Gap Adventures Rock!
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Generally, I'm not a huge fan of organised group tours. But there are a few noteworthy exceptions — and Gap Adventures is one of them.

The first group tour I ever took without my family was not long after I turned 17.

I'd only just started travelling on my own at the time and didn't really have much of a clue as to how to go about organising transport, booking hostels or even finding things out for myself.

So, a small group sailing adventure around the Greek Islands was perfect.

These days, I mostly backpack solo around the world, but I still join adventure tours here and there.

Sometimes it's because there's no other way I can realistically get to the destination (think Antarctica) or travel around there (like in the Galapagos Islands).

Sometimes it's because the tour actually works out to be cheaper than what it would cost me otherwise.

Sometimes it's because the government doesn't even allow independent travel (like North Korea or Bhutan).

And sometimes it's simply because it makes for a nice change or gives me a much-needed break from DIY backpacking!

gap adventures oia santorini island greece Whitewashed windmills of Santorini Island, Greece Arian Zwegers on Flickr

Why Travel with G Adventures?

Of all the overseas adventure travel companies out there, Gap Adventures (now officially G Adventures) is the one I never hesitate to recommend.

Let me tell you why . . .


    Maximum value for money

    Gap Adventures has a unique way of providing a lot more fun for a lot less dosh!

    That's because travel with them is very down-to-earth. It's always safe and comfortable, of course — but not lavish.

    You don't sleep in luxury hotels, indulge in expensive gourmet meals or get chauffeured around in private limos. Instead, you might stay with a local family, eat at a streetside café and travel by public bus to your next destination.

    But isn't that what it's all about anyway?

    With hundreds of fabulous trips that won't burn a hole in your wallet, Gap Adventures has some of the most affordable deals you'll come across anywhere.


    Small international groups

    The mere thought of being squeezed onto a massive tour bus with 50 or more other travellers is enough to send me running for the hills.

    Thankfully, G Adventures keeps groups small. The number of people on any one of their trips is rarely more than 16, and (except for on ships and Africa overland truck expeditions) the overall average is actually only 10.

    What this means to you:

    • you get more space to yourself
    • your guides can serve you better
    • it's easier to get to know the people you're travelling with

    Basically, a much more rewarding experience all round.


    Authentic experiences

    Gap Adventures doesn't take you on whirlwind sight-seeing tours — they believe in providing you with genuine opportunities to interact with the people and immerse yourself in their culture.

    Many of their adventure trips include homestays (in Cuba, for example) or excursions by local transport to unique, little-known places. Even the optional activities are chosen to reflect the character of the destination, so you get a real sense of being a part of it.

    You never feel like you're just another tourist on a conveyor belt.

gap adventures sea kayak antarctica Playful penguins enjoy welcoming visitors to Antarctica G Adventures


    Freedom and flexibility

    I love the independence of solo travel.

    So, when I do take the odd tour now and again I appreciate one that doesn't herd us around like cattle. I want a tour that gives me plenty of personal time to wander off and explore on my own.

    Gap Adventures really understands that.

    They make sure you don't miss out on the highlights of the trip but they also let you pick and choose from some pretty cool optional activities along the way.

    From Arctic sea kayaking to zip-lining in Zambia, G Adventures lets you make your adventures what you want them to be.


    Amazing deals and discounts

    Gap Adventures offers you lots of ways to save money:

    • over 50 shoestring budget tours
    • up to 25% off last minute departures
    • up to 20% off special promotions
    • newsletter featuring exclusive travel deals
    • multi-trip discounts
    • free travel offers

    Oh, and you automatically get 5% off on your next G Adventures trip just for filling in a short online tour evaluation when you come back from your first one!


    Huge selection of destinations and types of trips

    Every time I go to check out what's new at G Adventures, I add another must-do trip (most recently Tibet) to my ever-growing travel list.

    Gap Adventures now has more than 740 awesome tours, safaris, treks, expeditions, cruises, volunteer trips and eco adventures to choose from in over 100 countries across all 7 continents.

    They even offer family adventure holidays, limited edition festival tours and trips designed for 18-30 somethings.

    Whatever your interests, travel style and budget, they've got it covered.

gap adventures machu picchu sunrise peru Sunrise over an Incan treasure – Machu Picchu, Peru Mark Goble on Flickr


    No single supplements

    One of the unfortunate disadvantages of solo travel is that tour companies often slap you with hefty single supplements. And those can be pretty painful on the pocketbook.

    You don't get that with Gap Adventures.

    Most of their tours are based on twin-shared lodging. But if you're on your own they can pair you up with another traveller (of the same sex) so that you don't have to fork out extra for single accommodation.

    Of course, you might actually prefer to pay a little bit more to have your own room. Maybe on a longer tour — like the legendary Peru adventure that takes you along the Inca Trail and into the Amazon.

    Either way, you always get a fair price.


    Guaranteed departures

    No one wants to spend months getting geared up for an adventure of a lifetime only to have the whole thing cancelled at the last minute because not enough people signed up for it!

    That's why Gap Adventures has guaranteed departure dates.

    Wherever you see their purple 'Guaranteed Departures' tags you know you can rest assured that all (or at least selected) tour departures will go ahead as scheduled — guaranteed.

gap adventures guaranteed departures


    Lifetime deposits

    Unexpected stuff happens and plans change. That's just life. But that can also be a real problem if you've booked a holiday.

    Thankfully, if you ever need to cancel or postpone a G Adventures tour, you won't be out of pocket.

    Unlike with most other travel companies, you don't forfeit your booking deposit. It's kept on file for you to put towards your next trip.

    And there's absolutely no time limit.

    Gap Adventures will hold the deposit for as long as you want. You can use it for any future trip you choose (it doesn't have to be the original one you'd booked) or even transfer the money to someone else!

    If you're feeling especially generous, you can also donate your deposit to G Adventures' non-profit Planeterra Foundation. And in appreciation, they'll match your contribution.


    Enthusiastic and helpful staff

    From the moment you first contact them, G Adventures strives to provide you with an experience like no other.

    Their knowledgeable and well-travelled CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) take all the hassle out of planning and organising to ensure that you enjoy your trip stress-free.

    Once there, the expert local guides take you on an authentic journey into the culture of their people, bringing places to life with colourful tales of fascinating history.

    These guys are passionate about adventure and it shows.


    Customer service 24/7/365

    Yes, you can actually contact a Gap Adventures CEO any time of the day or night.

    Now that's what I call service!

gap adventures southeast asia thailand cambodia laos vietnam You know you're in Southeast Asia when . . . G Adventures


    Strong commitment to sustainable tourism

    G Adventures is big on protecting the environment and giving back to the communities they visit.

    As far as is possible, they use locally-owned services and stay in small-scale accommodation to make sure that your money stays with the local people. And they work hard to minimise their impact on nature and wildlife.

    Through their many charitable projects with the Planeterra Foundation, Gap Adventures also help to bring about positive change around the world.

    This is a company that really makes a difference and one that you can feel good about supporting!


    One of the best reputations around

    Gap Adventures has received some pretty significant awards and recognition over the years.

    • National Geographic Adventure named them Best Outfitters on Earth for excellence in quality of service and a slew of other impressive superlatives
    • Condé Nast Traveler presented them with a World Savers Award in recognition of their dedication to local community development and various other good deeds
    • The International Herald Tribune along with other sponsors honoured them with the prestigious World Tourism Award for their commitment to responsible travel

    You don't get the big thumbs up from Lonely Planet for nothing!winking smiley

solo travel gap adventures

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