Reviews

Northeastern BLT

(36)
Average Rating:
4.7 out of 5
Showing 1-10 of 30 Reviews
Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

Absolutely incredible experience!

Reviewed May 2016

This was my first trek and I didn't quite know what to expect, but it was better than I ever could have hoped for. I had the most amazing time! I had a really great group of people, and our tour leader Emily was brilliant. We experienced every weather condition possible, going from snow, rain, hail, wind to sunshine and 25C temperatures. I recommend this trip to anyone. Stowe seems like a strange stop on this tour, but its actually one of my favourite parts, its nice to have a break from the big cities - definitely check out the mini golf and Bingham Falls. Best trip I've ever been on, overall!!

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

Underwhelming, disappointing

Reviewed January 2016

Firstly, the trek was exceptionally expensive for what it was - I have been left very disappointed.

Tour - £1300
Flights - £1100
Spending money - Upwards of £1000

To put that in perspective, I could have booked out a central NY apartment from Boxing Day - 2nd Jan for nearly half the price of the tour alone.
Day 1 - Meet in New Jersey, Newark and travel 8 + hours to upstate NY to Buffalo. I assure you, there is no need for this stop off. It is used as a sleepover before heading to Canada (So, why didn't we just meet in Canada?). The hostel was shabby.
Day 2 - Get up early to do an additional 8+ hours to Toronto. We were promised we would get to see the 'breathtaking Finger lakes'... We looked at this out of the window on the motorway. Breathtaking is the amount of money I paid for this trip to experience an 'unforgettable experience'. The Toronto hostel was basic but clean. We didn't see or do anything in Toronto because we had to be up early to then begin the travel to Montreal. Whilst travelling to Toronto, we did visit Niagara Falls. We had 45 minutes there... So could not do all the touristy things like ride the boat nor go behind the falls. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. We also had a stop off in China Town, which TrekAmerica described as "sight seeing in ultra trendy Toronto|", let me assure you now; China Town is not remotely ultra trendy by any stretch of the imagination. We had dinner and then paid $40 to visit the CN Tower. That only gets you to a certain height above the city... its $120 all the way to the top and I thought breakfast at the Shard was overpriced, not in comparison. The sight of the city is not breath taking, At all.
Day 3 - Christmas Eve. Montreal.
Unfortunately, a lady on our tour lost her passport which increased the driving time from 8 hours to 12 hours. We were stuck on the bus for an obscene amount of time... We could not explore what Toronto had to offer. Again, this trip cost me £1300. So, it transpired that the consulate was not open on Christmas Eve. Trek America failed to call ahead before hand, so the whole group remained on the bus for the duration of this affair. So, no 'sight seeing in ultra trendy Toronto'.
Christmas Day - Montreal.
The Montreal hostel was pleasant and the hostel did put on a few good things e.g. Xmas Pub Crawl etc. However, due to everything being closed, there wasnt anything to do. We walked round Mt Royale, this was nice. But for £1300 and £1000 spending money and £1100 on flights, I am expecting a little more than nice. So, early to bed as we have another full day on the bus for Boxing Day. Yipee. That's right, no more sight seeing not even Boxing day shopping.
Day 4 - En route to Stowe.
5 hours to drive to Burlington, which is a cute little stretch of stored. Thats it. Once in Stowe, we stayed in a something similar to a log cabin, which was adorable BUT the wifi did not work and there was like one bathroom between 10 of us... We then had to pay a $10 contribution for a meal prepared for us. Erm, I just paid £1300 for this trip and we're staying in Hostels. What an insult! Stowe has nothing exciting going on in it unless there is snow... (whilst this isnt TrekAmericas fault) I hope this gives you an idea that we spent a little over 48 hours in purgatory. We had a free day in Stowe and we saw the Von Trapp Family lodge. Again, early to bed as we had to make our way to Boston.
Day 6 - Boston
So, more travelling on the bus... We stopped off in Salem. Salem is actually pretty cool due to the history associated with the area. We had 2 free days in Boston but one day was spent 8 hours travelling. We were not well equipped with information on the area at all. Luckily, I have some friends in Boston and they took us round the freedom trail, frogmoor lake, shopping in Cambridge, Harvard, MIT and the sight where the tragic Boston Bombings happened. But please, save your money and book an Airbnb round the area and spend 4 days there enjoying this lovely city. You'll still have change from £1300 at least!
The last leg of the tour, on our way to New York. Again, more and more bus time - a total of 10 hours from Boston to NY as we stopped off by Yale. Seeing all these uni's may have been good had their been a frat party. Anyway, the hostel in NY was ideally located in all fairness. But it was basic. All our time was free in NY and well, it is what you make it. At least New York is awesome!
All in all, we spent on average of the time awake just over a third of our time travelling on a bus.
This is an honest experience had by me, it was very expensive for something I would never describe as an 'unforgettable experience'
Please note that the tour guides were lovely and so kind.

Response from TrekAmerica:

"Thank you for the feedback regarding your Northeastern BLT. Without your name it isn’t possible for us to address your points directly however, having reviewed other feedback forms submitted by travellers on the recent Christmas/New Year’s departure I notice the majority rated the tour as excellent.

