Gapforce

Gapforce

About

At Gapforce, we are passionate about travel and the positive impact it has on young people’s outlook and future prospects. Our mission is to help people become global citizens through authentic, socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences which aid self-discovery and personal development.

Through our range of school group trips, gap year programs, training courses and internships, we aim to provide our participants with a unique collection of experiences designed for different stages of life.

Reviews

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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica Adventure review

One of the best experiences of my life! Met the best people and experienced the most amazing things. Would recommend bringing extra money as you have do subsidise some of the meals and things are more expensive than they seem. Had 2 different group guides and they were very different in dealing with challenges that we faced. Got to experience things you might not necessarily experience outside of an organised group (for example staying with the Bri Bri tribe), and met the most amazing locals. Would recommend to solo travellers as everyone is so lovely!

Pros
  • Nice people
  • Fun experiences
  • Varied locations
Cons
  • Expensive extras
  • Group leads vary
Default avatar
Dylan
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica Adventure

For any first time travellers (like myself) to somewhere so exotic, Gapforce provides an excellent safety net so that you feel independent but still supported. Certain experiences such as staying with an indigenous tribe or volunteering on a turtle project are things I would have struggled to sort for myself so I am hugely grateful to Gapforce for organising such privileges. Whilst more experienced travellers may find that going with a lead group is inhibiting, it is a massive confident builder to anyone who is even slightly apprehensive about travelling without family. I have also made friendships that will last a lifetime - it’s been the best time I’ve spent abroad by far.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
During our stay with the jungle tribe in Yorkin, I was amazed at how simple yet delicious the food was - an assortment of beige things I’d never even heard of turned out to be something I’m still craving 3 weeks later!
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Alexi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica adventure Gap Force

I am extremely grateful for the experience I had. While the accommodations and overall cleanliness was not always ideal (nor expected given the locations), but that was far outweighed by the beautiful places we got to explore and volunteer with. The volunteer work was certainly tiring at times, but always felt satisfying and impactful in the end. There was a good balance between guided activities and free time. Overall the relationship between gap force and the places we visited felt very comfortable, welcoming, and safe. I can confidently say that it would be difficult to have a bad experience and I’d highly recommend anyone to give it a go. I found this program through a friend and truly knew nothing about it but after learning about the process the expedition leaders go through to lead these trips and the measures gap force takes to keep us safe, it is 100% trustworthy. I am sincerely grateful for the dedication and care gap force has for making a lasting experience on its travelers.

What would you improve about this program?
Less cooking at home and more going out for traditional food. For whatever reason it seemed like the budgeted was a little stingy and almost always not enough for a proper meal at any decent restaurant. I almost always had to pay out of pocket to get anything remotely nice and to have any sort of juice/drink.
Default avatar
Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time ever !

Traveling with this program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and every experience I had on this trip was so valuable. I made friends for life and has once and a life time adventures. There was such a variety of things we did it was great. You got out door adventure one day then a nice restaurant for dinner then to a classy bar for drinks. I loved that we got to experience all aspects of where we were staying instead of one or the other. The program was so immersive I’m the countries culture it was refreshing

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Choose a longer trip so I can spend more time with the group ahhaha
Default avatar
Ishani
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica Adventure

I loved going on the Costa Rican Adventure. Not only did we get to visit some incredible places and meet loads of cool people, I also made some really good friends from all over the world in my group. My favourite place was Puerto Viejo which was is a gorgeous Caribbean beachside town. Surfing and hiking up the mountains to the natural waterfalls were both amazing activities and I’m so glad I got the chance to do the both. The food and accommodation were great and I had loads of fun. I definitely want to come back to visit Costa Rica in the future!!!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Zip lining and Canyon swinging in Monteverde. It was a thrilling experience, especially when standing up in the canopies but it was so cool!!!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 10

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Chloe Eayrs

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to push myself to build my self-confidence and experiences. I wanted to see what traveling in a group was like but also independently to see how I could cope with leaning on my parents. Australia had so much to offer and I wanted to meet new friends and meet new people which I definitely formed friendships for life. I also wanted to tick Australia off of my bucket list!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My college didn't assist in any shape or form; this was all of my own hard work to pay for the trip to ensure I could participate.

