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Bus Tour Advice

Make sure to research the tour company

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Photo by Derek Sanberg/MiamiTourCompany.com

Your vacation time is precious. There is nothing worse than wasting a day on a lower end tour, with an unqualified guide. (And this is not leading to a plug on our tours.) When choosing a tour, it’s important to research the tour company.

When calling around, here are the questions to ask:

Find out exactly what is included

  • What is the name of the tour company providing the bus tour?
  • How long is the actual tour - excluding the hotel pick up time?
  • What kind of vehicle is used? (Is there air conditioning?)
  • Do you take credit cards? Pay by credit card if at all possible. A credit-card company can be a strong ally in resolving billing disputes.
  • Is tour cancellation insurance included?
  • Are there any other costs?
  • Do customers receive any freebies?
  • Ask how much the tour guide guides
  • Is the guide also the driver?
  • Does the guide give talks on the places and history?
  • What are the guide’s qualifications (experience, fluency in English, and other languages)?

Imagine your perfect day

  • How many people will be on the tour? (What is the maximum group size.)
  • How much free time is allotted at each stop?
  • Is there a bathroom on the bus? How much time is spent on the bus?
  • Roughly how much time is spent shopping?

Don’t be afraid to get personal

  • Do you have a list of references?
  • How many years have you been in business?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What are your refund policies before and after the tour?

Request

  • Pictures of the tours and the tour buses.
  • The detailed itinerary.
  • Written tour evaluations (may be posted on independent websites).

If you follow this advice, even an old-fashioned bus tour can be a good time.

About the Author:

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

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