Reviews

Southern BLT from New York

(34)
Average Rating:
4.6 out of 5
Showing 1-10 of 34 Reviews
Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Incredible experience

Reviewed July 2016

I loved this trek so much! I went by myself and the moment I met my group and tour leader (Angela) we all got along so well. The itinerary was perfect, I thought it may be too rushed but actually I felt it was enough time to get a good idea of each place. The accommodation was so much nicer than I expected, usually staying in 2 bed hotels or motels, Las Vegas and New Orleans were particularly nice. I am vegetarian and so was a little apprehensive about food, some states (eg Texas) aren't great for veggies but the group and my tour leader really made an effort for us all to eat well (there were actually a few vegetarians and gluten free and allergies in our group!). Would 100% recommend to people travelling by themselves.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Great itinerary, awesome people and excellent leader

Reviewed May 2016

Having been on a couple of group trips in the past I was a little skeptical about this one but from the moment our group of 12 got on the bus it was like a little holiday family.
Our leader was awesome and everything so well organised. It made the trip so easy. She also got to know our group in the first few days and would pick things for us to do that she thought we would enjoy, which we did.
we had plenty of free time in the bigger cities but also plenty of organised or optional activities which most people wanted to do anyway, that kept us busy.
Even on our free days, our leader would drop us where we needed to be then pick us up later if necessary.
I have nothing bad to say about our group, the trip or our leader. The whole thing was just perfect.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Great itinerary , poor execution but the U.S. Is still fab!

Reviewed January 2016

America is fabulous and I enjoyed the experience. The tour itself is another matter. I give it a generous two stars , one for a competent safe driver , the second for a decent itinerary.
I had problems from the outset and requested a cancellation shortly after booking , due to lack of faith in the company. The agent was fine until there was a problem and then she became hostile. A system error( their's) caused a change in the sum of money demanded and instead being a professional ,I was accused of cancelling a hotel booking. These are in any case overpriced , and I subsequently found much better hotels for far less. The cancellation of the holiday was refused, no brainer : a week prior to departure , half of the seats were still open.

This seems to be the trend with this company , they are defensive and unhelpful when challenged. Unless , of course they have been grossly negligent and for example , lost your luggage . In which case , they co- operate , especially if legal action is threatened.

There seems to be a high incidence of bullying and harassment. Our guide was clear on the first day, that disrespect, drug use and prostitution(!) would get you kicked off the tour. An individual on this tour was well out of line and dropped racial slurs and other derogatory language throughout . The company was given an opportunity to address this and were entirely useless. The tour leader was also aware and took a similar stance. If you are a strong person, fine. If you are a young and vulnerable person , this can be very damaging and go beyond just ruining your holiday. Judging by some other reviews , bullying is common place and a blind eye is turned. I guess I should count myself lucky that I have not been assaulted or robbed.

These tours are marketed at young people , and travelling alone seems to be encouraged , without taking any responsibility for what happens when things go wrong. These people are not friends or family as they purport to be and you will likely find yourself alone in your troubles.
The tours are also relatively expensive, although you are given the impression that the tours are on a budget. There are many free days , which you're meant to fill up with your own activities , usually paid - for activities. This and eating out ,chews through your budget in no time. I pity the students and people on a low income joining this tour , after paying for board and flights , thinking the majority of expenditure is behind them! Toward the end , some of these end up doing nothing , just to be able to eat. Btw , trek America , eating out at pre- determined restaurants does not count as an activity!

There were at least seven free days, six scheduled. False economy!
The dynamic of the group can also greatly affect your enjoyment. Sometimes a pack mentality can ensue and you can find yourself excluded or you may even isolate yourself for some peace. Travelling with a friend is not an entirely bad idea. Better yet , form your own group and do it yourself!
I have done two tours and I'm done with these guys.

REPLY FROM TREKAMERICA:

Thank you for your response regarding the Southern BLT tour booked with TrekAmerica.

I’m aware of the issues you had prior to travel with our reservations staff, during your trip with group members, and also with TrekAmerica office staff during the trip. Unfortunately we have a different version of the events.

You mention there was an error with our booking system, this is not correct. You called to reserve a nights pre tour accommodation, transferred the exact money and called within days of travel to cancel this night, as well as your tour. Unfortunately as explained and as per our booking conditions, if TrekAmerica cancelled your accommodation and tour, days before the start of the tour we would face the same cancellation charges so unfortunately we could not accommodate you. With more advance notice we could have been more accommodating.

The lost luggage you referenced occurred when the trailer door was left open ahead of a long drive. Several members of the tour have informed us that you were spotted leaving the trailer door open, and TrekAmerica has been quick to address and refund those who lost their bags as a result.

You contacted us about bullying which TrekAmerica take very seriously. After receiving your emails, we contacted every member of the group in order to thoroughly investigate your allegation. Each individual customer was asked to leave confidential feedback. All customers who responded were not aware of any issues on the trip and had been having a time of their lives. Most did reference one particular individual who did not appear to gel with the tour group. On top of this we asked the tour leader for feedback, she had reached out to you on several occasions to address any issues as you appeared more withdrawn. The remainder of the group which was primarily made up of solo travellers, got along well and were able to share the experience well together. Unfortunately as we found no evidence of bullying, we were unable to refund your money as requested so you could leave early.

