There are SO many reasons to do Trek America. Having 30 days to travel America and deciding where to go first can be is so hard! Should I go to the Grand Canyon or Yosemite? Will I be able to explore all the cities I want? We totally get it. This is why Trek America needs to be on your after camp plans. *Remember, you also get 10% off off when you use the code USASC10!* USA Summer Camp’s very own Jess did her first Trek in 2016 and had the best time. Find out more below about why Trek America should be on your after camp bucket list.
My very first Trek America trip was in 2016 and called Westerner 2. It started in the famous city, Los Angeles and travelled to places like Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego as well as part of the Route 66! I explored so many places and truly believe it’s something every Camp Counselor or traveller should do after their time at Summer Camp.
We camped on the bank of the Colorado River, in the Grand Canyon, and Benton Natural Hot Springs which were very different from staying in your typical hostel or hotel. If you’re unsure about camping, don’t worry, I wasn’t an experienced camper but I honestly had some of the best nights of my life! The views were so amazing and I made memories I will never forget which is one of the many reasons to do a Trek America. We did have some unexpected visitors; a few racoons and a scorpion (eek!) but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
Depending on what we wanted to do that day, whether that was hiking, shopping or eating, our Trek America Leader always knew the best places to go. They always tried to make sure we were getting a real taste of what America has to offer rather than going to the usual tourist traps. It was also nice to have someone who knew about the culture, history. I definitely wouldn’t have found out as much about the USA if I had travelled solo.
Whether it’s your first time in America or your first time travelling solo, it can be very daunting. One of the most stressful things I came across when travelling on my own was trying to find affordable, but nice places to stay. When you go on a Trek, you don’t have to worry about accommodation because it’s all included within the price; another benefit of going with Trek America. The Trip Leader will have everything organised before you set out. They have also tried and tested the places to make sure you get a good nights sleep. Another perk is that you’ll be with a group of other travellers just like you. You’ll make so many friends that you won’t be so ‘solo’ anymore!
You’ll be travelling with a small group meaning the trips are more tailored towards you. When we got to the Grand Canyon, we were asked if we wanted to do a helicopter ride to see the views. I didn’t want to do this activity, but it was totally fine! Me and the others explored around the campsite while the others enjoyed their ride. It’s completely up to you!
One of the best reasons to go with Trek America is to get the travel itch scratched. There’s so much to explore in America, but it can be extremely hard to tick off them off the bucket list. On my Westerner trip, my entry into the National Parks were all included in the price as well as a party bus around Las Vegas which was amazing. I got to do so much on my trip that I probably wouldn’t have got to experience if I travelled solo.
Overall, I was able to save so much more money with Trek America. Hiring a car, booking my own accommodation and travelling solo ended up being A LOT more than I had planned; not to mention the cost of food while travelling. The food kitty with Trek was around £10 a day where I would have been spending at least £30 on my own. All my transport, accommodation and activities were rolled into one without the worry about any of the planning and logistics.
Did you know you can get 10% off your trip with Trek America? Click below to get your 30 days of travel sorted.
You may have just finished your first summer at camp. Maybe you’re ready to return for your third summer or more! As soon as you’ve received your offer, you’re ready to return to camp. Summer may be quite a while away yet but as a returner, it is essential to get started with your application ASAP. Find out more about the steps to return to camp and getting started with your application.
If you’re returning for a second summer at camp, that makes you a 2nd-year returner. If you are returning to the same camp you will need to get an offer of return from your camp. Camps will start their hiring process around September/October time. Make sure to speak with your camp as early as possible to secure your place for the upcoming season. In addition to reaching out to camp yourself, you will also negotiate your salary. As well as your salary, it is important to know your role at camp.
When you are ready to start your application to return to camp, log into your profile. From here, you will be able to select the option to create an application for the future season ahead. The Department of State often has limits on the number of returners that can be sent back to camp, because of this, it is important to start your applications as soon as possible. To fully secure your place you will need to pay your £99 deposit. You can do this either on the phone or on your profile. Find out more about returner fees here.
For those returning for their 3rd summer or more, it is ESSENTIAL to get started with your application as soon as you have received your offer. The Department of State limits the number of visas for 3rd year+ returners which means late applications will not be eligible for a visa. The Department of State insists that only 10% of total visa allocations are available for 3rd year+ returners. This is offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
To start your returner application, log into your profile. From here you will be able to create an application for next season. You will then need to pay your £99 deposit. This secures your place on the program to return to camp for the upcoming season. Find out more about returner fees here.
You may have decided that you’d like to head back to camp but this time, you’d like to head to a new camp. If this is the case, you are classed as a first-timer. Everything is the same as when you first decided to head to camp, including the option of choosing your flight options. However, you will need to get a reference from your old camp to return to a new camp. You can get started with your brand new application here.
We can’t wait to help you get back out to camp and continue your summer journey. Remember to keep up to date with us throughout the year as well as the summer for exclusive news and competitions!
Great news, a camp has put you on review and now wants to interview you! Your profile is all up to scratch but now you need to get ready your summer camp Skype interview. Like any other interview, camp wants to get to know you a little better and see if you’d be a great fit at there camp. Similar to your NST interview, it’s not as formal as a traditional interview. Camp wants to see your personality and your capability of being part of the team at camp.
Find out how to nail your Summer Camp Skype interview with these top tips!
Make sure to finalise your profile and make sure everything reads perfectly! When camps are getting ready for your summer camp Skype interview they’ll use your profile to direct questions. Check to see if there any spelling mistakes or errors ready for your interview.
