Booking your solo trip

This is a guide on those who are wanting to book a solo trip.

This will cover everything you need such as

  • Booking your solo trip
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visa

BOOKING YOUR SOLO TRIP

Now you’re almost ready to book your solo trip we should discuss all the different things you will need to prepare for this.

You should have a good idea of your budget now and which solo trip you’re more interested in.

For example when I discuss the following I will refer to the trip I did, The Great 48

Begin by visiting the Trek America website and finding a trip suited to you.

They have many choices such as the 14 day Westerner all the way to the Trailblazer for 63 days.

The Great 48,  starts in Miami and ends in Seattle, lasting a total of 80 days.

Best solo travel tips

 

 

The site has a nice Trip overview for you to read, along with some highlights you can expect to see during the trip.

This gives you an idea on how often you will find yourself camping, which is very handy for those who are nervous about how often they will be sleeping in a tent.

I may repeat myself many times in this guide, every trip is different and every trek leader is different so no two trips are the same.

You may end up getting to a campground and its pouring down with rain, you may have a really cool trek leader who decides to get cabins, rather than putting up tents in the rain.

No one can predict the weather so it’s always impossible to budget in for these extras but money from the food kitty can also cover these extras.

That’s right you have yourself a food kitty so make sure to check the trip your doing to see how much they recommend you save for the kitty.

The average is to budget $10 per day per person. Might seem like a lot especially when you might eat out a lot but any money not used for food by the end of trip is returned.

In our case we bought a BBQ early on to make cooking more fun, we had a few days in cabins when it was raining and we also had enough at the end to pay for a couple meals eating out.

Now the one thing most seem to forget is the trek leaders are often American and its custom to tip them so make sure to add that to your budget.

Trust me these people are worth every penny

  • the amount of driving they do
  • organizing things last minute
  • Helping with the cooking, cleaning and shopping
  • Making sure everyone in the group is having a good time
  • Being there if you need any medical help
  • Answering all your questions
  • Giving you the ultimate experience
  • Great knowledge of areas visited

If you want to have a good idea of what your trip consists of, scroll further down Trek America website and you will see an itinerary of the trip.

My personal view on this though is be open minded, every trek leader is different and may want to use different roads, different campsites on route.

On our trip we actually skipped a couple of places to go other places which have now been added to the official itinerary.

We got a chance to experience a real America home by staying with our Trek leaders friends for one night, eating a BBQ they prepared for us with fun and games afterwards.

Then the next day we traveled up and met up with our Trek leaders step dad who owned a fast-food restaurant, that happened to make delicious pizza burgers, you heard that right, pizza on a burger.

So things can change along the way, instead of 2 nights, in New Orleans we got 3 which we all enjoyed very much as it was such an amazing place to visit and a chance to have an extra night in a comfy bed.

As we have no control over the weather, there was a freak storm in Texas and lots of flooding and this worried us a bit, but by the time we got there, no flooding in sight but just be prepared to have things change whilst on the road.

Trek leaders are fully prepared for different circumstances so don’t worry, it’s what their trained for.

As you scroll down the rest of the page, you can choose extra nights at the start or end hotels if you wish. No one on our trip did this, you had plenty of time to sort your bags out and say your goodbyes. If you do wish for extra nights in your start/finish location, this can be sorted on the booking page.

FLIGHTS

Flights you can book via Trek America to make things easier on yourself or if you think you can find a better deal, you’re more than welcome to do so but you do need to make sure you arrive on time.  I booked via Trek America and they even found a cheaper flight for me which to be honest, I regret going for as it meant travelling to Germany first and then to Miami instead of a direct flight.

For someone who is nervous, direct flights are definitely the best option.

Next on the page is a list of Paid activities, these are extras, you do not have to do these if you don’t wish.

I say budget for all of them just in case, you may find half way through the trip that you have the confidence to give anything a go. I didn’t do everything but glad I had the option to, some stuff you can probably say a definite no to though, for me it was horseback riding as I was never keen on horse riding.

Some tours will want you to book for Alcatraz in advance as its in high demand, with the Great 48 though, you can book a month before so we were able to do so whilst on our trek.

If you’re doing a shorter trip though, its advised to book it up. (Ask Trek America when booking as you need to be sure of dates and they will probably mention it anyway if you need to book before you go)

If you have questions regarding your trip, you can always call Trek America on

Contact TrekAmerica     UK :  0333 414 0542

Contact TrekAmerica     USA : 1 888 392 6540

Contact TrekAmerica     AUS : 1300 157 153

Contact TrekAmerica     NZ : 0800 480 032

Contact TrekAmerica     INT : +44 203 811 3347

 

The next page you can choose your dates for the trip, obviously the longer the duration of a trip, the less dates available but you can always book a year in advance.

Select which date and you then go to the payment options where you can fill in all your details. If you prefer, you can pay via phone though it is easier online as you can take your time, read through everything in detail and double check everything.

INSURANCE

Those who are worried about insurance, this can all be done via the company and when you pay for your trip so make sure you get it sorted.

Your data is also protected.

Make sure you double check everything before you confirm payment.

And now Congratulate yourself for taking the biggest step towards a trip of a lifetime.

Trust me that was that hardest part of the entire trip, booking it.

It’s a weird but good feeling, you can start counting down the days.

VISA

Now let’s move on to the next thing you need to prepare for this trip and one thing you MUST do, that isn’t done via Trek America.

Sort out a Visa to allow you in the USA.

This is a lot easier than you think but don’t leave it til the last minute.

Now as the trip is under 90 days, this makes things a lot easier as all you need is an ESTA, basically a Visa wavier program.

All these countries are part of the Visa Wavier program..

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Malta
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan[1]
  • United Kingdom

Go to this website ESTA

New Application

Make sure you have a valid passport

And your able to pay a small cost of $14 for the application.

Simply  follow the online instructions for filling out all the information needed.  Try to do this at least a month or more before your actual trip to guarantee you receive it in time.

Now all the paper work side of things are done and sorted, its times to start planning on what to take on your trip.

Check out my future posts on the items I recommend to take, whether your just the beginner photographer, the amateur photographer or the professional who wants the best of everything.