Meet the Team

Here at Real Gap Experience Towers, we love what we do and we LOVE where we work! We're all obsessed with travelling and have covered our fair share of air miles in our quest to see as much of the world as humanly possible.





Nicky MacFarlane - General Manager of Real Gap Experience UK


I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: October 2010 and have worked in the travel industry since graduating.  It’s got to be one of the best industries to work in, not only because you get to experience some amazing travel experiences but also work with some fantastic people.  Real Gap Experience has to be the most fun places I have worked, there's a great buzz in the office and as a team we pride ourselves on our first hand travel knowledge and we love to share this!
My favourite place in the world is: Vietnam. It’s such a diverse country and travelling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city was a great introduction. My favourite town was Hoi An.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I travelled to French Polynesia to lead a tour group of Astronomers to view the Total Eclipse from a remote Atol in the Pacific called Hao. To experience such a unique natural phenomenon was fantastic, but to also have the opportunities to travel to Tahiti and camp out under the stars in such a remote part of the world was a once in a lifetime experience.
Top tip: Don't miss out!


Lisa - Head of Sales and Customer Operations



I've been at Real Gap Experience since: November 2006. I’ve worked for the Daily Express, BBC and an online DVD seller over the years but Real Gap Experience is by far the BEST company I’ve ever worked for. I love the buzz of the place, my colleagues and most importantly, the amazing adventures we help send thousands of travellers on each year.


I've visited: 26 countries


My favourite place in the world is: This is such a hard question – Mongolia blew my mind, China is a firm favourite, Russia was an awesome adventure, Sri Lanka was beautiful… but I think I love Hong Kong the most.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I woke up on my 28th birthday in the middle of the Mongolian Steppe, opening the door of the tent to see a lone horseman cantering across the valley in full traditional Mongolia dress. It was like a scene from a Ghengis Khan movie - amazingl
Top travel tip: Don't take too much stuff with you! Keep it simple - essentially it means you have less to worry/lug about!


Martin - Business Development Manager
I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: April 2010. I love working with a lovely bunch of people; we're not just colleagues - we're also good friends. Another reason why I love my job is because I get to send young travellers around the world every day, providing them with one of the best experiences of their lifes.
I’ve visited: 22 countries
My favourite place in the world is: That's a tough one…seeing the Big 5 at Kruger National Park, dancing to African music at the Bushfire festival in Swaziland and playing some football with the kids in Tofo/ Mozambique was incredible.
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when:
our guide in Kruger National Park shouted “lions, lions” and stopped the car. I turned around and saw six/seven lions right next to me…one of them was looking at me right in the eyes!
Top tip: Do it, or you'll regret it!



Chris - Travel Specialist


I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: Sept 2013
I’ve visited:  Here and there, South-East Asia is my stomping ground though!
My favourite place in the world is: Kampot, Cambodia. Super chill weekend spot when I lived in Phnom Penh. There is a river running through the town which you can jump in from guesthouses posted along the banks, Bokor Mountain you can drive up and have the most amazing view from the abandoned catholic church and half complete derelict French mansion, also spots to go caving….
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I was in Thailand over Songkran, Thai New Year, in Bangkok. A 3 day long water fight all over the whole country! Beats the UK New Year any day!
Top travel tip: Listen to that feeling inside telling you to go for it, whatever it may be. It’s your head telling you not to jump in, and you’ll regret not giving everything a go, guaranteed!
Rachel - Customer Operations Coordinator 

I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: September 2013


My favourite place in the world is: Costa Rica


My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: we jumped off a boat into the ocean in the Bay of Islands (New Zealand North Island), not being able to breath because it was THAT cold, then swimming along with a pod of dolphins all around us.


Top tip: Trust your instinct and make the most of any connections you have around the world.