TrekAmerica are very clear on our website and brochure as to what is included and amount of time spent in each place. This includes the Trek Tips document available for download prior to purchase which also details the style of accommodation plus optional activities and prices.

Being the holiday period it does occur that some activities and points of interest are closed. We do mention this clearly on the website tour page, but also that the tour leaders will source things to fill the time each day. I note other travellers were content with the tour and how time was spent, and we are sincerely sorry you do not share the same sentiments and the tour did not meet your expectations."

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

Wonderfully diverse trip packed full of activities and entertainment

Reviewed August 2015

Fantastic trip with great company and an awesome leader. Excellent mix of city-life and rural escape; activity-packed days and relaxation.

This was my first trek and I went alone, as did most of the group. Forums and chat made it easy to get in touch with a few of the trekkers before hand and even make plans to see New York together. Even longer distance drives were enjoyable with such a great group and brilliant 'Fun Facts' from our leader, and all travel was comfortable. Highlights were not disappointing: Niagara Falls, Jet Boating in Montreal, and even minor stop-offs were cool: Baseball in Buffalo, breweries and Ben and Jerry's in Vermont, Cheers bar in Boston.

Organised activities kept the momentum, but there was still plenty of free time to explore and indulge in the optional extras and culture.

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

2 countries, 2 cities and 5 states in 9 days.

Reviewed June 2015

Where do I start. This was my very first trek tour and it took me a very long time to pluck up the courage to book it but I'm so glad that I did.

This is the perfect trip if maybe time is limited or you want to visit two countries in once. This trip went to places including Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Stowe, Connecticut and. Buffalo.

I met the rest of my group on a Saturday morning along with the tour leader Crystal who was very nice and friendly.

Going in June, the weather was very nice in all the locations except for the few times it rained while in Boston, Niagara Falls and Montreal.

Now on to destinations. The first stop was Finger Lakes where we had lunch and got to do some wine tasting and sample fudge. The next stop was Buffalo where of course we had buffalo wings. The next couple of days included going to Niagara Falls, visiting the CN tower in Toronto and Montreal. I have to recommend while in Montreal visiting the O.Noir restaurant. It's a restaurant where you dine in the dark and are served by blind waiters. Only some of my group done it but I feel like it was an amazing experience as me and my fellow travellers were making jokes and just having a great time.

There is so much to do in Montreal so you won't be stuck with nothing to do. I decided to take a hop on hop off bus to go around Montreal and also went to the Grevin wax museum along with exploring much more of Montreal.

After the fast pace movement of Toronto and Montreal, the next stop is Stowe where you get to stay in a house for 2 nights. I have to admit, I was a bit weary so Stowe and thinking that it would be very boring but actually it was very nice. Firstly it was nice having the house as my group of to have cook and have meals together and in the evenings we drank, played games and done karaoke.

In terms of activities along with the Ben and Jerry tour, some of my group went bike riding, one went to a nearby spa while the rest of us walked around the town which was very nice. There are local shops that sell wine, cheese, food, beauty products, clothes and accessories. I bought some soap and a Kate Spade phone case from some cute little shops so if you like shopping do check out the shops located near the house.

The final stop was Boston which is an amazing city with so much to do such as the Harvard tour, Boston Common,the freedom trail and Quincy Market. There are lots of places to eat such as pizza, lots of Subways and Dunkin Donuts and Chinatown is near by the hostel. There's also lots of places to drink and shop too if that interests you. There is a Macy's and Bath and Body Works store near Boston Common and shops such as Victoria's Secret and Urban Outfitter near Quincy Market.

On the last day before heading back to New Jersey we stopped off in New Haven, Connecticut where we visited Yale university.

All in all I would say that this is an amazing trip to do what with visiting 2 different countries, 2 cities in Canada and at least 5 states in America. The hostels were all decent, some were better than others if I'm honest but still not bad. They were in good locations too with nearby bars and restaurants. You do spend a lot of time in the van with the longest drive being over 7 hours from Toronto to Montreal but you do stop for lunch and have lots of stops in between to use the toilet/buy snacks and also so the leader can get more petrol.

If you are still unsure about booking this trip I would say don't think and just book it as you won't regret it.

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

A.W.E.S.O.M.E

Reviewed April 2015

I'll keep this short and sweet as I don't want to give away many spoilers.

I booked this trip having no idea what was in store for me, although I've done similar things before, I've not seen any of the US or Canada.

I met the rest of our group (13+Leader) in a hotel Saturday morning in NJ. Immediately I just knew that this group wouldn't have any issues. Everyone was totally relaxed and everyone got on for the whole trip with no issues whatsoever.

Patrick, out leader, was perfect. Total balance of fun/knowledge/sensibility and really made the trip for us

Regarding the destinations, everything was good/great with the exception of Buffalo and Finger lakes (in my opinion). Although, when your driving up to Toronto from NJ, you're pretty limited with stop-off destinations so I can't really see any way of improving this stop. There's nothing wrong with Finger Lakes/Buffalo, it's just a bit quiet/nothing to do! You're only there for 12-18 hours anyway.

