Luxury Bus Tours

So what is the difference between a “budget tour” and a luxury or deluxe tour? Luxury tours, while more expensive than your average budget tour, provides many additional comforts which oftentimes include superior hotel accomodations and highly knowledgable tour guides. Sometimes these tours also feature special inclusions like meals or admissions fares.

Many extended vacation packages also fall into the luxury tour category. These tours tend to be longer and range between 5 to 17 days. These tours are best for travelers who have lots of time to enjoy their travels and want to visit many destinations. For those with the time and the means, we highly recommend checking out our bi-coastal tours to see the wonders of the American coasts.

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Getting what you came for- How to select the best touring option

Many travelers ask us about our services and what they can expect from their tour guide. Will I be tied to the hip of my guide or be left to navigate on my own? The answer to that question is “It depends.” Before booking a tour you should think about your personality traits and the needs of your traveling companions. Selecting the tour that best fits your personality will allow you to make the most of your vacation and ensure that you get what you were expecting.

GotoBus currently offers three levels of touring options. You can find the tour level listed in the tour details.

Level 1:
If you like to wander free and explore new places on your own then a Level 1- Unescorted tour is your best bet.

Level 1– Unescorted Tour: Essentially a self-guided tour. You will have transfers between activities and accommodations but there will no one organizing activities for you.

Check out a Level 1– Unescorted Tour

Level 2:
If you prefer having someone around to answer questions and troubleshoot problems a Level 2—Semi-Guided Tour would be a good option.

Level 2—Semi-Guided Tour: Tour guide will organize the group and arrange for any optional attractions and meal stops. These tours are perfect for those who like some structure to the day, but want more free time and meals on their own. Tour guide will be available to assist passengers if any problems arise.

Check out a Level 2—Semi-Guided Tour

Level 3:
If you enjoy having a knowledgeable guide who can tell you about the historical significance of the sites you are seeing then I would recommend a Level 3–Fully-Guided Tour.

Level 3–Fully-Guided Tour: Tour guide will organize the group and arrange for any optional attractions and meal stops. In addition, the guide will conduct an informative tour of sights throughout the trip. The tour may be conducted in more than one language.

Check out a Level 3–Fully-Guided Tour

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Customer Feedback: East Coast 5 Day Deluxe Tour Package, $345

“We are now home after taking the pat2247 trip with Mike as our guide. We think he was just wonderful and that the trip was out of this world, we saw so much and enjoyed it all very much. Our only regret was that we could not keep up to everyone due to our age, lots of walking, the rooms were super, the driver good & safe, our fellow passengers all very nice, it was perfect, we loved the trip and will tell everyone how good it was. Thank – You Mike. ps we also enjoyed Mario.”

For more information about the East Coast 5 Day Deluxe Tour Package, $345, please visit
http://www.gotobus.com/cs/c168/vacationpackages_newyorkdeparture_/eastcoast5_daydeluxetourpackage.html

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5 Steps to Finding Your Perfect Bus Tour

Planning a trip can be exhausting. You finally decided to take a bus tour, which include the transportation, hotels, a well-planned itinerary, plus a travel expert who have the insider scoop and will guide you through the journey.

Nice, isn’t it? You get on the bus, put down your luggage, kick back, and someone will take care of the rest. However, before getting on the bus, there is some homework for you to do. We have designed a five-step guide for you to easily find your perfect bus tour.

1. Going through a Travel Agency.

This is a world of collaboration. Instead of hitting tens and hundreds of different tour operators, a smart way will be going through a travel agency where you can compare all the tour itineraries, schedules and prices all in one stop. Online travel agencies have gone a long way to make it easy for travelers to search their trips efficiently by key words, times and locations. A lot of times travel agencies also offer additional discounts and promotional vacation packages for those who travel on a tight budget.

2. Knowing your Limits.

Before planning for a trip, ask yourself some questions: Where does the trip start? For how many days? Where are the places you want to visit? And how much do you plan to spend without breaking your bank? Most of the online travel sites allow travelers to search for trips by using the 3 Ds: Departure, Destination, and Duration.

