Xtreme Gap Year
84% Rating
(15 Reviews)

Xtreme Gap Year

Xtreme Gap Year is a new kind of travel company: We focus on adrenaline travel. What is that? Well put it this way, we believe when you do some incredible things and push your comfort zone as you travel it gives you the best travel experiences.

Xtreme Gap Year trips are custom-made by an experienced globetrotting team and are completely unforgettable. With over 160 trips in 14 mind blowing destinations, discover what you are capable of and meet like minded Xtreme gappers in the process.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Jennifer
Female
22 years old
Leeds

Best 5 months of my life!

10/10

If anyone is considering travelling to Australia with Xtreme Gap my advice is do it! I had the 1st 5 months of my life travelling up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns.

I opted to choose a gap year company because I was travelling on my own, and this company struck me as the most fun. In all it was pretty good value, I saw quite a few shorter tours which were around the same price, so I was a bit sceptical as to whether the package would deliver on my expectations.

Sarah at Xtreme Gap Year was very helpful with answering all my questions before I went away, and I had quite a few of them! She came up with some great suggestions for things for me to do whilst I was away. As for meeting people, I found this pretty easy to do once travelling. The structure of the trip was such that you are constantly meeting new people, and there was a great mix of different adventures as well. I got to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, go skydiving but my personal favourite was Fraser island. I was paired up with a group of 6 people in a Land Rover, and got to spend a couple of days camping out under the most amazing stars.

I can understand how this trip wouldn't be for everyone however, because it's flexible you have to set the dates for when you want to do the activities, but actually I found this super easy. Everywhere you stay you can do this in person or via email or telephone. So for me this wasn't an issue, and was a small price to pay for the savings I made compared to more expensive two-week fully guided tours.

How can this program be improved?

The Xtreme Gap Year website could be better, I found it a bit confusing but the substance of the trip was very good.

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Bethany
Female
27 years old
Fittleworth

Loved It. Full of diversity and fun experiences.

10/10

I joined the South Africa experience and I have to say I loved it. For me it was a genuinely life changing trip. After 5 weeks I have seen and done so many different things, I cannot explain how much it has affected me personally. Week one in Cape Town volunteering was an extremely humbling experience. Getting to spend some time with the children of the community, who have absolutely nothing was very enriching for me personally but moreover I feel I have definitel done some good as well. Everything was well-organised, and I was made to feel welcome very quickly, although I did have a slightly shaky start at the beginning but I would put that down to culture shock more than anything else. Nikki and the team are very helpful and clearly care a great deal about the lives of the street children.

My contact at Xtreme Gap Year, Shannon was very helpful to me personally in helping me plan my trip. She was full of good ideas as to what to do which is why I ended up in the South Africa experience. I'm very pleased that I did. Part of the trip included a road trip through the garden route. I was put in a smaller group of 6 people, and whilst I didn't know anyone in the beginning I soon got to know everyone. This was one of the highlights of the trip. The guide was very knowledgeable and kept the group in good spirits. It was a good itinerary overall, but there were some long travel days. The different activities included, plus the places we went to made up for this however.

I tried surfing in Jeffreys Bay which was great fun, although I have to say I don't think it's turned me into a surfer! My final couple of weeks were spent on a game reserve which was a great way to see lots of wildlife and experience the bush. It was very hard work, but very rewarding as well. I was fortunate enough to see a buffalo giving birth, and we work to lots of different tasks during our time there.

The communication from extreme was excellent throughout, they certainly know a lot about the destinations, and my experience the South Africa experience was faultless. I would definitely recommend.

How can this program be improved?

meals could be included during the road trip

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Laura
Female
20 years old
England

Bad package altogether!

1/10

Would not recommend this package to anyone. The schedule of the first few weeks make no sense. Doesn't give you the opotunity to meet people before moving places and starting all over again. Very unprofessional when I wanted to change my trips as I believed their trip didn't give the best experience. Would not refund me. I Think they are making the trip out as something it isn't! Don't book through xtreme gap year! Worst decision I've made!

Response from Xtreme Gap Year

Dear Laura,
We are very sorry to read your review and receive a 1 star rating. Whilst we understand the disappointment you face in not being refunded at your request, we did communicate that if you choose not to go on a section of a trip and notify us after departure we are unable to refund you. Our suppliers have been paid already and charge 100% cancellation fees.

You were made aware of this at the time of booking and at several stages through out.

Despite this we were able to arrange for you to reconfirm with our suppliers so you did not loose your money.

Cancellation charges are common with travel companies. For instance if you booked a hotel, did not turn up for your reservation and then asked for your money back 3 days after you were due to check in this would be non refundable. They certainly would not move your reservation forward so you could still stay. We are trying our best to help you Laura so please be fair.

While we genuinely appreciate the feedback of all of our travellers, we do feel some of your comments are premature. We would welcome you contacting us again to discuss your concerns as we are still in the process of helping you. Giving a review of the first few weeks of the trip 5 days into your trip (your start date was the 28th August) is unfair.

You have not even experienced the first few weeks yet, only 3 days.