Holly - Travel Specialist 
I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: April 2014. Everyone in the team is awesome, it's like working with your mates. Being able to talk about amazing places all day is great and it's a brilliant feeling knowing you're sending people off to live their dreams!
My favourite place in the world is: This is a tough one. The inner child in me would say Florida, the shopaholic in me would say Genoa and Paris, but I think for the beauty and culture I would have to say Egypt. 
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I went diving in Greece which was amazing, and quad biking across the desert in Egypt was incredible as well.  
Top travel tip: Try something you wouldn't usually try, feel the fear and do it anyway! 
Louisa - Flights Specialist
I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: December 2014 – Forever.
I’ve visited: 13 countries
My favourite place in the world: Laos, Luang Prabang. Definitely my second home!
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was: Landing on a dirt track runway in a tiny little aeroplane in Laos. Walking out the airport to what would become my home for the next three months. Proper adventure!
Top travel tip: Embrace the fear! Those things you’re not sure if you’re brave to do will end up being the best things you ever do!

Oli - Travel Specialist

I’ve been at Real Gap Experience since: October 2014


My favourite place in the world is: Kerala, South India


My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: Kayaking down the most incredible (and terrifying) rapids on the White Nile, Uganda! An amazing river in a beautiful country! We would watch the sunset from the island in the middle of the river where we were camping, with the noise of the rapids in the background, monkeys in the trees and sipping on a cold Nile Special beer – amazing!


Top tip:  SMILE – it’s internationally understood! Make the most of every opportunity you have and treat every day as an adventure! 



Nikki - Customer Operations Coordinator


The Big Island – Hawaii. 
There is so much to see and do, and the weather is not bad either! It has beautiful beaches and lush green rainforests, but also dry deserty landscapes, rolling hills, endless lave fields and mountains. They also have the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, which is always exciting to see. My favourite fact about the Big Island is that you can be having snow ball fights and then be lying on the beach all in one day!
My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: I stayed in a tree house in Laos that was 40 meters up! Waking up to the sound of gibbon monkeys and taking in the views across the clouded rainforest was absolutely amazing – Best shower with a view EVER! 
Top tip: Say yes to everything (well, most things)! You never know when you will get the chance to do it again. 

Will - Travel Specialist


I’ve been a Real Gap Experience since: August 2015


My favourite place in the world is: Brazil, all of it! 


My favourite ‘once in a lifetime’ travel moment was when: Finding a secluded waterfall in Laos and swimming under it


Top tip:Try everything and talk to everyone!





Want to join our awesome team? Check out our vacancies here.

Planning your trip

Planning a gap year

Our Real Gap Experience advisors have all travelled extensively on their own gap years and are eager to help you plan your trip of a lifetime!

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What kind of gap year traveler are you?

Group of gap travellers with Real Gap Experience

No matter what you’re up for doing in your gap year, we have literally hundreds of gap year travel ideas to choose from.

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Travelling Solo?

Want to head out on your own, but not sure whether you can? 80% of our travellers go solo, so the answer to your question is YES!

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Getting the most from your trip

Getting the most from your gap year

As a leading, global gap year company, we’re often asked for travel abroad advice and how to make the most out of your time, and we're happy to give it!

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Responsible Travel

As one of the world’s leading gap year companies, we believe it’s important to do everything we can to be as responsible as possible.

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Fundraising & Budgeting

Travel Australia with Real Gap Experience

Sorting out the trip budget, and fundraising, is one of the main things our customers ask us about.

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Travel For Under £100 a Week

If you're looking to travel on a budget, Real Gap Experience has got the answer. On some of our trips you can travel for under £100 a week!

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Working abroad

Getting work experience abroad during a gap year has never been so important and with Real Gap Experience, it's never been so easy either!

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One of the most popular activities during a gap year and here you can read our guide to picking the perfect project for you.

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Students & graduates

Want to make the most of your long summer vacation? Perhaps you've finished college and are thinking about taking a student gap year?


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Career breaks

If you’re interested in taking a career break or sabbatical we can advise you on what considerations you should make and how to prepare for your trip.

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School leavers

If you’re taking a gap year after leaving school, Real Gap Experience has advice for school leavers that will give you the Real deal – whether you’re going to uni or not.  

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At Real Gap Experience we understand that parents have concerns about their child taking a gap year - some of us are parents ourselves. Let us put your mind at ease....

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Safety Course

Safety Training Course

You’ll have the time of your life whilst away and we want to ensure that you have the skills and the know-how to do so safely.

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Cheetah conservation with Real Gap Experience

Want answers fast? Read some of the most commonly asked questions and the answers from our team

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