Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

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Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]


Reviewed September 2016

So for me this was my 'trial' travel. I've done short city breaks in the past, but recently i have been thinking more and more about just going travelling. I booked this tour in particularly as i thought it was an ideal time, and it encompassed the main sites i wanted to see. I wanted to see how i faired living out of a rucksack, being on the go, budgeting my money, and being with strangers as i am quite shy. I spent a few days in NY beforehand and then the trek started. Do i still want to go travelling? ABSOLUTELY!!!

This trek was amazing from beginning to end. It is a complete whirlwind, you never stop, and it is absolutely exhausting, but it is so worth it! Besides, you get to sleep on the bus!!

The tour is made up of two separate trips, the freedom trail and the western wonder. Which for us meant that some people left the tour after the east coast, and more joined us on the west. We also changed tour leaders on each side. However this wasn't an issue as many of us continued for the whole trip. I certainly made some friends i hope to travel with again!!! The dynamic of these tours is fab, you travel, eat, sleep, party, and everything else, together! If you are thinking about travelling, but aren't sure where or which tour to do, i cannot recommend this trip, or any trek america trip enough. It has given me the travel bug and i cannot wait to start making my travel plans!!!

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Experience of a Lifetime! Loved it!

Reviewed July 2015

I have always been pretty apprehensive about booking a trip like this but one night I just rung up and did it - and it was the best thing I've ever done!

I was worried about travelling alone and I had read lots of reviews saying 'you've got nothing to worry about' but you still have an element of worry. I'm telling you exactly what the other reviews said... Going alone is better!!! You meet so many people, you do everything you want and you surprise yourself! Do not worry about going alone, the majority of the people on the trip will be alone as well.
It didn't take us 5 minutes to all mingle and it was brilliant.

The thing that was so amazing about this trek is that you see so much in 15 days! I mean i'm writing this now and i'm still surprised how much we did. This isn't a holiday... if your up for a relaxing time, this is not for you! It's intense, there is A LOT of travelling and you barely sleep but I had the best time.

I was worried about the camping aspect of it and on the first night I was worried but that soon went - you just have to throw yourself into the camping life.

You see some amazing places, you meet amazing people and you will have the time of your life!

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]


Reviewed October 2014

The Coast to Coast Express is AMAZING! I could not recommend it more, so if you can't be bothered to read on, my one piece of advise is to BOOK IT NOW!

You start off doing the Freedom Trail on the East Coast which includes visiting Washington DC, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Niagara Falls and Boston. This first half was great fun and my highlights included the beautiful view from the top of the Washington Monument, eating philly cheese steaks, driving through the amish farmlands in Penslyvania and of course Niagara Falls.
Do realise that you don't actually have any time in New York included within the tour, and would have to come a few days earlier to explore the city which I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND! There was one free evening before we flew to LA, which gave you the option to get the train from Newark to New York but it only allowed a few hours in the city. If you do manage to go to NYC, make sure you go up Rockefellers, the view of NYC is breathtaking.
The flight from NYC to LA takes around 5 hours, and this is where you start the second half of your tour - The Western Wonder. This half was definitely my favourite of the two!
We visited Venice Beach, LA, Hollywood, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite and San Francisco.
There is one night in which you'll stay at Lake Havisu and this was such a wonderful place - right on a lake front next to some mountains. We swam, had a BBQ, climbed the mountain at sunset and had some drinks under the most amazing sky of stars!
Vegas was amazing but expensive. Freemont St (The Old Strip) is great and I felt 2 nights was a perfect amount of time in the city. Yosemite was probably my favourite place in the whole two weeks where we did a 9 mile hike from the top to the bottom of Yosemite - I would definitely recommend this, even if you're not a hiker as the walk is beautiful.
You also don't get long in San Francisco, I would again recommend booking an extra night or two to explore the city (and Alcatraz is well worth a visit but book early!!!)

