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April in Paris, New York, Rome or Hollywood - It's City Escape Time!

DestinationCouopns.com Blog Archives

Updated April 25, 2017

Living in a small, somewhat isolated town, it's not often that our friends and neighbors get a chance to go to Europe or any big city for that matter. First-time travelers often ask me what I would recommend they do as they are overwhelmed by the number of attractions, activities, shows, and restaurants to explore. Being in the "business" I have done my share of traveling - to the point where a vacay to me is staying at home! BUT, if you are looking for a fun and affordable way to see it all on your City Escape, my answer is always the same... 1) get a hop-on hop-off bus pass and 2) get an attraction pass. Done. Finished. It's your whole vacation in a nutshell - and it's the cheapest way to go - total cost for a full day of sightseeing including transportation can be as little as $62/adult and $39/kid! Keep on reading for insider tips on how to see it all on your big city adventure in the USA or abroad.

Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Try to find a taxi in Athens, Rome or New York City. And if there are more than 3 of you - guess what? You need two cabs! Getting from here to there can be one of the most stressful things you do on your City Escape. I spent 2 hours trying to find a cab from Athens back to my hotel in Piraeus and ended up taking a miserable local bus which was standing-room-only for over an hour. Another time I was in New York and it was raining - I never even saw a cab.

  • Taking a Hop-on Hop-Off bus letís you see the city on your own terms. Avoid the expense and hassle of finding taxis - and did I mention the fresh air and amazing views from an open top double decker bus? Take the subway, you say? But then, you miss all of the sights of the city!
     
  • Another great advantage about the Hop-on Hop-Off bus is that the tours are fully narrated, most offer up to 11 multiple languages through headsets that are GPS activated, so when you are in front of the Coliseum or Empire State Building, you hear the description of that attraction. Some tours even have entertaining kid-specific narration that are geared toward children.
     
  • The tours allow you to hop off at any of the multiple stops, usually directly in front of major attractions, and re-board when you are done. Its sightseeing at your own pace with hop-on hop-off privileges. We have done the tours in Rome, New York City, Istanbul, and Athens.
     
  • I strongly suggest that you buy a ticket online in advance. You can board with your e-ticket at ANY stop on the circuit so you can jump on at the stop closest to your hotel. I usually start with a full loop, listen to the surprisingly good narration and get a feel for the city. The second time around I hop on and off at attractions I'm interested in, have lunch, do some shopping and end with dinner. I try to find a restaurant that's close to our hotel and take the short walk back - or if you are just dying to dine at a restaurant across town, have the restaurant call a cab for you - so you can avoid the hassle of finding a taxi on your own.

The details: Our favorite hop-on hop-off's are CitySightseeing (over 300 locations worldwide), Big Bus Tours (over 15 locations worldwide), CitySightsNewYork, Big Bus Philadelphia, and The Original London Tour. An all-day one day pass costs an average of $32/day Adults, $18/day Kids. Busses normally run from 9AM to 6PM.

Get an Attraction Pass
My second word of advice is to get an attraction pass. There are several companies that offer attraction passes that include the most popular attractions, museums, tours, cruises and activities bundled into one pass. Many passes are good for multiple days, so thereís no need to rush through attractions; you can see them in any order and at your own pace. And some passes even include a 3-day Travelcard which gives you unlimited access to local busses, trains, subways and trams!

  • The advantages to purchasing an attraction pass not only include a considerable discount (up to 55%) off the most popular things to do, but you also get a free guide book that offers helpful insider tips for the best days and ways to see the attractions, maps, coupons, and more, so you can get the most out of your trip.
     
  • Purchasing an attraction pass can also include skip the line privileges. So right off the bat you avoid the long lines to purchase the individual ticket - but it also allows you to Fast Track through a separate VIP line at many attractions. This can cut hours off waiting times at popular venues like The Empire State Building, The Vatican and The Louvre.
     
  • Order the pass online, take the e-ticket to one of the attractions on the list and you're done. Many attraction pass companies now offer a digital pass that you simply show on your mobile device at each attraction, museum or tour - and you're in!

The Details: Attraction Passes are available for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days and prices for a one day pass start from just $44/adults, $30 kids. Our favorite Passes are : Leisure Pass (Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, Dublin, Barcelona, Vienna), CityPASS (New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas), Go Card (Oahu, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC); Power Pass New Orleans and Power Pass Las Vegas.

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