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Visit TEXAS

SHOP dine stay enjoy

Head to McKinney where your group may explore the vibrant historic downtown square and its exciting array of locally-owned shops and eateries. Step back in time at the heritage museums, and take in the beauty of our lush landscapes and nature areas, all a mere 30 miles north of Dallas. VisitMcKinney.com/BTM


Thank you to the “Sponsor of the Issue�

McKinney CVB

Be sure to check out their ad on the previous page. To advertize in Bus Tours Magazine Please call your Account Executive at: (815) 946-2341


Volume XL, Number 1 • September/October 2018

E sca pe t o Tex a s page 4

To ur I de a s f or Ne x t Sum m er page 8

R eg i o na l R o un du p page 16


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contents 8

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ESCAPE TO TEXAS The Lone Star State offers groups friendly towns, lush roses and an indepth look into a presidential legacy. REGIONAL ROUNDUP Whether you are looking for a place to stay or a place to play, these hotels and attractions may be closer to you than you think.

And More 25

NATIONAL TRANSCOM – 800

30

TOUR PLANNER SPOTLIGHT

31 32 34

VANITY NUMBER AND WEB

for conducting successful bus tours.

SOCIAL MARKETING FOR TOURISM by Catherine Heeg

20 TIPS

by Clairemarie Owens

ADVERTISERS INDEX

4

26 Specials 8

22

26

DOMAIN FOR SALE

Terrapin Tours shares their strategy

Volume XL, Number 1

STAFF Editor & Publisher . . . . . . . . . Larry Plachno Business Manager . . . . Nancy Ann Plachno Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . Dianne Billquist Typesetting/Page Layout . . . . Sherry Mekeel Editorial Assistant . . . . . . . . . Tiffany Wilken Bus Tours Magazine 9698 W. Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064-9015 (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Web site: www.bustoursmagazine.com

16 22 Features

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

28

BUS TOUR IDEAS FOR NEXT SUMMER This summer may be almost over, but planning for next summer is underway. Consider this eclectic roster of attractions for your upcoming catalogs. ABA WORKING FOR YOU ABA offers more than the typical conference experience; they provide members with networking and education opportunities at and outside their shows.

CREATING A QUILTING RETREAT Learn how you can tap into a unique niche market by creating memorable retreats that are full of hands-on projects and tourable destinations.

FIVE REASONS WHY YOU WILL NOT SEE AUTONOMOUS MOTORCOACHES ANYTIME SOON While companies like Uber and Tesla may have some drivers dreaming of a Jetsons-styled future. B US T OURS MAGAZINE has five reasons for why you will not see autonomous motorcoaches anytime soon.

Advertising Central/International central@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341 West west@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341 Midwest midwest@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341 Northeast tourgroups@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341 Southeast southeast@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341

COVER PHOTO

The second casting of Veryl Goodnight’s The Day the Wall Came Down stands outside the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum in College Station, Texas. The sculpture depicts five horses leaping over the graffitied ruins of the Berlin Wall. Its twin resides in Berlin. DAVID M. ANAYA, GEORGE H.W. BUSH PRESIDENIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM DIRECTOR

OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION.

BUS TOURS MAGAZINE (ISSN 0199-6096) is published six times annually by National Bus Trader, Inc., 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064. Subscriptions, $15 (in US funds) annually, Canadian & International $20 (in US funds). Printed in U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Polo, Illinois 61064 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BUS TOURS MAGAZINE, 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064. Change of Address: Please send old mailing label (or old address and computer number) as well as new address. Advertising: Display advertising rates sent on request. Advertising deadline is the last day of the second month preceding publication. Founded in 1979, BUS TOURS MAGAZINE is the oldest independent magazine in the bus and group tour market. Circulation includes bus and group tour planners in the United States and Canada regardless of affiliation or whether commercial, private or corporate or group leader. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the written consent of the publisher. The name BUS TOURS MAGAZINE and the logo incorporating the passengers, bus and destinations are trade marks of National Bus Trader, Inc.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 3


Escape to Texas McKinney Main Street

W

downtown square includes an eclectic mix of

landscapes and lush rose gar-

all be found a mere 30 miles north of Dallas.

downtown walking tour is a big hit with tour

dens, charming small towns and bustling

“Our downtown square is McKinney’s gem.

groups, as are tours of Chestnut Square His-

cities, natural wonders and historic sites.

It’s both rich in heritage and bustling with

toric Village, the Collin County History

While the slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas”

exciting activity,” says McKinney Convention

Museum and Heard-Craig House, all of which

may come to mind, the actual motto for this

& Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dee-dee

offer intriguing aspects to McKinney’s story.

ith more than 268,000 square

the revitalization of the downtown square

miles, Texas is dotted by desert

shops, wineries and a boutique hotel that can

as a key commercial district. The historic

tough cookie of a state is “Friendship.”

