Real Gap Reviews

4.66 Rating 506 Reviews
94 %
of reviewers recommend Real Gap
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01892 277 040

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social@realgapexp.co.uk

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Real Gap Experience, Top Floor, 121-123 Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent,

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Real Gap 5 star review on 23rd February 2021
Rory Watkinson
Real Gap 5 star review on 6th November 2019
Alexandra Williams
Real Gap 5 star review on 6th November 2019
Alexandra Williams
Real Gap 5 star review on 6th November 2019
Alexandra Williams
Real Gap 5 star review on 6th November 2019
Alexandra Williams
Real Gap 5 star review on 6th November 2019
Alexandra Williams
Real Gap 5 star review on 6th November 2019
Alexandra Williams
81
Anonymous
Anonymous  // 01/01/2019
I had a great time in South Africa volunteering at a Creche in a township near Cape Town. The kids and staff were all so lovely and grateful for the help, I really felt appreciated and welcome.
I would've given the trip 5*, however I am really disappointed in the fact that Real Gap have not been transparent with where the money is going, as I have been informed (unofficially) that very little of it makes it to the creche which is entirely run by residents of the township. I have emailed many times about this, but have been told the information is 'confidential', but what reason is there for it to be confidential? It's my money that I was expecting would go to the school and community, and I find it concerning that this information cannot be disclosed. I was not asking for exact figures, only a percentage which they would not give me, although I know other companies will give this information. Why are Real Gap keeping the percentage that goes to the school confidential?
I would love to go back to the Creche as I had a fantastic time, however I would not go through Real Gap until they can be transparent with the percentage of the money that goes to the project.

Also, initially I was meant to do a similar trip in Malawi. I received an email about 6 weeks before I left informing me my trip was cancelled as I was the only person who booked on. There was no personal call made from the company to me, unsurprisingly this was a massive shock and altered my plans for the whole summer. I then had to make phone calls to Real Gap to organise to either cancel my trip but not get my flight money back (£550) or change my trip and pay a fee to alter my flight itinerary (£180 extra - a lot when you're a student!!). I would've expected the company to pay this fee as they are they are people who put me in this situation as my choice was pay £180 or go on holiday by myself - a failure on Real Gap's behalf as I believe they should've pushed the project in Malawi more.
I did love my time in South Africa, but the company made the lead up to it very stressful with a reluctance to help. I felt like Real Gap were very interested in taking my money, and not sending it where it was most needed in Africa.
Posted 2 years ago
Hi Phoebe

Thanks for getting in touch. It’s nice to hear that you had a great time volunteering in South Africa!

We’re sorry that you’ve been disappointed with the response from our team. As a company, our objective is to provide our customers with a safe and authentic volunteering experience which also benefits the local community. The money you pay us covers accommodation, your orientation, airport pick up and 24/7 support should you need anything whilst you’re away. Some of the money you paid also covers operating costs in the UK, for example, our team here in the UK also carry out strict and frequent assessments of all of our programmes to ensure that they meet our high standards. By booking with a UK travel company, you’re also financially protected by ABTOT which means that you’d receive a full refund should the company go in to liquidation – protection you wouldn’t receive if you visited the programme independently. For this particular project, we do not donate your programme fee directly to the crèche however your time and help is the real benefit and many of your funds benefit the community indirectly. Some of our volunteers want to give more than their time and choose to fundraise before, during or after their trip or take donations for the local community with them which is greatly encouraged.

We’re sorry that switching from your original programme in Malawi caused you some stress. We recently reviewed this programme and unfortunately it no longer met our high standards and so we deemed it necessary to offer you some alternatives. For important changes like this we will always contact you in writing rather than by phone to ensure that you’re clear on all of your options, however, our team were more than happy to talk this through with you over the phone too. We did also explain that if you didn’t want to switch, you could continue to visit the project independently - an option which would have meant it was not necessary to pay to change your flights.