The mix of camping/lodges/hotels/hostels in great and even though the majority of your time will be spent camping, just enjoy it, and throw yourself into the camping lifestyle. It's not glamorous but it's great fun!

Overall, an amazing trek and you will meet some amazing people. Everyone has the same frame of mind and don't be scared to travel alone! My group were all wonderful and I don't think I've ever laughed so much in my life! Our tour leaders Ned and Fiona were really great and made the trek so enjoyable! It's also a great way to see some of the best sites in America, in a short space of time, affordably! And the long time spent in the mini bus is totally not as bad as you might expect- you get to see so much of America en-route and theres plenty of singing, games, sleeping and gas stops to get you through it!
Just book it, now, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Trip of a Lifetime!

Reviewed August 2014

I was extremely apprehensive before travelling on the Coast to Coast Express trek, but there was no need to be. Combining two week-long treks around the east and west coasts, we were treated to the very best sights of the country crammed into two exhilarating weeks. Our guides were enthusiastic and fun, giving their all to work around our wishes to make sure we had the greatest possible holiday. Although sleep was limited at many points throughout the trek, that was mainly our own fault for wanting to do as much as we possibly could (and you could always sleep in the van!).

This has been the single greatest holiday of my life by a long way, and I have come away with so many memories and new friends which I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I would honestly say that it has been a life-changing experience, and I would thoroughly recommend this trek to anyone.

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

The best thing I have ever done!

Reviewed August 2014

The Coast to Coast trip was incredible! I was a bit nervous before going, but this stopped as soon as I arrived. The tour guides are really helpful and great fun and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be travelling around with. To top it off seeing the best of the East and West coasts is a great combination.

If you have a limited amount of time, as I did, then do this trip, you will not regret it. It is hectic and you don't get too long in some places, but having said this I wouldn't have changed it. I saw places I had only dreamed of seeing before, have made some new friends for life and the life experience is invaluable. I am already looking at the next Trek I want to book onto!

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Awesome once in a life time experience.

Reviewed July 2014

If you have limited time but want to see the best America has to offer this is the way to do it.

The trip is exhausting, you will forget what sleep is, but the adrenaline and excitement will take over and you'll have the best time of your life.

Things to know before you go: this trip is made up of two seperate tours the freedom trail and the western wonder. There might not be just coast to coasters on your trip, on my trip there was eight of us doing the coast to coast express and five people each doing the freedom trail and the western wonder, meaning we had to say goodbye to friends halfway through and do the whole getting to know you thing again when we got to LA. You also have two tour leaders. Money wise, a good estimate of how much to take is the cost of the trip in dollars ($1500ish). I took more than this but did a lot of shopping in NY, two helicopter flights and still came home with $400. I travelled alone as did the majority of my fellow trekkers and we soon bonded and became great friends, if you're thinking about traveling alone, do it, it can be a little daunting but it'll be so worth it.

What to pack: I honestly had no idea what I would need so took a bit of everything and was so glad I did as the climate changes dramatically, from rain, cloud, thunderstorms and fog to extreme heat. Cater for every weather condition as you'll probably experience it! Also bring bug spray as the critters are everywhere on the eastside. I flew with United and you can take two items of hand luggage so I took my sleeping bag as one item which saved a lot of room in my suitcase. Another useful thing to take is a multi-port car charger as everyone will want to charge their devices in the van. A pack of cards can also come in handy. I had never been camping before so brought lots of things I thought I might need but actually didn't use half of them. Do buy a microfiber towel (god send) and a head lamp, don't bother with a sleeping matt or sleeping bag liner. I took trainers rather than hiking boots and they were more than sufficient, we did barely any hiking, more leisurely walks.

If you haven't been to New York before, arrive a few days early and explore, as the trek does not include any time in the big apple. I stayed at the gateway hotel and you can catch a bus just outside the hotel and it takes you into the heart of Manhattan in under 30 mins and it's really cheap.

Whilst some days in the van are long especially travelling to and from Niagara falls and Yosemite, the time passes surprisingly quickly and isn't as bad as you think it might be.

