So, this is a little bug bear of mine and you might not be on board, but I’mma sock it to you anyway. I was recently approached by a friend to recount my experiences in Budapest, where I gave numerous suggestions over landmarks and restaurants they should definitely visit and they came back with – ‘and we’ve booked a day on the hop-on-hop-off bus’.
What I really wanted to say was: STAY AWAY FROM THE BIG RED MONEY-GRABBING BUS! But, he’s an old driving instructor and.. It didn’t seem appropriate. So i’ll tell you instead. (You’re welcome!)
Let’s just be straight here, the only reason you’re paying to get on that bus is because you’re taking the easy way out. You’ve decided against planning your own route through research, and you probably can’t be assed to walk. So instead, you’re going to get on an average bus, following an average route to join your fellow average tourists.
The next time I find myself in this position with a member of the ‘older’ generation, I’ll enlighten them over a cup of tea and a scone.
Now, don’t get me wrong I understand an eagerness to reach a landmark you’ve been dreaming about for months, with the promise of a drop off outside the door. But isn’t it as much about the journey as the destination? What about those side streets you’re missing, that quaint little corner shop not visible from the road? Is it worth trading in these missed opportunities for departure timetables, traffic and fixed schedules?
In my experience, most landmarks in a major city are walking distance and all else a short trip on the subway. For those who freak out at the mention of a subway – see my subway survival guides.
These modes of transport not only allow you to delve into the life of a local, but also saves you money, creates new experiences and offers fresher perspectives of the city you’re supposed to be immersed in.
So I encourage you to please, look beyond the ordinary, because you don’t know what you could find off the beaten track.