We really value the work that our volunteers do and always receive great feedback from the local team in South Africa about the enthusiasm of our volunteers. We’d like to thank you for your hard work at the project and are sure you’ll agree that it was beneficial to both the children at the crèche and the wider community.
Posted 2 years ago
Our tour guide was amazing at showing us around and gave us lots of tips for our days off. He was great at arranging it. The islands are a great way to chill out and definitely a great addition to the tour. It was great seeing rural Thailand in sangklaburi but 8 days is definitely way too long! Should only be 3 maybe 4 days. I felt safe whilst travelling with real gap, and despite the issues with the full moon party being cancelled and the ban on partying due to mourning of the king, everything was done to ensure we could still have a good time in the evenings
Posted 3 years ago
Hi there

Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review - we really appreciate it!

We're glad that you had a great time in Thailand and love it as much as we do!

Please let us know if you fancy going on another adventure in the future!
Posted 3 years ago
The company was professional and efficient. They provided good care before the trip letting you know what you needed to bring and organise beforehand
Posted 3 years ago
Hi there!

Thank you for leaving us a review.

We're glad to hear that you had a great experience pre-departure and are sure that you had an even better time whilst you were away!

Please get in touch next time you fancy an adventure!
Posted 3 years ago
Overall the trip exceeded my expectations although there was a few minor issues.
The itinerary was packed for the first 2 weeks but our time on koh Tao and koh phangan could have used a few more activities.
Our tour guide Ting lacked enthusiasm and communication skills. We found it hard to interact with her throughout our 4 weeks in Thailand. We also filled in our feedback form on our 28th day which she read and then sat us down and confronted us about some of the things we had written which I thought was very unprofessional.

Overall I enjoyed my time in Thailand!
Posted 3 years ago
Hi there!

Thanks for getting in touch and taking the time to leave us a review.

We're really pleased to hear that you enjoyed your time in Thailand. We leave the itinerary more open in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan to allow people to choose activities which suit them best (some people prefer to chill on the beach whilst others like to go out exploring!) however I will pass your feedback on to the appropriate team to review.

We're sorry to hear that you didn't connect well with your guide, we will pass your feedback on to the local team in Thailand to investigate further.

If you fancy exploring a new country in the future then please let us know!
Posted 3 years ago
Met people from all over the world who shared the same values and vision as I did.
Real Gap 3 star review on 12th July 2017
Posted 3 years ago
Hi there

Thank you for your review - we really appreciate it!

It looks like you had a fantastic time away and made some excellent friends for life!
Posted 3 years ago
Our tour guide was lovely and very helpful. The places we visited was definitely worth the visit, especially the volunteering side although I found that the volunteering wasn't long enough, I wished we spent more time teaching the children as well as building the house for the family.

However, I found that most of the trip was spent on buses, which is a waste. When half the group was leaving, everyone travelled back to Phenom Penh from Kampot just to travel to Sihanoukville the following day, which to the people who continued on, was a waste of day.

I would recommend this trip to travellers who are unsure of travelling by themselves, because you will be with a group of people who are in the same situation as you but everything have been planned out for you. However, if you do find it difficult to get along with everyone or quite introverted, like myself, I would look into travelling solo because I enjoyed that more than being in a group, in my personal opinion.
Posted 3 years ago
HI there

Thank you for your review - we really appreciate it.

We will pass your feedback regarding the itinerary to our local team.

We're glad that you liked your guide and enjoyed the destinations on the tour. Group tours aren't for everyone but hopefully this trip has given you the confidence to travel solo in the future :)
Posted 3 years ago
Great locations, awesome group leader.
Posted 3 years ago
Tour guide, "Off", was good and helped us any time we needed help. Hotels were good apart from the Green House place in Bangkok.
Off helped everyone with everything he could.
The length of time in Koh Tao is too long and so is the time in Koh Phangan. 2 nights in both of them would be plenty
Posted 3 years ago
Everyone in my group was really friendly and we had good fun and got to do some interesting things however I feel the trip was a complete rip off as we were staying in hostels that cost a pound or £2.50 a night and some people had to share beds and we also had to share rooms with the tour guides. My main disappointment and reason I booked this trip was that an English speaking guide who would be clearly marked as real gap would meet me at the airport and drive me to the hostel but they did not instead there was a man in plain clothes who did not speak English and was not clearly marked he drove me to the hostel and did not speak a word once we arrived at the street the hostel was on he pointed tossed me my bags and left. This trip was not good value for money. Also no helmets where provided when we rode bikes on multiple lane dangerous main roads and the inteneriary was also drastically changed from the originally one that was sent to me. There was also too much travelling involved on this trip that was not private transport instead of overcrowded night buses planes should have been used. I'm disappointed in real gap as I believe they faulsly advertised this trip.
Posted 3 years ago
Hi there!

