Sharing my top packing tips for Trek America and a guide to budgeting for your trip!
Hello there beauts.. long time no speak, huh?! Sorry for my absence, the few weeks leading up to my Trek America trip were just bloody chaos and I ran out of time to schedule in some content which I felt awful about as I haven’t not blogged for that length of time, in a long time. But then I kind of just stopped being so hard on myself, realised the world simply wouldn’t stop just because I hadn’t published a post and went off to enjoy the trip of a LIFETIME.
OHMIGOD I have SO much content to share with you, I’m currently drinking 89628523 cups of coffee, trying to make sense of my images/footage and giving Bella ALL of the squishes, so rest assured there will be so, so much content coming your way, from the highlights, sessions learned and a tonne of vlogs! Today, I wanted to share my packing list and budgeting guide with you all, so we can cover the nitty gritty and what to expect before I get you completely hooked on booking a Trek trip for yourself (trust me when you see the snaps and hear about what we got up to, you’ll have booked a trip before your debit card even realises what’s happening - I’m already planning my next trip!).
SO, first up.. let’s talk about a packing list and my recommendations on what to take before we scoot on over to talk budgeting and how much money to take/you’re likely to spend. First thing I need to point out is that Trek offer 90 trips so the climate will completely change and there will be packing tips sent over from Trek with recommended items to pack once you’ve booked your trip. So, with that being said, I’m going to cover my ‘general packing tips’ for any Trek trip, and more specifically what to pack if you’re booking onto the Westerner 2 tour which is the route I did.
GENERAL PACKING TIPS...
Head lamp/torch: This was the one thing I forgot to pack (*cough, run out of time to buy), but luckily pretty much everyone else had one I could borrow. It got dark for us just after 8 so a head lamp or torch was kind of essential for getting around at night - they’re also SUPER handy for festivals too so definitely invest in one!
Lots of Underwear: I *know* this is a given but trust me when I say be sure to OVERPACK your underwear, I raided Primark before I left and bought tonnes of cotton underwear so I had a clean pair for every day and night, we had laundry facilities at most of our camp sites but sometimes you won’t always have time.
Warm socks: I went to Primark before my trip and raided their fluffy socks, I took 3 pairs, one clean pair for my long haul flight and two pairs that I could wear at night if it was cold (which for at least half the trip it was cold at night), so this was a great idea and you can pick up two pairs for like £3 so definitely take some along!
Hoody/jumper: Take a comfy item of clothing that’s warm, I *stole* one of my boyfriends jumpers and slept with it on my pillow every night as it smelt of him (littleeeeeee bit sad I know), but it doubled up nicely as it kept me warm when travelling on the bus during the day/ in colder cities. I would definitely recommend packing both!
Waterproof jacket: Sooooo I got MORTLED in a bar in San Fran and left my waterproof jacket & hoodie (GOOD ONE H!), but I would 100% recommend taking a good waterproof jacket for drizzly days, definitely pack one, they’re super lightweight & pack down to nothing! You don’t need anything fancy, a pac-a-mac will do!
Carrier bag: NOT the most glamorous item to pack I KNOW, but, packing a carrier bag/laundry bag is a GREAT shout as you can put any dirty/damp clothes in there to stop it ruining everything else in your case.
Water bottle: Take your own water bottle or buy one when you get there as you can refill your bottle at every camp site/picnic stop, which just saves money and having to buy a new bottle each time.
Take a suitcase!!: The one thing I regretted on this trip was not taking a suitcase, I did some research before and Trek recommended to take a backpack for ease of travelling, I didn’t know who was on the Trek and didn’t want to be the only one with a huge suitcase. Turns out, pretty much everyone had a suitcase bar about 3/4 of us, even though we always packed everything into the trailer and never had to carry it far, if I could do the trip again or give you guys one piece of stellar advice it would be to take a suitcase!
