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Old 9 May 19, 03:44 PM  
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#1
Majik
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Join Date: Apr 09
Mobile Escorted coach tour

We spend a lot of time in the US but apart from San Diego have not visited the west coast or National Parks.
We don’t really want to drive miles and miles so are considering an escorted coach tour.
Just wondering if anyone has taken a tour of this kind and has any advice.
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Old 9 May 19, 04:54 PM  
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#2
landandword17
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Join Date: May 17
My advice would be to research and research and proceed with caution. I have not taken one but my husband’s mam and her husband have. They hated it because the pace was even faster than a self drive. They would arrive somewhere at 3pm and then have to have bags out for collection at 5:30am so they saw nothing in many places. When they had 2 days in LA and San Francisco they were in hotels outside the city and had to make their own way in. The food stops were all at fast food places and they came home said never again and we haven’t been able to get them to set foot in the US since so... you really need to research how long stops will be, where the hotels will be etc... I cannot offhand remember the company y they went with. The tour was called Golden West or something like that. I will come back with the name of the tour company when I find out.
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Old 9 May 19, 05:30 PM  
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#3
shack69
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i echo the above post. we have done a tour in canada and we carefully looked at which hotels were been used and actually went for a tour that gave us a couple of nights in some places so we got the time to see things. But on the other hand the itinerary between locations was good and generally gave enough time at locations.
I would say if you don't want to drive and are looking at major places eg anaheim, hollywood,san fransico then you could potentially do you own tailored trip cheaper and better.
take a look at checkmybus for some example bus routes if self planning.
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Old 10 May 19, 09:19 AM  
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#4
Majik
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Thank you both for your replies. Certainly lots to look in to.
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Old 10 May 19, 12:03 PM  
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#5
landandword17
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I asked my mother in law. She booked with Virgin Holidays, the actual tour was run by another company but she can’t remember their name. They were on the 15 night Wonders of the Golden West for £3200 each. She said on booking the itinerary said “Holiday Inn *or similar” and they always ended up in “similar”. She also said the coach was too big to do a lot of scenic routes a car could do like Big Sur and Death Valley and when they were on scenic routes such as over the Golden Gate Bridge or into Yosemite only the front few rows were oohing and ahhing and the rest couldn’t see as much.

I asked her if she could go back what she’d so differently. She said she would map out each itinerary to see the journey times as she had no idea of the distances before booking. She would only go with a company that guaranteed the exact hotel on booking and she would want everything included such as national park entry, sightseeing in each city. She got a quote from Trailfinders which was way out of budget but she said they had some of the top companies that used 4star or higher hotels and had a slower pace but they were very expensive. £6000 each at the time. Trailfinders also told her the more expensive the tour the higher the average age of passenger on board.

If she had £12,000 she’s still not sure a coach is the best way to see the scenery. She says she would be more likely to do 2 fly drives, one focusing on the coast and one on the parks. She’d also consider a rail vacation as she’s done them in Europe and found them more relaxing than a coach.

Finally, she said you don’t have control over where you stop for lunch and snacks and it was all greasy, fast food so she would budget in a trip to a supermarket to get healthy snacks to bring along to avoid the food at the rest stops.

Hope that help.

Edited at 12:05 PM.
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Old 10 May 19, 04:17 PM  
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#6
400ixl
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Outside of LA driving on the west coast is so easy and those long distances soon get eaten up. I'd seriously consider driving yourself as it will make for a much more fulfilling experience. You can choose your own hotels and where you want to see.

Maybe mix the two where you do individual day trips to some of the locations where you will more likely get smaller groups and smaller coaches.
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Old 10 May 19, 05:41 PM  
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#7
Majik
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Originally Posted by landandword17 View Post
I asked my mother in law. She booked with Virgin Holidays, the actual tour was run by another company but she can’t remember their name. They were on the 15 night Wonders of the Golden West for £3200 each. She said on booking the itinerary said “Holiday Inn *or similar” and they always ended up in “similar”. She also said the coach was too big to do a lot of scenic routes a car could do like Big Sur and Death Valley and when they were on scenic routes such as over the Golden Gate Bridge or into Yosemite only the front few rows were oohing and ahhing and the rest couldn’t see as much.

I asked her if she could go back what she’d so differently. She said she would map out each itinerary to see the journey times as she had no idea of the distances before booking. She would only go with a company that guaranteed the exact hotel on booking and she would want everything included such as national park entry, sightseeing in each city. She got a quote from Trailfinders which was way out of budget but she said they had some of the top companies that used 4star or higher hotels and had a slower pace but they were very expensive. £6000 each at the time. Trailfinders also told her the more expensive the tour the higher the average age of passenger on board.

