Seattle Travel- Tours & Activities

Travel to one of the most popular cities in the Pacific Northwest – Seattle! Enjoy the picturesque 360 degree view of the Seattle skyline from the Space Needle observation deck or get entertained and educated at the Washington State History Museum. If sports are your thing visit Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team and Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks! Seattle Duck tours and Argosy sightseeing boats also provide a unique way to view the city while you float.

Seattle Duck Tours $25
Land and Water Tour $58.75

For some travelers Seattle is a destination, for others it is just a starting point. Head north from Seattle to Canada and explore major cities like Vancouver and Victoria. While in Canada, visit the 2010 Winter Olympic Site and enjoy the spectacular views of Whistler Mountain and the Black Combs Mountain.

Seattle to Whistler 3-Day Tour
$284
Seattle to Victoria, Vancouver 4-Day Tour $397

Bus tickets to and from Seattle are available online.

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More $1 Bus Fares to/from NYC

GotoBus has just released more $1 bus fares for our customers to enjoy! Check out the shuttle bus discounts to/from New York City:

NYC <-> Hartford, CT

NYC <-> Bethesda, PA

NYC <-> Arlington, VA

Be sure to book early to ensure the best prices!

Update 6.5.09: NYC/Arlington and NYC/Bethesda tickets now start at $9

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Los Angeles to Tijuana Bus Service

GotoBus has just released a daily Los Angeles to Tijuana bus service for $30 one way. This service, provided by Viajes Azteca Futura, departs from East Los Angeles and makes stops at the San Ysidro Border Crossing, Tijuana International Airport, and Tijuana bus central. Book online to reserve your seat today.

If you are planning a trip south of the border you may also want to check out our other Mexico Tours.

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Travel Europe on the Cheap – How to Enjoy Bus Tours

Many would-be travelers dream about strolling down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees but are not willing to mortgage their future to finance the trip. However, traveling Europe on the cheap does not require backpacking and hitching free rides from strangers! One affordable solution that offers a happy medium between a super luxurious getaway and “roughing it” is a packaged bus tour.

Packaged bus tours offer the best value per day, due to the tour operator’s ability to secure group rates on hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and sightseeing attractions. They also provide peace of mind, which is priceless: the discerning traveler does not need to obtain an international driver’s license, rent a car (let alone remember on which side of the road to drive!), or read train schedules in foreign languages.

To get the most out of a European bus tour, remember the following travel tips.

Tips to enjoy a Europe bus tour:

  • Dress Comfortably: You will spend much of your time sightseeing or riding on the bus. Wear sensible clothes that you can wear while walking around in public areas, and that also fit well while sitting down.
  • Be Camera Ready: Pack extra batteries for the camera. Packaged bus tours feature numerous attractions and will often visit multiple countries. However, once the tour leaves for the next attraction, there is usually no turning back. Get that last photo op!
  • Eat Wisely: Carry snacks to ward off hunger attacks on the bus, and take advantage of any breakfast inclusions available at the hotel. Be wary of purchasing food at major sightseeing venues where prices are the highest.
  • Bring Entertainment: You will have downtime in between attractions and tours. Pack an MP3 player or a book and magazine to keep yourself occupied while en route to the next exciting destination.
  • Keep an Open Mind: Touring Europe provides a unique experience to enrich your mind. Interact with passengers to discover similar interests, and learn about local cultures and traditions.
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GotoBus Offers Shopping Tours to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

GotoBus, the leading online marketplace for bus tickets and tours, now offers shopping tours to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, located in Central Valley New York, includes 220 top brand-name outlet stores such as Coach, Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. Departing from New York City daily, these tours accommodate holiday shoppers by providing $40 roundtrip transportation and VIP discounts.

For serious bargain hunters, GotoBus also offers a “Midnight Madness Tour at Woodbury Commons” for $30. This tour departs from New York City at 10:30 PM on Thanksgiving to take advantage of Woodbury Common Premium Outlet’s extended hours and early morning “Black Friday” sales. This tour package includes roundtrip transportation, a VIP coupon book worth hundreds of dollars in savings, and lunch/dinner discounts.

Two day shopping tours are also available for those that need more time to shop. For $140, patrons can shop at their leisure and enjoy a two day stay at the outlets. This tour package includes roundtrip bus transportation, one night hotel accommodation, breakfast for two, complimentary $50.00 gift certificate to any of Woodbury Common’s 220 stores and a $10.00 dinner coupon to Positano Grill.

See website for complete ticketing information about these shopping tours.

About GotoBus.com

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GotoBus.com Adds Line Run Bus Service Between New York and State College, PA

New bus line offers true alternative to Greyhound bus service.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, October 26, 2006— Beginning October 25th GotoBus.com will offer direct bus service between downtown Manhattan and State College – home of the Penn State University. Through its partnership with the bus line All State Bus, GotoBus will add 6 daily scheduled departures on this popular route. The non-stopped bus service will have pickup and drop off locations on 156 E Broadway and 153 Lafayette St in downtown Manhattan (Chinatown) and on 1631 N Atherton St in State College.

