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Southern Sun from New York

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Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

Amazing so funny great people

Reviewed April 2014

I done the trek with 2 minibuses full of people, they were all different nationalitys so this made the trip more funny and interesting. We went in June so it was nice and warm. All of the group travelled together and took part in a range of activities. The evenings around the camp fire were good fun lots of drinking, flippy cups. Activities we took part in included Grand Canyon walking , sunrise, horse riding, camping, New Orleans, alcohol, dancing, card games, crocodiles

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

The Most Amazing Experience!!

Reviewed February 2014

So I did this trek back in September/October. I didn't get around to writing a review but the trek was so good, I feel I must share my experience! So here goes better later than never!

So I could probably talk about trek forever but I'll try and condense it into a helpful insight into the Southern Sun Trek.

In my opinion you could not chose a better trip. 3 weeks from New York to L.A seeing 16 different amazing states! It was the perfect amount of time. Although I was so lucky to have a nice group I would have happily done another three weeks with them!

There were soo many highlights!! Going to the Hogwild Saloon...a crazy experience, line dancing in Nashville and drinking eight liquor horse kickers, staying up until 5 drinking hand grenades in New Orleans and dancing like crazy people, van times singing along to country girl and Half time (our trek songs), Monument valley -beautiful scenery and gorgeous sunrise!, Grand Canyon Helicopter journey...incredible! Cowboy ranch party! And Hiking in Bryce Canyon and Zion NP...the views were incredible! Before trek I didn't like hiking whatsoever but now I love it and can't wait to do more!

There are so many hidden treasures on this trip that until you're on it you won't know what they are! My advice....make the most of every minute and join in as much as you can and do as much as you can...if you put your all into it then you will get so much more back!

We had a great trek leader called Sam who was always prepared for anything that might go wrong! Unfortunately the government shutdown occurred whilst we were out there so many national parks closed but Sam managed to get around this problem and we had some great alternatives!

Before I looked into Trek America I was adamant about travelling alone. I am so thankful that friends and family encouraged me to look at alternatives! Travelling with a group of people around the same age is a great experience. We all became so close and it was lovely to share such great memories with other like minded people! I still keep in touch with lots of the trekkers, its been four months since trek ended and we've already had a trek reunion!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

Great experience and want more! See my plan on mathewaroundtheworld.wordpress.com

Reviewed January 2014

I fell in love with the US and now I am going for a trip around the US - check out my plan and see if it is alright... maybe some ideas?? mathewaroundtheworld.wordpress.com

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

Experience the American Travelling Bug

Reviewed January 2014

This trek was incredible and made by the people I was with. There were so many different highlights of the trip including the moonshine that we got from Moonshine Bill in Mississippi. The partying in New Orleans, San Antonio and Vegas! But also the camping and the late night talks and long minivan journeys. A truly unforgettable experience which differs depending on who you are with and when you go!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

The trip of a lifetime

Reviewed January 2014

I cannot describe wholly in words just how incredible this trip was, nor just how brilliant the people I met along the way. If you were only considering the Southern Sun Trek I would say go for it, you will experience America in a way you couldn't possibly imagine.

I decided to go on this trek because I had been to California before and wanted to see more of the USA. Vegas and New Orleans were key features but I discovered these though good were only part of the outstanding trip.
Our trek leader was one of the best things about the trek – his insight into all the places we visited in the short time ensured we experienced everything on offer. Organised to a fault, anything that could have gone wrong he was efficient and calm in sorting out, plus he was just a bit of a legend to be honest.

I will try to give a basic outline of the trip, well some of my favourite bits - we crammed in a lot in 21 days and did a crazy amount of stuff in that time.

I managed to do all the key attractions of New York in a day - was exhausted from doing it though and would recommend going a few days early just to get it all in! My favourite part was the Empire State Building, cliché I know but I met up with a few of my trek group the night before we were due to leave and we went to the top Empire State Building at midnight, at that time you didn't have to queue to go up and the views were spectacular.

Getting to the Newark hotel wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be and the majority of people in the hotel were trekkers and though I didn’t meet any of my trek group for a few hours just going to the bar and meeting everyone excited to be going on their treks was pretty cool.

Our trek group was a real mix of nationalities and ages ranging from 18-30. There were 13 of us on the trip so we fit snugly into the van. Having trek mates from so many countries is a lot of fun comparing cultures and just having a laugh (there were continuous Aussie vs Brit drinking sessions) was a good experience in itself.

