Pro’s and Con’s To Bus Tours – Accounts from Real Travellers

Bus Tours – Pros and Cons


Feed back from various travellers.  Pro’s and Con’s To Bus Tours  – Accounts from Real Traveller



Tell us your pros and cons of both.
– PRO: Possibility of meeting people.
– CON: People can possibly be annoying (one person and group of people)
– PRO: With limited time you can see the highlights of a particular location.
– CON: If you wanted more time to explore, you may be unable to because of time constraints.
– PRO: Solo travel, you can plan your own itinerary.- CON: Solo travel, you can sometimes feel lonely.

Where did you travel solo and Bus tour.
– Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Deluxe Bus Charter

What did you learn from the bus tour you wouldnt from travel solo
– Not sure.

What did you gain from solo travel vs bus tour.
– I got to see Santo Domingo during my trip, otherwise I would have missed out.

What was the name of the bus tour company and did you enjoy them?
– Can’t remember, it was through a resort. They were good, but didnt like one of the shopping “stops” as the shop owner was a tad pushy.

From now what method of travel would you prefer and tell us why?
– I usually prefer self-dire

cted travel, but would consider bus/group travel depending on their itinerary.


PRO Solo: Freedom to do exactly what you want, when you want

CON Solo: Can get lonely, and I am hopele

ss with a map so I get lost a lot

PRO tour: Get to meet new people, don’t need to worry about itinerary/planning routes etc

CON tour: Not as much freedom, potential to spend the whole time on a bus rather than seeing what you want to see. Potential to clash with people

Where did you travel solo and Bus tour.

Solo: Europe, Asia

Tour: India, NZ (hop on/off bus) Trans-Mongolian railway

What did you learn from the bus tour you wouldnt from travel solo

That I should travel solo

What did you gain from solo travel vs bus tour.

Freedom, independence, learnt a lot about myself


What was the name of the bus tour company and did you enjoy them?

Magic Bus in NZ- AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL we spent more time broken down on the side of the road than we did actually traveling…

VODKATRAIN in India- AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL tour organisers were pocketing our money, disorganised, can’t say how strongly I advise you stay away from this tour group!

VODAKTRAIN China-Russia: FABULOUS! Everyth

ing was so easy and well organised. We

spent most of the time by ourselves and not with a rigid routine to follow, but all the train tickets/hostel picks ups taken care of. Best of both worlds- I can’t recommend this one enough.

From now what method of travel would you

prefer and tell us why?

Solo mostly, except for areas where I would not want to be a female traveler on my own.

bus tour 1


PROS:  The headaches associated with booking hotels, renting a car, standing in line at certain attractions, etc., were avoided.  I met some interesting people from diverse backgrounds.

CONS:  Certain places I wanted to explore were skippe

d.  Occasionally we had no choice but to eat at inferior restaurants arranged by the tour guide, who probably got a kick back.  Some of my fellow travelers I wanted to push into the Grand Canyon.  People fought over who got to sit in the front seats.

The first bus tour I took was throughout the American west and included Yellowstone Park, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, etc.  The second one went through the Canadian Rockies.  Both were through Cosmos Tours.  I enjoyed the first one – the people were great, the tour guide shared her knowledge of Indian history and culture, and we had some unexpected incidents that livened th

ings up (like getting surrounded by a herd of buffalo on the highway).

The second tour sucked.  The weather was awful, the tour guide constantly bragged about all the places he had visited with zero commentary on the places we were actually visiting, and there was no chemistry among the people on the bus.  I have such foul memories of that trip that I will never take an extended bus tour again (unless I win one in a contest and don’t have to pay).

I have nothing against a short bus trip if it is to a specific destination and lasts only a few hours.  I took one to Chichen Itza from Cancun and am thinking about booking one from Rome to Pompeii when I head to Italy next spring.  The only pitfall is the set amount of time


you have when visiting a place.

Bus Tour:
-Pros: Itinerary already set for you, forces you to get up early and “seize the day”, don’t have to worry about bus times, train times or any form of transportation times,
Cons: Having to get up early, itinerary already set for you, very fast pasted, little down time other than while driving, fellow travels can vary on

age group and may not suit your own desires
Solo: -Cons: Can get lonely if you don’t meet people who you mesh with and are going on the same route, a lot of figuring out where to go, unplanned for delays – but this alwasy happens so it almost irrelevant
-Pros: So much flexibility

Where did you travel solo and Bus tour.Bus Tour – Morocco and Italy
Solo – Every place I’ve been except the

above two
What did you learn from the bus tour you wouldn’t from travel solo

What did you gain from solo travel vs bus tour.
Solo: The ability to make lots and lots of friends, invaluable experiences
Bus: Friends who I still stay in contact with, sleep


What was the name of the bus tour company and did you enjoy them?
Gap Adventures for Morocco and yes, I did enjoy it

From now what method of travel would you prefer and tell us why?
Solo, however I did enjoy my bus trip of Morocco, and for me, I think it was the best way to do everything, we were only there for 10 days so at the time it seemed like the best idea, and I truly think it was!


