Travel the world with our top student travel organisations
Travelling is such an amazing adventure which everyone should have the chance to experience, but taking the first step towards a trip can be daunting. Siobhan Macdonald discovers the best travel companies on the market.
There are many factors to consider when travelling: flights, visas, accommodation, vaccinations, currency; it can be totally overwhelming. Not to mention, the overflowing sea of travel companies online offering you the best possible volunteering or experience trips – it can be hard to know who is offering the best deal.
Here is everything you need to know about the leading travel and gap year specialists.
Plan My Gap Year
After hearing rave reviews about this company from friends, I decided to pick them for my volunteering adventures last year. Through PMGY I had the best experience visiting Bali and Sri Lanka on two four-week long trips. For both destinations, PMGY had amazing pre-departure support where there was often a figure-head for the programme checking up on you.
The staff, both UK and local co-ordinators, were always there to answer questions no matter how small or silly they may seem once I arrived at the project. PMGY also offers amazing full on weekend trips for each of their destinations. I would definitely recommend PMGY as an affordable and reliable organisation to travel with.
Taking a break from volunteering, on my gap year I booked to do a working holiday in Australia through Gap 360. I couldn’t recommend this company enough, despite the programme being expensive (priced at £549) I think it’s worth it. Included in that price was seven nights’ accommodation in Sydney, airport transfer, a seven-day guided tour, dolphin cruise, Australian SIM card, Sydney harbour cruise, national park trips and a buddy list one month prior to departure: meaning you can make friends with the people you will be arriving with. If I was to book another trip along these lines, I would 100% go back to Gap 360 because of the quality services and activities they provided.
GVI was the first volunteering programme I participated in on an under 18s programme. I was hugely nervous about this trip at the time – I didn’t have to be, the staff were so reassuring. I did the marine conservation programme in Greece and it was constant – the volunteers were always busy either on project, doing community development, making dinner or just hanging out. The trip was well executed and organised and as I was staying in a rural campsite in Greece I felt safe all the time which is the most important thing. However, I feel the trip was slightly more expensive than competitors like PMGY, where you get more or less the same quality of trip.
Words: Siobhan Macdonald