If she had £12,000 she’s still not sure a coach is the best way to see the scenery. She says she would be more likely to do 2 fly drives, one focusing on the coast and one on the parks. She’d also consider a rail vacation as she’s done them in Europe and found them more relaxing than a coach.

Finally, she said you don’t have control over where you stop for lunch and snacks and it was all greasy, fast food so she would budget in a trip to a supermarket to get healthy snacks to bring along to avoid the food at the rest stops.

Hope that help.
Thank you so much that was very kind of you both.
We usually have no problem at all driving but thought it might be a nice idea to have someone else do it. You have given us a lot to think about and I really appreciate your reply. Thank you
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Old 10 May 19, 05:43 PM  
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#8
Majik
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Originally Posted by 400ixl View Post
Outside of LA driving on the west coast is so easy and those long distances soon get eaten up. I'd seriously consider driving yourself as it will make for a much more fulfilling experience. You can choose your own hotels and where you want to see.

Maybe mix the two where you do individual day trips to some of the locations where you will more likely get smaller groups and smaller coaches.
Thank you very much for your reply. We do a lot of driving around Florida so thought it might be a change not to have to drive. I hear what you are saying though and will give it some thought.
Thank you.
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Beautiful views from our 3 bedroom villa at
Hunters Creek
www.villas4orlandoflorida.com

http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/villa-search.php?a=405
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Old 10 May 19, 06:05 PM  
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#9
paw
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We moved over to USA coach tours once my husband felt he was missing out when driving and felt he was getting a bit old for long days on the road. To our surprise we love them, very social if you want and we have made friends from all over the world.

We have used a number of companies, Colette’s, Trafalgar, Cosmos but would love to go with Insight or Scenic. My son’s in-laws use Riviera.

You get what you pay for, in general we go for 4-5 star hotels with 2 nights in key places with all breakfasts and most evening meals included. I like the fact we visit places we wouldn’t have know about and have lots of visits included. Last year we did a few behind the scene visits eg in Canada we went to the Parliament building for a tour.

In Denver ex President Bill Clinton was staying at the same time to give you some idea of the standard of hotel you can get.

The last two have been with Cosmos. Mostly 3-4 star hotels on the outskirts of the cities. Some were fabulous, others were not so good but we had looked them up and were willing to put up with them to go to the places we wanted. They were the worst for seeing scenery as they were very rigid about rotation and we ended up on the wrong side of the bus (bottom of cliff) 2 days on the trot, and didn’t stop as often for views. Trafalgar stopped the bus in Yellowstone and asked people to swop seats for a few minutes so everyone got to see a family of bears.

We like to start or finish in a place we would like to stay and tack on anything from a few days to a week. Often the company offers extra days at a reasonable price or we book independently - we have had add ons in San Diego, San Francisco, Vegas, New York in USA and Cook Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore when doing tours in Australia and New Zealand.

Last year Cosmos offered free upgrades to Premium on our New York flight.
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Old 10 May 19, 06:59 PM  
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#10
Majik
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Excited about Disney

 
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Originally Posted by paw View Post
We moved over to USA coach tours once my husband felt he was missing out when driving and felt he was getting a bit old for long days on the road. To our surprise we love them, very social if you want and we have made friends from all over the world.

We have used a number of companies, Colette’s, Trafalgar, Cosmos but would love to go with Insight or Scenic. My son’s in-laws use Riviera.

You get what you pay for, in general we go for 4-5 star hotels with 2 nights in key places with all breakfasts and most evening meals included. I like the fact we visit places we wouldn’t have know about and have lots of visits included. Last year we did a few behind the scene visits eg in Canada we went to the Parliament building for a tour.

In Denver ex President Bill Clinton was staying at the same time to give you some idea of the standard of hotel you can get.

The last two have been with Cosmos. Mostly 3-4 star hotels on the outskirts of the cities. Some were fabulous, others were not so good but we had looked them up and were willing to put up with them to go to the places we wanted. They were the worst for seeing scenery as they were very rigid about rotation and we ended up on the wrong side of the bus (bottom of cliff) 2 days on the trot, and didn’t stop as often for views. Trafalgar stopped the bus in Yellowstone and asked people to swop seats for a few minutes so everyone got to see a family of bears.

We like to start or finish in a place we would like to stay and tack on anything from a few days to a week. Often the company offers extra days at a reasonable price or we book independently - we have had add ons in San Diego, San Francisco, Vegas, New York in USA and Cook Islands, Hong Kong and Singapore when doing tours in Australia and New Zealand.

Last year Cosmos offered free upgrades to Premium on our New York flight.
That is very interesting thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed reply.
I think we might do something we haven’t done for years and visit a travel agent to get some brochures .
Thank you
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Beautiful views from our 3 bedroom villa at
Hunters Creek
www.villas4orlandoflorida.com

http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/villa-search.php?a=405
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