Although we’ve put as much information on our experience pages as we think you need, there’s always some common questions which crop up from our Epic customers. If you have any, we’re more than happy to answer them for you, but here’s some of the most common queries…
On all our experiences we’ve included a tab for all the major inclusions. If it’s not under that section you can be pretty sure it’s not included. If you have any queries, though, you can always drop us an email and we can clarify anything.
What about insurance
Adequate travel insurance is ESSENTIAL for all of our experiences and many of the experiences we offer will require proof of comprehensive insurance before you can begin. INSURANCE IS NOT INCLUDED WITH ANY OF OUR EXPERIENCES and it is up to you to make sure you’re covered for the activities involved.
That being said, we’ve teamed up with the guys from World Nomads Travel Insurance and you can get a quick quote on this page. Our team use them on our own adventures and they cover heap of awesome activities so they’re a great company to check out.
What about flights?
Like travel insurance, FLIGHTS ARE NOT INCLUDED, however we’re more than happy to help you plan the best flight route. This gives you total flexibility to fit in your Epic experience as part of a bigger trip or simply as a stand alone adventure. Please DO NOT book flights until you have confirmation that you’re experience has been confirmed.
What visas do I need?
Visas can be complex stuff, and VISAS ARE NOT INCLUDED with our experiences. The visa type and length you require will vary from country to country and are dependant on your nationality/passport. Therefore it is down to you to make sure you have researched and arranged the appropriate visa before travel. This is particularly important for longer Epic experiences (such as the Divemaster courses) as you may need to extend or do a ‘visa run’ to accommodate it. Epic Gap Year doesn’t accept any responsibility for issues arising (pre or post-travel) due to visas.
Do I need any jabs/vaccinations/medicines
Much like visas, the whole medical side of your trip is something which is very much personal and therefore down to you. We highly recommend you speak to your doctor and local travel nurse to check if you need any boosters. They’ll have all the up-to-date information on any pills you may need or vaccinations you might want to consider. Getting them is time consuming, so leave at least 6 weeks to be safe. Please note that any additional costs for vaccinations/jabs/medicines ARE NOT INCLUDED.
I literally have no idea where I want to go or what I want to do....
That’s no worries! All of our team are well travelled and we know how daunting heading out around the world or on your first solo trip can be! We can help you plan flight routes, give you some ideas on where to head and what you can do, and of course we can help you find an Epic Gap Year experience to suit your needs. One of blog ambassadors, Chris, also offers a gap year planning help option with a full money back guarantee, which includes discounts on some of our products.
How Do I Book?
On each experience page there’s a lovely big blue button labelled “BOOK IT“, clicking on that will take you through to the Shop Page of the experience where you can fill in all your details and make a payment, easy as!
How Do I Pay
We accept all major credit and debit cards as well as Paypal.
Why Are Prices Listed In Local Currency And £GBP?
For all our experience where the remaining balance is paid on arrival, the local price is what you’ll pay in total. We update our £GBP monthly to keep them as up-to-date as we can, but as exchange rates fluctuate and this is a guidance on the cost of each experience.
Why Can I Pay A Deposit On Some Experience And Full Balance On Others?
It depends on our arrangement with our suppliers on the ground. Some simply need a small deposit to secure a booking (like our dive courses on Koh Tao) where as some need full payment to secure it (like our freediving courses on Gili T) We’ve tried to work on the deposit scheme for most of our courses so you can secure your place without having to eat into your savings too much. This means you can sort it earlier and relax knowing it’s taken care of!
Why Is My Product On Request
Due to time zones and other issues, sometimes we just have to finalise your booking with the guys on the ground. We aim to do this within 24 hours but sometimes it can take up to 48 hours to confirm. PLEASE DO NOT BOOK FLIGHTS OR OTHER TRAVEL PLANS UNTIL YOU HAE WRITTEN CONFIRMATION FROM US. We cannot be held liable for any cancellations or additional costs if you do.
If, for some reason, we can’t confirm your booking, we can offer you some alternative dates or give you a full refund.
What about refunds?
Please see our terms and conditions for details on our refund policy.
How Do I Know I'll Have An Epic Experience?
All of the Epic Gap Year experiences have been hand-picked by our team and we have personally used them on our own travels. This means we’re stoked with the level of service you’ll receive and we know you’ll be in good hands with our travel partners. We regularly visit all of our suppliers and both us and them welcome any feedback you may have following your experience.
What happens once I book?
Once you’ve hit pay, you’ll receive a booking confirmation (unless your item is on request) and then you’ll receive another email from our bookings team containing your booking voucher, which you’ll need to keep safe and produce when you arrive. Not only that, but we’ll send you through an information pack with some additional information on your chosen experience, covering everything from how to get there, ideas on how to fit it into a larger trip, who you’ll meet, places to stay and any other little nuggets of awesomeness our team think you’d like to know about your experience and the destination where it’s based.
