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Southern BLT from New York

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Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

More than a holiday

Reviewed May 2014

For me the word 'holliday' doesn't begin to cover this amazing trek. For me it was an experience. A life changing experience.

Before I left I of course had the doubts that everyone reading this, pondering about wether or not to book this trip, will have.
'Will it be worth the money?', 'Will there be a nice athmosphere', 'Will I fit in?', 'Won't there be to much travel time', 'Will it be a problem being from a non english speaking country' etc...

I worried, but I still booked because of all the great reviews on here about the trek itself and the word about TrekAmerica out there on the world wide web. And I hope you will too, because non of those great reviews ended up being a lie.
Now, being back from my trip for two weeks, there is only one thing that I keep regretting every single day. And that is that it is all over.

This trek showed me a big chunck of America in a short amouth of time. I saw amazing cultural cities like Washington DC and Santa Fe, had a great party in Nashville and cried of amazement while riding a helicopter above the Grand Canyon.
It really shows you how diverse America is. You go from big cities, into beautifull nature in only a couple of hours.

And yes there are long hours in the van, but it never really was a problem for me. The minivan was comftable and you can enjoy the landscape by looking through the windows, or catch up on some extra sleep (remember to take some stuff to make you comftable in the van like a pillow and/or blanket or things to keep you entertained while your friends are asleep). This trek was very well organised, amazingly guided by our tourleader, with just the right amouth of personal time to do your own thing. The fact that we got alot of information to get us through our free days, aswell as activity filled guided days, made for a well filled trip with amazing memories to look back on.

You see alot on 21 days, and while it was a tight scedule it never felt really rushed. Altough I sometimes felt the desire to spend more time at a certain place, at the same time I did feel like I saw the most important things of every city we visited.

Lodging wise you will get a mix of hostels, cabins, motels and hotels. There was one being a bit questionable, most were defenitly ok and a few were amazing. It might be worth buying a sheet together with your sleeping bag in wallmart for the cabin nights and take that pillow from the van.

I had the luck that I landed in an amazing group of people and traveled under guidance of an amazing tourleader.
But I am sure you will too. Most people are traveling with the same amouth of travelspirit and desire to make fun as you will and all the TrekAmerica leaders I briefly met while being on this tour seemed very capable and nice.

I have gained a great group of friends at this trip and am counting down the days to see them again.

I have learned so much about this great country, got to know so much about the history and saw it's great nature. And while there is still much more to explore, this trek really does give you a great mixture of things to see.
Basicly I had the time of my life, with memories that will stay with me for the rest of that life.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

"The best time of my life" doesn't even reach it.

Reviewed May 2014

My biggest regret of this trip was the time I wasted being nervous about going.

Realistically flying to America on my own, meeting a group of strangers and travelling across America with them for 21 days in a confined space of a minibus is bound to be daunting, but from the minute I arrived at the gateway hotel to the minute I welled up saying goodbye I had the most amazing time. If there was a sentence which exceeded "best time of my life" I would use it, but for now that will have to do.

From beginning to end Trek America as a company was honest, reliable and helpful- from twitter question and answer sessions to email responses to the most silly questions such as "I don't like sleeping bags- will a blanket suffice?" the company made me feel at ease and supported throughout.

I had no real expectations of what our tour leader would be like- but whatever they were he was fantastic. His job was to take us to explore America, from point A to point B with several stops in between. However he went above and beyond, ensuring we experienced everything each stop had to offer, whether it be to find us an alligator in Texas without a swamp tour to blindfolding us to experience the grand canyon in all its splendour for the first time. Nothing was too much, and even the little things were made to be a massive deal.

The amount of times we were told "you will see more of America than American's" was uncountable- but it is true, they say it themselves. This is a trip of a lifetime, and the variances each day were unbelievable, one day you wake up in the desert or up a mountain, and the next you will be partying in Vegas, it was mind blowing, and each day was as exciting as the day before.

The people you are on a trip with become like your family- supporting any lows and celebrating all the highs. Some of those people will remain friends for life and only they will be able to understand exactly what we experienced together.

