Planning a Summer Camp road trip is a massive part of having an awesome summer in the States! Where’re you heading after camp?
Your J-1 visa gives you 30 days to travel after your camp contract ends. It’s a great opportunity to take in as much of the US as you can handle.
In today’s blog post, we talk through the key things you’ll need to remember when you’re planning a Summer Camp road trip.
From the famous skylines you’ve dreamed of to the all-American ball game, there’s a whole country out there.
Cramming an entire country into 30 days is probably a bit ambitious, so planning is key.
Before you set out, draw up a list of everywhere you’d like to visit. Using something like RoadTrippers will help you plan the route.
Road trips are (obviously) all about being on the road, so finding a way to get from place to place is pretty essential.
Hiring a car can be pricey, and long trips on the bus or train can be more than a bit boring.
If you’re in a group, then everyone chipping in to pay for car hire would be a good way to bring the cost down for everyone.
If you don’t fancy long stints driving, then a group tour might be a good way to go. One of our partners, Trek America, offers some pretty awesome groups tours.
Budget hotels, hostels, and motels will be your best friend when you’re out on the road. If you’re looking for a treat, grab an Airbnb.
If you go for a Trek America trip, they offer a few different types of accommodation depending on your budget.
From nights under the canvas to great hotels, there’ll be a style to suit you.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the big picture and forget some of the essentials that’ll keep you out on the road.
From an old-fashioned map, a great playlist, pillows, and chargers and cables, you’ll need to check and double check your bags before you set out.
If you want a helpful guide to the essential items for a road trip, we’ve got you covered.
Summer Camp road trips aren’t fun if they end in disaster. Not planning the money side of a trip is a shortcut to disaster!
Putting together a budget isn’t the most exciting part of planning a Summer Camp road trip, but it’s really important.
From food and drink to keep you going, souvenirs and treats, entry and activity fees, as well as an emergency fund, you need to plan out what you’ll need.
There are 52 states in America, spanning 3.8 square miles. Each state has its own individual charm as well as being packed full of a multitude of different Cities, Towns and new experiences. Deciding where you are going to go and what to see after camp can get overwhelming. For example, planning your travel after camp can end up leaving you with option overload.
We have recently partnered up with Contiki to bring you a selection of amazing trips and tours all across America. Take the pressure off and spend your summer enjoying your travels. Make every moment count and experience your dream trip your way. For instance, Contiki allows you to add exciting options into your trip in addition to your included experiences. With an expert Trip Manager leading your way, you’re in safe hands. Here’s why you should travel with Contiki after camp!
When you have selected your amazing trip all you now need to do is pay and go. Yes, it’s that simple! All your travel for the trip, accommodation and experiences are rolled into one great package. Dependent on your trip, you’ll even find some of your meals included too. Exploring America and sourcing your own travel and accommodation can become quite costly. In addition, researching exactly where you want to go and booking onto these experiences can make the pennies stack up pretty quickly. Trying to get all this sorted while at camp can leave you with booking exhaustion. A reason why you should book with Contiki is that this is all sorted for you. What more could you need?
Much like Camp, a trip with Contiki will see you making friends for life. You might find yourself left with nobody wanting to go where you would like to travel after camp. Similarly, there might only be two of you who want to travel to a certain place. With Contiki, you’ll have the safety and the comradery of being part of a group. Furthermore, the age of Contiki travellers ranges from 18 to 35 meaning you’ll be surrounded by people your own age. As well as the average age of Contiki travellers being 26, 55% are solo travellers. So, don’t be worried if you’re heading out on your own!
Prepare for your Bucket List to be looking pretty empty after a Contiki Trip! All of the must-see and do places will be included in your itinerary as well as some unique hidden spots. With tours including hot-spot locations such as Yosemite National Park and Route 66, you’ll have the opportunity to see Americas best locations. Your experience, your way. From LA to Canada, wherever you go after camp is up to you. Contiki is perfect for making the most out of your travel.
If you’re looking to explore more this summer, check out the amazing trips offered by Contiki! Save 10% on all full-price trips* and make the most of your travels!
*Applicable on trips 7 days or more. Discounts apply to the land portion of your trip price only. Combinable with loyalty discount only. Discounts are subject to change. £60 deposit, freedom guarantee, hold tours on option for up to 7 days, balance due to Contiki 45 days before departure.
Capturing the perfect shot while at camp often comes naturally during your stay. However, sometimes you need a little inspiration and a few tips! Make sure to check out our yearly photo competition to be in with the chance of winning some great prizes after camp.
Whether you’re a total beginner or you have mastered the art of photography, you’re bound to get some creative shots. Likewise, you don’t need to shell out on any fancy camera equipment. Your phone will do fine!
Check out our 2019 Photo Competition here!
Capturing the perfect shot often comes at moments you least expect. In other words, don’t force the moment. Forget having fancy lighting and photography equipment, the magic of camp is in the unexpected. Phone cameras can work wonders nowadays and are sometimes even better than a fancy DSLR. If you can’t have your phone on you while working at camp, there’s still plenty of opportunities while travelling as well as on your days off.
