Turn! Turn! Turn! A bus tour through Vancouver, 2013

A tribute to the Byrd’s 1965 version of the classic song, Turn! Turn! Turn!

I shot this video from the window of a vintage city bus, during the Heritage Vancouver Society’s Annual Top Ten Endangered Sites Bus Tour, May 4, 2013. By hanging my camera by its strap from the bus pull cord, I could shoot this footage relatively hands free! The angle of the open window also resulted in a unique vantage point, reminiscent of a small child’s perspective from the back seat of a moving car. For more on the Heritage Vancouver Society’s annual tour, see:


How to Compare Bus Tours

Travelling almost anywhere in the world can be done on a bus. Bus tours usually provide good value to the travellers but not all bus tours are the same. No one tour company will ever satisfy everyone’s needs for travel. Here we provide some tips on comparing bus tours. Generally, the best tours deliver what they promise.

Size of tour

The tour size is determined by many factors, mainly the bus size. However some specialty tours, like photography, cooking, and other interest tours limit numbers due to other reasons. In the majority of cases the conditions of the air-conditioned buses are excellent and their maintenance is up to date. They provide comfortable seats and other amenities like toilets on board. Small tours range from 8 to 20 participants, while large bus tours range from 20 to 55 participants.

Cheap, value or luxury tour

The cheapest bus tours are ridiculously cheap and generally participants pay extra for everything. Nothing is included other than travel and the accommodation.

Luxury bus tours generally include everything and provide luxury accommodation options and may even have several empty seats on the bus to make it more comfortable.

Be sure to do sufficient research to confirm that the tour company meets your expectations of travel. Some bus tour companies own their buses and staff a casual, others hire buses but have permanent staff. Each business model has its advantages and disadvantages. All generally claim to be the “best”. Small tour groups are more intimate for many reasons, while the larger groups are herded about form place to place with military precision.

Confirm that there is sufficient time at the attractions to enjoy them and for many people the small tours offer a minimum of 2 night stays so that participants do not have to pack and unpack every day. Many of the cheap tours move hotels every day to pack as much into the itinerary as possible.

Recommendations for bus tour travellers

Check that the provider is reputable

Go with the smallest group size that you can afford

Confirm that the accommodation is in the city (not the outskirts)

Avoid tours with multiple one-night stays

Ask for authentic food experiences and understand what meals are included

Read the fine-print including inclusions, exclusions and cancellation policies

When comparing prices – compare total costs, not just up front tour costs

In summary, not all tours are the same. Smaller value tours often provide the best experience for those who enjoy culture, history and meeting new people.

Source by David Nivala

Converted School Bus Tour!

This week is a tour of my converted school bus and how it came to be. Total cost of $10,000CAD and conversion took three weeks of 12 hour days.

Bus : 2003 Ford E-450 Super Duty – 7.3 Turbo Diesel

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Tour Bus Rentals Deliver Guided Trips With A Twist

Many people steer clear of guided tours in fear of tight agendas, crowded accommodations and a lack of flexibility. Unfortunately, these people miss out on a lot of potential fun. This is especially the case when skilled tour guides lead the trip. When tour bus rentals are booked for specific itineraries, it’s often quite possible for private groups to set their own schedules and take advantage of the knowledge that comes along with guided tours.

The benefits of going this route are many. Depending on the service selected, tour bus rentals can even ensure that everyone onboard is treated to impeccable service and comfort.

When higher end tour bus rentals are considered, passengers are treated to all the perks that celebrities enjoy when they’re on the road. For example, tour bus rentals that offer first-class service, make sure passengers get to see all they desire while they enjoy posh accommodations. In some cases, it’s even possible to book tours that include area knowledgeable driver-guides.

Whether it’s tours of California or trips through the Las Vegas desert, tour bus rentals can offer glamour and a personalized touch. In the process, people can assure themselves a rather good time throughout the journey and back again.

Depending on the tour bus rentals considered, groups can expect such things as:

· Professional drivers who know the local hotspots and tourist destinations. Many tour bus rental companies enable groups to set their own schedules and pick their stops. In a lot of cases, drivers are very familiar with the terrain and can even add a great deal to the experience.

· Sleeping quarters. When top-notch tour bus rentals are considered, small groups will often find sleeping accommodations for up to 12 people. This is a great way for groups to tour different parts of the country and not have to worry about additional lodgings and other concerns.

· Kitchen quarters. Many tour bus rentals on the higher end also come with some sort of galley arrangement. This means travelers can eat in or dine out as they desire.

· Restroom facilities. Higher end tour bus rentals have full-service bathrooms onboard. This eliminates the need to stop between planned destinations – unless passengers desire a quick change of plans.

· Onboard entertainment. Most tour bus rentals include some form of onboard entertainment. Quite often this equates to a TV and DVD player, but this combination is spectacular for passing the time between interesting stops on the planned trip.

· Itinerary assistance. Many tour bus rental companies provide help groups set their itineraries and can even point out stops that are worth making. This professional service quite often comes along with the rental fees, at no additional charge.

Tour bus rentals can give small groups their own private, guided journey through some of the best tourists areas imaginable. From California to Maine and everywhere in between, there are more options for a guided tour than many realize. When private and first-class is desired, tour bus rentals can deliver.