Once you hit Toronto, everything changes and every day is action packed with things to do, you've rarely got a minute to sit down as there's just so much going on, which is great.
I won't go into detail about the destinations after Buffalo but every single town/city/stop afterwards is really great.

We went in March, fairly soon after the rubbish weather that hit the East Coast. There was still deep snow in most of the destinations but that just added to the magic of the trip.

The trip is great value for money, the accommodation is 3-4 star (hostel-wise) and there weren't any grim moments, and I'm a bit of a hotel snob so the accommodation is pretty good.

My tip would be to fly into Newark the night before, stay at the Hotel that Trek America meet at, and then book 2-3 nights in Manhattan after the trip as there will likely be others in your group with the same intention.

I loved the trip and still speak to a few of the girls/guys, best holiday in years and I'm looking at my next Trak America trip somewhere on the West Coast.

Stop reading and book it already!!

Tom

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

The best way to see the North East

Reviewed March 2015

It's unbelievable how you can fit so much into 10 days! The trip starts out with a quick pit stop in the Finger Lakes region where we got to sample wine and fudge, a great start to our holiday! This is where the deep snow and freezing temperatures began and they never left us for the remainder of our trip! Buffalo was a snowy quick stop before Niagara Falls which was frozen when we got there but still fantastic to see. Toronto was next, this was the only part of the tip which felt a little rushed but we still manage the CN tower. Montreal next and we spent our free day ice skating and visited the O.Noir restaurant such a strange and fun experience! Then off to Stowe and a quick stop at Ben and Jerrys on the way. Stowe was amazing and after a few nights in hostels it was so nice to stay in a house for 2 nights. Our whole group got on so well that we spent the two nights in there having drinks by the fire. Stowe was lovely and our group spent the day snow shoeing or skiing. The final stop on the tour was Boston. A friendly city and full of Irish bars! We walked The Freedom Tour and had cocktails at a roof top bar. We had an amazing group and a great leader in Justin who couldn't be faulted.

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

The Coolest Trip in Every Sense of the Word

Reviewed March 2015

My group and I went on this trek during some of the coldest weather the region had seen in the last two decades. We were shivering in the van for hours on end, we were buying hot drinks at petrol stations just so we could hold the warm cups*, and the snow was so deep at times that we were essentially scrambling from A to B.

Despite all this, it was STILL one of the best holidays I've ever had. At the time of writing this review, I've been home for a week and I'm already pining for every place I visited, as well as the people whom I visited these places with.

Remember that moment from 'Lost' when Jack and Kate are in LA and Jack starts screaming, "WE HAVE TO GO BACK!"? That's been me since being home and back in work. I'm Dr. Jack Shepherd**.

And there's no part in particular which stood out from the rest - every bit of the trip was fantastic - EVEN in Buffalo when the weather was at its coldest (Buffalo wings at The Anchor Bar made up for that in heaps). It's difficult to describe but every city had its own vibe, moving to the beat of its own drum, and while the big cities were certainly exciting, spending a couple of lazy nights in Stowe was a welcome change of pace. Stowe was quietly one of the highlights of the trip.

It's a short trip in comparison to other Trek America tours, but if you've got the money to burn then it's a tour I'll always recommend. I loved every moment of it***. Hopefully you'll have a group as friendly as mine and a tour guide who did his job as well as ours did. If you're not as fortunate as I was, then whack in your headphones, listen to Fat Freddy's Drop, and enjoy the scenery; it'll still be one the best trips you've ever had.

*That was a lie - I drank all the coffee. All of it - 'til it was pouring out of my ears. Green Mountain hazelnut coffee, especially.

**That was also a lie, I'm not Dr. Jack Shepherd. Dr. Jack Shepherd is a fictional character.

*** Well, maybe not the Salem Witch Museum.

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

An incredible trip!

Reviewed March 2015

I travelled alone and not really sure what to expect, but I had no reason to worry. My group were amazing and the tour leader Justin was brilliant! Despite the snowy conditions, we travelled up through America, wine tasting along the way. Buffalo wings in Buffalo, Niagara Falls/Toronto, CN Tower (and -37degrees) Montreal ice skating, O'Noir restaurant and sight seeing, snowshoeing and the Ben and Jerry's factory in Stowe and the Cheers bar and Freedom Trail in Boston! The hostels were good, but the best place was the house we stayed in in Stowe; chilling out in front of the log fire after a day snow shoeing! A short trip around the North East, but every day was different and just a taster of what America has to offer!

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

A very nice experience in wintertime

Reviewed February 2015

I enjoyed this trip very much, it takes you through some beautiful cities and has some great highlights. I really loved Boston and wish we could spend more time there. Stowe is another place I liked a lot, just wish we had more snow.

Past Trekkers Review
Northeastern BLT

An amazing experience

Reviewed November 2014

This was the first time I visited North America and was a great introduction to travelling on long distance holidays. I did this trek as I always wanted to visit Niagara Falls and the CN Tower which is a must do on this trip. I met some amazing people in my group despite being a bit nervous before the trek started. Gave a taste of what America and Canada have to offer and will be using Trek America for future holidays to North America.