I rarely will take bus tours u

nless absolutely necessary.. usually it is much easier to rent a car and self drive or hire a taxi for the day. Maybe a bit more expensive but that way I can spend whatever time I need at a place (and avoid the bus tours…)  Day bus/city tours are even worse as you spend 1+hr picking up and then dropping off people at hotels so you lose a lot of time.

It can depend a lot on the guide thoug

h.. if they are very entertaining/funny it can make up for an otherwise boring tour.  I did the Gallipoli/Troy bus trip in Turkey recently and it was OK.  But there was only 1 bus pickup/dropoff… so more time was spent seeing.

Bus tour Pros:
-not worry about a thing
-tour guide included (you would learn a lot more unless you made a point to read a history book in advance)
-meet new people
-get expedited entrance into museums, historical sights, ect

Cons:-no freedom to linger if you’re inclined to do so (you’re on a tight schedule) or leave if you’ve had enough (no person left behind)
-people can get on your last nerve
-guides can ‘recommend’ places where they have an agreement to get a cut of the proceeds (usually the places are expensive and irrelevant to the experience of the country)

Solo Travel Pros:
-and more freedom
-did I mention freedom to do whatever you want?
-forced to meet and engage locals

(really enriches your experience)

-time wasted in figuring out where to go/what to do
-time wasted getting there (getting lost) and waiting to get in
-unless you’re outgoing it can get lonely

Although I started out my travels with preplanned trips through an agency I have evolved to solo travel. I LOVE to travel solo; however, for beginners bus tours are probably best.


Tour pros:
Meet people
See things you might not think to on your own
Take a lot of hassle and worry out of trip (depending on how much the company can help you with)
Safety of travelling in a group
Can help to have experienced guide and/or driver
Advice on onward travel and thing

s to do and see
Can be excellent options to start your trip until you feel comfortable travelling solo

Some try and sell you loads of other add ons and extras
Luck of the draw if you are with a good group (I always have been)
Can feel rushed if on tight schedule

Oz Experience – Australia – I did a Hop on Hop off bus tour up the east coast. Was really good fun and met some people I am still friends with now. They did try and sell a lot of extras though and I felt they timed the bus journeys so you have to spend more on hostels.

Kiwi Experience – New Zealand – Same sort of thin


g as Oz Ex but in NZ. Can stay in spots for as long as you like and  they do have some cool exclusive stops and excursions. Again met some really cool people and had an excellent time but you could spend a lot of money on accommodation and all the excursions they try and sell you.

TruTravels – Thailand -I did their TruThai Experience tour and it was amazing. I wouldn’t call it a bus tour as such but you do travel through Thailand (on buses, trains and boats) and as a one week introduction it is perfect. Unilke other tours, everything (inc accommodation and excursions) are included so all you pay for is food and drink. It was just long enough to get comfortable and meet people and they were really helpful from the moment I booked. Definitely the best tour I have done and I got to travel independently afterwards with others from my group.

How would I do it in future?
It depends where I am going but I might combine tour and solo travel or just go solo. I would definitely recommend short, group tours to get you started though. Especially if you are feeling nervous about the destination or about travelling alone.



PRO: Logistics are taken care of

CON: can’t fly by the seat of my pants

PRO: meet fascinating people from all over the world

CON: might be a slightly less fascinating person taking the seat next to you

PRO: cheaper than solo travel

CON: can’t think of a con to that!

PRO: get to see places I normally would not have found

CON: no con here either ;-)

PRO:  MUCH safer as I am a single female traveler

Green Tortoise bus – Alaska:  EXCELLENT!  The food was amazing and the activities weren’t all planned out for you so you could venture off without the group and go solo.

Green Tortoise bus – Baja, Mexico: EXCELLENT!  Again, the food was amazing and I was surprised at the number of places we went to that I would have never found on my own.  Would take them again for sure.



I have only been on one bus tour (single day, Belgium WWI battle sites and memorials).  It was well worth having a guide.  Later on the same trip I toured Dachau Concentration Camp solo.  Not having a guide forces you to learn more on your own and spend more time.

I much prefer solo traveling.  If you want to meet people stay at a hostel and hook up with other travelers.  Anytime I have traveled I met people and just by hanging out in a hotel lobby or standing at a street corner looking confused.  The biggest advantage going solo is seeing things you will not find on tourist maps.


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