Southern BLT is an amazing part of America to cover- I am thrilled I picked this trip. What surprised me the most was the places I thought I was not so bothered about seeing became my favourite of the trip- I learnt a lot about America and most of all about myself. I would not hesitate to go again.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Incredible sites and so much fun!

Reviewed April 2014

It seems like a lot to go through in 21 days and believe me it was! Everything that you see on this tour is break-taking or amazing in its own right and just when you think that it cannot get any better it does. I was impressed by Washington DC on days 1 and 2 but Nashville, Santa Fe and Las Vegas proved to be my favourites in the end.

Despite being in the van many hours (it does happen a lot since you are covering a lot of ground) but our tour guide gave us frequent breaks and I was traveling with a lovely group consisting of a variety of ages and interests (18-44) - we never ran out of things to talk about! We still keep in contact via facebook and whatsapp.

The accommodation for the most part was good; although there were a few lodging that lived up to "budget". Overall I am so glad that I took this trip. March is actually quite a good time to go as we got variety of experiences - snow in the Grand Canyon but also sunny and warm days in Nashville, Austin, Houston, Carlsbad, San Diego, Las Vegas and LA.

We also had the most amazing tour guide who maximised our experience by making sure we got to place with plenty of time to look around. We were also given great resources so that on our free days we could easily get around and make the most of our time in that city/town.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

best holiday ever!!

Reviewed April 2014

im so glad i booked this tour very spontaneously one day, it was the best decision ever. and totally worth the money, it was amazing from the very start, made so many good friends, and saw so many lovely places.I was very nervous at the beginning about meeting lots of people, but within the first 24 hours youre all best friends. all the hostels and hotels were good and the trek leader was really good at showing us different places on the way to destinations. i will definately be booking another tour with this company when i can!!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Simply Amazing!

Reviewed January 2014

If you are thinking of doing this Trek, you absolutely have to do it! I'm so glad I did, I had a wonderful time and have made so many new friends!

The trip starts at The Hilton in New Jersey, so don't be fooled, you won't spend anytime in New York, so make sure you head out a few days earlier. There was a lot of travelling on the minibus, but that did give us plenty of time to chat and get to know each other and of course sleep, as you will have many late nights! I stayed in a variety of hostels, lodges, motels and hotels, all of which were great, having never stayed in a hostel before I was slightly apprehensive but they were fine, some of them were of a very high standard in terms of cleanliness and hygiene!

My trek leader definitely recommended the best places to go and see and am thankful for all his tips, it also meant that we got a lot done and stuck to our time limit to keep moving along the road. It also helps starting in New York and heading to L.A because of the different time zones so in fact we gained a few hours along the way!

Be prepared to set a budget however, being on the BLT trip meant that we ate lunch and dinner out almost everyday, so only buy snacks when you need to on the road. Also by staying in BLT we were in the city centres and meant that we could walk around and make it back to our accommodation on a night out (which happens a lot) ok.

Make sure you save up your money to do the helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, it was breathtaking! I also did a trek down the Grand Canyon the following day, take lots of water with you and be prepared to throw your shoes/trainers away as they will get very dusty! Also on the tour I went to a basketball match and an Ice hockey match, which were great.

The trip also says you need a sleeping bag, I only took one because it is very small, however I wouldn't bother as our trek leader had plenty of 'spares' or you could always pop into walmart to get one.

Vegas was great and I wish I had more time there, definitely do the minibus/party bus along the strip, you get to take your own alcohol and drink along the way! Otherwise drinks in Vegas are expensive. Also be prepared to not sleep, make sure you make the most of it, and book a show for one evening!

When we arrived in L.A. our tour guide took us to Beverley Hills/Rodeo Drive and the Walk of fame, however that is all you do in L.A, so if you wanted extra time in L.A you'd need to book it. I only had an extra day and went to Venice beach and Santa Monica pier, I don't particularly see myself going back there as I feel most of it was seen, and it is a very large city, with limited public transport!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

All American Adventure starts here ...

