Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tips for a Successful Motorcoach Trip

A great way to travel is by motorcoach.

These are some tips to make your motorcoach tour successful.

1. Pick a reputable operator or tour group to ensure a safe and reliable journey.

2. Bring reading material. Or gaming devices. Or even knitting. A lot of time is spent riding on the bus between destinations. If you are prone to napping, perhaps your favorite travel pillow would be in order.

3. Wear comfortable walking shoes. You may be dropped off at a farm, in the city square, or in a rainstorm.

4. Pack as light as possible. Many tour stops have access to a gift shop. Bringing back momentous is easier if you can pack them in your suitcase.

5. Plan on rain, at least in rainy areas. A light jacket with a hood would work, or a small umbrella.

6. Bring a carry-on bag. Motorcoach tours allow one carry-on bag. Whatever you will need during the day will need to be in this bag, maybe a change of shoes, your umbrella, reading material, maps, medicine, and so forth. The overhead storage bin is designed to hold the same sized carry-on bag that the airlines allow. Your main bag will be locked away in the storage hold of the bus.

7. Bring an atlas or map of the area you are traveling to. It is more interesting when you can trace your journey.

8. Plan on sunshine and bring your sunglasses.

9. Bring a camera, one with a separate viewfinder if possible. In an 8-day trip I took 441 digital photos and had a large enough memory chip (2 GB) to hold them. Bring an extra battery.

10. Bring a bottled beverage and light snack in your carry-on bag. But be careful - restroom stops come up about every two hours.

One of the nice things about a motorcoach trip my wife and I just took to New England was that most of the costs were paid up front. For example, two tickets cost us $3,000. We only spent another $500 out of pocket, mostly for souvenirs and the few meals that were not pre-paid.

Another plus is a loaded tour bus gets preferential treatment at many stops you would not encounter on your own. For example, ours stopped at a restaurant for a lobster bake. The restaurant was closed for the season but opened just for tour busses.

It is true that a motorcoach trip relieves you of the chore of driving, yet there are a few drawbacks.

One, to keep on schedule, there is some regimentation, such as putting your suitcases in the hallway outside your hotel door at a certain time in the morning. No sleeping in.

Another drawback is the trip is tightly scheduled. If you pass a site you would find interesting to visit, you will have to save that for the next trip when you are driving your own vehicle.

Finally, motorcoach travel must be popular. In New England it was not unusual to have three or four other tour buses pull into the travel center or tourist site along with ours.

Be prepared, and enjoy your motorcoach trip!

Photo: At a New England maple syrup farm, the farm dog appears ready to board the motorcoach.
By William Hunter
Read more at Buzzle:

No comments:

Post a Comment