McKinney, Texas

Guerra. “It’s an especially popular destination

As part of its revitalization, McKinney Main

for bus tours because there is something for

Street has found great success in holding a

everyone – shopping, dining, museums, wine

wide variety of events in the downtown area,

Take a step back into history by visiting

rooms, art – all found within several walkable

bringing more than 100,000 people a year to

McKinney’s picturesque and quaint historic

blocks. And bus parking is accessible on the

the square to enjoy its beauty, atmosphere

downtown square, which remains one of

northern border of the square.”

and activity. McKinney’s historic downtown

North Texas’s most vibrant. With roughly 120

Both a National and Texas Main Street

has plenty to offer a tour group any time of

mom-and-pop businesses, more than 20 of

City, McKinney remains actively involved in

year, but the special annual events that take

which are one-of-a-kind restaurants, the

both the restoration of its historic roots and

place throughout the year make for great tour

4 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


Escape to Texas trips as well. Your group may enjoy one of the larger events like Arts

In 1933, the flourishing rose business gave rise to Tyler Rose Festival.

in Bloom (April), Oktoberfest (September) and Home for the Holidays

It was first organized by Tyler Garden Club members, local rose growers

(Thanksgiving weekend).

and the Chamber of Commerce to showcase the importance of the rose

Groups interested in nature will enjoy the trails and exhibits at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, and for groups

Tyler, Texas

interested in gardens and native landscaping, the Crape Myrtle Trails World Collection Park and the research gardens at Myers Park are mustsees. Explore options for bringing your group to McKinney at VisitMcKinney.com or by phoning (888) 649-8499.

Tyler, Texas Tucked serenely in East Texas, Tyler is home to some of the state’s most bountiful rose gardens, including the largest municipal rose garden in the country. With 32,000 blooming bushes in 600 varieties in this one garden, it is not hard to see why Tyler is known as the “Rose Capital of America.” However, Tyler was not always known for its roses. In the 1900s, there were more than one million fruit trees, mainly peach, in the county. When a peach blight wiped out much of the fruit industry, many farmers turned to growing roses, which proved ideally suited to the climate and soil of the Tyler area. By the 1920s, the rose industry had developed into a major business, and by the 1940s, more than half of the U.S. supply of rose bushes was grown within 10 miles of Tyler.

Photo courtesy of Janis Bullard

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 5


Escape to Texas industry. The first festival was such a success

to Tyler, contact Susan Travis at (800) 235-

the decision was made to make it an annual

5712, ext. 224 or stravis@tylertexas.com, or

event. In 1936, during the Texas Centennial,

go to VisitTyler.com.

it was renamed Texas Rose Festival. Today, Texas Rose Festival takes place

The George H.W. Bush

every October and attracts thousands of vis-

Presidential Library Center

itors to enjoy the parade, roses and to meet

College Station, Texas

the Rose Queen and her court, all of whom

The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

wear lavish gowns and costumes. The event

and Museum is located on the campus of

has blossomed into a month-long affair

Texas A&M University in College Station,

called Rose Season, when Tyler celebrates

Texas. Visitors can experience the most piv-

the budding beds of roses all month long with

otal events of the 20th century from the per-

horticulture workshops, garden tours and

spective of one of our nation’s most notable

community events.

leaders, President George Bush. The

The rose industry is still booming in Tyler.

museum's core exhibits reveal the unique

In 2014, two of Tyler’s oldest rose businesses,

influences and challenges that shaped

Certified Roses Inc. and Sexton Nurseries,

George H.W. Bush's life and presidency, while

joined forces to become one of the nation’s

the frequently changing temporary exhibits

largest rose producers. A master plan for ren-

present visitors new and interesting perspec-

ovations to the Tyler Rose Garden was also

tives on President Bush, his life and his work.

approved. Tyler roses bloom two times a

Through artifacts, film, photographs, doc-

year, fall and spring, for visitors to enjoy. For

uments, music, sound effects and interactive

more information about bringing your group

videos, this special museum experience

6 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


Escape to Texas town at the crossroads of Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas, first settled in 1821, Columbus today is a relaxing getaway that has retained its charm and natural beauty while embracing modern amenities for today’s traveler. Nature surrounds the town. With the Colorado River hugging Columbus, visitors have the opportunity to kayak, canoe or take an airboat ride. They can enjoy beautiful oak trees so large it takes several people interlocked to wrap around a single trunk. In fact, Columbus is home to the largest, registered Live Oak in the state.