This is a video interview which means that your interviewer can see you as well as your surroundings. Make sure you’ve scheduled a time to sit down in a quiet space with no distractions. Keep your background minimal and free from any busy clutter. Ideally, sit at a desk with your laptop, phone or tablet in a fixed position. No selfie positions here, please!
A number one bugbear of directors when interviewing potential counselors is technical difficulties! When getting ready for your interview, make sure your Skype is fully functional. This means making sure your wifi is connected, your mic is working, the sound is on and your camera is good to go. They’re small things to check but they can make or break your interview, so make sure all your technical checks are done!
This isn’t a corporate role so there’s no need to dress in your best. However, you don’t want to rock up in your pyjamas. Keep it smart casual in a simple shirt or smart top. You may have heard of others conducting Skype interviews and meeting with a shirt on top but pyjamas on the bottom. Yes, they may not be able to see what you’re wearing on the bottom but if you do need to stand up for whatever reason they’ll be able to see your PJ bottoms. Don’t risk it and make sure your outfit is cohesive head to toe!
You may have been asked to add the director on Skype or even Facetime. Avoid any technical errors and make sure you’ve done this well in advance. Also, make sure you know your Skype name (in addition, check that is an appropriate name!), this usually looks something like this “live:xxxxxx”.
There’s nothing worse than being asked “so, what do you know about us?” and coming up blank. Have a look at the camp’s website as well as their social media to get a vibe for what they do and what they’re all about. The more you know about them, the more impressed they will be! Similarly, you’ll want to prepare questions to ask them as well. It’s important to make sure that camp is a fit for you as well as you being a great fit for them!
While completing your interview remember to keep cool! Understandably, you’ll be nervous about your interview but try not to let this affect your interview. Don’t speak too fast and rush through your interview because the camp may struggle to hear you clearly. Slow things down and take your time. If the camp keeps repeatedly asking you to repeat yourself, this may be a sign you’re speaking too quickly for them to understand. Remember, you are most likely going to be interviewed by an American and they may struggle to understand your accent. Additionally, any regional slang may be difficult for them to decipher.
Be confident and ready to talk about yourself! This interview is about YOU and why you should be hired. Remember to read through your profile and emphasise your skills. Be passionate about what you do and this will show camp why you are the best person for the job. On top of all this, remember to SMILE! Camp is all about having fun and bringing joy to the lives of your campers which means smiles all around. Be friendly and excited for your summer of a lifetime and how you can make a difference this summer.
Camps will often check your social media accounts before your summer camp Skype interview. Are your accounts appropriate? Make sure there are no inappropriate images such as ones with alcohol, rude gestures etc. Keep an eye on your posts as well. People have been rejected in the past purely down to their social media accounts. If you’re unsure, make them private!
Remember to thank your interviewer for their time. Manners go a long way and a small thank you at the end is their last impression of you. First impressions count of course but so do your last!
Working out how to travel on a budget after camp can be quite the task. After camp, you want your earnings to stretch as far as possible. Budgeting your money doesn’t mean you have to skimp on your travel experience. Read on to discover more on how to travel on a budget!
Travelling as a group is not for everyone. However, avoiding going solo means that there are more people to spread the cost. Figuring out how to budget while you travel can be a lot easier with a group’s combined brainpower! Perhaps someone knows a great deal or a cheap place to stay. You might even get money off as part of a group discount when booking accommodation or tours. As well as activities and places to stay, if you decide to go down the Airbnb route, cooking as a group will save you money on eating out. A little compromise when travelling with friends goes a long way which could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Be flexible with your travel group and your travel budget is bound to go further!
While there is a lot of international staff at camp there are also a whole heap of American staff! You’ll be making friends left right and centre. While it can be comforting to make friends from home don’t neglect the opportunity to expand your friendship group beyond your own shores. Who best to show you the hidden hot spots than someone who is from that place? In addition, you could even be offered to stay at their home. There’s not much better for your budget than FREE!
Before and during camp, keep an eye out for any travel deals you can cash in on. We offer discounts on amazing travel packages with Contiki and TrekAmerica. If you’re a student, you may want to see if you can bag student discount on your travel or accommodation too. Alongside this, any food vouchers you pick up on the way will also be useful! If you plan on visiting any theme parks, make sure to check online to see if a combined ticket will save you money. You might also get a great deal to enter more than one theme park!
Save money on both your longer and shorter journeys by utilising public transport. Flights and trains can eat up a lot of your budget and you’d be surprised how much money you can save by getting the bus or using the metro. In addition, Uber’s will VERY quickly add up and leave a burning hole in your pocket. In some cities, you may also be able to get a group travel ticket on some modes of transport which will save you additional spends.
Hotels can very often be the biggest expense of your trip. Yes, some sites can give you the best deals on hotels but have you thought of alternative accommodation? The word ‘hostels’ can bring up thoughts of dark, dingy and dirty spaces but you’d be very surprised at how they have changed. Do your research and check out hostels in the locations you will be staying. The majority of hostels we have come across while on our travels after camp has been modern spaces with a surprising amount of privacy. If you’re staying in a larger group you can also book out a whole dorm in most hostels meaning it would be just you and your friends. Hostelworld is a great database of hostels all across the world with user reviews! If hostels are 100% not your thing, check out Airbnb. Often cheaper than a hotel and you can choose whether to rent out the whole space or just a room. Your host may even be able to suggest some great places to visit while you are passing by.