Reviewed December 2013

If you are considering America as a travelling destination, then this your is for you!

The locations, the people, the guide, the bus banter make for the most amazing experience of your life so far!

The accommodation was mixed between hostels, motels, hotels and cabins but always clean and always nice!

I was tentative to book the trip, thinking I can go this alone but looking back at the ground we covered and the extra little things we did which make a good trip great may not have been done has I gone it alone! Our guide was brilliant, he had just about as much knowledge as a person can have about America and had so many anecdotes and fun facts about each place we visited. From the history of the the many historical sights in Washington DC to the best live music and ribs in the south to the Tabasco factory location (a surprise stop along our journey) to timing it perfectly to watch a San Diego sunset on the beach. He was a seasoned pro!

New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville were also about the live jazz and blues for me, the foot tapping and cowboy shirt wearing travellers we became to get in the southern spirit. We were taken to cracking little eateries and directed to good bars to soak up the culture!

Texas showed us it's full range of quirky shops and bars to taxidermy in a Dairy Queen.

Monument Valley was a highlight for me, we saw the stunning sights, we then hopped on a jeep to take a closer look. Our Monument Valley guide was a Navajo who told us legends, played us some traditional music and then we dined under the stars with some local cuisine. The Grand Canyon was equally as spectacular and hiking down was amazing! Those that did the helicopter ride spoke with such enthusiasm that I'm have no doubt that would be amazing but personally I think you still get feeling of and can appreciate the canyon fully from the ground! Our guide made it possible to see the canyon at sunrise, sunset and hiring the day which made for breathtaking views!

Vegas was like nothing it have experienced, having made some firm friendships by this point we partied hard and loved every second! We had a party bus to take us to various locations to pose in front of the sign, to experience Freemont street and witness the spectacular that is the Ballagio water display. Out guide had got us VIP entry to a few hotel clubs which meant we spent the night dancing away! We spent the following day feeling slightly worse for wear bit determind to experience all the strip had to offer! Visiting the Stratosphere and as many hotels as you can fit in is a must! That night we caught a show, hopped in a limo and danced the night away once more!

The San Diego beaches were incredible, seeing the Hollywood sign and shopping in LA finished the tour up nicely!

Whilst there we managed to catch basketball and ice hockey games which I would thoroughly recommend doing, they are like nothing I have witnessed in England!

Be prepared for full on fun, lots of driving (you are travelling the width of America!), meeting wonderful and wacky people and having an adventure of a lifetime! What are you waiting for!!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Best way to see America in a short space of time

Reviewed October 2013

Our tour guide was amazing and the experience wouldn't have been the same without him. He made sure we got everything we possibly could out of our trip and we definitely did, he did a lot of research and even added fun facts for all the places we went to, or even appropriate music on our long driving days, city maps, info on public transport, etc.! Great experience, totally unforgettable, best memories for life!

This trip had a mix of everything I wanted. Adventure, hiking, group experience, national parks, cities, fun nights out and live music, and experiencing different cultures. As for the cities, I enjoyed San Diego the most and will go back later on to explore this city.

Monument Valley jeep tour was unforgettable. Optional activities such as white water rafting, swamp tour, and the Grand Canyon helicopter tour: I would recommend these to anyone and everyone!

The steam boat in New Orleans was a bit disappointing. It took us along this Industrial area, there's not much to see there except for factories, and I wouldn't have done the boat trip if I had been aware of this.

I think I joined my first Trek America trip in 2009, and it was the best experience ever! I've been a Trek America addict ever since haha...

Travelling by yourself can be pretty expensive, and I didn't want to drive a car across the country on my own. So joining a trip like this was the perfect solution! You will meet people from all over the world, who are on this tour for the same reasons you are, and travel together and share experiences with them! The international concept is interesting, and I often keep in touch with the people I have traveled with.

Live, travel, adventure, bless and don't be sorry!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Great Tour, Great People, Great Memories

Reviewed September 2013

Anyone who is looking at these reviews to work out whether you should or shouldn't do this trek, let me assure you its one of the best things you will ever do.