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center

Both General Sam Houston and Mexican General Santa Anna passed through Beason’s Park, on the Colorado River, on their way to San Jacinto, the location of what became the decisive battle in the Texas War for Independence in 1836. For more of the historic, visit

encompasses much of U.S. history since 1941. Exhibits include a World

the beautifully restored Colorado County Courthouse and the Stafford

War II Avenger Torpedo Bomber, a 1947 Studebaker, a slab of the Berlin

Opera House, both on the downtown square. The Confederate War

Wall, and precise replicas of President Bush's Camp David and Situation

Museum, originally built in 1883 as the city’s water tower, is now ded-

Room. Guests can also visit a re-creation of the Oval Office and have

icated to veterans of all wars, and children, both young and old, will

their pictures taken behind the president’s desk or stand at a microphone

want to see the Mary

and see if they can handle the pressures of a press conference. The

Elizabeth Hopkins

museum has more than 100,000 artifacts, including more than 3,000

Santa

gifts from foreign heads of state that Bush received as president, as

Museum.

well as gifts that he received on behalf of the country while serving as vice president in President Ronald Reagan’s administration. In addition to being a museum, the facility also houses a stunning col-

Claus

Offerings of clothing, décor, antiques, crafts and home-

lection of research material that features 43 million pages of official and

made chocolates are

personal papers, two million photographs, 2,500 hours of video and about

sure to lure visitors

100,000 objects. These materials are made available for research and

into the local shops

display in the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibits. There is also

and

a special section dedicated to First Lady Barbara Bush and her efforts on

where it is difficult to

behalf of literacy, AIDS awareness and prevention, and volunteerism.

Civil War Museum

boutiques,

pass up an opportu-

Created by Worldwide Museum Activities (WMA) from Florence,

nity to make a pur-

Italy, and organized by Evergreen Exhibitions, the interactive exhibition

chase. Local restau-

Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion provides more than 30 full-

rants offer an array of

sized, hands-on displays that are replicas of Leonardo’s machines

options, including

based on his famous codices. A modern team of scientists and artisans

Homestyle flavor,

used the same construction techniques employed during Leonardo's

Mexican food or a

time to design the machines. The exhibition will be on display at the

hearty steak. If visitors need a little wind-down time with a good drink,

Bush Library through January 6, 2019.

the local sports bar will fill their spirits, or the nearby wine bar features

Groups are welcome to tour the exhibits during regular hours. Regular admission pricing is $9 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, retired

an extensive menu of both beer and wine from all over the globe, a delicious selection of gourmet small plates and live music.

military and AAA members, but for groups of 20 or more people, the

A variety of exciting events are held annually in this charming town,

ticket price drops to $6 per person. For more information, particularly

including Magnolia Days on the third weekend of May, the Independence

about additional pricing and scheduling a group tour, phone (979)

Day celebration on the Fourth of July and Ladies Night Out on the first

691-4057 or visit bush41.org.

Thursday of December, when more than 1,000 women (and men) descend upon downtown Columbus for food, fun, shopping and wine.

Columbus, Texas Known for its Republic-era historic homes, abundance of majestic live oak trees and timeless beauty, Columbus, Texas, is a vibrant small

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce can direct tour planners on nearly everything of interest, so to arrange a day trip or weekend getaway, phone (979) 732-8385 or visit columbustexas.org.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 7


Bus Tour Ideas for Next Summer

Castle Farms

W

already thinking about next

the president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., the Cas-

collections and displays are showcased

year. Since you are in the middle of putting

tle was originally a model farm to showcase

throughout, including a WWI Museum,

hile everyone else is planning

Castle Farms is located just five minutes

Castle Farms is handicap accessible and

for autumn and winter, you are

from downtown Charlevoix. Built in 1918 by

has wheelchairs available. Museum quality

together your new tour catalogs, BUS TOURS

equipment available in the Sears catalog. Local

antique toys and royalty memorabilia from

M AGAZINE thought you would appreciate

fieldstone was used to create graceful arches,

around the world.

ideas for next summer. Though most of these

soaring towers and picturesque courtyards

attractions are open year-round, they are

reminiscent of Normandy châteaux.

Another fan favorite is Michigan’s largest Outdoor Model Railroad. Guests will marvel

best enjoyed in fair weather when their land-

Guests love perusing the list of bands who

at the 70 plus trains and more than 2,500 feet

scaping is in bloom. Plus, some of them host

played in the tumbled ruins of the former

of track. HO and G-scale trains run along his-

unique annual events during the year’s

farm, including Aerosmith, The Doobie

torical replicas, as well as up fanciful towers

hottest months.

Brothers, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson and

and through hedges.