We understand that your main concern is meeting people, and that you have made new friends in Sydney who you wanted to remain with, and due to this you chose not to depart on the surf section of the trip as organised, and requested a refund to stay with them.

This is a shame as we have over 25 people booked on this section and you certainly would have made new friends and had an incredible time. You still will, as our reservations team is still awaiting to hear from you as to when you wish to reschedule, we encourage you to contact us asap to help get you back on track.

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Rachel
Female
24 years old
Suffolk

Awful Organisation

1/10

Did the 5 week South African experience and felt like I was being ripped off the whole time I was there. Lots of things that are implied on the website that they are included actually arent. We ended up having to organise lots of our own activities otherwise they wouldn't have happened. Ended up being moved to a different game reserve (having turned up to the one we were meant to be at and being told they were fully booked). The game reserve we were then placed on was a fifth of the size, disorganised and poor value for money. So bad that I left a week early! When I approached the company they were overly defensive and rude. I would not recommend!!

Response from Xtreme Gap Year

Dear Rachel

While we are pleased you had a great time in South Africa, we are sorry to receive your one star review. The South Africa Experience is a very comprehensive trip, which usually has fantastic reviews so we are disappointed that your experience was not the same.

The directors of Xtreme have personally visited our in country partners and put the trip together. So we know first hand what a spectacular trip this is, combining the best parts of South Africa. With the trip being 5 weeks long, and combining so many different experiences each week, we see how it can be confusing to know what is included and where. There are alot of logistics involved in this trip, but overall it ran well.

Having looked into your email communication to see what went wrong, we note we had a couple of emails from you, that were responded too, during the trip to clarify certain inclusions and sections of the trip.

Some of these inclusions we had to clarify with you that they were not included as part of the trip such as that meals were not included on the road trip section of the trip. This is clear on the website under the inclusions section, but we will make this clearer from now on by adding this to the excluded section.

We are looking into what happened with the welcome Braai for you at the moment.

We appreciate you are frustrated due to being declined a refund for leaving early as your preference was to go travelling in your final week, but please be fair with your review. You were not dropped off at the wrong reserve, the organisation was not aweful.

You were informed at the time of booking, and in the predeparture pack email, and in an email during your travels prior to arriving at the reserve you would not be staying at the same game reserve as some of the other members of the trip. While other members of the trip were dropped off en-route, you were successfully delivered to the correct reserve. While we understand the disappointment, this was made clear through out.

Due to the popularity of the game reserves we use, the game reserve section takes place in different venues, depending on availability. You were placed in a very popular 5 star game reserve, albeit smaller but still over 6000 hectares. The other game reserve you refer to would cover roughly the same distance in the course of a week so the experience based on size is marginal.

You will note we do not refer to specific game reserves on the website as we do use different providers depending on availability. The trip is popular as are game reserves. We endeavour to have our groups stay together as much as possible but at times our groups have to be split in the final 2 weeks.

We will now clarify this further on the website moving forward. We are sorry you felt you had a "rude response" this was certainly not implied in our emails. We are sorry if you took our responses to be rude.

We did explain that no compensation would be forthcoming or warranted if you left early from our perspective, this is not being rude, and we would welcome a telephone conversation with you on your return to discuss the issues you faced.

Many Thanks

Oliver Bray
Director

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Paul
Male
21 years old
Bromley
University College London

Best four months of my life

10/10

I travelled with Xtreme to five different countries - Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the USA. I can sincerely say that these were the best 4 months of my life.

The Thailand trip consisted of visiting temples (new, old, and even controlled by monkeys) an elephant week where you bathe, feed and prepare food for the elephants (I even ended up with an elephant tattoo), and two weeks on Koh Tao for a full moon party, a conservation day, a cross fit course and also managed to get a diving qualification. Aside from this, we also had an adrenaline-packed adventure day hiking, snorkelling, tubing, and swimming with sharks!

The staff were always friendly and detailed with explaining things, the food and accommodation were great, and the locations perfect. I definitely met some people that I'll meet up with again.

For Vietnam, I spent a month in the north of the country in a small group, visiting rice terraces, mountains, hiking in jungles and weaving in between rice fields on a boat, spending most of my weekends in charming Hanoi, with its constant traffic and pretty night markets.

My time in Laos and Cambodia was spent on a hop-on hop-off bus, where I was able to meet lots of different people. The homestays included were a great insight into local life, and we even took part in some rural Buddhist ceremonies, took a slow boat (and swam in) the Mekong river, visiting beautiful waterfalls, temples and caves, and even having a conversation with a monk. In Cambodia I learnt about the country's turbulent history - aided by a trip to the genocide museum and S21 killing fields) as well as seeing the beautiful beaches the county has to offer.

Lastly, I spent three weeks camping across the USA, spending time in places ranging from Vegas, Zion national park, the Grand Canyon, monument valley, Nashville, Austin, Memphis, and many more. Staying with a native Indian tribe was definitely a highlight. After 3 weeks as a family sleeping in tents, the minivan and under the stars, it felt like I was leaving a family behind.

Thank you to Xtreme for providing these amazing trips!

Paul

How can this program be improved?

- more varied meals during 1st 2nd weeks

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