We had a quick stop in Philly enough time to see the rocky statue and steps (if you haven't seen the films watch them before you go, I hadn't and had no idea what everyone was talking about), the liberty bell and grab a philly cheese steak before heading to Washington for the first nights camping. The campsites are well equipped, showers decent, lots of charge points and swimming pools.

We had a free day in DC and paid for an open top bus hop on hop off tour as there are lots of buildings and monuments to see and you probably wouldn't make it to all of them on foot. Also, be warned that the illumination tour is not an organised tour, you just drive round in the van taking pictures out of the window, slightly disappointing.

We packed up camp for the first day, although you'd rather have a lie in, get up early and load up the van asap as the sooner you leave the more time you'll have in the next destination. You can always sleep in the van.

The Amish museum was interesting; ask your tour leader to stop at the Intercourse sign (a town in Amish land, as seen in Top Gear) it was defiantely an experience!

Niagara falls was mind blowing, you get soaked on the maid of the mist tour even with the poncho on, if you can head over to Canada, we saw the illuminations and fireworks from this side, the view is fantastic and you get a stamp in your passport to prove you've been to Canada :-).

The Berkshires is just a filler day really to break up the travel from Niagara to Boston, not much really going on here but good night round the camp fire eating smores, singing and playing games.

Boston was a pretty city, be aware that in the hostel you may be split up from the rest of the group as the rooms only sleep 6 people.

We then headed back to NY for our internal flight to LA, this was a stressful process as no one seemed to know the time of our flight once we eventually found out and made it to the airport check-in was a nightmare, our flight was with United and the staff were so unhelpful they might as well not have been there. We had to pay $25 dollars to check our bags in, although this is now being refunded by Trek.

In LA we had one hour to go to the walk of fame and the Chinese theatre, you can see the Hollywood sign from here and this is the only view of the sign we got. We then ate lunch at Manhattan beach and dipped our toes in the pacific which was bliss. We camped that night at Lake Havasu which was beautiful but so hot.

The following day we drove to the Grand Canyon, our tour leader made us all close our eyes, we linked arms and were guided to the edge of the Canyon, when we opened our eyes we were all gob smacked at the scale of it, this was a nice touch. We then had a few hours to explore before eating pizza at sunset.

VEGAS BABY!!! was on the next days agenda. We had a party bus down the strip instead of a limo which was awesome. We stopped at the Vegas sign and Bellagio fountains (although I dont remember much about this, I have pictures to prove I was there) then spent the rest of the night in the Mandalay bay, underagers got in here no problem and could also drink on the party bus. In the morning we went to a gun range (strange experience) and walked most of the strip exploring the interesting hotels (the Venitian is a must) before watching a zombie burlesque show at Planet Hollywood (only in Vegas) which was actually very good.

We then stopped off at Route 66 on the way to Yosemite for some lunch. In Yosemite we saw some giant sequoia trees, the half dome and other really picturesque views. The tiredness caught up with me this day and I was a bit meehhhh!

In San Fran we had a quick stop off at the golden gate bridge and drove over it. It was Gay Pride weekend so traffic was ridiculous. We we're then dropped off at the hotel said our goodbyes to our tour leader and other members of the group who had made other plans and headed to pier 39 for dinner. I would advise getting a taxi as we started to walk to the bus stop when we heard someone had been shot, although the Trek hotel is not in a bad area it is only a few blocks away from the tenderloin (a very very bad area) so aviod this at all costs. Pier 39 was idyllic, we ate at a great restaurant with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The next day we caught a cable car to Lombard Street and the walked all the piers before hiring a catamaran for a sunset sail around the bay, this went under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. If you want to go to Alcatraz book early, tickets sell out 2/3 months in advance.

All in all this trek was amazing and well worth doing, if you're thinking of doing it BOOK IT BOOK IT BOOK IT!