Another question that is commonly neglected by travelers is “How intense the bus tour you want it to be?” Do you want to visit lots of places in a weekend getaway, or you want to take it slow by staying in one place? With an escorted tour, visiting a lot of attractions in a short amount of time maybe perfect for those who want to get the most out of their journey; however, not so much for those who prefer to relax and take their time. If you’re not sure about the intensity of the tour, pick up your phone and call the agency to talk to a real person.

3. What is Included?

As the travel industry gets fiercely competitive, travel agencies are tightening their margins to attract more customers. It is not uncommon for travelers to find too-good-to-be-true travel deals with a little extra time and effort researching online. However, what you see is not always what you get. For a bus tour, transportation and accommodation are almost always included. Other factors you might want to take into account include: Does the tour provide airport/hotel pick-up? Which attractions are paid for and which ones are optional (admission fees not included)? Is the travel insurance included? What hotels are you staying in?

4. What Language Do You Speak?

This one seems obvious but is neglected very often. Most of travel agencies in the U.S. require tour guides who speak English. However, there are many tours out there that are guided by people who speak multiple languages. It is not uncommon to find someone who is trilingual and can guide a tour in fluent English, Spanish, and Chinese. For those who speak English as a second language, it could be nice to find a tour that is guided in your mother tongue. On the other hand, if you prefer the tour guide to speak one language instead of switching among five other languages, you might want to avoid multiple language tours.

5. Rules, Rules, Rules

Is there a refund policy? What is the cancellation policy? Do they take credit card or check? Visit the website and understand the legal aspect of the agency will not only protect you for your rights, but also give you some ideas of when and how you want to book a tour.

Afterall, knowing what to expect and plan ahead is always the safest way to enjoy your trip!

For more information about escorted bus tours and great travel deals, visit GotoBus.com, a leading online travel agency offers bus tours and vacation packages throughout more than 200 operators in the U.S. and Canada.

As Featured On Ezine Articles

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Customer Feedback: New York to Washington D.C. 2 Day Tour

This is an email from one of our customers who took the NYC to DC two day tour.

“Hello, I would like to thank you very much for the tour to Washington DC last weekend. It was really great. Everything was organized very well. The tour guide (Steve) gave us a lot of interesting information, the pace and the timing were perfect. Thanks once more.”

Please find more information about our NYC to Washington D.C. 2 Day Tour, $85, at: http://www.gotobus.com/cs/c128/newyorktowashingtondc2_daytour.html

Again, thanks Steve and all our terrific tour guides who take pride in their work and try their best to give our customers a lifelong experience. 🙂

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Customer Feedback: NYC-Niagara Falls-Washington D.C. 3 Day Tour

I will start posting some feedback from our customers and so you can get some insider scoop of our tours! 😀

“Dear Sir/Madam:
I must comment on the most enjoyable trip with your company on 23rd to 25th of April to Washington and Niagra Falls with yor company. Could you pass on our thanks to Jason the courier and the driver, they both did a tremendous job. The hotels were exellent, we couldn`t have asked for better. There was only one fault and that was with the bus, there were a couple of windows that were misted over due to the seals being broken and this did effect the views from the bus when travelling. Apart from this the tour was previously stated extremely good and value for money.”

The tour is a three-day tour from NYC to Niagara Falls and Washington D.C., $155. It is one of our most popular tours. For more information, please see the URL: http://www.gotobus.com/cs/c693/nyctoniagarafalls_dc3_daytour.html

And Jason, you are the star.

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GotoBus Named Best of the Web in Washington Post

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 28, 2007. On February 4, Sunday Edition, The Washington Post featured GotoBus.com, along with Hotels.com, Kayak.com, Mapquest.com and TripAdvisor.com, as the best travel websites.

In particular, GotoBus.com was named the best website in the “Motorcoaches” category, topping grayline.com, greyhound.com and trailways.com. The Washington Post indicates that online travel bookings hit $85 billion last year and this year are expected to account for more than half of all U.S. travel bookings.

