I go on about Trek America a lot, probably a bit too much in fact, so I thought it was about time I tell you what it actually is, my experiences I’ve had with them and why it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
Founded in 1972, Trek America is the longest running tour company operating in the USA. Created to let young travellers see the real America and spend time doing classic road trips in vans full of likeminded individuals, the company show you the best that the USA, Canada and Central America have to offer. From national parks to bustling cities and the countries’ biggest highlights, they have a range of places you can visit and experiences that will blow your mind.
Last summer I did the Southern BLT tour, from New York City to Los Angeles – read more about that trip here – but it wasn’t the first time I travelled with Trek. When I was 13, my family and I did a small trip around the south-west national parks, travelling from San Francisco to Las Vegas and stopping off at Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion + Bryce, the Grand Canyon and other national parks and amazing locations along the way. Travelling in a van of other families really showed me how I like to travel. It also showed me just how awesome America can be.
Designed for young travellers from around the world – my group last year consisted of people from the UK, Ireland and Switzerland – you’re thrown into action from day one with your group and tour guide. With over 70% of travellers arriving solo, you’ll never be the only person that doesn’t know anyone, and spending time together as a group establishes such happy vibes and helps create incredible memories that you will bond over forever. Travelling solo in the US can be incredibly lonely if you don’t have a serious backpacker network, so Trek America allows you to avoid lonely nights in weird hostels and days spent flying solo when you’d rather have someone to share the fun with.
Many trips that Trek does allow you to go to off the beaten path. Because all the tour guides are from the US, many of them have awesome recommendations and suggestions that you’d never be able to find on your own. For example, our tour guide last year, Kaley, was from San Diego and that meant that we could experience the city as real Californians do.
There’s so many locations and places to visit in the US that it can get confusing as to where you want to go and what the best course of travel is: Trek alleviates all these worries. Their itineraries are well-thought out and covers so much ground. Below are the route I took last year on the Southern BLT tour (on the left) and the route I’m starting a week today on the Pacific Coast tour (on the right).
You also get a choice of accommodation with Trek. From Original Camping Tours (like the one I’m doing this time!) to value-for-money Budget Lodging Tours (like I did last year) and a range of Plus Tours for the fancy travellers, there’s something for everyone. All the accommodation costs are covered in the price of the tour too, so there’s now worrying about paying extra along the way.
There’s also so much flexibility with these trips; obviously there’s a set itinerary and certain places you have to be at certain times, but when you have free time and days out of the van you can let your imagination run riot. There’s no limit to what you can do on these trips; whether you want to fly in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon or spend your night dancing up Bourbon Street, New Orleans, there’s so many opportunities and experiences waiting for you.
With trips lasting from 3 to 80 (!!) days long, there’s literally something for everyone. If you’re wanting a city-focused tour, they’ve got that covered. If you’re wanting to immerse yourself in nature and wandering between national parks, they’ve got that sorted too. If you want a mix of both, they have trips that fulfil those dreams.
Just do it. Trek America is the stuff of dreams.