I had to organise all of my flights, which was enjoyable and buying all of the necessities and new clothes. My college didn't know I was traveling, but it made it even more exciting knowing it was off my own back.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One thing I wish I knew beforehand was to be prepared for the additional activity costs as not all activities are stated which is very misleading and more expensive. I would recommend to always over budget so you can make sure you can make the most of the adventure of a lifetime, such as activities like the harbour bridge climb, white water rafting, etc.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

No day is the same as there are relaxing days to go and explore and ensure you have your food shop all sorted whilst the other days are filled with activities, so be prepared for early starts to make the most of the day.

Be prepared for daily food shops, as not many meals are included. An average week consists of much socialising and fun and games - making friends for life.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was homesickness, which I did suffer from, but my leaders Andy and Humphrey really settled me, as they relayed their homesick experiences to me, which made me feel much more comfortable.

I cannot pinpoint the day when the homesickness disappeared but it was very early on so I could enjoy the trip which I am glad it subsided!

Is there any other advice for prospective travelers?

Definitely participate in the white water rafting, Kuranda Cable Car, Hot Air Balloon with champagne breakfast, skydiving, kayaking at Byron Bay, koala sanctuary at Magnetic Island, Harbour Bridge Climb, Whitsundays, jet skiing in Cairns.

I wish I had participated in the Skydiving and pushed myself to do it, as I saw the videos of others doing it and it looked amazing!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Ben Hunter

Job Title
Program Advisor & Business Development Coordinator
Ben has worked in the outdoor and travel industry for several years. A passionate advocate of outdoor adventures and the joys of exploring remote places, his current focus is on developing new trips and expeditions to support the existing range of exciting programmes already offered by Gapforce.
Ben H.

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's hard to pick just one! Spending time with the Bribri tribe in Costa Rica and crossing the border into Panama on a multi-day trek was really special. Exploring the remote border country with my friends and our local guide was the definition of adventure! Spotting snakes, crossing rivers, finding campsites and sleeping in hammocks was epic. The excitement of forging a path through the dense jungle with my machete will always stay with me.

Oh, and snorkeling in the Bahamas was pretty good as well! Not to mention walking along the Great Wall of China...

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have developed a growing respect and appreciation of the benefits of group travel experiences. For those who are dying to travel and see the world, but have not been away from home before, travelling alone can be daunting to say the least. Planning the itinerary of a trip can at times be brilliant, as you look forward to your adventures, but can also be quite tricky, with the duration of your trip, knowing where to start, budgeting and packing in as much as possible being common headaches. That's why companies like Gapforce are so great!

Our adventure travel trips are led by experienced and qualified Gapforce Expedition Leaders who have worked in all four corners of the globe. The itineraries are planned and the accommodation is booked - all you need to do is get on the plane and let the adventure begin!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Travelling and getting out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to experience new things and gain different a different perspective on life. I guarantee that all our participants will be different people once they've returned home after joining us on one of our many programs.

One of the participants on our flagship Expedition Leader Training program was so inspired by the medical and first aid training he received that, after finishing the program, he went off to university to train as a Paramedic. Joining a Gapforce trip will not only inspire you too see more of the world, it may also fast-track your career.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

As an adventure lover and someone who loves multi-day treks I'd have so say our programs in Nepal and South America. Trekking to Everest Base Camp is a once in a lifetime opportunity and should never be turned down! The Salkantay trek to the historic ruins of Machu Picchu should also be on any budding explorers bucket list, and we've not even mentioned the amazing Galápagos Islands or the lush and vibrant Amazon jungle. Both destinations have everything you could possible need when planning your dream adventure travel trip!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

All the staff at Gapforce have either travelled with us on our range of programs or are graduates of our Expedition Leader Training course. We are a small and close-knit team with a clear focus on providing the best and most exciting adventure travel experiences. If you ask us a question about any of our trips we'll know the answer, because we've been there!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Everyone at Gapforce is committed to providing incredible and life-changing travel experiences. With continued dedication and hard work, we are exceptionally proud of our exciting range of programs and the great feedback we so often receive. Our industry leading expeditions and adventure travel trips have been running around the world since 1989 - we have no plans to stop any time soon!

Professional Associations

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