All State Bus is the first operator to run low cost bus service between State College and New York City. It provides an important connection to New York City for resident of w wide area of the County as well as the college students at Penn State University. Pricing between State College and New York is $30 one way and $60 roundtrip. At $16-28 less than Greyhound’s standard fare, the new service offers a true budget alternative to Greyhound and Amtrak.

Tickets for the New York to State College bus service can be purchased online at: http://www.gotobus.com/allstatebus/

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Chinatown Bus Lines–the Answer to Cheap Transportation

A Guide to the Chinatown Bus

The word is out—the cheapest way to get from one major U.S. city to another is on the “Chinatown bus”. In recent years this has become transportation option of choice for budget travelers in New York, Washington DC, and Boston, and more recently on the West Coast. Students, backpackers, and an array of other savvy travelers have long loved the rock bottom prices that these bus companies offer. Despite the popularity of these bus lines it can still be difficult to find information on Chinatown bus service.
What exactly is a “Chinatown Bus”? Read on and you will have the inside track on this great budget travel option.

Chinatown Bus history

The Chinatown bus phenomenon began in the late 1990s when an entrepreneur in New York’s Chinatown started running daily bus service from Chinatown in New York to Chinatown in Boston. The service was aimed at Asian immigrants who wanted to shop or visit relatives in either city and needed cheap and convenient transportation. The service was bare bones—no advertising, customer service, or bus stations. Customers simply went to the bus stop, waited for the bus (or van), and paid the driver upon boarding. For those willing to do without frills, they offered virtually the same service as traditional bus companies at a substantially lower price. Before long, the word spread and all kinds of people started using the service. It became especially popular with students, budget travelers, or people for whom the service was simply more convenient.

Soon more bus companies duplicated this model and started offering service in other cities. Now you can find this type of bus service in Philadelphia, Virginia, Baltimore Washington DC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. At this point the term “Chinatown bus” is used more loosely to describe this sort of low-cost/low-frills service. Many, if not most, of the companies do not have Chinatown as their main location and may not cater to the immigrant population at all. These operators are also sometimes referred to as “curbside” operators.

How can tickets be so cheap?

$15 between New York to Boston? $25 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles? It seems hard to fathom. Chinatown bus companies are able to keep prices low because they operate in a fundamentally different way from traditional carriers. Foremost, the service is very basic. There is little in the way of customer service or amenities. Most of these operators do not have formal stations, picking up passengers at bus stops instead. They eschew traditional advertising in favor of word of mouth. Further, many of the operators play a very hands-on role in the operation—you will not see idle executives at a small independent bus company. Finally, these operators make sure they fill their buses. That is why Chinatown bus operators usually only operate on heavily trafficked routes. Indeed some companies only run buses at peak times.

Are they safe?

When these companies first started operating, concerns were raised about safety standards. There is still controversy within the bus industry about whether these newcomers are complying with the same regulations as the traditional companies. However, a task force set up by the Federal government to look at safety issues found that Chinatown bus companies did not perform better or worse than other types of bus companies (ie. charter, tour buses). All bus companies operating in the U.S. must undergo the same inspection standards and must comply with the same rules. Realistically there is probably a range of quality among Chinatown bus carriers. Some are fly-by-night operators trying to make a fast buck, while others are legitimate entrepreneurs who plan to grow and operate a long term business.

What you should expect

  • No frills service—the driver may be the ticket collector; there will not be a lot of customer service.
  • Comfortable buses. Despite the low fares buses are usually quite nice. Most buses are comparable to Greyhound and many are actually more deluxe.
  • Communication challenges. Drivers are legally required to speak enough English to help passengers in the case of emergency. In reality this is often adhered to rather loosely. At the very least, expect your driver to have an accent.
  • Possible delays. Many of these bus routes are on highly congested roads. When the roads are busy, expect delays.
  • Rest stops. Buses will have a lavatory on board but there is usually a 10 or 15 minute bathroom break on trips over 4 hours. Don’t be late returning to the bus, the driver will not count heads before leaving at the appointed time.
  • Full buses. Buses definitely sell out at peak times (weekends and evenings). Book ahead or get there early if you want secure a seat.
  • Plastic Bags. An odd little quirk on Chinatown buses is that every aisle seat usually has a plastic grocery bag tied to the arm. I guess they find this is the best way to keep the buses clean.

How do I find the Chinatown Bus?

Again, “Chinatown bus” is a term used to describe a type of operator and not an individual bus company. Many unrelated bus companies fall into this category. Since most Chinatown buses do not spend money on advertising it can be difficult to find out details about schedules and bus stop locations. Many of the carriers are becoming savvier about the Internet and quite a few have websites with information. Usually an Internet search will yield links to bus service to your destination. There are also several directories, such as www.chinatown-bus.orgthat include links for most Chinatown bus companies. Also, www.gotobus.comis a centralized booking site that has schedules and sells tickets online for most Chinatown bus companies.

The Chinatown bus is not for everyone. If you want an orderly system with American style customer service, you should probably stick to traditional carriers. However, if you know what to expect and come prepared with a sense of adventure and humor, you should enjoy the trip just fine. You will also enjoy the money you save!

Violet Sorenson works for GotoBus.com, the leading online marketplace for bus tickets and tours in the USA. You can find out more information about the company at: http://www.gotobus.com/. The author can be reached at marketing at gotobus.com.

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