As many of you know, because I won’t stop harping on about it, in 50 days or so (i’ve scheduled this post, so it’s something around that) I will be embarking on a grand solo adventure, travelling from Newark to San Francisco in 26 day days with Trek America. I recently came to be in a situation where I had no ginormous financial responsibilities and no current job and it just seemed like the right time for me to spread my wings and explore the world, embarking on a road trip I have wanted to do for so, so long. I thought I would share a few posts before/and after the trip, sharing my experiences, thoughts and any tips I may pick up. Today’s post is about the process of booking my trip thus far…
Choosing Trek America
Now there are many options for seeing and travelling America. My dream has always been to rent a campervan and road trip myself across America, however due to being a single female, I decided that this was just not a feasible option. And although people say Trek America can be pricey, I paid £1,800 for my trek which covers the cost of the van, the petrol, and more importantly the trek leader for 26 days (as well as the tent, sleeping mat etc). When you take into account the cost of driving across America, it probably isn’t that much more at the end of the day. There are also quite a few companies and tours that operate things like Trek America, such as Top Deck Tours, STA Travel etc, so definitely investigate other options if you want to see what else is on offer. I decided to go for Trek America as they had a trek that was perfect for me and fit in a lot of things I wanted to see and do, as well as being good value for money.
It was so hard deciding on a specific tour as there are so many amazing adventures available to choose from; however I went for the Americana, 26 day coast to coast tour as it covered states I wanted to see and quite a few national parks. I also chose this tour as it is 22 days camping, and 4 nights in hotels (Oklahoma and Vegas). Lots of people that I have spoken to have been like whaaaat WHY would you choose to do that, and tbh it’s simple; I just want to have the best experience possible, and camping out in American National Parks and new states just sounds incredible. I’ve also heard that when you camp, you bond way way more as a group, as often people go on these types of trips in pairs and when you do the tours with hostels, people tend to stay in their pairs, or pair up with people and it can apparently get quite cliquey. However with camping everyone has to muck in, get involved, and of course i’m envisaging some camp fire bonding too, complete with beers and smores. Go hard or go home right?
The booking process
The booking process has been amazing, and the support i’ve had from the Trek America team has been a dream. From the start I was assigned someone who looked after my booking right from the initial few emails asking about the tours, up until the end, paying the balance for my tour and ALL the questions after. The lovely Kerry (and Natasha) were so helpful, answering all my pretty silly e-mails and helping me. In fact I saw the tour on a 20% deal, went to book it after a weekend and saw the deal had ended, emailed the team and just because they’re LOVELY, they let me have it for the discounted price, even though the sale had actually ended. BABES. I do recommend booking your tour when there is a sale on (which is basically ALWAYS). They also helped me to add on the hotel for the night before, which I decided to do at a later date, and were always there. I felt so well looked after.
I also decided to book my flights separately, and the people at Trek America were amazing for flight quotes etc, but I knew someone who worked at Flight Centre, and the lovely Shelley helped organise my flights for me and they actually worked out way cheaper than I had factored for, always a bonus.
Planning and prepping in the run up to your trek
I love organising. And the minute after I booked my trip, I had a clean notebook at the ready, a few plastic folders and some clear wallets on hand, and my organisational hat was firmly on. I think I had even sorted out my ESTA literally 4 minutes after booking it, lolll. I do recommend being organised from the get go, printing off your tour vouchers, flight details, ESTA, insurance policy etc right from the start rather than leaving it to the last minute, as no one really likes a last minute kerfuffle do they? I will do a more in depth post with more tips, most likely after I return!
I’ve also been annoying like everyone who has ever been on a Trek America trek, and the super babes that are Milly, Brogan and Laura have been so knowledgeable and helpful for so many things – so deffo check their Trek posts and videos out!
I’m going to do a few more posts (mainly when I return) about what to pack, details of the days I visit, things I learnt etc. If you have any questions, or even better, ANY TIPS, let me know!