You’ve met some great people while on your travels. More importantly, you might want to record your memories with them. A group shot together always brings the memories flooding back. Moreover, you might also want to recreate the shot at your camps reunion! You’ll find that the people make the place and you’ll want to be able to put faces to your memorable summer. A fun group snap at the Golden Gate Bridge or gathered around your camp sign will be a memory you will treasure forever. In addition, you can save on your travelling with Contiki or TrekAmerica!
While at camp there’ll be a whole summer jam-packed of different sports events. From Color War to Camp Olympics, you’ll be representing and competing as a team. You’ll find these events truly capture camps spirit and there’s no better time to snap a shot. You might be covered head to toe in paint and this will be a memory you’ll want to remember! Whether your team won or lost, there won’t be many opportunities to take a picture of a shower of powdered paint back at home.
After Summer Camp comes to an end, you have 30 days of travel time to explore. You don’t have to use the whole 30 days but a good week or two allows you time to travel. You might be the outdoorsy kind and hitting up Americas National Parks. Alternatively, you might be more into your theme parks and heading straight to Florida. You’ll be able to capture some great shots of the outdoors and sometimes even the indoors! There are loads of discoveries to be made while travelling so make sure to capture your best moments.
Do you even have Instagram if you’re not taking a quick pick when you get your meal? While travelling, you’ll discover amazing eateries, food stalls and markets. A cheeky pic with your snack is a great way to document the tasty treats you picked up while in America and will look great on your Insta feed. The food you’ll get while in the states is on another level and you’re going to want to remember the time you ate a burger sandwiched between two doughnuts!
Ever wondered what a day in the life of a Camp Counselor involves?
Hey! I’m Summer and I was a Camp Counselor in my two summers at camp. I spent a year working at French Woods Festival of Performing Arts in Upstate New York. French Woods is a specialist camp with all the traditional camp activities. Not only are there traditional activities but there are also four theatres, a circus and a magic department! Specifically, French Woods is a sleep-away camp, which means that campers spend the nights sleeping in cabins. There can be up to about fourteen children in each cabin.
Above all, summer camp is one of those places where you fully immerse yourself in a camp bubble. Every day is different and you’re always inspiring and influencing your campers. In addition to all of this, you get paid! You are also adding top skills to your CV. Ready to find out more? Keep reading below to find out what a typical day in the life of a Camp Counselor is like!
The first task of the day as a Camp Counselor is to get the kids up and excited for the day ahead! In order to do this, I and my co-counselors find that the best way to do this is to get some top tunes on. Getting them up and dancing is a great way to start the day. This motivates the kids for the day ahead.
The dancing doesn’t stop there either! Mealtimes at camp (breakfast included) are filled with singing, dancing and banging the tables. All of your typical table manners go out the window! If it’s someone’s birthday then the dining hall becomes a buzz of hundreds of campers and counselors singing, clapping and celebrating. It’s SO fun and one of the best parts of a day in the life of a camp counselor!
After breakfast and a quick cabin clean-up, it’s time to head to activities. At French Woods, the kids choose their own schedule made up of Majors and Minors. Major activities are things the kids would do every day and maybe work towards a project. These can be things like taking part in a musical, being part of a sports team or circus show. Minor activities are things that they chose every day such as activities like swimming, rock climbing or mountain biking.
This is where specialists counselors would head off to teach their activities. Now although you’re ‘teaching’ a skill, this doesn’t mean you’re cooped up in a classroom, you organise your activities any way you see fit! A typical day for myself is usually spent in the Theatre teaching Sound and Lighting skills. Getting kids to create crazy sound effects to use in performances often means heading around camp and looking at how we can record sound effects.
Every day you get a period off, which can be used to get stuck into all the activities. For instance, on a day I was feeling lazy, I could chill in the cabin or by the waterfront. The different activities on offer meant that you could learn a new skill or try something different every day! I tried everything camp had to offer, even daring to go on the flying trapeze in the circus!
After dinner and some chill time for kids and counselors, it’s time for evening activities! This is my favourite time of the day. Every evening is something different as well as a time to get stuck into activities.
We would spend our evenings watching shows and performances by the campers and taking part in games like Color Wars, Capture-the-flag and sing-a-longs. We also had ice cream socials, campfires and themed discos.
After evening activities, everyone is worn out from a busy day! At my camp, counselors work on a rota in the evenings. One counselor and a CIT (Counselor in Training) take care of the kids and settle them for the evening. The other two counselors are able to take the evening off. To sum it all up, one thing I loved about camp on my evenings off was sitting by the waterfront on warm summer evenings and watching the stars, I’d never seen so many it was absolutely spectacular.
Days at camp are active, exciting and busy. Every day is different but every day is fun! You’ll never find a summer job which pays you to have a great time more than being a camp counselor.
Do it, you won’t regret it! Click here to start your Camp Counselor application and experience being a Camp Counselor for yourself.