Admit it. Watching travelers pour out of a bus at Cracker Barrel, your 20-30-40year-old self said, “You’ll never catch me on a bus tour!” What are the chances that you could change your mind? Still skeptical? Please read on.
If you think about it, a bus can be a hassle-free way to travel. Just consider: No planning an itinerary, no booking flights, hotels and rental cars, no mixed-up reservations, no lining up travel insurance, or paying cab fares. Just select your destination, figure your budget and time frame, and for one price (frequently discounted for seniors), you’re on your way! You can visit the places you want to see, meet people from many parts of the world, and arrive relaxed. You could even develop some new friendships.
Bus travel is relatively inexpensive. M. S. Beltran offers good advice in an Internet article, “A Guide to Cross-Country Bussing.” Beltran states, “Advanced purchase tickets are usually cheaper than last minute,” and advises that you arrive at least an hour before departure to ensure a good seat. You may want to check out this site for further information on baggage restrictions, optional travel passes, stopovers, special pricing, etc.
Seated above the traffic in a bus, you can view as well as photograph the scenery. Driving requires keeping eyes on the road and dodging drivers who don’t. Many beautiful and interesting sights go unnoticed. Have you ever missed your exit because you were sandwiched between semis and couldn’t see the exit marker? Let the bus driver worry about that.
A bus trip eliminates the frustration of trying to find your way around. While using a GPS is immensely helpful, it’s still possible to encounter an unexpected detour. (“Recalculating, recalculating.”)
An added advantage is safety in unfamiliar areas, especially at night. To unsavory types, nothing screams “Opportunity!” like senior citizens wandering around dark streets in an out-of-state Volvo.
Even though your driver deposits you at pre-planned destinations, you still have the option of deciding what to see when you arrive. You won’t be herded like so many dumb sheep. While some of your fellow travelers choose to tour the hat factory, you may prefer to visit the World’s Best Fudge Shoppe across the street. (Choices can really make or break your trip–fudge sounds fun!)
Another bonus—because the bus delivers you right to your destination, you’ll save wear and tear on those hips, knees, and feet for exploring only the sights you came to see instead of wasting time and energy trekking to or between them. Why be the knackered guy nursing a Slurpy on the bench while others are refreshed and enjoying the attractions?
What’s more, at no extra cost you’ll receive a little education since tour bus drivers are also tour guides, able to inform and entertain with cultural and other interesting facts along the route.
Are you beginning to view bus tours in a more positive light? There are numerous tour sites and packages online to choose from. It would also be helpful to enquire among friends and associates about their tour experiences.
Now, go select your adventure, make the call, and pack for the activities you’ll be enjoying. Don’t forget to check the weather. Happy traveling!
Article by Constance Watkins