A detailed pre-trip information pack will be sent out to you when you book onto the trip, but here are the main things that you need to know.
Visas & Passport
Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after the conclusion of the expedition. You will need at least 3 pages free to complete the trip.
Most nationalities can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program, however you will still need to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) at least 72 hours before travel. The visa rules for the United States can and do change, so please confirm the requirements with your local US Embassy or Consulate. For UK citizens, information can be found on the gov.uk website and on the US Embassy & Consulates in the UK website .
From 15th March 2016, visitors travelling to Canada by air will be expected to get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada, however an eTA is not required to enter Canada via the land borders, so an eTA is ONLY required for tours starting in Calgary (northbound expedition).
You must hold valid travel insurance in order to join this overland tour.
What to pack?
You can bring with you:
- 1 backpack or soft luggage (max 23kg / 50lb)
- Sleeping bag (suggest 3-season as a minimum)
- Sleeping roll mat (suggest Thermarest-style self-inflating mattress)
As you are travelling through the US and Canada in the summer months, you can generally expect temperatures of around 15 – 25 celcius during the day, with the temperature dropping quite a lot at night. Weather can change pretty quickly so it is best to dress in layers!
- Warm microfleece / sweater
- Long sleeve shirts
- Long trousers / pants
- Thermal shirt / pants
- Waterproof jacket / pants
- Socks (cotton / smart wool / trekking)
- Mid-weight gloves
- Comfortable hiking shoes / boots
- Sandals / flip flops
- Rubber boots (if you have space / like to wear them)
Note throughout the overland tour there are plenty of opportunities to do laundry.
Other things to pack
- Travel pillow
- Personal Medical Kit / medications / prescriptions
- Extra glasses / contact lenses / solutions
- Sunscreen & after-sun lotion
- Insect repellent
- Antihistamine / bite cream
- Antibacterial gel
- Head torch
- Alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Travel towel
- Waterproof bags
- Hiking sticks (if you need / use them)
- Notebook / journal
- Magazine / books
- Camera gear
- MP3 player / iPod
- 16/32GB flash drive (for photo sharing with the group)
- Travel adaptor – remember that the US and Canada run 120v power unlike the UK / Australia etc who use 240v power, so you can expect your devices to charge more slowly if they are designed for 240v power
Staying in touch
If you are taking a cellphone / mobile phone with you, it will need to be quad-band in order to work on the US networks.