Bus Tours

Jan 6th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Bus Tours

I owe my parents a trip to some place special for my dad's 70th birthday. They would like to be on a bus tour with other people because they don't want to drive themselves and they often bicker with each other and they don't want to get stuck with just each other for company. Any ideas? They have traveled pretty extensively in Europe to the typical tourist destinations. They have visited most places in the Northeast in the US. My dad enjoys seeing things with some entertainment value such as SeaWorld and Disney World. His eye sight is mediocre and he is not in great health for too much walking - which is also why they want to be on a bus. He has great love for food but his interest in "culture" is debatable. He would appreciate the tour guide taking him to a restaurant instead of looking one up. Any thoughts?
tegi is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Have they been to California? I live on the west coast, so I take it for granted that "everyone" has been there, but maybe they haven't. There's plenty of things to do with "entertainment" value in Los Angeles and San Diego. San Francisco, too. In the midst of this brutal winter, sunny California sounds pretty good to me!
Merseyheart is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Or maybe New Orleans and the Gulf Coast? They would love some visitors!
Merseyheart is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:12 AM
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Perhaps silly question - have reread your post several times. You owe them a trip and they have traveled extensively. But do they really want to travel still or now?

Is a cruise with some interesting ports out of the question - lots of "entertainment value" on board and one can book wide variety of excursions that leave right from pier. And no tour guide needs to take him to a restaurant - it is right there.
gail is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:14 AM
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? Helpful? note to others with suggestions - Her father has difficulty walking and seeing - I think that is a crucial point. Also, it sounds like they want a delivered package with everything pre-arranged for them - not just a list of nice destination.
gail is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 03:50 AM
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There are many companies that offer excorted tours to MANY places.
One of the best is Tauck Tours.
Go to their website and see if anything interests you.
schmerl is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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My elderly aunt used to travel on Tauck Tours and enjoyed them. I agree with Schmerl that they are worth a look.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Tauck Tours are generaly quite high quality - but also pricey. Friends (elderly) of my parents use them in europe and rate them highly.

But - tours can be an issue for someone who can't do a lot of walking - since often tour buses have to park at a distance from the sight. Also, tours are on a set schdule, and if someone can't keep up it can be an issue (they may have to wait in the bus while others do something).

It sounds to me like a cruise might be a better idea - with optional tours as they like - but lots of activities and entertainmeent on the ship - for as long or short a time as they like.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Yes, my dad had a GI surgery over the summer and as icky as it sounds, he needs to be close to a potty at all times. He seems to think that the tour buses equipped with a small washroom would be perfect for covering some distance without having to stop for frequent breaks.
California sounds nice. I was also wondering about New Mexico. If there are some known touring companies with week long itineraries - that would be super!
Thanks for all your suggestions.
tegi is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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If Tauck looks too expensive for you, look into Globus. Also alot of seniors.
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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My mother loves bus tours - but on every one she has been on the driver/tour guide states firmly at the beginning that bus restrooms are for emergency use only. While I would count your father's situation as emergency, just something he should know since he might feel uncomfortable using the bathroom after hearing that driver speech.
gail is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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My mom recently returned from taking 2 Elderhostel tours in New Mexico/Arizona. She took 2 separate 1 week trips back-to-back and really enjoyed them. I'm not sure if your dad would like them as much, as they might tend to lean more towards academic interests and maybe less towards pure entertainment. But they are very good.
china_cat is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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I also thought about ElderHostel, but the ones my mother has been on require a fair amount of walking - that is why she stopped going.
gail is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 10:32 PM
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Tegi, if his digestive system is really that sensitive, he won't want to be far from a bathroom at *any* time. Maybe a river cruise? There are cruises on our beautiful Columbia River (I'm in the Pacific Northwest), or perhaps there's something he'd enjoy on the Mississippi. Some of the cruises on the Miss. R. might have a casino he'd enjoy.
Merseyheart is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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how about one of those upscale rail excursions?
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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I second the idea of a cruise. Perhaps an Alaska cruise or a Columbia River cruise might suit your folks? My parents loved the Alaska cruise I took them on (with Cruise West); there was no need for the frequent packing/unpacking which you have to do when you're on a bus tour staying in a different hotel every night, and we saw different and varied sights every day (mostly from the deck of the cruise ship, which meant little walking and close proximity to bathroom facilities at all times).
Moongoddess is offline  
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