How to Buy a Grand Canyon Bus Tour


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The Grand Canyon bus from Las Vegas is a knock-out deal. These packages come with everything from meals to guide. Even the deluxe buses are off the charts. Outlined in this article, I divulge the tips that will make sure you get the best all-inclusive bus trip to canyon...

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How to Buy a Grand Canyon Bus Tour

  1. 1. How to Buy a Grand Canyon Bus Tour by Keith Kravitz © 2011The price of a Grand Canyon bus tour from Las Vegas is a moving target. The reason behind this is theway operators market trips as all-inclusive. Some trip packages come with everything. Others are sobasic that the most you can count on is a seat on the coach. To help you get the right deal, lets look atwhat constitutes a standard bus tour. Here are the essentials:1. Round-trip transport2. Deluxe motor coaches3. Pullouts and comfort breaks4. Meals5. "Ground time" at the CanyonNow lets look at this in more detail...Round-trip means many things to a lot of people. For you, it includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. Thismay seem like "dickering" over the details. But let me tell you that after enjoying the canyon for a day,the last thing you want to do is figure out how to get from some anonymous drop-off point to yourhotel room thats miles down The Strip. Insist that your package have free hotel shuttle service.Not all luxury buses are created equal. Most Las Vegas tour companies are running new fleets with allthe bells and whistles (oversized seats, tip-top climate control, on-board TVs). Beware, though, thatsome companies run blended fleets of older and newer buses, and in most cases youll be aboard one oftheir gently worn ones. Quality makes a difference, especially when it comes to tackling the final 10miles of dirt road to Grand Canyon West or putting in nine hours of road time to the South Rim. Trustyour instincts: Book a trip with a company that drives the newer models.Getting there is half the journey. The route to the West Rim and the South Rim starts the same: FollowHighway 93 South out of Vegas, skirt Lake Mead and cross the new Hoover Dam Bypass bridge, whereyour driver-guide should pull over for a photo-stop of the dam. Not every tour does this. I recommendyou find a tour that does because seeing the dam from a bus seat doesnt cut it. Also, if you are boundfor the South Rim, rest stops matter - drive time each way is five hours.Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time is a magical experience. Youll want to spend as much timeas you can at each rim. Two hours is the max for most tours. The best ones give you three hours. Youwant the tour that gives you the most time, especially if you are visiting the South Rim, which has thebest lookouts, gift shops, and museums.Those are your basics. Here are a handful of upsells that I characterize as "gotchas:"1. Food - An absolute must for all South Rim trips. Operators cut meals so they can offer a low-pricedtour that they can upsell on.2. Grand Canyon Entrance Fees - Theres an admission cost at the West Rim and the South Rim. Thegood operators pick it up. The so-so ones pass it on to you.3. Fuel Surcharge - This was added into the package during the 2009 gas crisis. The price of gas hasdecreased (though at the time of this writing its on the rise again). Thus the surcharge shouldnt be
  2. 2. added. If the fee is still being charged, its extra profit for the tour company.Most of the reputable Las Vegas-based tour companies have a website on which you can purchase yourtour. I highly recommend that you book through the Web. Shopping on the Web can save you up to 35percent. Ive purchased bus trips using my favorite tour operators and I can vouch that theyre e-commerce booking sites are secure, efficient, and safe. The neatest thing after you book your tour isgetting your trip voucher seconds afterward in your inbox.Getting to the Grand Canyon by bus, be it the West or the South Rim, is a snap from Las Vegas. Its alsoan incredible value. Play it smart, though. Read the tour descriptions. Think about your needs. Thenbook online and put the money you saved toward souvenirs or a night at the Blackjack tables.Travel writer Keith Kravitz reports on Grand Canyon Tours.Use this link to see his short video about his #1 favoriteGrand Canyon bus tour.