Sorry I've rambled on a lot, but I've included a lot of things I wish I knew before-hand.

Hope this has helped make your mind up, ignore the negative reviews, you get out of the trip what you put in it so muck in, get involved and you'll have a great time :-)

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Lord of the Flies Madness

Reviewed June 2014

I sent an e-mail. Never got a reply.
Your trek was HORRIBLE.
So were both guides, Justin and Mindy.
No communication whatsoever. Bad group managing and I can go on for a couple of more bibles.
Too expensive and no correct info online.
Shame on you all.
I demand a refund.

Loes Uytterschout.

Reply from TrekAmerica:

Many thanks for your feedback regarding your Coast to Coast Express trip. We have checked the trip reports for your trek and note positive comments & reviews from other passengers although there does seem to have been some tension within the group.

So that we can investigate your points further, please email our Sales Manager at [email protected] with full details and he will respond back to you directly.

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Absolutely EPIC, would do it all again!

Reviewed June 2014

This Trek is an awesome way to see some truly spectacular sights across America in a small amount of time! Its fairly tiring but you will meet friends for life and basically just have the time of your life. I didn't want to come home!

If you are not sure about doing a Trek America I would recommend you just do, it was by far the best decision I've ever made. Would 100% recommend to anyone if you want to see different areas across America!

Am considering doing another Trek I enjoyed it that much..

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Well worth it, good fun and great way to see lots!

Reviewed September 2013

I had been working on a summer camp in PA over the summer and was keen to do a bit of touring but didn't feel confident enough to explore such a huge country without a little guidance.... well for two out of the four weeks that I would be touring at least!

I decided to go on the coast to coast express as this was the quickest and most affordable to see great sights on both coasts. As it turns out the organization at least from the sales office was a little hectic (I found out on the first day that the coast to coast express was two separate Treks, the Freedom Trail in the first week and Western Wonder in the second) however don't let this put you off! The two individual Treks in themselves and the tour leaders were great and at the end of the day all logistical issues were sorted out with little hassle.

The Freedom Trail covered Washington D.C. (the ‘Capitol’ of the USA) and an illuminated ride/tour before a free day to explore and visit the many museums they have to offer. Unfortunately the monument was closed to the public because of the recent earthquakes but it was still a sight to see nonetheless!

After Washington D.C. we headed to Niagara Falls and got an inclusive "Maid of the Mist" ride. Believe you me, you get soaked, even with the ponchos that they give you, but it's certainly a sight to behold. Depending on the type of visa you hold, you may be able to walk across the Rainbow Bridge and head into Canada too… check with your Trek leader (unfortunately my J1 working visa wouldn’t let me re-enter the USA once I left so I stayed on the USA side). If you can only stay on the USA side, there’s still plenty to do, some great photo opportunities and a penny crusher or two if you’re collecting souvenir pennies (believe it or not Americans called their 1 cent coins pennies!)

We also visited Pennsylvania and Gettysburg, learning a lot of interesting history about the civil war. Finally we headed over to Boston, where we stayed in a lovely hostel that included free breakfast before heading back to NYC.

On the way back to NYC we stopped at the ‘Jell-O’ museum in LeRoy where ‘Jell-O’ was originally developed and manufactured. A sweet little old lady tells you about the history of ‘Jell-O’ and answers any questions before you look round at the many exhibits. Unfortunately there are no ‘Jell-O’ samples on offer but there is a gift shop where you can purchase memorabilia and t-shirts etc.

The Western Wonder started in Los Angeles where we hit Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard. I was surprised how small Hollywood actual was, we were able to get lots of pictures and see the sign easily in half an hour. I was delighted too, to see 'Alan' from Hangover! We headed into Arizona and camped at a great campsite overlooking a lake along the Colorado River.

