#1. Ride on a City Tour Bus or City Circuit Bus!
I just love “Hop on and Hop off” City Tour buses because they can teach you so much about the city you’re in. I do them in almost every new city I visit so I can learn where all the landmarks are and get a feel for the area.
This post, however, is about stay-cay-ing (is that a word?) so why would we want to jump on a City Tour Bus or City Circuit Bus for the town we live in?
Basically, for the same reason.
It took me several trips overseas to realize I had NEVER done one in my home town of Auckland. I thought about it a little and wondered for a second…
If I was a tourist coming to Auckland what would I do?
I would DEFINITELY get a day pass for the local “Hop on and Hop off” City Tour Bus service, whatever that was.
This felt like a great example for a stay-cay adventure, so…
I did it!
My eyes were opened. There were hidden gems all around me like the Parnell Rose Gardens or Dove-Mayer Robinson Park. I literally had NO IDEA this place existed until I did the tour and I’ve lived in Auckland ALL my life.
The tour, like most, had a looped (repeating) audio commentary of various local facts and locations.
Check with your driver if they have free air-bud headphones so you can plug them into a device or audio socket by your seat. There should be a dial or button to select your preferred language.
Sometimes they’ll have an actual tour guide providing the commentary so be prepared to give a gratuity or tip if they do a good job.
Lets down to numbers.
City Tour Buses aren’t cheap when you compare them to a standard bus fare. I’ve found them to be about $50 but that depends, of course, on the distance of the tour and if you’re doing multiple routes (red line, blue line, etc).
If gratuity is a thing where you live then you’ll know how much you’re expected to tip but you’ll want to account for that too.
You’ll also want to consider if you’ll bring your own food or buy it at one of the hop on-off stops. Tours are usually a whole or half-day thing so keep that in mind.
Finally, to help with your decision check if there’s a discount for you as a local. I think mine was about 50% off the regular price and all I had to do was show some local ID to the ticketing guy. Have it ready if you decide to “take the plunge” (give it a go).
City Circuit buses are “normal” buses that do a loop of the inner city area. They’re a lot cheaper (a few dollars) but without all the “bells and whistles”. As a local, I like jumping on one every now and again to see how the city has changed. I also use them to find new coffee shops… mmm… COFFEE
So there you have it! #1 in my Top 5 Stay-cay Adventures. Not THE #1 but the first in my list of 5 and something you should consider for yourself.
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