Since running our first trips back in 1971, Trek America has established its place as the largest and most experienced small group adventure tour operator in North America.
Since running our first trips back in 1971, Trek America has established its place as the largest and most experienced small group adventure tour operator in North America.
Trek America's adventure tours are a unique combination of sightseeing and exciting adventure activities that will take you to the big cities, National Parks, remote beaches and many other hidden places off the tourist routes. Looking for singles tours and singles travel ... No problem... many of our passengers are single travellers seeking the safety and camaraderie you can only find in a small group.
Trek America's distinctive style of travel offers something different to your ordinary guided tour or package holiday. Now in our fourth decade of discovery, we have the knowledge and experience to share with you the old favourites and a few of our secret spots you won't find on a map.
But even after almost 40 years, the mystery of the open road beckons as strong as ever. Staying true to our mantra of "fun, freedom & flexibility", you never know what you'll find around the corner. Inviting the unknown, welcoming the unexpected and creating the unimaginable is what Trek America is all about.
People often refer to travelling with a touring company as being travelling ‘lite’, this is not the case; there’s no shame there’s no shame in taking away the stress of transport and accommodation whilst also saving a lot of money along the way. The trek I chose (Southern sun) was predominantly camping, which is not only cheaper, but in my opinion much more entertaining than staying in hotels (of which there are only a few nights). The most exciting/nerve-wracking part of signing up to a trek is the prospect of who you are going to be spending the next three weeks living in close-quarters with.
This is definitely a gamble that comes with using a tour company, but if it bothers you too much then take a friend with you! In my case, I was handed a fantastic group and an amazing tour leader and I have heard very few stories of this not being the case. Personally, I would recommend that you join alone, it encourages you to make an effort with new people and you will make friends faster this way. Keep in mind that Trek America only runs tours for people between the ages of 18-38 which increases your chances of being grouped with people of similar ages and tastes.
As are many of Trek America’s tours, ‘Southern sun’ is a camping trek so if you like the outdoors and the excitement of the possibility of bad weather then this is your ticket! If not, Trek America also offers lodging tours and even hotel tours if you want to pay a bit more. In my view, camping is what made the trek so exciting and adventurous. Setting up camp each day becomes second nature and only takes around ten minutes to do so, there are also some serious laughs to be had over tent-construction. America is definitely best seen from the great out-doors so I urge you to choose a camping trek!
Making friends was a huge deal on this trip, three weeks doesn’t sound like much time to be making ‘friends for life’ but as you barely leave each other’s sides for three weeks its more than enough and I can safely say I want to keep in touch with every single one of my fellow trekkers. As I was, you are probably worried about this factor, but you are almost guaranteed to have at least some people on your trek who share your mind-set and thirst for adventure. In my case, there was no effort involved in making friends because I was given the best bunch of people you could ask for! Touring is a great way of meeting people from completely different walks of life.
The main reason I chose the ‘Southern Sun’ tour was the amazingly varied range of opportunities that it offered. There was something for everyone, whether you’re into partying, hiking, or even alien-spotting, every day was different which kept the tour fresh and unpredictable. The tour guide will also often change things up on a whim in order to keep you entertained (given your approval of course). For example, we were scheduled to go white-water rafting in Tennessee but as the rivers were too low, we were diverted to Nashville instead which turned out to be a group highlight. It is in these situations that having a knowledgeable tour guide comes in handy rather than having to guess where might be a good place to visit. The experience that you have on one of these treks is exactly what you make it, it’s hard not to have a great time when you’re with great people and have very little to worry about so if you are considering travelling anywhere, check out some touring company websites.
I joined a three week trek, but you also book longer tours - there is even an eighty-day adventure across the States. Remember to take into account the fact that you’re up-front cost does not include flights (unless stated so) but Trek America does offer the opportunity to book flights via their website which can be substantially cheaper than doing it directly. Looking back on my trip, it is the best money I have ever spent on travel. If you were to do a three-week trek across America off your own back you could expect to double this cost, and with the added stresses of travel taken away, it’s well worth it. Also, although very cheesy, it’s hard to put a price on the friend’s you’ll make.
Although it’s been a while since I’ve been on my TrekAmerica trip (over two years now, geez!) I certainly won’t forget the memories I made. In July 2014, I embarked on a once in a lifetime trip across the States, starting in New York and destined for Los Angeles.
TrekAmerica offer great experiences at mostly comfortable prices; yes, they may be a tad more expensive than other tour companies, but you definitely pay for what you get. I myself opted to pay a little extra and take the hostel/hotel option of my trip, rather than the camping option – although if you’re braver than me and looking to save a few pennies, camping is definitely recommended.
The best thing about my trip was definitely our tour guide – although she possessed all the knowledge and leadership of a guide, she became one of ‘us’ during our four weeks on the road. The treks are aimed at younger people, so it helped that we had a young, ambitious guide to lead us round this diverse country.
