How to Keep Things Fresh on a Long Tour

There’s no doubt that group travel is a fun and exciting way to experience new locations with a group of like-minded people. Trek America offers passengers a large variety of tours that vary in region, activities, and length. Traveling alone or in a small group can often be easy for short durations, but how do you stay rested and ready to explore on some of the longer itineraries?

Trips such as the Great 48, Trailblazer and Grand Trek offer adventurous traveLlers substantially longer itineraries often exceeding a month in duration.

Tour leader Chad has had the pleasure of leading the Great 48, a 75-day trip visiting all lower 48 states and consisting of over 60 nights of camping. On this extensive journey, one of the greatest challenges for his passengers as well as Chad himself was staying rested and ready to experience what each day had to offer, despite being on tour for such a considerable amount of time.

Here are a few of his tips and tricks to staying upbeat and excited for the length of the trip...

 TrekAmerica tour leader Chad Andersen

 

Take time to yourself

It seems like a no-brainer at first, but often on trips I notice passengers hesitant to travel off on their own and take a day to explore. Just because you are on a group trip, doesn’t mean there isn’t time to go solo.

Take advantage of free days to take a few hours and hike alone, grab a cup of coffee with yourself, and just sit by the river in the company of your own thoughts. Time to yourself can be therapeutic when constantly in a group. Keeping a journal during the trip is a great way to check in with yourself and read back to see just how you’ve been feeling. I love going on evening runs when I get my group settled for the night; it gives me an opportunity to relieve stress, keep myself healthy, and just take time to enjoy the area I am there to see.

Top Tip: If you keep a journal, take advantage of the free National Park Passport stamps available in the visitor centers to stamp each day you visit, throw stickers on the backs of pages, and put receipts from cool activities in the journal so you can read back on your days and remember everything you did.

Check out the Great 48

 TrekAmerica Great 48

 

Address issues

On longer trips, it isn’t uncommon to have conflict from time to time. When traveling in group of people you have just met, it is healthy to acknowledge that there will be times over the course of the long trip when perhaps you don’t agree with others in the group. Everyone on the trip is human and entitled to have personal opinions and even the occasional bad day.

It’s extremely important to recognize that each person (tour guide included!) might have a bad day when on the trip and perhaps they just need some personal time. It’s also important to acknowledge it if someone does something that offends or frustrates you. Addressing issues with that person in a civil manner where both parties can express themselves is important to the ongoing morale of the trip. Letting issues fester and remain unknown until they pile up and become a larger issue can make a long-term trip unenjoyable.

Top Tip: Your tour leader is a great resource if there’s an issue that has bothered you. Using them to bounce things off before having a discussion with another traveller can help with rapport and streamlining feelings into an open discussion.

60 days in the USA and Canada - The Trailblazer

 Group at New Mexico state sign

 

Trip Long Activities

The Great Penny Challenge: I invented this game as a challenge to my passengers to see how far they could stretch the value of a penny (or 1 cent). Each participant begins with a penny and takes a group photo to mark the beginning of the contest. From that time, each person has to attempt to barter with random people along the journey in hopes of trading that penny for something of greater value, and again, and again. Each participant must take a photo each time they trade their item for another item to ensure the chain remains intact.

For instance, a participant may trade their penny for a nickel, the following trade might be the nickel for a piece of candy, and the next trade might be that piece of candy for a quarter/pair of sunglasses/bobble head/etc. The game goes on until the predetermined time (end of the trip) at which time everybody shows the photos of all their trades as well as the final item they traded their penny for. The group can vote on the best up-trade and award that participant as the winner. No additional money or items can be combined in trades to increase the value of the item being traded.

Scavenger Hunts: Spice up the trip with a bunch of scavenger hunt items that will span the whole trip. Things such as the best selfie/photobomb/candid photo can challenge travellers during the length of a trip. Photos doing certain things such as swimming in the Atlantic/Pacific Ocean, a photo with your doppelganger, a street sign of your surname and dancing in the rain are other great candid moments to capture along your journey.

Quarters: The quarter in the united states is worth 25 cents - however most don’t take the time to look at the back of the quarter and note what the picture on the coin shows. Since 1999, the US Government has released over 100 different quarter designs including one for each state, national park, and world heritage site. Can you collect one from each place you visit on your trip?

Coast to Coast and back on the Grand Trek

 Group at New Hampshire State sign

 

Long term trips give groups the ability to experience much more than a few spectacular locations, and they often result in lifelong friends and memories. Take advantage of free time to recharge your batteries and acknowledge that not every day has to be the best day on the trip. It’s okay to take days off and rest so you’re ready for those places that memories are made in. Finding a common ground with your fellow travellers is important to the group dynamic and ongoing well-being of your personal health.

And mostly, enjoy the little things in your tour - for those are often the biggest memories you’ll keep.

See all Coast to Coast tours

 

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