Washington DC - Our first stop was a lot of memorials and museums (this is why I suggest starting at the New York end I just don’t think finishing in Washington would be as good a time!) the first night there we saw the memorials lit up – seeing the Lincoln Memorial at night is pretty awe inspiring. The next day having taken on some of the Smithsonian Museums we went to a bar at the top of the ‘W’ hotel. It’s a bit of a walk but worth it for the view you get over the White House.

West Virginia and White Water Rafting – This is a must! One of the people my trek group was slightly worried about doing it but the rafting leaders were really helpful, they made us all feel very safe – even when we fell out they were quick to get us and haul us back in the raft.

Nashville - What a brilliant city I had no idea what a wild place it was until I was there - hundreds of bars line the streets will bands playing in every one. Be prepared to line dance it’s hilarious - I am now the proud owner of a Wild Horse Saloon glass boot from which I drank many cocktails. Dancing in the streets to bands whilst drinking moonshine (impressively horrible) is certainly one way to fully appreciate Nashville in all its glory.

New Orleans - Nothing can really prepare you for New Orleans – a beautiful city by day, crazy by night. The grenades are an experience and the constant carnival atmosphere will make you wish you had more time there. When in New Orleans, go to the Maison bar/club on Frenchman's St It was an epic night, entry is under $10 and the guys fully appreciated the burlesque dance halfway through the live band's performance.

Austin – Salt Lick! All BBQ food will be ruined for you once you’ve gone to Salt Lick – we were in near tears from eating so much utterly delicious.

White Sands - We had the option to skip Roswell and go to the White Sands in New Mexico. If this is ever an option for you take it. It was one of the highlights of my trip and cannot thank our trek leader enough for giving us the option. The white sands are made of gypsum and looks like snow – we hired out some sand boards and went down all the dunes which were hilarious. We then managed to hire out our own dune to camp for the night, watching the sunset from the dunes was pretty spectacular and having a bottle of Jack Daniels to share amongst the group was a pretty good way of seeing off the evening. We camped in just our sleeping bags (no tents just mats) under the stars with no facilities – the ultimate in basic camping - but it was completely worth it.

Monument Valley – Other than the spectacular views and the wonderful stories and food provided by the Ne (local Navajo people – not too sure how to spell it), just the sensation of waking up after sleeping under the stars in monument valley is brilliant.

Grand Canyon – Nothing can ever prepare you for the Grand Canyon – if you can afford it go in the helicopter it’s an awe-inspiring sight, seeing the ground drop as you go into the canyon is exhilarating.

Zion – I actually preferred Zion to the Grand Canyon in some ways (less touristy possibly) we walked the Narrows which is a river walk surrounded by cliff faces and is a lot of fun (hire the boots and sticks!) and early the next morning we climbed Angel’s Landing, I have no idea how I managed to survive climbing it (I discovered my fear or heights at the Grand Canyon) but it was entirely worth it – if you feel like giving up just go for it, even if just to see the view, to have the justified sense of achievement that makes it completely worthwhile.

Las Vegas – Well we survived it! Take advantage of all that is on offer (ladies for you loads of clubs are free entry or free first drink!); one of the best bits was the Caesar’s Palace buffet –that is the ultimate in excess. We saw the Bellagio fountain at least 3 times; you must watch it at least once. The gambling it goes without saying is pretty cool but be aware that you must have your passport at all times, any table you go to will demand proof of ID before you can place any bets.

LA – You will have less time than you think you will to do LA I suggest staying there a few days if you’ve never been before. Whilst Venice Beach is pretty cool if you are looking for something a bit different go to Hermosa Beach (I got this tip from the locals) you can get a bus right by the hacienda hotel that will stop just 5 mins from the beach, perfect sands and good music right on the beach are guaranteed.

So those were some of my favourites, I couldn’t possibly fit it all in. Whilst considering the other aspects camping isn’t as bad as you think it could be, the tents are pretty easy to put up and you may get used to putting them up in extreme winds/heat or just in the dark, take bug spray and bring some speakers with you for your music. I didn’t come across anything that could potentially kill me, the worst thing was the red ants which were hardly devastating (though those and cockroaches combined in the shower was certainly an experience!). Cooking is pretty fun you get to learn more about cooking skills than you ever thought you would, I even cooked in the winds of a hurricane. You’ll find friends you would probably never make in a lifetime and you’ll never forget what you saw and did together.