Comfy shoes: My Trek recommended packing list suggested that I take hiking books for walking etc but the sole reason I didn’t pack them was because I genuinely had no room to fit them in my backpack. With that being said I packed my Nike gym trainers and they did the job perfectly, I only wore them twice, once at Yosemite and once at the Grand Canyon (for a 13 mile hike, but we’ll talk about that later.. LOL). Most people on my trip just had gym/running trainers too so don’t panic if you don’t have hiking boots!
Backpack: I actually took two backpacks with me (well, 3 including my big backpack that I checked in), I took my small Radley backpack which was perfect for everyday use as it fit all of my essentials such as my passport, money and camera. I also took a medium sized backpack which was good for hiking as I could fit a big bottle of water in it and my packed lunch for the day (it also came in SUPER handy when travelling home as I couldn’t fit everything into my large backpack so popped any excess stuff in there.. WOOP!).
SHOP MY TREK AMERICA PICKS...
WESTERNER 2 PACKING TIPS...
Just a heads up, the weather on this trip was SO varied we went from a drizzly 17 degree day in San Fransisco, to the dry 51 degrees heat of Death Valley, plus some nights it was so hot we slept in barely anything, whilst other nights it was SO cold we had blankets and at least two layers of clothing on. Be prepared for different climates and layers are the way to go for this trip!
Comfy dresses: Before the trip I just had NO idea really what to wear during the day for travelling etc, I was thinking about denim shorts with tops but then I was like oh HELL NO, as I just don’t find denim shorts comfy (especially when you’re travelling for up to 8 hours a day!). So I opted for lots of comfy, jersey dresses (Superdry saved my life as they’re killing it right now) - I’ll link everything I took but it was honestly such a good idea to pack comfy dresses as I didn’t feel uncomfortable or hot whilst travelling at any time!
Jeans: The one thing I didn’t pack was jeans, when we arrived in San Fran it was a little too chilly for dresses and I only had my gym leggings which worked fine but I did feel a *little bit underdressed when wearing them during the day. So, if I could have taken one thing/ or advice you guys on packing it would definitely be just one pair of comfy jeans!
Blanket: I didn’t actually have room to take a blanket with me as OBV I overpacked my backpack with a million clothing options, BUT I picked up a super warm blanket from one of our Walmart stops for $10 and it was hands down the best $10 I spent during the trip! Some nights it was SO cold and it came in super handy so definitely take one if you can fit it in but don’t worry if not as you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick one up whilst there (I left my with the tour guide so they can use it for future trips/donate it after). P.s if your airline gives you blankets on your flight then take that one with you as it will do just fine!
Something dressy: We went out in both Vegas and San Fran so I would definitely say pack something a little dressier (I didn’t take heels or wear anything super fancy), I just packed lots of nice dresses that would work for both daytime and evening, I took a pair of red scrappy sandals from Topshop, an embellished cross body bag from Accessories (this dressed up the outfit nicely and as it was flat it took up NO room to pack), and a couple of dressy earrings so I knew I had the option to jazz up my outfit of an evening. I wouldn’t go overboard but definitely pack a couple of nice top/dress options for sure!
Flip flops: I took a pair of 90p flip flops from Primark and I practically lived in them! DEFINITELY take a pair (nothing fancy, mine didn’t even cost £1!), as you’ll need them for the camp site, showering and they’re super handy to wear when travelling on the van as you can slip them off easily!
SHOP MY WESTERNER 2 PICKS...
BUDGETING FOR YOUR TREK...
I took $600 in cash on my Trek as I didn't want to take too much on me, and it lasted for most of the trip, I ended up taking out another $300 and paid for our Grand Canyon helicopter ride on my debit card so it worked out I spent just over £1,000 in two weeks, which I think is pretty good! Our food kitty was $10 per day, so $140 for the whole trip and that covered all of our breakfasts, lunch and dinners whilst we were at camp (not including Vegas, San Fran etc). It completely depends on what you want to do in the cities as opposed to how much you spend but I would say as a ball park figure £70 per day!
Would you like to book onto a Trek America trip? Is it something that you've done before? I hope this post helps if you're considering booking a trip!