After Camp Adventures
Updated: Jan 17, 2021
We all know that after camp travels are exciting to think about, but actually planning where to go can be overwhelming. Where do I go? What do I do?, How much everything will cost? Who do I travel with? And so much more...
Although, I can't tell you who to travel with, I can let you know about my travel adventures. Maybe my travels can give you inspiration for your own adventures!
American Road Trip:
In the summer of 2015, I took a trip around the North East United States. Toronto - Washington DC - Pennsylvania - New York - Boston. This trip was just over 2 weeks long and was done on a budget, because camp is a fantastic experience but no one goes there for the money.
Duration: 3 nights
Stay: Hostel. 4-bed dorm room, breakfast included. I enjoy when breakfast is included, you can stock up on food maybe make a lunch - helps you to save some dollar along the way.
Favourite Spot: Toronto Islands. This beautiful vehicle free island is like Toronto's version of Central Park. It is filled with parks, restaurants, and even a beach. A perfect spot to bike ride or have a lovely picnic.
It's a great day out, for anyone on a budget. You can grab the free ferry from the Queen's Quay to Central Island. They are every 15 minutes and perfect way to be by the water during the hot summer months. I took a picnic and enjoyed it with friends on the beach. We swam in Lake Ontario and had a lovely day relaxing in the sun. As you can see, the views of the city are spectacular and perfect for a photo op.
Duration: 1 night.
Stay: Days Inn - Niagara Falls is very heavily dependent on the tourist industry, so finding a steal on a hotel room is not hard to come by. However, Niagara Falls is a wonder of the world, as they say when in Rome.
Favourite Spot: Hornblower River Cruise. This is a boat cruise along Lake Ontario, that gets you up close and personal with the falls. This truly unique experience is something everyone has to do at least once. No matter if you are on a budget or not, you will want to see, hear and feel the water fall around you.
If you do not want to spend a night in Niagara, there are many bus tours from Toronto that take you there. These bus tours are usually a full day affair; boat cruise, free time in Niagara, visit Niagara-on-the-lake, and even a wine tour at a local vineyard.
Duration: 4 nights
Stay: In a friends apartment. A fun thing about summer camp is that you make friends with people from around the world. When you are traveling, you can save some money by staying with them - if they let you.
Favourite Spot: World War II Memorial. This memorial is a fantastic place of reflection in the middle of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. This inspiring oval shaped memorial has a grand water feature at the centre which adds to its beauty and serenity.
Washington DC is the perfect city for anyone tight on their purse strings, as all the monuments and the Smithsonian owned museums are free to enjoy. I did my research and created my own personal walking tour of all the monuments. I also ventured over to the White House and the Capitol. This is definitely a destination for anyone who loves to history and to sight see.
Duration: 2 nights
Stay: Airbnb - I love staying in Airbnbs as they give you the home comforts you need whilst traveling, along with some of the amenities and services you get from a hostel/hotel.
Favourite Spot: Steps of Philadelphia Museum of Arts or as it is also referred to as 'Rocky Steps.' This tourist hot spot is the hub of art and culture in the city. This place is a great spot to see the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia, and even recreate the Rocky run up the steps if you wish - you won’t be the first or the last to do it. If you want more more culture; you can enter the museum but at a charge, however, you can walk around the grounds and climb the steps for free.
Duration: 4 nights
Stay: Hostel - 2-bed dorm in Manhattan. New York is the ultimate tourist destination. I budgeted heavily throughout the trip, so that in New York I could spend and do the attractions that I wanted to do.
Favourite Spot: The High Line. This reclaimed freight railway line turned into green space on the west side of Manhattan. This space brings nature and art to this section of concrete city. Elevated high above the street level of the meatpacking district, this helps you escape the city life.
There are different ways around spending money in New York. These include free ferries to Staten Island to see the lady herself, 50% off Broadway tickets at the Times Square red steps, and picnicking in Central Park.
Duration: 3 nights
Stay: Hostel - Private room.
Favourite Spot: Harvard University Grounds. This free attraction is the location of many films, stories and American history. The university has a great atmosphere with beautiful architecture and luscious green park spaces, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of this popular destination. Being at Harvard is something you truly have to experience yourself. There are walking tours around the university where you can immerse yourself in their school’s history. Definitely, make sure you find the John Harvard Statue - tradition says if tourists rub his left foot they will be granted luck.
Boston is a walkable city, with beautiful parks and trails. The Atlantic coastline is littered with small islands, and a short drive to Cape Cod if you have the time.
Going from city to city can be very expensive. When traveling on a budget, the actual travel is where most of your money can be zapped. I personally traveled from city to city via Greyhound. Now, it is not pretty traveling via bus. It is tiring and it is time consuming. I decided to travel overnight to save money on accommodation. Although this may sound like the easy choice, there are many negatives to this option. These might include, trouble sleeping/not a comfortable night's sleep, or maybe a sore neck or back depending on your arrangement on the bus. However, traveling this way helped me save money to spend on things I otherwise would not have been able to afford to do.
This trip was amazing, full of sightseeing and adventure. I did this whole trip on $1500 and was still able to tick off things I have wanted to do for years, like see a Broadway show. You just have to be smart with your money, and plan what to do with your time. Remember to do your research and find deals. All of these money saving tips can help you stretch your money to fulfill your own after camp adventure to its fullest.
Hornblower Niagara Cruises: https://www.niagaracruises.com/
World War II Memorial: https://www.nps.gov/wwii/index.htm
Philadelphia Museum of Art: https://philamuseum.org/
The High Line: https://www.thehighline.org/visit/
Harvard University: https://www.harvard.edu/on-campus/visit-harvard