<Travel Tips for Bus Tours





Travel Tips for Bus Tours

A bus tour can be a relaxing way to see major tourist sites.  Or it can be a nightmare, with you as the  central character.  Part of your enjoyment of the bus tour will be dependent upon your personality.  We'll try to give you enough information to help you in making a decision to at least try a tour, or avoid one at all costs.  

Recommended for. . .
Sightseers who want to leave the driving and trip details to someone else.  People who don't want to drive for several hours between destinations.  Individuals who want to be part of a group (but who still want their "space").  Bus tours have been called "cruises on land" with good reason.  The tour operator takes care of all of the details of your trip, including unloading your luggage and placing it in your room each evening.

Not recommended for. . .
Parents with children under the age of 20 (who won't enjoy most of what they see), adults who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, "Type A" personalities who need to be in control, and anyone who just has to stop at every roadside stand or gas station.

The Equipment
Tour buses are similar to Greyhound/Trailways buses on the exterior, with upgraded seats and onboard restrooms.  Some also have televisions mounted from the underside of the overhead baggage racks.  These buses tend to be very comfortable, with soft, easy rides.  However, don't expect airplane-quality amenities -- bus restrooms are essentially portable toilets, with no flushing.  And there are no individual temperature controls.  And, speaking of bus restrooms, you can't always expect to use them, especially overseas.  Many European bus tours have the bus toilets locked, and you will only be allowed to use them in an "emergency."

Don't Overlook This . . .
A bus "tour" is just what it says.  You'll have a trained, knowledgeable tour director who will explain the sights you'll be seeing.  You'll be chauffeured from place to place, and you can concentrate on seeing new sights, and learning more about the world around you.

Benefits of Bus Tours
There are quite a few:

  1. Someone else does the driving.  This can be nice in the U.S., but it can be huge overseas.  On a recent bus tour of Ireland, we were very glad that we were not driving along the narrow country roads.

  2. Tour guide -- a bus tour generally has a very knowledgeable tour guide who gives a day-long running commentary of what you are seeing.

  3. A planned itinerary that is maximized for both the time you are spending on the tour and the key sights that you should be seeing.  You will never be able to cover the same amount of ground on your own.

  4. The cost is generally lower than what you would spend if you did the same tour yourself.  The bus tour company gets group discounts from hotels and restaurants.  Plus (especially overseas), the amount of your tour price that is allocated for the bus is far less than what you would spend renting a car yourself.

  5. You can lock in your costs up front. 







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