Thanks for reading my review, it was the best of holidays, go while you can and I hope you enjoy yourself as much as I did.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

An Incredible experience.

Reviewed January 2014

I had wanted to travel to the U.S.A for a long time, I decided on this trek as it offered a good mix of cities and national parks. I wasn't particularly anxious about going alone, although if I had been, those fears would have been erased almost immediately because as soon as we met at the Gateway Hotel in New Jersey everyone was chatting away. Most of the people that go on these trips are there for the same reasons, so you shouldn't have any worries about going alone. We had 2 full buses running at the same time, and we did everything together camping, nights out, hiking etc...it was great as you got to meet double the amount of people, whilst still having plenty of time to spend time with your own group. There was a diverse mix of ages and nationalities which really enhanced the trip.

It is very difficult to give one favourite from the whole trip and often its the little things I find myself remembering such as the random places we stopped for lunch, games in the van, putting up a tent in the blistering heat etc..., those are the things that make the trips different for individual groups. My favourite city was probably Washington D.C, it was beautiful and I learnt a lot about American history and really enjoyed wondering around looking at the infamous landmarks - New Orleans was probably a close second - the French market was amazing and it was very different from all the other cities. Grand Canyon surpassed all expectations and was probably my highlight of the whole trip, it is enormous and probably the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my life - the helicopter ride is worth the money as well, although I personally enjoyed the hike into it even better. Sleeping under the stars at Monument Valley was also an incredible experience. The hikes in the national parks were excellent, despite finding them very hard I am SO glad I did them. Hiking to the top of Angels Landing was a massive achievement - I nearly didn't because I was so hot and tired, but forged on and reached the peak, it was more than worth it. I took a pair of walking trainers that weren't too heavy and they did me fine for the hikes.

Camping was great fun and a great learning curve. Putting a tent up in the blistering heat was not fun. but you get really quick at it by the end. I took a season 3 sleeping bag but only used it 5 or 6 times, I took a liner instead which I used most nights. I forgot to take a pillow and had to do without one for the first 2 nights, BIG MISTAKE - make sure you take one with you, as well as an inflatable mattress. It all takes up a fair bit of room in your luggage, but its worth it. Cooking as a group was lots of fun, we all took it turns and we never had a bad meal. One of the things I wasn't prepared for was the humidity and the mosquitoes that come with that, it didn't ease up until Texas - take a decent repellent and use it everyday and night especially when in the forest or near water.

Our tour leader was brilliant - organised, friendly, approachable and fun. He made everything really easy and gave us plenty of information. He was also there during times of crisis - injuries, stings, lost personal items and was professional throughout. I think it makes all the difference having a decent tour leader who knows what they are doing! He made long days in the van fun and stopped at random places to break it up. Long hours in the van is probably the only downside to whole trip - saying that it is a chance to sleep off hangovers/read/listen to music/take embarrassing pictures of others and this amount of driving is necessary to see the whole country.

Overall, this trip was everything I thought it would be. I met some great people and got to see some beautiful places and create some wonderful memories. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this trip if you are looking to see a lot of America in a short space of time and are open to new experiences. I loved it so much I have booked onto another trek for 2014.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

The best time of my life!

Reviewed October 2013

I had such an amazing time! Highlights were white water rafting in west Virginia and monument valley. Also loved the fact that our leader changed the itinery a bit, going to white sands np instead of Roswell and staying two nights in Austin as these days were some of the best we had!

If you are in any doubt about whether to book, don't be. Just do it! You won't regret it!
I'm already trying to figure out what trek I wanna do next!

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

The best three weeks of my life!

Reviewed September 2013

I had such a great time on this trip, the opportunity to visit such a variety of different places was amazing. I enjoyed new Orleans and monument Valley the most but that doesn't take away from how cool everything else was too.

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

Amazing, saw so many wonderful things

Reviewed September 2013

Absolutely fantastic, I enjoyed the trek so much. The last week in the west was just breath taking with monument valey, zion, grand canyon, las vegas and LA all in a week! Phenomenal

Past Trekkers Review
Southern Sun from New York

Awesome, really beautiful places, amazing, eye opening

Reviewed September 2013

This trek was amazing! You see so much of America and visit so many beautiful places. I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed monument valley, San Antonio and Vegas! There were cool people on my trip who were up for anything! One thing I will say though is that this trek should be for 21 years and older!

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