GotoBus.com was officially launched at the end of January 2006, replacing IvyMedia.com, to better reflect the core business of the company: selling bus tickets and bus tours online. IvyMedia.com started to sell bus tickets and bus tours since 2002.

Jimmy Chen, President of IvyMedia Corporation/GotoBus.com, is pleased with the recognition from the major US news organization: “Despite of a glitch discovered by The Washington Post, they rank GotoBus.com as the best website in the ‘Motorcoaches’ category. As we are encouraged by this recognition, we will continue to improve our services to provide better value to our customers and travel suppliers.” GotoBus.com is the leading online ticketing company for bus-related travel.

To find out more information about the top travel websites in various categories, please visit: Original Washington Post Article or Re-post by Delaware Online.

About GotoBus

GotoBus is the leading online marketplace for bus tickets and tours. The GotoBus online booking system is similar to those used by major airlines, and makes it easy for travelers to quickly compare schedules, prices, and pickup/drop-off locations for over 100 bus companies throughout the United States and Canada. GotoBus.com is the fastest growing gateway for bus travel on the Internet today.

For more information contact: marketing at gotobus dot com or 1-617-354-2101.

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Getting Around the USA–When is the Bus Your Best Option?


Visitors to the US have many options when it comes to getting around. In the land of (relatively) cheap gas and expensive trains, renting a car is often the most appealing option. On the other hand, for journeys between cities that are further than a few hours drive, flying quickly becomes a viable option. Still there are other times when the best option is taking the bus. How should you determine when this is your best option? Read on.

Bus travel in the US

Whether or not it is warranted, bus travel has a somewhat beleaguered reputation in the U.S. Many consider line run bus service to offer the most basic level of service. In truth there is a wide range of service offered, from luxury to budget, depending on the bus carrier. The bus industry in the United States is dominated by Greyhound, which is the only bus company with service nationwide. Several other companies such as Trailways and Coach USA are made up of independently owned bus companies that share marketing functions and branding. In addition there are several strong regional players in the bus industry, although they may share service with Greyhound on certain routes.

A newer development in the bus industry is the “Chinatown bus”. This is a term used to describe low priced bus companies that operate paired down service on selected routes and charge much less than traditional bus companies. Originally these carriers tended to operate in, and cater to, the Chinese immigrant community. Now the phenomenon appeals to a much wider group of customers. Another trend in the bus industry is luxury service that competes more directly with the airlines. These carriers offer first class amenities and luxury coaches. They tend to be most successful for destinations that are fewer than 6 hours apart.

So, how should you decide when the bus is your best option? Here are a few questions that might help you make your decision:

  1. What is your budget? If you are on a tight budget you won’t be able to beat the bus for price. It is by far the least expensive way to get between destinations in the U.S. This is particularly true on heavily traveled routes in the Northeast where there is a lot of competition.
  2. Will you need a car once you get to your destination? In many U.S. cities (ie. New York, Boston, Washington DC) a car is not only unnecessary but will be a burden to drive and to park once you arrive.
  3. How far are you going? If you are traveling less than a five or six hours it is probably faster to take the bus than to fly when you factor in waiting time at the airport. Moreover, the bus will likely drop you off in the downtown core so you do not have to find your way into the city once you arrive.
  4. Where are you going? It is worth noting that for many more remote destinations in the US, the bus is really the only public transportation option. If you do not drive, taking the bus may be your only choice.
  5. How much time do you have? If your trip is not rushed, you might enjoy the more leisurely pace of bus travel. If you are under time pressure, the bus is probably not the best choice as it is subject to traffic delays and usually takes a little longer than other modes of transportation.

Overall, the bus is a great option for visitors to the US who are looking for transportation between major US cities and more remote destinations alike. As gas prices rise and train service sees more cuts, it will undoubtedly be an even more popular way to get around going forward.

Lila Kahn is the Marketing Manager of GotoBus.com, the leading online marketplace for bus tickets and tours in the USA. You can find out more information about the company and contact information for the author at: http://www.gotobus.com/

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