Source by Gordon Petten

What to Do When Planning a Charter Trip and Charter Bus Rental of a Motorcoach and / or School Bus

There are many things to consider when planning to rent a charter bus with a professional driver-whether it is a full-size motorcoach, a smaller coach bus, or a school bus. By the way, school bus charters are mostly rented out by the bus operators for strictly local charter trips. In any rate, I would like to outline a few important and essential things to consider and resolve before, during, and after renting a coach or a school bus from any bus rental company. These points to note come from the extensive experience working as a bus company operator and having made, as well as witness many clients make, many mistakes and blunders resulting in charter delays, bus / bus-driver scheduling errors, and other such inconveniences like having no-shows on the day of the charter trip. I realize along with our clients that any charter trip begins and ends with a functional and clean coach / school bus being driven by an entrenched and punctual coach bus or school bus driver. There are, however, ways to ensure that all of the logistic fronts are covered for the clients to be satisfied with their chosen charter bus rental company and the bus operating company in turn to be happy with their clients. It all boils down to effective and efficient communication.

Firstly, the relationship between the client and the bus operator begins with the client requesting a charter trip quotation or a charter trip evaluation. There are many things that are taken into consideration before a bus rental company issues a quotation. For example, the season, month, day of the month, bus fleet availability, and the rates given by the 3 largest charter bus rental companies in the industry for a given date-just to name a few. At this stage, the client is strictly focused (like tunnel vision) on getting the best price for the best possible charter bus services. And they rightly should be; however, not at the cost of neglecting their focus on very simple but substantial details. Such crucial, albeit simple, details include making sure to submit the exact and correct dates for the charter trip; provide the correct time of departure and arrival; and outline the itinerary details, like extra charter-trip destination stops. Once, these details are provided to the charter bus rental company, the bus operator issues a charter trip quotation with a trip-rate. The client is now at the stage of either accepting the charter bus rental company as their vendor or not. Once the charter bus company is chosen and the client confirms the booking of their relevant charter bus (be it coach bus or school bus) a formal trip confirmation is issued by the charter bus rental company to the client.

At this stage, it is crucial to double-check all of the aforementioned "simple" charter trip details. Many times, clients get quoted for a different date than what the trip confirmation states. That is there is a discrepancy between the trip quotation and the trip confirmation. Any bus rental company extremely goes by their trip confirmations when scheduling and finalizing their bus rentals and schedule. These trip confirmations are also signed by the client upon the finalization of their charter trip booking. In my personal experience, some clients end up not getting their charter bus arriving on the right date. This seems to be a ridiculous mishap and it is. But it all stems from neglecting to focus on the contracted details stated on the trip confirmation.

I plan to continue the series of articles focusing on such logical details in order to help clients and operators to foresee and overcome such blunders and to extremely provide a reliable and professional charter bus rental service to our community. Please stay tuned for future publications on how to rent a charter bus and, equally important, how to make sure that all the charter trip logistics are put in place.

Source by Dmitriy Semenov

Make Thanksgiving Exciting With A Bus Tour From Las Vegas To The Grand Canyon

Thanksgiving may be your last chance for a relaxing and fun getaway before the hectic holiday season sets in, so now's the time to make plans. Vegas is a great place to celebrate, and it is also a fantastic place to begin a Grand Canyon tour, such as an affordable and scenic bus tour that goes from Vegas straight to the Canyon.

Vegas has a lot of Canyon tours on offer, and the best part is you can find a tour that goes to the West Rim and tours that go to the South Rim. The West Rim is a little over 100 miles from Vegas, and it is the closest rim. The South Rim is located in Arizona, and the bus ride takes around 5 and a half hours. All the buses from Vegas, whether they go to the South Rim or the West Rim go right past the Hoover Dam, and your bus will make a quick stop so you can take some photos.

West Rim Bus Tours

A day at the West Rim will be filled with fun and special memories. The standard tour is one that drives you to the Canyon and then brings you home later in the day. However, you can upgrade your tour to a package that includes exciting events according to your budget and interests.

One thing you should try is the VIP passes to the Skywalk. These passes give you priority access to the world-famous transparent viewing platform that is suspended over the Canyon. You'll be able to stand 70 feet past the edge of the Canyon and peer all the way to the Canyon floor 4000 feet below. It is a thrilling experience like no other, and when you get the VIP pass, you do not have to wait in a long line.

You can even upgrade your bus tour to include a helicopter flight over the Canyon or a flight that descends into the Canyon and lands on the bottom near the Colorado River. Flying to the Canyon floor is a good option because you'll be able to take a boat ride on the Colorado River as it wends its way along the base of the Canyon walls.

Bus Tours To The South Rim

West Rim tours are the most popular, but a South Rim tour is an excellent choice too if you are more interested in scenic sightseeing and you do not mind the long ride to the rim. The standard bus tour to the South Rim includes lunch, a guide, and about three hours to explore the area once your bus gets to the South Rim. You'll see beautiful vistas from scenic lookouts and you'll also see many of the highlights at the South Rim, so if you love to take photos, you'll have plenty of opportunities on this tour.

The South Rim bus tour can also be upgraded to include a helicopter tour. This flight gives you 30 minutes of air time over the rim between the South and North Rims. This tour even includes a jaunt over the deepest and widest trench in the Canyon.

Holiday Tours Sell Out Fast

Be sure to book your tour in advance because tours will fill up fast over the Thanksgiving holiday. Go ahead and book your tour after you book your hotel in Vegas, or at the very least, try to get your seats locked in 72 hours in advance. Buying your tour online gets you the lowest rate possible and when you buy your tour using your credit card, your seats are paid for and confirmed.

Get Ready For A Unique Thanksgiving Experience

Do not spend Thanksgiving sleeping on the couch, make memories your family will remember by touring the Canyon instead. There are so many fun upgrades to add to your bus tour like the helicopter flyover at the South Rim or the VIP Skywalk experience at the West Rim, that it's easy to create a tour package that's sure to please everyone in your group while keeping your budget happy too.

Source by Keith Kravitz