expect nice dorms when travelling but i expect when paying such prices to be at least given a bed.

    This happened on quite a few occasions and I am appalled at how the tour guides handled it.

    When it came to the first day our guide was actually late and very disorganised, ruining our evening plans. This also happened when being woken up to hike the wall of China to see the sun rise. They woke us up too late because they overslept (a HUGE let down for us as we were all excited to see the beautiful view) and proceeded to lead us up a wall that was forbidden to walk up as it was unsafe and unstable.

    They allowed us to camp outside when there was a huge storm with lighting striking the ground in front of us, we had no protection.

    There was also a super-typhoon headed for china and so we had to end our trip early to head back to hong kong. They organised us to travel back to hong kong on the day the typhoon was meant to be hitting mainland china. The bus was shaking as we were being driven back and it was TOTALLY unsafe. When we arrived in hong kong they had put us all up in different rooms and some did not even have beds. They then told us to find our own rooms if we had issues with having no place to sleep. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION IN HONG KONG AT 10PM.

    The trips carried out were charged at extortionate prices in comparison to their true values and for the meals they took us out for at locals, we were ordered to pay the guides (who overcharged us and kept the remaining money for themselves).

    I was absolutely horrified by this group's organisation, concern for our safety and value for money. I do not know where half of my money went but I would never recommend this to anybody who is planning on travelling with a group.

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    Response from Real Gap Experience
    We are sorry to read this post and to hear again how disappointed you were with your experience. As you know we were in communication with you at the time to address your issues. Our China Experience is hands-down one of the best and most popular trips we run and our feedback is amazing. Just look on our website. We hope that one person's experience won't discourage people from joining this fantastic adventure in future which is rated 9/10.
  • Matt
    Age: 19-24
    Sheffield, UK
    Not a bad day

    Every day is busy, tiring and fantastic. The variation day-to-day was great!
    Walking with lions pretty much on a daily basis was amazing. Riding elephants and getting to know them was brilliant. Sitting with little cubs was incredible. Shoveling poo and meat prep. was epic!
    I never wanted to leave and I would do anything to be shoveling lion poo right now just as long as I was in Zimbabwe again!
    Everyone is so friendly and fun; there's never a dull moment.
    If you're deliberating on how long to stay for I recommend you stay for the maximum amount of time.

    How could this program be improved?

    The facilities for the volunteers could be improved. Perhaps curtains that fully cover the windows in the bathrooms!

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  • adventurenat
    Age: 19-24
    Washington, DC
    Do Not Do This Program Through I to I

    Bottom Line: Don't waste your money doing this program through I to I. They offer minimal (and wholly expendable) additional assistance compared with just working directly with the turtle conservation site. It will cost you around $250 per week if you work directly through the conservation site. If you run a search, you'll see many programs advertising for the same beach--they're generally for the same site near Samara.

    Cons of I to I:
    Expensive, even in comparison with other programs in costa rica. This is clearly a for-profit organization, and they have no qualms about providing only $250/week to the volunteer site and pocketing the other (roughly) $900 you'll pay for "other expenses." The I to I workers visit the sites rarely, if at all. The meals provided by I to I before the project are small and clearly meant to be at minimal cost (not the ones on the volunteer site, provided by the actual program, those are basic but big and great). They'll transport you to the site, but on their times and terms. If you're ill, expect to wait until they have scheduled another drive--usually a week or so--and plan on being stuck in San Jose. The workers aren't friendly and the welcome briefings aren't particularly informative about Costa Rican culture. They advertise this as a surf and turtles program, but the program only includes one surf lesson per week. If you're there on your own, you can purchase individual lessons from the same folks. Really, please don't spend your money with them. You can get so much more if you go through a different organization or if you go out independently.

    As for the site and volunteering program, I had an amazing time. The work is difficult but rewarding. The accommodations are basic but the people are a blast. Be prepared to get nature all over you. The waves are decent, but the surf lessons could have been a bit more helpful. I loved the food. Samara was fun to visit. Ultimately, I'd love to go back and stay for a month volunteering here again-- 2 weeks was too short!

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