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Type of site
Social network service
Headquarters United Kingdom
Created by Tom Griffiths and Peter Pedrick
Slogan(s) "travel, experience, share"
Launched July 1998; 19 years ago (1998-07)
Current status Active is a gap year social network based in the United Kingdom. Built around a travel community, its members engage in the site through blogs, events, messageboards and photos. It provides advice, ideas and opportunities[1] on everything related to gap years and backpacking,[2] including information on planning your trip,[3] destinations, volunteering,[4] and working abroad.[5] It is also described as a travel advice website.


Tom Griffiths published Before You Go in 1997, a book about planning your gap year, and went on to win The Times's Young Travel Writer of the Year award.

Griffiths went on to create The Gap Year Company Ltd. in July 1998 with IT consultant Peter Pedrick.

The website was initially launched as, which became in 1999, and in 2000.

As a media spokesperson for and the gap year industry, Griffiths became a prominent figure in the media.[citation needed]

In 2005, worked with Advance Payment Solutions (APS) to launch the Gap Year Cashplus Prepaid MasterCard, a first for the backpacker travel market. played a role in defining the underlying principles of Fair Trade Volunteering, worked with Way Out Experiences (WOX) to launch The Great Volunteer Project and built a long-running relationship with Connexions to help give advice to students during A-level clearing.[6]

In 2010, became a part of Flight Centre, Ltd. magazine[edit]

In 2012 relaunched the magazine[7] (it was initially launched in 2000), available in UK schools, colleges, universities and Flight Centre stores. The publication is an extension of the brand and offers readers advice, ideas and inspiration on gap year travel.


  • British Youth Travel Awards 2007 – Best Website (Winner)
  • British Youth Travel Awards 2008 – Best Website (Finalist)
  • British Youth Travel Awards 2008 – Most Innovative Marketing (Finalist)
  • British Youth Travel Awards 2009 – Best Website (Finalist)


  1. ^ The Telegraph "Gap Year 100 company directory: working abroad, adventure and advice" The Daily Telegraph, 20 August 2010. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  2. ^ Insley, Jill. "Gap year travel: what to put in if you plan to take a year out"The Guardian, 14 January 2012. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  3. ^ The Guardian. "Insiders' guide to independent holidays for teenagers" The Guardian, 12 June 2012. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  4. ^ Qadir, Siobhan. "Social care: Opportunities abroad", November 2011. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  5. ^ Gross, Jennifer. "Gap Year: Taking Time Off Before College", 2008. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  6. ^ The Independent. "Gap year: how to make yourself stand out" The Independent, 11 August 2008. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  7. ^ Publishing. "Relaunch" Publishing, 9 March 2012. Retrieved on 21 May 2012.

External links[edit]