An all American cross-country road trip complete with wild Las Vegas parties, riding through the desert on horseback with real Cowboys and rowing a questionable boat through a swamp in the Deep South with a fearless, toothless bloke that the locals affectionately call “Alligator Jack” due to his numerous encounters of the scaly kind: This is the kind of adventure that most people only dream about and for those of us who are lucky enough to participate, it’s the sort of thing that you will remember for the rest of your life.
I had pretty much always known about Trek America: my Mother had gone on one of their very first “Westerner” tours across California back in the Seventies!
They offer a variety of tours around the US, Canada and South America to suit every taste, budget and time frame.
The experience is one of a good old American road trip – fun nights drinking beers and cooking s’mores over the campfire and travelling from point to point in a camper full of new found International friends. Though the distances were sometimes long, the driving time passed by quickly as we played games, sang songs and generally had an absolute blast driving through the stunning landscapes of the United States.
I opted for the “Southern Sun” tour: a three week coast-to-coast camping experience starting in Los Angeles, passing through Las Vegas and a number of jaw dropping National Parks of the Great West, before heading South through Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee, then travelling up the East Coast to Washington DC and finally ending the tour in the Big Apple, NYC.
Trek America saw us pitching our own tents each night (or in my case… trying to at least! By the time I had hammered one nail into the soil to begin setting the thing up, my camp mates had pretty much finished setting up theirs and were scrambling over to help!) , taking it in turns to cook for our fellow trekkers and having the opportunity to spend time with people from all walks of life.
You get to know each other pretty well, being at such close quarters for three weeks and by the end of the trip I knew that I had made some friends for life: it felt emotional to say goodbye!
Go it Alone or Guided Tour?
Normally, I am very insistent that you can just as easily (and often much more affordably) travel certain routes by planning the trip independently rather than going on a tour, however when it comes to driving vast distances across the United States, it is going to be a lot less fun doing those lengthy drives alone, and I probably wouldn’t recommend rocking up to a Camp Ground in the Deep South by yourself. Trek America offers a unique and fun social experience.
I Don’t Wanna Camp! What About My Hair Straighteners? What About My Make Up?
I hear ya sis, I hear ya. I’m a bit of a Vain Jane; I love to travel and I don’t mind “roughing it” a bit but within reason; I still like to look presentable for my travel pictures.
Thankfully the campsites that you stop at have modern amenities including nice, clean restrooms (check me out utilising the American lingo!) and shower facilities, and plug points for your electricals.
For those who want a little more luxury, most tours have a “BLT” (“Budget Lodging Tour”) version that sees you stay in hotels and self catered accommodation in place of campsites.
My Friends Don’t Want To Come – Will I Be a Weirdo Doing a Tour Alone?
Good lord no! I went on my trip alone, and quickly made great friends.
In reality, the majority of my group was made up of solo travellers, but whether you are travelling as a party of many, or a party of one, you are certain to meet like-minded individuals.
How Is The Trip Structured?
Each trip has an accompanying itinerary with a schedule planned out for each of the days. That said, there is a balance of planned activities and free time so that you have time to do your own thing too.
What Do I Need To Bring?
Thankfully Trek America provide most of the equipment that you need for camping – tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats. What you need to pack is dependent on the tour you choose, but it would be prudent to be sure to have some comfortable walking shoes and perhaps some basic hiking gear as you will be doing a lot of walking once you reach the National Parks.
How Much Dosh Should I take?
Again, this is dependent on the tour that you choose, the itinerary on the webpage of your chosen trip will provide you with an indicative amount for you to take with you. There are some activities that are covered by the tour, and some optional ones which have to be paid for locally. You will also pay into a ‘food kitty’ for the groceries and cooking supplies.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my Trek America experience. I’ve noticed that there is also a “Northern” cross country tour which heads back from New York, to Los Angeles via all the Nothern States – definitely one I am considering for the future!
Disclaimer: High Heels & A Backpack believes in total transparency when it comes to tours and reviews. I paid for my Trek America trip in full by myself. I did not receive any perks or discounts as a Blogger, and did not notify the company that I was a Blogger in attendance. All views and opinions expressed throughout this article, and related articles are my own.