You mention about free time and included vs. optional activities. The details of our trips are available in our brochure, website and or TrekTips document available prior to booking. TrekAmerica are completely transparent about how the tour will operate and leave it up to the individual to ensure they have read the itinerary, and feel confident it will meet with their expectations.

We are extremely sorry you did not enjoy your TrekAmerica tour. All efforts were made before and during the tour to accommodate you and ensure you had a good time.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

trip of a lifetime

Reviewed August 2015

It was amazing saw and did so much. Tour leader tim was amazing and made the tour so much fun.

Most the accommodation was good the hotel in Las Vegas was amazing would have stayed longer.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Awesome experience and so many states in 21 days

Reviewed May 2015

The time with my trek group was amazing. The days flew by so quick and the tour was over so fast and I really miss beeing around those awesome people I have met during the trek trip.
In the beginning I thought it is better to travel with a friend, but I noticed that the best way to meet new people is to travel alone so I am really happy, that I travelled alone and I met really nice people. My roommate for example was one of the best roommates you could imagine. We talked all the time and we could laugh together and we had a lot of fun during the trip together:).
Although I was the youngest member everyone treated me like I was the same age and I had no problems talking to them.
Our Tourleader was also a great tour leader. We saw so many things along the way because he sayd we should see stuff and not just sit in the car. And he was right with it.
I saw so many things in 21 days which I can´t even describe anymore. 14 States in 21 days, is amazing! Going from Newark to LA is amazing in 21 days.
The only thing I did not really realize was that you are sitting a long time in the car and that can be really hard if you are not used to this. If you are thinking of doing this, than make sure you book a hotel for LA and have one more day in LA because we only had 45 Minutes in LA, which was in my oppinion to less time. But I know I am going to come to America again:)

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Friends for life. Breathtaking views.

Reviewed March 2015

This trip has spoiled me for any traveling or holidays I hade in the future. The things I seen in the space of a month were unbelievable. I'll remember every minute of the trip and stay intouch with everyone I met. There is no other way to travel but trek America. Thank you for the trip.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Life changing!

Reviewed July 2014

The most fast paced, crazy, busy, insane, three weeks ever! Incredible guide who knew everything there was to know about the USA. Amazing.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern BLT from New York

Best trip ever!

Reviewed May 2014

I've been home from America for 2 weeks now and within 2 days of arriving home I was already missing it!!

Before I left I was worried about getting along with all of the people on the trip and it was so unnecessary as everyone is by themselves and in the same boat as you and as much as we had our differences I met some really great people who I'm sure I will stay in touch with and who I now share some memories and jokes with that no one else will understand, it was also great to meet some people on other treks when we stopped at the same places, we got several opportunities to meet up with the southern sun camping group who were all really cool as well, the tour leader was awesome and added so much to the trip throwing in little bits of knowledge where he could along the route and taking us to some really cool places he knew about from his own experiences while also blending in with the group and just seeming like another group member rather than just doing his job which was good

This trip was the best time of my life for so many reasons, getting away from your day to day life, meeting new people and mainly the variety of places we visited on this trek, all of which were amazing, my favourites were Washington D.C., Monument Valley and Las Vegas (although I didn't expect for any these to be my favourites before I left). There is such a contrast between the different states and different cities that you are so unprepared for what you will see from one day to the next, going from the Grand Canyon one day to Las Vegas the next, going from city centre Austin to sunbathing by a natural spring a 20 minute drive away and how can you be in the middle of the Arizona desert and looking at snow topped mountains at the same time? it's mind blowing and an experience not to be missed

My advice if you are undecided as to whether or not to do this trek is definitely go for it, you will not regret it for a second! Be prepared for a lot of time driving in the van and bring videos/books to keep yourself amused as there was a lot of time I was the only person awake in the van (except for the tour leader obviously) for hours at a time! Always have your camera charged and handy, you never know what you'll see through the windows (wildlife, scenery, state signs you aren't able to stop at!). Bring a wide variety of music, if you get a chance to be van DJ you'll need a lot of different music (I never realised how many songs I like no one else has heard of until playing them for other people), bring a pillow for the van (you can also buy one in Walmart there are plenty of opportunities, or do as I did and bring the one from the plane courtesy of Mr Branson) it also comes in handy for the nights in the lodges where they aren't provided. The BLT trip was good as we saved time not needing to put up and take down tents and therefore got more time in the cities and also the accommodation was generally in a really good location to the centre of the town or attractions we were going to see so you could wander at you leisure on free days however there was a lot of eating out and nights out so be prepared to spend slightly more than you may do if camping (a good tip I picked up was take the same amount of money to spend as you spent on your trip, this worked perfectly for me and you can always change currency back if you don't use it!)

I had such a great time on this trek I'm already hoping to get enough time off work to do another one next year!!

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.