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Vacation With a Tour Group

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By: Shannon Yan

 

Why You Should Consider a Tour For Your Next Vacation:

When my mom announced this summer’s vacation plans, I was skeptical. She was considering the use of a tour, so we can avoid driving and some planning troubles. I groaned, as I’ve had some bad experience with tours when I first visited San Francisco with a tour. But in the quick 7 days, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, efficiency and professionalism of the 7-day tour.

 

The Top 4 Reasons to Go With a Tour Bus:

You can cover a greater distance in a shorter amount of time:

  • We got a seven day tour where we visited 6 national parks including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, as well as amazing scenic sights such as Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Canyonlands (National Park), and Antelope Canyon. We were able to cover all the major landmarks with plenty of times to take pictures and enjoy the view. In addition, we also visited some interesting cities like Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, Kanab (Little Hollywood), and Las Vegas. It was an impressive feat, crossing through 7 states in 7 days, covering over 3000 miles of land. Although you have to wake up a bit early, you can still catch your Z’s on the bus.

You’re traveling with someone experienced and there to help you:

  • The travel agency plans out the routes packing in as many attractions as possible as well as taking in account of the best times to visit a site. The tour guide’s knew the best angles and times to catch a photogenic shot, and well often offer to help you take a picture. They pass on interesting tidbits about each site and landmark, as well as the crucial details you must know.

You save money as well as time:

  • Going on a tour bus means you get many group discounts in your fees. Also, hundreds will be saved on gas fees. The fee of a tour typically covers all hotel rooms as well as the bus ride and most of the landmarks and parks. This saved a lot of time, which meant we had more time to rest or view scenery.

You don’t have to do any planning or worry about anything:

  • All the hotels are booked and the tour guide literally hands you your key. That’s how simple it is. In addition, the tickets for parks have been bought and you won’t have to worry about paperwork at all. Just relax on the bus and enjoy the attractions!

Being on a tour bus definitely had its perks, as the agency already planned out the routes and booked the hotels, making things a lot less complicated. Plus, we got to visit a lot more places, as we could sleep on the buses. We were given bathroom breaks every two hours in convenient places, and were given several options for restaurants that weren’t diarrhea inducing. There pretty much was not any downsides other than being in a bus with 50 other people.

 

The Golden Rule on a Tour Bus: Don’t be “That Guy

When traveling in a group, it means that you’re all a team. Don’t be the one who’s late and makes everyone wait for you. The schedule is tightly packed and meticulously planned out with many factors in mind, such as the best times to see attractions or traffic.

 

Five minute delays here and there may not seem like much, but the minutes add up quickly, and take experience away from the sites. In addition, the lost minutes could cause the tour guide to omit a certain site (whether the park was closed or we had to reach the hotel by a certain time because of the law). On our trip, a family woke up late, causing a 45 minute delay, and we missed our boat session at Powell Lake. Luckily, our quick-thinking tour guide made some calls and rescheduled some sites (so we didn’t miss any sites), so we went to the Horseshoe Bend early, despite the 8 o’clock shadow.

 

The travel agency we used was Joy Holiday: http://www.joyholiday.com/C/en/home

The tour guides speak English and Chinese and took care of all the travelers.

 

About Eric Guo

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