What if I have some other questions after I've booked
Nah only joking. Our team are more than happy to answer any questions you may have before and after you’ve booked. We’ve all travelled heaps ourselves, so no question is a stupid one and we’ll do our best to help you out! If we can’t personally help you we’ll point you in the direction of someone who can.
How soon can I fly after my Dive experience?
We always say leave AT LEAST 24 HOURS after your final dive before flying. Epic Gap Year are not responsible for you not being able to complete all your dives or missing a flight because of this. If you’re booking a flight close to your experience, please confirm the time of your last dive before booking a flight.
I've never dived before, can I still do my Open Water or Divemaster?!
Of course you can. There’s no experience needed to book our Open Water courses, they teach you everything you need to know. As for our Byron zero to hero Divemaster experience it’s fine to go from no dive experience too!
What level of fitness and swimming ability do I need?
Diving can be pretty solid exercise so we recommend having a good level of fitness. You don’t need to be a professional athlete but you’ll need to be able to deal with moderate exercise levels.
With regards to swimming, you need to be able to swim at least 100 metres un-aided, for higher level certifications you may need to complete swim tests.
All dive courses require a medical exam before training commences, many of which you can get on the ground but in some locations you may need to bring it with you. Contact us for more details.
I've got/used to have Asthma, can I still dive?
If you can get a medical certificate from your doctor stating you’re OK to dive, that’s no worries. As with all pre-existing medical conditions, always consult your doctor and get a note saying it’s OK for you to go diving. Epic Gap Year isn’t responsible for you being denied enrolment onto a course because of this.
Is Freediving safe?
Like any extreme sport there is an element of danger involved in Freediving, however all of our Freedive suppliers are fully accredited and have years of experience, so you’ll be in good hands.
Ahhhhh I'm scared of water!
Well good on you for facing your fears! You’ll be in safe hands throughout your dive experience and you would be surprised how quickly you’ll become comfortable with breathing underwater. Man up and take the challenge!
Surfing looks challenging, what level of fitness do I need?
Surfing can be super tough but, like anything, you can build up the right muscles to make you stronger and better in the water. You do need a reasonable level of fitness for all our surf experiences (expect the improver courses where you need a higher level of skill and fitness) but you can always stay within your limits.
Can I really become an instructor in 3 months?!
Simply put, YES! The average surfer only hits the water on the weekend for a few hours, you’ll be spending that amount of time each day! If you commit to it, you’ll see a quick improvement and you’ll have the support of an amazing team and all the resources needed to successfully pass. Of course, some things you’ll gain more knowledge of over time, but you’ll have a solid basis for teaching and a solid surf skill level by the time the 3 months is up.
Do I need my own kit?
All surf kit (board, wetsuit, leash etc) is included with most of our surf experiences, but if you have any kit already you’re more than welcome to bring it with you.
Some of our courses (like the one in South Africa) include kit for the first part of the trip but then you’ll need to invest in your own stuff. South Africa is no worries though as you can grab a brand new board for around £150-£200!
If you’re looking to coach after our instructor courses, we suggest looking into buying a wetsuit and if you’re really committing, check out Surfplugs to keep your ears in good health… it’s only a suggestion though!
What skill level do I need for the instructor courses?
Both our ski and snowboard instructor courses need a minimum level of European red runs (and sometimes black) to be able to enroll, this gives you a good standard to start with and you’ll be able to fully enjoy the powder on offer. From here you can build on your skills and take your riding to the next level.
Are the courses hard to pass?
The level 1 isn’t hard to pass. It’s an entry level qualification. Participants will be assessed on their abilty to perform and teach on the mountain.
Level 2 in a big step up from the Level 1. However, the training you receive prior to the exam puts you in an excellent position to pass.
What are the pro deals?
Pro deals are discounts negotiated with suppliers for money off equipment for people working in that field. Our ski and snowboard partners have access to some great pro deals so you can buy kit out there heaps cheap, but the discount depends on what you’re buying.
How likely is it that I’ll get a job? (For courses with a guaranteed interview)
Around 95%. In recent years everyone who has wanted a job has secured one. We don’t guarantee employment, though, as it’s down to the individual to posses the skill and attitude that employers are looking for.
The interview is guaranteed, but it’s up to you to impress them and get the job!
So do Epic Gap Year Run the courses?
Nope. Epic Gap Year is a travel agency so we aren’t the actual guys running your experience. However, all our experiences are hand-sourced by our team of travellers, so we’ve personally experienced them on our own travels, run them (as course directors) or in some cases even helped build them. We’ll pass on the supplier details before your experience starts in case you need to reconfirm your start dates or ask any specific questions that the guys on the ground are better poised to answer.
You've inspired me to travel... I want more Epic travel goodness!
I had an epic time and shot some amazing pics!
Amazing! If you ever want to send us some pics of you enjoying your experience we’d love to share them on the Facebook Page and pass on the stoke!