The hostels might not always be the standard you’re used to, but in all honesty the amount of activities you do each day (and the 7am wake-up call!) means you don’t really notice it. Besides, the hotel in Las Vegas definitely makes up for it – they might have changed it since I went, but we stayed in a huge hotel right on the strip and opposite Caesar’s Palace!
Activities and experiences vary depending on where you go. I did so many on my trip that I won’t bore (entice) you with the list here – just take a look at their website and it should tell you. Extra activities for a little more money are also available too – I decided not to go on a big LA shopping spree and splurge on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon!
TrekAmerica is great if you’re a first time or nervous traveller, as everything is taken care of and you just have to go along and enjoy yourself. That said, it’s also ideal for experienced travellers that just want a hassle free trip without the aggro of planning. They are a great, friendly company, and the guides go through extensive training beforehand to make sure your trip in the U.S. is one to remember – it was for me anyway!
Day dreaming about the white sands of Ko Phi Phi, and the tear inducing views of the Taj Mahal is one thing, but having to organise said trip is a whole different adventure. That’s why for most people, the thought of having your transport and itinerary sorted for you is enough to make you weak at the knees. I certainly felt that way when I booked the Southern Sun trip with TrekAmerica across the U, S of A.
Although the thought of traveling with a trek group can be followed by an exasperated sigh by most hard-core travelers, not all of us have the luxury of time to plan such massive trips. And that’s not to say it’s impossible, but being eighteen, doing my A-Levels, applying for various universities and working part time, I was thankful to have Trek America taking most of the weight off my shoulders.
Unfortunately, as with most things, nothing is perfect. So, here are the pros and cons of traveling with a trek group, based purely on my experience I must add.
>> The Good <<
Organisation is the key
Having your itinerary sorted, but also the option to participate in rare opportunities, is a huge benefit of trekking with a company. I’ll be honest, it would have taken a lot of reading and research for me to have done everything that I managed to do on my three week Trek. Like white water rafting down the Ocoee River in Tennessee, or horse back riding at a cowboy camp in Utah. Although I am aware that many travelers reek of laidback-ness, when it comes to paying bills and studying for exams, it’s nice to take a few short cuts and minimize the stress.
A - to - B
Having transport, as well as the cost of fuel, covered in your initial payment crosses off another ‘To-Do’ on your list. Also, having a driver is an added bonus to say the least, saving you from the delights of a shady cab driver. In fact, we got talking to some guys in New Orleans who had been traveling independently from San Francisco and they admitted that joining a trek group would have probably been a much better idea ‘gas’ wise.
Having your big trip hosted by a ‘local’ who knows their stuff was a great way to get the most out of being a culture vulture. As, contrary to popular belief, North America DOES have a culture! As you travel across America you get the best of, well not both worlds, but a multitude of them! You can brush through the leaves of the heavily forested Shenandoah National park in Virginia, and next week you can be taking a jeep tour over the orange sand dunes of Monument Valley and then walk around lit up Las Vegas. Our Trek Leader, Ashley, from Lubbock Texas, gave us the awesome opportunity to meet her friends from high-school and have an old-fashioned house party, hot tub and mexican food included. Also, Ashley’s enthusiasm over hiking and national parks was extremely contagious.
Spontaneity - still possible!
With a strict itinerary and time keeping, you may think that spontaneity is out of the question. Although we were not as spontaneous as an independent trip could have been, there were still moments. For example, we had our texas house party, and a trip to the Tabasco factory in Louisiana.
Meeting new people - gone right
Now this is on my good AND bad list, but I’ll go in to that later. I was put into a group, according to age I presumed, of nine. I got on great with them, and some are still prominent facebook friends. Although, there were two girls who were a tad bit on the anti-social side, which kind of put a dampener on the trip.
>> The Bad <<
Meeting new people - gone wrong
Prior to your trek, you join up onthe Trek America online social media page, Trek America Live, which gives you the opportunity to get chatting to fellow trippers on your chosen trek. I used this to my advantage, and tool of procrastination during study leave, to make some new friends. After a few weeks of getting to know each other, we all decided to meet up in New York a few days before our Trek set off. We had a great time visiting an old Irish Pub in Brooklyn and then went to an old-American Yankees game (read more about that on my New York Bucket List post). The problems arose when we were actually divided into our trek groups. I don’t think this is something that occurs often, but as our trek was at a popular time of the year (July-August) there were enough people to take four separate trek groups, who although were on the same trek, we only saw them every now and then. And this was a shame as I was put in a completely different group to all the people I had made an effort to meet up with in New York, and even worse, had made good friends with.
Go, go, go!