This was the first time I'd ever been to America, never mind going alone for so long! I was quite nervous, because 3 weeks is a long time to spend with people you don't know, and might end up hating half way through. That wasn't the case though. Everyone else there is in exactly the same situation. Only 1 person in my group had been to America before, so it was pretty new to all of us.

The forum is great in being able to talk to people on your trek, get to know them a little, so when you're sitting in the Hilton the morning of your trek, it makes you feel a lot less nervous when there are a few familiar faces about. But as soon as your tour guide walks in, the excitement builds and you can sense their enthusiasm to make sure you get the most of your trek.

The one thing you have to keep in mind for this trek is that you're doing so much, in so many states over a short period of time, so there is a lot of travelling in the van. In our case there was only 10 people in a 15 seater van, so there was plenty of room to move about, get comfy, talk to the people around you, play travel games, listen to some of the local music (which may I add is a tour highlight), and having a little snooze if you hit the dancing juice a bit too hard the night before!

After just a couple of days we formed a really tight-knit group, and most of the people I really hope to see and possibly trek with in the future! Everyone was willing to just go with the flow, and just have fun, even if it was doing something silly that you would never do at home, but you're on holiday, so who cares?!

There are so many highlights to choose from, but my favourites would include sitting in a bar, soaking up the culture in Nashville, Downing a wet willies slushie in Memphis (Bad, bad idea!), The swamp tour in New Orleans, The stunning scenery at both Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, The night out in Vegas, and just generally the banter that was going on throughout the trip.

One thing I should obviously mention is the tour guide. Our tour guide (Julia), was absolutely amazing, both as a tour guide, and as a friend who you could have great banter with. She was more than someone who was just doing her job, but rather someone who both wanted you to get the most out of it, but really wanted to get the most out of it too. She was very accommodating too, from going slightly off-route so you can have a specific food that you wanted for lunch, or going to sites that aren't on the itinerary, such as the 4 corners monument. She's definitely a friend I've made for life, and hopefully if I'm trekking again our paths will cross.

A big thanks to Trek America, Julia, and all the people on the trip who made this one of the most amazing experiences of my life!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

amazing

Reviewed August 2013

Anyone thinking about booking on this or another trek, dont think just do it, you will have an amazing time I know I did!

This was my first time travelling alone and also my first time to America so i was a little nervous, but i had no reason to be everyone you meet is in the same boat and there for the same reason - to have a good time whilst travelling one of the greatest countries :o) the forum was definitely a great help, getting tips from previous trekkers and talking to others on your trek definitely makes the first time meeting them a whole lot easier!

You see so much in a short amount of time so there is a lot of time spent in the van, but to be honest i really enjoyed the journeys! they were part of the experience! Playing games, listening to music "she thinks my tractors sexy!" looking at the scenery, daydreaming, chatting and sleeping....I know I would rather be in that van every morning than on a train to work!

My highlights would have to be Nashville, Memphis "fancy a slushy Chris?", New Orleans, swamp tour "i hate flying bugs" ,monument valley "t-rex", grand canyon "go team kebab!", Vegas and San Diego, although each and every day was amazing!
My worst parts - saying goodbye, and being attacked by flying bugs!

Our tour guide Julia was very helpful and really helped make this trip the best holiday I have ever had! and I will definitely be booking on another trek next year!

I have made memories that will stay with me forever, tasted great food, visited amazing places, met some odd people and made some great friends who I hope to stay in contact with for a long time!

Thankyou trek America :o)

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Amazing!

Reviewed August 2013

Anyone thinking about booking on this or another trek, dont think just do it,you will have an amazing time!

This was the first time travelling alone and also my first time in America so i was a little nervous, but i had no reason to be everyone you meet is in the same boat and there for the same reason - to have a good time whilst travelling one of the greatest countries :o)

You see so much in a short amount of time so there is a lot of time spent in the van, but to be honest i really enjoyed the journeys! they were part of the experience!

Our tour guide Julia really made this trip the trip of a lifetime for me! and I will definitely be booking on another trek next year!

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