What would you prefer: a blog post full of Americanisms (yeeeeeha!) or hard, fast, smart ways to spend an entire summer in the states?
Let’s turn a dollar note into a butterfly while we decide.
How much is this worth? | Image by eikosi
OK, we’re going with the straight-up, all-American summer. A melee of amazing experiences to be had across the Pond.
Get a Move On!
Fast fact of the day: America is a big country. To drive from New York City to San Francisco, you’re looking at 48 hours of solid driving to cover around 3000 miles.
To put that into perspective, you’d need to travel from London to Bristol, to Birmingham, to Manchester, to Glasgow, to Edinburgh, to Leeds, to Cambridge and back to London; then do it again; and then again, to cover anywhere near that distance here in little ol’ Great Britain.
Which way would you go?
So we recommend one of the following ways to travel:
- Bus: There is only one iconic way to travel by bus in the USA, and that is Greyhound.
- Rail: Rack up the romance, by riding the American railroads with an Amtrak USA Rail Pass.
- Road: Go large! Rent an American motorhome, or a car, and bumble between the diners of America’s highways.
Alternatively, take the easy option, and see it all on a tour of the USA (which, by coincidence, currently benefit from up to 40% off until 29 April!).
Camp it up!
Travelling around America isn’t all about the iconic sites, the fast food, the charismatic locals. You can get involved, too. Why work to save here in the UK, when you could start your adventures in the USA by earning yourself a mighty wedge of crispy dollars, primed for that onward journey?
Step into the role as a camp counsellor at Summer Camp USA and spend an amazing summer helping to enhance the lives of young Americans. Often described as “the hardest job you’ll ever love”, the role of camp counsellor is designed to make the most of your skills and in return, you’ll earn a salary of between $900 and $1,100. Or £560 to £690.
Which, when you consider that all your munch and digs are paid for, is a pretty plump pay packet.
Jazz hands if you like… Summer Camp USA!
If you haven’t got the core skills they’re looking for (things like lifeguarding, tennis, windsurfing etc.), don’t be put off, you can still join the support crew, known as KAMP USA, where you’ll fill a role in the kitchen, dining room, office, or as part of the general housekeeping, laundry or maintenance teams.
Applications for Summer Camp and KAMP USA have now closed for 2012, but sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to hear about the new application windows.
Work it Baby!
Before I go on, you should know that applications for these need to be in for around mid-May to allow time to process visas etc.
You’ll be amazed by the opportunities on offer in America; you could set yourself up with work on a ranch in Texas, or an amusement park in South Carolina; join the rat race in New York City, or lap up the lifestyles of the Maryland beaches.
The only catch, is that you’ll need to be a full-time student to benefit from Work America. However, for Work Canada, you simply need to be aged 18-30 when you apply for your visa. But what is there to do in Canada?
Toronto. Vancouver. Montreal. Need I go on? This is a country with some of the coolest cities on the planet, set amid outstanding countryside ripe for exploring. You can find work in a number of industries in the cities, or, head out to the summer resorts for a life of mountain biking, canoeing and hiking!
Hungry for more? Stick around for winter, and squeeze some dollars out of the world’s premier ski resorts.
North America’s 2012 Events
North America hosts some amazing festivals and events, but here are some of the highlights to look out for. Perhaps throw them into a cheeky little USA road trip?
12 – 15 July is the dates for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering O’ Scottish Clans, in North Carolina. A testosterone and tartan fuelled event that brings together clans aplenty, while raising money for scholarship funds to assist students from their local school to study at American colleges and universities.
16 July marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. Head to the Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando, Florida to join the salute alongside starry-eyed heroes like Buzz Aldrin.
16 – 18 July sees a gathering of wine lovers to Santa Barbara, California for the annual Wine Festival. Expect a tasty combination of North America’s premier wine estates, and Spanish inspired foods. Chin chin, to that!
18 – 26 July is the date for the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, in mountain-friendly Wyoming. This is the world’s largest rodeo event, celebrating the Old West with a 10-day hoedown of entertainers, parades, bucking broncos and free pancake breakfasts hosted by cowboys, cowgirls and American Indians.
24 – 26 July sees the Cape Fear Blues Festival roll through North Carolina. Expect a large amount of blues to infuse the local rivers and beaches of the Cape Fear coast.
24 – 26 July is also the dates for the famous Chilli Pepper & Salsa Festival in Texas. Expect to see a large amount of bravado, seasoned by some of the world’s most daring (and some might say delicious) foods. Are you game?
29 July – 1 August is another foody feast, this time in Maine, where the juicy Lobster Festival cracks through 20,000lbs of the good stuff.
Experience the surreal sights and sounds of Burning Man | Image by inorman88
31 August – 7 September are the dates for one of America’s most famous festivals: Burning Man is a gathering of extraordinary happenings, when 50,000 hedonists descend on the Nevada desert to form a temporary community of unknown boundaries. And a burning man.