Thank you for getting in touch and sharing your feedback.

We're disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy some aspects of your trip.

It's really important to us that all of our travellers have a great time away so we would like to investigate this further. We don't seem to have heard from you via email so please can you send some more details to us at info@realgapexp.co.uk and we will look into your comments.

We're pleased to hear that you got on well with your group and got to see some interesting things in the country you visited.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards
The Real Gap Experience Team
Posted 3 years ago
Our tour guide Goong was lovely. We did some interesting tours and learnt about the culture
Posted 3 years ago
Lovely tour guide Goong who went above and beyond. Good day trips, good transport. All rooms of good quality. Fun places visited.
Posted 3 years ago
The pandas were cute
Posted 3 years ago
The tour guide, Ali, was great and easy to get along with. He helped us to feel safe at all times and was happy to accommodate anything we wanted to do while in the tour. The snorkling trip to KohTao and the full moon party were also highlights.
Posted 4 years ago
The work with the animals was exciting and rewarding. However, i was disappointed with the amount of 'projects' that I had to do whilst at the reserve which included digging holes for water pipes and trees and many hikes looking at previously buried pipes and fences. These 'projects' took over many days where I would have rather done work related to animals. The food provided at the reserve was also very poor. Despite this, I enjoyed most of my time at the reserve.
Posted 4 years ago
The trip itself was great
Posted 4 years ago
It was a good experience
Posted 4 years ago
Our experience with African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary was incredible - I would recommend it to everybody. It was a great way to interact with the African wildlife and get heaps of hands on experience.
However, a friend and I booked through Real Gap Experience - paying approximately $1,300.00 (AUD). When we reached African Dawn we made a few friends, and we found out most of the people who organised their trip paid directly to African Dawn. They paid approximately $200.00 (AUD) a week. So, overall we paid almost $1,000.00 more to Real Gap to organise this trip for us (which did not include flights, travel insurance, etc.). Real Gap did though, for our extra $1,000.00, send us a few emails, have an emergency phone number, and organise our transfers.
Posted 4 years ago
The trip itself was amazing, and on the whole I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a very busy trip though, with lots of travel, which can be tiring.
the range of activities offered are amazing though, and it is good that a lot of them are included in the trip, and those that arent are generally a reasonable price.
The only issues i would have would relate to the pre-trip communication. Correspondence was, at times, lacking, which did not make me feel as confident about the trip as other I have taken previously.
Posted 4 years ago
Hi Hannah, Thanks for taking the time to write us a review and feedback on your recent trip to China. We are really pleased to hear you had such a great time on the trip and enjoyed all of the activities. Thank you for the feedback in regards to the communication pre-departure and we do apologise that you felt there was lack of correspondence before your trip. We have passed this feedback to the team and shall ensure we look into improving our correspondence with customers going forward. Thanks again, and we hope to have you travel with us again in the future :)
Posted 4 years ago
Greater communication between booking and arriving would have avoided problems on arrival.
Some of the initial information was misleading such as distance of animal sanctuary from the nearest town.
When I queried location for inoculation purposes I was given different information.
I enquired about booking the airflight with them. The flight cost given was considerably higher than I had found on Expedia and my email had not been read correctly so the dates did not match the dates I had given.
Although I stated that I would be staying in Ecuador for a few days after the volunteering and would not be returning straight to Quito, this was not relayed to the local organisation and so they had booked a hostel room for me.
The meeting with the local agent was good, the taxi driver hired to take me to the bus was excellent. The hostel was very poor.
I had asked if I would need Spanish as I have none. I was told no as English was spoken at the project. That English was spoken at the project was correct. Not at the hostel where I was booked in, fortunately a little by the taxi driver but that was fortunate - I found very few taxi drivers, shopkeepers or hoteliers who spoke English.
Given that the arrival day is Sunday, many places were closed and the hostel could not even muster up a cup of tea people need to be told to buy plenty of water at the airport before leaving it and food if possible. I was able to find a pastry shop open, otherwise I would have had nothing to eat.
The volunteer project was brilliant.
Posted 4 years ago
Real Gap is rated 4.66 based on 506 reviews