Trying to squeeze 16 states into 28 days is not easy! As a result, the whole trek seemed a bit rushed, and by the end I was so tired out that I actually ended up suffering from exhaustion in Las Vegas (although, I am prone to this anyway). I couldn’t help but think that if I has planned my own itinerary, I could have had more freedom. Washington was great for a day, but by day two I had been there and seen it. If I had the choice, I would have scrapped that extra day in Washington and added it on to our stop off at Zion National park so I could finish the River walk trail. Roswell was a bit lackluster as well, and apart from an overwhelming stock of alien souvenirs and statues, I would have preferred to replace it with a trip to San Francisco.
Lack of freedom
Although we had spontaneous moments, if you wanted to do something, it was unlikely you’d get to do it unless there was a collective agreement between the whole group. For example, I wanted to visit the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Tennessee but we drove past it to make good time whilst another trek group got the once in the lifetime chance I wanted in on.
>> Overall <<
So, there you go. I do not regret my decision to do the Southern Sun trip with Trek America for a second. In fact, if trek groups like these never existed I would probably have not made it to America, let alone 16 states, in the short time between finishing sixth form and going to University. Now that I’m older though, and surrounded by fellow travel hungry companions, a hand-made big trip is something I’m looking forward to in the future.
I took the Hawaii Big Island trip in September 2016 and cannot recommend this company enough.
Obviously it's an expensive trip (but works out cheaper than doing it yourself) so I made quite a few phone calls to the company to discuss my options before taking the plunge, and they were always helpful and patient.
Pre-departure communication was excellent and this continued when I actually arrived. The guide was really down to earth and approachable - we did everything on the itinerary plus loads of little extra stops, hints & tips we were given. Anything we asked to stop at along the road was accommodated too which was brilliant.
I daren't even think how much this trip would have cost me alone (as if I'd camped I would have had to sort out either transporting my own gear from the UK or buying it there) and there are so many places not written about in the guidebooks that I would have left Hawaii without seeing.
I've been on two trek america tours now. One that only latest a few days another a week long. You can choose from so many treks that range from a couple of days to months long.
Trek is the best for solo travel or if you want to travel with your mates as within an hour or so these new people you've just met become your second family anyway. You spend most of your time with them whether it's exploring a new place or sleeping altogether in a 12 bed hostel room (blt tour) you get to know each other so well and when the trek is over it feels strange not being with then almost 24/7 anymore. So you are never on your own even if you travel there solo.
Your trek leader is also your driver, they work long days I don't know how they do it. I know i could never do that job. They know information about each place you visit, they often leave you to explore independently and in your new friendship groups and organise a time to meet up later. Other times they stay with you and join in with the fun. On the mini van your leader tries to keep everyone entertained with games to pass the time as sometimes you can be driving for around 6 hours a day. Van appreciation days! On the van you can sleep, charge your phone, listen to music, play games, and look at the sights out the windows.
I am lucky to have experienced two amazing treks and have met some lovely people along the way. I would recommend trek america to anyone, they have given me so many fantastic experiences and I have learnt so much along the way.
If your wanting to see the states for what it truly is, not just the tourist bit but the areas that are just home for people this is the best way to do it! There is several tours that you can do and there is the option to do it camping or stay in hotels/hostels. I done the southern sun and it was by far the BEST road trip I have ever done. The group was a great size the locations were great and it's not just a leader dropping you off somewhere and giving no details they tell about the area what you could do here and take in the consideration that there may be stuff in the area that you might want to see so they will take you there!
It was fantastic experience!
We started in NYC and then made all the way to LA via famous Route 66 and visiting many exciting places such as New Orleans, Houston, The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and San Diego. This trip has changed my life completely and I encourage everyone to go and live it! You will find friends for life, new ideas and traditions and you will taste real America 😍
Wish you best of luck in your journey!
i joined this tour last summer. it was great experience to me.
during 20days we visit a lot of places and we had comping,
perhaps the tour will linger long in my memory.
if i have free time i hope to join other course again.
I went for a Trek twice and both times it was an amazing exeperience. They know how to connect interseting off-side adventures with those most touristy ones. Travelling with them is not expensive, especially in South America and you can be sure that you get some great memories anyway. The tour leaders know what they do and are always eager to help and show some interesting places. I definitely recommend coming to the meeting point few days earlier and leaving not right after finishing the tour, otherwise you will miss a chance to be in bigger cities (where usually the tour starts and ends). Also people who take Treks are the best. So positive and crazy about travelling! Can't wait to book my next Trek!
I went on Trek America’s Westerner 2 trip earlier this year and it was amazing. It is really well organised and you fit so much into two weeks, with a decent amount of time in each place. I’d have loved to have had longer in some places but for two weeks this isn’t possible. The trip has been designed to maximise your experiences in each area.
The whole set up was brilliant too. Our accommodation ranged from an amazing hotel in Las Vegas to camping with just the basics in Yosemite Park. The camping was great fun and putting up tents didn’t become boring, surprisingly!
I would recommend Trek America to everyone. There’s always support at home for you and the tour leaders will answer all your questions. If they don’t know, they’ll research it. It was a trip I’ll never forget.
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