Bus Tours Rules and Benefits
Bus Tours Rules and Benefits are one of the tourist ways to see a city. They are also one of the fastest most efficient ways to hit all of the main spots. In my opinion, bus tours are great given the right context and the right kind of deal.
I’ve done bus tours in a few different cities and read Bus Tours Rules and Benefits. In Lima, Peru, I did a night tour. It was about two hours and around 60 soles, about 25 dollars. It was a great idea. I only had one day in Peru’s megacity capital, but still wanted to get a feel for the environment. It was well worth the money. We got to see all of the main sites. We cruised through all of the major plazas and stopped for a snack in a snazzy hotel. We were even admitted to Lima’s water fountain park. All in all, I had a blast.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve also had some less than glamorous experiences with bus tours. So with that knowledge, I would like to point out a few things to consider in order to make sure that you do everything that you can to elect the best option for you.
- How long are you going to be around? If the answer is just for a few days, a bus tour is a great option to knock out the highlights and probably even save yourself a few bucks as opposed to trying to seek them all out solo. However, if you are going to be around for a month or so, it may not be worth it. I once did a bus tour in Arequipa after having been there for over a month. The tour took me to the main plazas, sure. But it also took me down streets that I frequented on the weekend, a park near my house that I saw every day, and an outlook that I had had multiple friends take me to on the weekends.
- What is included? This is an important question, because a lot of times they won’t tell you just how much isn’t included. The bus tour that I did most recently, in Lima, included entrance to the park that we visited as well as our snack. In contrast, the tour that I took in Arequipa just included the ride around the city. Meaning that there were various places that we stopped and if you wanted to actually enter the building or experience the offered attractions, you had to pay extra. The only thing additional included was a bottle of water.
- What are your riding conditions? Is the top of the bus covered? Are you going to be directly exposed to sun for the entire tour? Is there air conditioning? Don’t be afraid to ask. You don’t need to sacrifice your entire trip for a bad sunburn or a heat exhaustion induced hospital visit. A lot of times you get what you pay for and if something sounds too good to be true, it often times is.
- Do they speak your language? Now while it is rude to expect everyone everywhere to speak your mother tongue, I do think it logical to want be able to understand the guides on a tour that you are paying for. Be sure to ask beforehand if the entire tour is only in the local language or what special services they can offer you, e.g. translated brochures, alternate tour in your language, etc.
- How many sites are included? Sometimes you find a classic case of sounds-too-good-to-be-true. Maybe the only distinguishing difference between that tour and the tour that’s 10 bucks more, is that for 10 dollars you get to see an additional three sites. Keep in mind that we are talking about seeing sites under a time crunch, so the more bang that you get for your buck-the merrier! Don’t be cheap, and don’t be lazy. Do a compare and contrast and take the time to consider who is going to be providing you with the best product. The little bit of time that you put in can pay off later when your wallet doesn’t feel quite so lite.
- Do you dare barter? I do. All of the time. If there is one thing I have learned about bartering is that’s the more information that you have, the more leverage that you have. If you know that tour bus company A is offering 10 sites for 40 dollars, and tour bus company B tries to charge you 35 dollars for 6 sites, you may be able to get them down, depending on where you are. Also, if you are traveling in agroup or if you are staying in a hostel, ask about group rates. A lot of time if you purchase 5 or more tickets at a time, they will cut you a hefty break on the overall expense. Take that into account when you are doing your compare and contrast and then, if you can find a good deal, considering dragging along your friends or asking around for fellow interested travelers at your hostel.
- How much time have you taken to prepare? Sometimes you don’t get off of the bus at all and tours can be as long as two hours. Make sure that you use a bathroom before boarding. Also, be conscious of the climate. Sometimes weather can be unpredictable. Make sure that you have brought along some sunscreen and a light jacket for after it gets dark. I also recommend a bottle of water, especially for in hot, dry climates.
I hope that I was able to help assist with any of your bus tour concerns and that you will consider taking a few of our tips before hitting the double-deckers for a day on the asphalt.
I like to take this time to thank Tina Stelling for helping me with this amazing article. Check out her works at www.tinastelling.com