USA local tours

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USA local tours

Postby hsm » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:00 pm

Hi

Anyone join the local tours in USA? eg.

www.tour4fun.com
www.taketours.com

Their package seems pretty comprehensive and attractive pricing!
But not sure how reliable they are..

Appreciate anyone can share if they have been before.

Many Thanks.

hsm
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Re: USA local tours

Postby peter00 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:33 pm

These tour packages look very cool which can't avoid but they are not reliable. So how could I trust in them. Last month I stayed in Miami where I enjoyed very much.

peter00
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Re: USA local tours

Postby MMM » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:01 pm

Yes we saw them.I went to trip advisor and the review wasn't good so we didn't try them.

Some complained about guide who can only speak mandarin. Which is not really a problem if you speak the language. Also read about spending a long time on the road, not being punctual, the type of hotel they put the guests in, etc...

For our trip in June, we ended up taking the local tour of US east coast + canada from SA tours (Singapore agent). Given that we are travelling from one place to another, indeed we spent alot of time on the road. But bus was quite comfortable so most of us ended up catching on sleep. Dinner was provided for most meals and mainly chinese food. Hotels were marriott, holiday inn, sheraton, etc.... but mostly in the outskirts type.

As it was a Spore tour group, the tour guide catered to our local taste eg. lots of outlet shopping (actually more than itinerary). I was really impressed with the guide. The NYC part of the tour didn't have enough coverage in the itinerary and our guide rescheduled things around so that everyone get to spend more time there. In addition, as we were extending our stay in NYC, she went out of the way to ask the tour bus to drop us at our NYC hotel. That trip could have easily cost us US$150 just to arrange it ourselves. We really had a great time... and tour members were very punctual and helpful.

We also checked Cosmos, Globus, Insight, etc.... It was not cheap and probably not so focused to our needs as it was a international group.Eg. less shopping? We also looked at grayline as we wanted to base in NYC but the tours were mainly day tour while we wanted something that covers the east coast of US + Niagara falls.

Yes, there could have been alot more flexibility if we do a diy trip but with our luggages + my laptop... that was really challenging. At the end of the trip, we had 6 fully filled luggages for 3 of us. Also, dh found it more relaxing doing the package tour since he is not the one driving around. The only bad thing really is waking up early eg. 6plus and reaching hotel at 9plus. As it is a chinese dinner, you pretty much has to share table with your other tour mates.

MMM
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Re: USA local tours

Postby hsm » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:39 pm

MMM wrote:Yes we saw them.I went to trip advisor and the review wasn't good so we didn't try them.


Thanks for sharing.. we were looked at the local travel agents like SA tour & ChanBro, CTC etc.. but the prices were very ex for 4 of us.. so exploring these local tours which are $4-5k difference.. as we prefer to spend more time in shopping..

hmm.. still deciding.. hearing feedback from friends also, some said it was ok as they took the ChanBro F&E tour which is also joining the local tours when reach US.. ya, the group size will be huge like 50+ people.

having a good tour guide really depends on luck in this case...

hsm
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Re: USA local tours

Postby hsm » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:40 pm

peter00 wrote:These tour packages look very cool which can't avoid but they are not reliable. So how could I trust in them. Last month I stayed in Miami where I enjoyed very much.


hmm... abit confused with your comments.. so you have tried these tour packages? can you share why they are not reliable?

Thanks.

hsm
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Re: USA local tours

Postby MMM » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:56 am

hsm wrote: Thanks for sharing.. we were looked at the local travel agents like SA tour & ChanBro, CTC etc.. but the prices were very ex for 4 of us.. so exploring these local tours which are $4-5k difference.. as we prefer to spend more time in shopping..

hmm.. still deciding.. hearing feedback from friends also, some said it was ok as they took the ChanBro F&E tour which is also joining the local tours when reach US.. ya, the group size will be huge like 50+ people.

having a good tour guide really depends on luck in this case...


For SA tour, we had 37 people. It was a tour conducted by SA guide. There was no local tour guide except in Montreal.

