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To Use a Bus Tour Service, or Not?

…that is the question!

With all the traveling my husband and I do, we are always looking for ways to maximize our experience and minimize stress when traveling. Navigating your way through a new country or even your own country can be fun, but sometimes it’s nice to sit back, relax, and let someone else do the navigating.

One of the ways we do this is by booking tours. (Usually through Viator.) Having someone guide you through a city or landmark is always easier than doing it yourself. And if we really don’t want to have to worry, we’ll book a bus tour, such as All Aboard America Bus Tours. We’ve used bus tours on several of our adventures, and even as I’m writing this post, I’m looking at various bus tours to book for a hiking trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. (Stay tuned for that adventure, haha.)

Walking up Mount Vesuvius. Wahoo!
Walking up Mount Vesuvius. Wahoo!

We had booked a bus tour for our trip from Rome to Pompeii and our hike up Mount Vesuvius. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Our bus driver and tour guide were very entertaining and gave us so much fun information about the area. (You can click here for more on that adventure.)

california wine country

Another time we used a bus tour was in California when we traveled from San Francisco to wine country and Muir Woods. I really enjoyed being able to look out as the vineyards rolled past and not have to worry whether we were headed in the right direction!

So, whether I’m in a foreign land or traveling in my home country…I am a big fan of bus tours! It’s also a great way to meet fellow travelers.

muir woods
A photo from our bus tour to Muir Woods in California.

I’ve enjoyed taking bus tours, too, because they can provide some awesome opportunities for photos. Our bus drivers have always known the best spots to take photos of the landmarks. And traveling with other people means you have someone else to take group photos for you! Wahoo! Haha.

san francisco
Our bus driver had taken us to this spot for photos of the Golden Gate bridge.
Our bus driver kindly took this photo of my husband and me at Mt Vesuvius, so we could have at least one photo of both of us!
Our bus driver kindly took this photo of my husband and me at Mount Vesuvius, so we could have at least one photo of both of us!

If you’re looking for tours within the United States, All Aboard America Bus Tours is a bus company that offers some awesome tours of the country…I personally am interested in their upcoming tour “Boston & New Hampshire – Fall Foliage Tour.” But if you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, they even have tours that go to Rocky Point, Mexico and casino resorts! What I really think is fun about this company is, if you don’t see a tour that meets your needs, you can work with them to customize your own tours, such as a trip to Disneyland and southern California. How fun is that?

And it’s not as though you are riding on a school bus from your kindergarten days. These are buses that have restrooms, individual climate control, adjustable footrests, headrests and armrests, Wifi and power outlets…just to name a few of the amenities. So, needless to say, you are quite comfortable! And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m also a big fan of falling asleep on the ride home from a big day of touring. So, being able to do so comfortably is a huge plus. (And I’m sorry to everyone who has had to sit next to me while I snore and drool all over myself…and this embarrassment usually falls on my husband. He must really love me, right? Haha.)

My lovely husband, who puts up with my sleeping and drooling in public. Haha.
My lovely husband, who puts up with my sleeping and drooling in public. Haha.

For more information on All Aboard America Bus Tours, click here.

Would you use a bus tour on your next trip? And does anyone else enjoy using bus tour services? Let me know in the comments!

To Use a Bus Tour Service, or Not?
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Thank you to All Aboard America Bus Tours for asking me to partner with them for this post.


    1. Iceland is another country I have yet to visit, but I really, really want to go there! I will have to check into their bus tours when I do make it there! 🙂

  1. I’ve done a minibus tour in Croatia to the Skrandinsky Buk waterfalls which was great except we had a really political driver who was determined to educate us on why communism was good for the country- we were all a little tired of him by the end!
    The photos look amazing!xx

    1. Ooooh I want to visit Croatia! It looks like such a beautiful country and, most importantly, GAME OF THRONES! haha. But eek, I would not like listening to a speech on communism the whole time! Haha. Thank you for reading, Kezzie! 🙂

  2. Really good thoughts on both options! I fee like it’s weird when people I know get snobbish about seeing foreign places and using a tour bus or guide of some kind; without knowing the language or roads it seems like a fine option in some instances to me! XO

    1. I agree. I mean, don’t rely on tours and tour guides for every part of your trip…but it is a good idea, for me at least, to have a few tours booked! I get so much more out of my trips then. Thank you for reading, Lauren!

  3. I love taking bus tours especially the hop-on, hop-off ones. That way I can focus on touring rather than worrying about the direction. Plus it gives me the touristy and vacation feeling too 🙂

    NIsha | http://simplistique.com/

    1. I have only done the hop-on, hop-off bus tour once…when I was in San Fran in high school. I remember it was fun! I don’t know why I haven’t done one since! It does have a fun touristy and vacation feeling to it. 🙂

  4. I’ve ony ever booked a bus trip to get me to a city, but never a tour of one. It sounds really nive though and much more relaxing. Im always pooped at the end of exploring and want to fall asleep on the way home haha.


    1. Haha it’s nice to be able to sleep on the way home and not have to worry about anything on the way there or when you’re there. 🙂

  5. It was interesting to read how much you’ve been liking the bus tours. We did basically the same tour with Muir Woods and also the Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius one. Both tours were at a decent pace for us. With Mount Vesuvius and Muir Woods they let us loose on our own with a return time which we really like. And, in Pompeii our bus guide was also an archeologist who worked part time at Pompeii so it was an interesting tour with him telling us the info for the various sites there. I like the bus tours for cities we do not have a rental car and public transportation is not convenient to get out to the places.

    But if we could do a tour on our own with convenient public transportation we’d usually do that route instead. That way we are in control of exactly how much time we are at a particular site. I don’t want to feel rushed nor do I want to sit around with too much time to spare that we could have moved onto another site.

    One of the big draws for us on the bus tours is a lot we have done have taken us to restaurants. We are very bad travelers with finding places to eat. Earlier this year in Puerto Rico we did a tour (rainforest hike then dinner) and we would have never set foot into the restaurant they took us to. But it ended up being one of the best meals we ever had.

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip to Mt Fuji, I would love to do that. You are there during perfect climbing season.

    1. I agree! That is usually my only complaint about any tour, bus or otherwise, is feeling rushed or spending too much time at a site. But both tours for us were good..Pompeii felt a little rushed, but there were soooo many people there, I don’t know how it would have gone any differently on our own. And oh yes! There are usually good restaurants! I’m interested what we’re in for when we do our hike up Mount Fuji…as all meals are included with that one too. 🙂

  6. My family does a lot of bus tours. We like the hop on hop off because it let’s us explore at our own pace.

    1. I haven’t done a hop-on, hop-off bus tour in years, weirdly enough! I really need to give one a shot again! They’re fun, and it is nice to go at your own pace too. 🙂

  7. Yes, I did a bus tour into the countryside to visit some plantations when I was solo in New Orleans about 20 years ago–it was wonderful. Any destination city that is reliant on tourism is going to have a great network of tours to fit various interests. And getting on a bus is a way to see the surrounding areas without the stress of doing the driving yourself!

    1. I was THIS close to booking a similar tour when we were in New Orleans. I was told at the time of year we went, though, it wasn’t really worth it…as none of the gardens were in bloom on the plantations. I’ll have to try it next time. 🙂

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