View of Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What I do on Bus Tours

On Saturday I had been thinking about what I needed to do this week in preparation for leaving on March 1st.  I was going to do a bit each day, but that quickly got put to the back burner as I had an email requesting me to do a bus tour for Sunday, the next day and this coming Wednesday. So I now had some work to do for this.

When doing these bus tours, the time on the bus is actually fairly easy, I need to keep everyone as happy as possible and occupied so that the trip goes by fast.  The real work is preparing for it.  I have to do research on where we are going and what they will be doing and preparing a game for them to do in order to have them pick out a movie.

I was going to Toronto on Sunday and again on Wednesday and both times are for shows, yesterday's was "Menopause Out Loud", a comedy cabaret, and Wednesday is "Little House on the Prairie".  Both are downtown across from the Eaton Centre.  What I have to do, is printout the floor plan and store list for the mall and know where the food court, restaurants and washrooms are, so that I can let people know where things are located once they get off the bus so they don't waste time wandering around looking for these things.  Also I research the play and theatre to provide the passengers with some info on these and again where they are located.  Last thing is I do is make up a multiple choice trivia game, that we play on board, pitting the passengers on each side of the bus against each other.  The winner of the game gets to vote on the top three choices on the movie list that I have passed around earlier.  The trivia game takes a while to do but once I have the main one done, I just build on it and change things around to with the trip to Toronto for any particular tour or show.

This kept me pretty busy for a good majority of Saturday afternoon.  Wednesday's tour will be easier to prepare for as I have most of the info already done.

The tour day itself, as I said is generally the easier part.  The hardest part is trying to keep everyone happy, sometimes hard to do with 54 passengers.  Music, movies can be too loud for some, not loud enough for others.  The same goes for temperature on board, especially like yesterday when you have a busload of menopausal women on board (remember Menopause Out Loud was the show they went to see!).  The most important thing on the tour is making sure you have everyone on board!!!  I am always afraid that I will miss count and leave someone behind.

Also important is letting them know where to get the bus when they come out of the show and what time we are leaving to get them back on the bus quickly and get out of town before traffic gets heavy.

With alot of the tours we do, we head to the Mandarin Buffet Restaurant for a fantastic buffet dinner, which is included in their tour and then off back home.

My day yesterday went well, I didn't have a ticket for the show and I was going to ask at the theatre if I could get in and see the show, sometimes they let you if they have room because you are the tour escort.  I decided not to ask as it was a nice day and I enjoyed going for a nice walk up Yonge Street to Bloor and back again, I knew I would be sitting again in a short time.

Looking south down Yonge Street toward the Eaton Centre

Now today, I have to get back to planning what needs to be done and start working on the house, our stuff and Sherman, only one week left before we head out, YEAH!!!


  1. Wow. what nice things you do for your bus riders! We have taken a few tours with our Homemakers HCE group, and our drivers were grumpy old geezers who just grunted at us if anyone asked so much as a question~! I think I like your method much better!

    Karen and Steveio

  2. Hi Karen, thanks! I like this way too. It doesn't seem like work and I think the passengers enjoy themselves as well.

    The tours that I do as a "Tour Escort" are package tours that are done though a private bus company. This bus company also hires out buses and drivers for "private tours" which they do not supply a tour escort, it is up to the group or school to look after that themselves if they want one, so maybe this is the type of trip you took or maybe the bus companies near you just don't supply tour escorts at all.

  3. Hey, Ruth.....Wow it seems like a lot of the success of the trip is on your shoulders !!

    Those passengers are lucky they have someone who cares about her responsibilities, like you.

    I would think you need a little bit of "tough skin", because there is no way in heaven that you can meet everyone's needs...LOL

  4. Trent and Teresa....Thanks for you nice comments. As I said, I have fun doing it so it makes it easier and not so much like a job. As for the clients that make life a little more diffuclt, I just try to give them more attention and that always seems to work in my favour.


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