The transportation and hotel costs are lower because of group rates and often breakfast and a few guided tours are part of the package. Bus tours are a good option for quick weekend escapades. I went to New York on a group bus tour for the Easter weekend and there is no way I could have done this on my own at a lower cost. There is the added bonus of not having to drive or concentrate until you get to destination. You can nap, read a book or chat. And, when you get there, you can go to down town Bryant park and continue to nap, read a book or chat!
Rates get progressively lower if you are 2, 3 or 4 to a room so there is the possibility of doing a double-group excursion. There is a guide with every group so you also benefit from the advice and recommendations of an experienced tour guide dedicated to your group. Even if you go your own way, the guide is a great resource.
There are a few downsides, though.
One of these downsides is the pit or lunch stop. There is only one piece of advice I have for you.
Hit the ground running.
It is a pit stop in the true sense of a Formula One pit stop. Quick empty and refuel.
Fast pee and fast food.
This is no time for dining or even tasting. Run to the washroom facilities as soon as the driver opens the door of the bus and get the first spot in line. Then, hurry to the food line. If you are two or more, someone can offer to be the go-for in the food line to avoid any lost time while the others are at the washroom. Just grab your burger, chow down and return to the washroom facilities. No one appreciates a smelly toilet on the bus!
Another downside is that the entire group is hostage to the good will or bad luck of the other passengers. If someone cannot find her passport while in the bus line at Customs, everyone will have to wait until the problem is cleared up. It is frustrating to watch said group member rummage through her purse, backpack and luggage which the driver had to take out of the hold under the bus. It is just as frustrating to be the absent-minded traveller. I know. It was me. My friend found my passport for me. It was in my purse.
Group tours are a good travel option and offer a good opportunity to see new places and meet new people.
Whether you choose not to follow the group for the weekend,or go with the group on the tours, it is a bargain and a stress-free way to travel.
I’m glad I saw this beautiful sight of the tulips on Park Avenue. I love New York.
Thanks to our guide, Mary, of Frenzy Tours, Montreal.