If you don’t mind sharing your vacation with about 30 other people, buying a packaged bus trip just might be the way for you to afford a quick getaway. I used to take the bus back and forth between Boston and NYC often and it wasn’t all that bad…although my trip was over in only a few short hours. Would I be able to survive 3-7 days traveling with a bunch of strangers? Who knows…but at these prices, it might be worth a look.
There is a service called GotoBus that offers both short and long term vacation packages. Instead of meeting at a station, the bus picks everyone up as they go along…kind of like riding the school bus as a kid. They have starting points in most major cities, and have trips that go to National Parks, Las Vegas, theme parks…if it is a tourist destination, they probably go there. I wanted to see what a hypothetical trip would cost us from Los Angeles, so I checked out a LA to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon 4-Day Tour Package. Sounds pretty fun, no? Well maybe not for me as we just did this trip on our own, but these are pretty popular destinations for Californians, so this is the one I wanted to look at.
It is a 4 day trip that includes transportation costs, hotel charges and Grand Canyon entrance fees. (And let me tell you, these are NOT cheap fees.) The only extras you have to pay for are your food and any extras you spend your money on along the way. How much? $172 per person. Yep, only $172 for a 4 day vacation including hotels. I am not sure you could get a hotel too many places that cost that little for a night or two. What does the itinerary look like?
Day 1 Arrival Los Angeles:
Your vacation begin. Arrival in Los Angeles airport from Hometown: Tour guide will meet you at the Baggage Claim Area and transfer to hotel.
Hotel: Best Western, Montebello, CA or similar
Day 2 Los Angeles – Barstow – Las Vegas:
Depart from Los Angeles in the morning and ride on the most advanced and luxurious tour bus to Las Vegas. During our trip, we will stop by Lenwood factor outlet where you can shop renowned name brands at the lowest possible price. By afternoon, we will arrive at the world’s gambling capital- Las Vegas. (customers may join an optional night tour).
Hotel: Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, NV or similar
Day 3 Las Vegas – Grand Canyon:
As we depart from Las Vegas, we proceed to on of the Seven Wonders of the world- Grand Canyon National Park, which we will reside in Laughlin, Nevada.
Hotel: Colorado Belle Hotel, Laughlin, NV or similar.
Day 4 London Bridge – Los Angeles:
The morning of day four, you will open your eyes to Lake Havasu and the London Bridge. Each bit and piece of this antique bridge originated from London, England. On our way home, we will sojourn at Barstow for some fresh air, food, refreshment, and of course some more shopping. We will then ensue our journey home and reach Los Angeles at 6:30 P.M. Transfer to airport after tour.
Now to be honest, I just do not know about spending this much time on a bus with a bunch of people that may be obnoxious. But I suppose it could be fun, and it seems a decent way to stretch a vacation dollar. I don’t know…it might be an interesting experiment to do this summer. Anyone ever done something like this? Was it a nightmare or a lot of bang for your buck?