Unfortunately it was very hot and windy, so much so that it was very uncomfortable to sleep even without a sleeping bag and the tent vents open! After an early start we headed to the Grand Canyon and hoped on a Helicopter flight to see the Canyon from the air. Did you know that a lot of films that depict the Grand Canyon actually use film sets or film in a desert in Utah? Grand is not the world... mind-bogglingly enormous still doesn't even begin to describe the sheer scale of this fascinating natural wonder! The Helicopter flight isn't included in the Trek cost and it does set you back $265 but it is well worth it!

Back on the road again and we were heading to Las Vegas, 'Sin City' where the lights are bright and everything is on an enormous scale! On the way there we drove down some of the famous Route 66 and stopped at Snow Cap Diner in Seligman for lunch. Did you know that the old cars that can be seen in Snow Cap Diner and the town of Seligman was actually the inspiration for 'Cars' the Disney Pixar movie and 'Radiator Springs'? We actually had a party bus instead of the limo ride down the strip as mentioned in the itinerary. This was great fun and we stopped off at a light show and the Vegas sign of course! Before finishing at the Bellagio to see the famous fountain show!

The next day we were able to do a bit of retail therapy, or if you’re a complete 'adrenaline junkie' like myself then you can head to the Stratosphere and do a 'SkyJump' from the 108th floor, 855ft above the strip! Not to mention the other fun, theme park rides that they have up there! As we left Vegas and the desert behind the scenery changed dramatically to very wooded and green forest land.

In Yosemite we did a small hike and saw the giant redwood Sequoia trees. The final leg of the Trek was San Francisco where you can see the famous Golden Gate Bridge, ‘Painted Ladies’ and the worlds windiest street: Lombard Street. Did you know that it has no fewer than 8 hairpin turns over a one block section to help traffic down the hazardously steep 27% hill! Other interesting activities include the Aquarium of the Bay, located at Pier 39, which has two huge underwater tunnels to walk through, Pier 39 itself for lots of shopping and eateries, the Exploratorium for Science and Golden Gate Park for the de Young art exhibition to name a few!

Past Trekkers Review
Coast to Coast Express [CLOSED]

Exciting, exhilerating, exhausting, epic!

Reviewed August 2013

This trek is awesome if you are looking to see as much of the USA as you can in a short space of time. On CCE you get to see Washington DC, Gettysberg, Niagra Falls, Boston, NYC, LA, the Grand Canyon, Vegas, Yosemite NP and San Francisco (phew!!!) in 15 days! The only downside of this is being only able to spend a maximum of 1 day in each location - it left me wanting to go back to a number of places again.
It was incredible to visit so many of my must-see places. The trek leaders were really knowledgeable and took us to some spectacular and lesser-known spots (setting for the Julia Roberts film 'Mystic Pizza' in Mystic, Connecticut was an awesome, memorabilia-packed lunch spot).
A positive point (in my view) that was not made clear before the trip was that this tour is made up of two existing east and west coast treks, and therefore, the 7 Coast to Coast Express-ers were joined by 6 other trekkers on the east coast leg, and 4 others on the west coast. This meant there was always a nice big number of people around and lots of new friends to make. It was sad to say goodbye to some half way through though!

A few points:
Food - lunch sometimes got a bit repetitive; basically sandwiches or bagels every day. I know lots of people would rather save spending money on food to spend on other things, but personally, I'd have liked more options to eat out - however, maybe I should choose a BLT tour for that.
Van - Our west coast van was much nicer than our east coast one. It was much taller (tall enough for most people to stand upright) and the seats were very well padded, with headrests for comfort and armrests so you didn't feel so squished to the person next to you. Air con doesn't always reach the back seats, so try to avoid sitting there on long driving days or in very hot locations. There weren't as many charge points as I'd heard there might be, but luckily I had bought a double car socket so two people could charge at once. I had also invested in cigarette-style car chargers for my phone and camera battery, whilst most other people has USB ports - they had to take it in turns to use the USB adaptor, whilst mine could slot straight in :)

Overall, this trek was an incredible experience. I made some good friends, saw some amazing places and made memories to last a lifetime. I can't wait to return to the US!

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