You did not say which part of US you are going. I recall doing west coast of US with insight tour during our honeymoon. The outlet was only an hour :yikes:

FYI, from NYC (not sure if you are aiming that), you can take a day tour to woodbury. It's around US$45 per pax and it's a full day tour. Besides outlet, we also like Macy's, Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

This time round, we had 6 hours or so at Woodbury, a couple of hours at tanger outlet at atlantic city. One can choose to go to casino or shop. DD and I went shopping while dh tried his luck at the casino. There was another outlet where we had 1 hour plus. That was the impromptu stop. They also brought us to duty free at canada side to get cosmetics such as estee lauder, clinique, lancome, etc... we stopped at hersheys and grab good chocolate deals. It was really cheap. So there was lots of shopping + sightseeing (covered niagara falls, washington, philadelphia, boston, montreal, ontario, atlantic, NYC, ben & jerry, Hersheys). I was keen on shopping but dh was like... we are already there, let's cover all sights in the east coast of US.

Yes, I agree alot depends on luck. Our guide was not perfect but she was flexible and hope to let us cover as much and a good experience, we found her coverage on the state history, etc... so so. But yes, we were lucky as we had beautiful weather when we were there in June. It was cool and nice. On the last day of the tour, there was the next group from SA. Their flight was delayed due to SQ plane problem. They were supposed to arrive at 11am in JFK but only did so in the late afternoon so they couldn't do statue of liberty on the 1st day and sort of upset the tight schedule. Also the weather was starting to turn hot, etc...

Have you considered self-driving or taking internal flights? We paid around S$2.1k per person for the local tour only. We got our own tickets through redemption. But it's actually cheap to get the entire package from agent provided the flight arrangement is flexible. Eg. you can consider extending in NYC to catch broadway shows, more shopping, etc.... Yes the 2.1K is more expensive than tours4 fun but I think you need to compare the itinerary coverage, hotels, food coverage, etc....

MMM
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Re: USA local tours

Postby hsm » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:43 pm

hi MMM

We are planning West Coast :) which includes LA, LV & SFO..

Have checked SA, ChanBros, CTC, for 3A1C, the total cost is almost $16k.
Per person is almost $4k including taxes.

Yeah, did explore on self drive.. but the planning for 3 families will be tough.. so we thought joining tours will save the trouble :wink: tho we also thought tour package will be cheaper.

hmm.. still sourcing to check for any good deals... :wink:

hsm
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Re: USA local tours

Postby bijin » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:48 pm

I joined the tour in March this year.

http://www.taketours.com/new-york-ny/2- ... -1059.html

Generally the tour was ok. The hotel was good.

The tour guides can't speak English that well. The tour operator is a chinese company.

The major complain is that the bus that we used was hot like a oven, the weather outside the bus was cooler that inside. There was no air con, only heater. Imagine sunny day with heater on in the bus.

The guides do really know how to take care of us. We have a hard time following them around.

If given a choice again, we would still join the tour.

bijin
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Re: USA local tours

Postby hsm » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:10 pm

bijin wrote:I joined the tour in March this year.

http://www.taketours.com/new-york-ny/2- ... -1059.html

Generally the tour was ok. The hotel was good.

The tour guides can't speak English that well. The tour operator is a chinese company.

The major complain is that the bus that we used was hot like a oven, the weather outside the bus was cooler that inside. There was no air con, only heater. Imagine sunny day with heater on in the bus.

The guides do really know how to take care of us. We have a hard time following them around.

If given a choice again, we would still join the tour.


wow, great to hear from someone who has taken tours4fun tour! We are going end Nov so will be cold, perhaps heater is required so not a problem :)

Can i ask how was the condition of the bus? are the seats comfy? spacious? How big was your group? is their standard hotels ok? as i'm thinking whether to upgrade the hotel..

btw, what do you mean by you have a hard time following them around?

Thanks so much for sharing :D

hsm
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Re: USA local tours

Postby bijin » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:06 pm

The bus is those big coach bus. Quite comfort.

For my tour, they actually combine our group with another group going to the Niagara Fall. That's why the bus is almost full.

The hotel is clean, big and comfort with bath tub.

Whenever we reached a destination, the guides don't wait for all of us to get of the bus, and they started to walk in front, and half way, couldn't find where they are.

bijin
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