Castle Farms Charlevoix, Michigan

Tina Turner, to name a few. How did a dairy

For a special treat, add a lunch or dinner.

farm become a concert venue? Their staff

From soup and sandwiches to farm-style din-

would love to share.

ners, menus can be customized to your groups’

Tour operators love Charlevoix, and can

Your group will be welcomed by Castle

likes and needs. The Castle has a rich history,

you blame them? The charming three-

Farms’ group tour guide(s) and shown a short

and its staff is excited to share it with guests.

block downtown is easy to navigate and

history video that chronicles the restoration

Guided tours are available year-round for

offers unmatched views of the park, marina

efforts. A narrated tour of the Castle includes

groups with 10 or more guests, 20 guests min-

and drawbridge. Seated conveniently one

a tram tour through forests and past ponds

imum for catered meals. For more information,

hour from Traverse City, Gaylord and Mack-

with fountains, and their microphoned guides

visit castlefarms.com. To create your next sell-

inaw, Charlevoix is an ideal hub for your

tailor each tour to the abilities and interests

out tour, contact Castle Farms today at (231)

tour.

of the group.

237-0884 ext. 224 or tours@castlefarms.com.

8 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


Special: Bus Tours for Next Summer A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours Brooklyn, New York

The Chocolate Tour – Bus passengers

well as the history of chocolate in Brook-

satisfy their sweet tooth as they sample

lyn. The tour also stops at Valentino Pier

“Manhattan? FUHGETTABOUDIT!” That is

chocolate from four of the best choco-

in Red Hook for one of the most amazing

the official slogan of A Slice of Brooklyn, which

latiers in Brooklyn: Jacques Torres Choco-

views of the Statue of Liberty.

has been the leader in guided bus tours of

lates, The Chocolate Room, Raaka Choco-

The Neighborhood Tour – Groups visit the

Brooklyn’s favorite foods, neighborhoods, land-

lates and Li-Lac Chocolates. They learn

Promenade overlooking the Brooklyn water-

marks and famous movie locations since 2005.

how chocolate goes from bean to bar as

front and the Manhattan skyline in Brooklyn

Their tours have been featured on the Travel Channel and the Food Network and have earned the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for six straight years in a row. Tours include: The Pizza Tour – The tour starts on the Brooklyn waterfront, where guests can take the best photos of the Brooklyn Bridge. Then the group samples Neapolitan-style pizza at Grimaldi’s before tasting Sicilianstyle pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens, (two slices of pizza and a soft drink are included at each stop.).

The

tour

strolls

the

famous Coney Island Boardwalk and visits famous Brooklyn movie locations from Saturday Night Fever, Goodfellas, The French Connection, The Warriors and more.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 9


Special: Bus Tours for Next Summer Heights,

as

well

as

the

original

visit asliceofbrooklyn.com or to book a

like An American Christmas (November 10,

location of Ebbets Field, where the Brook-

group tour, phone (917) 515-5409 or con-

2018 – January 6, 2019) or the brand-new

lyn Dodgers once played baseball. The tour

tact info@asliceofbrooklyn.com.

strolls the grounds of Green-Wood Cemetery

Holiday Lights exhibit (November 10, 2018 – January 6, 2019). In the main Reagan

and visits movie locations from such films as

Reagan Presidential Library

Museum, visitors immerse themselves in

The Godfather, Moonstruck, and As Good As

and Museum

Ronald Reagan’s path to the White

It Gets. Included in the tour is a full sit-

Simi Valley, California

House. Through the use of Green Screen

down lunch at the original Junior’s, complete

Perched atop a hill with sweeping views

technology, visitors have an opportunity to

with pastrami sandwich, fries, soft d r i n k

of the southland, the Ronald Reagan Presi-

call a Cubs game, introduce a GE Theater

and a slice of their famous cheesecake and

dential Library and Museum is one of Cali-

program and even act in a movie. They can

an egg cream for dessert.

fornia’s most beautiful and unique destina-

also explore reproductions of the Reagan-

All tours feature an audio-visual DVD

tions. Open since 1991 but wholly renovated

era Oval Office and East Wing, stroll through

presentation using the screens on the bus

in 2011, the galleries were designed to bring

replicas of the White House Rose Garden and

to enhance your guests’ experience

history to life. Where else in California can

West Lawn, and pay their respects at President and Mrs. Reagan’s Memorial Site.

through slides, music, movie clips, etc.

visitors walk on board an actual Air Force

They work extensively with tour operators

One aircraft that flew seven U.S. presidents,

The library has two restaurants: Rea-

from around the country who visit NYC

touch an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall

gan’s Country Café and the Reagan Pub.

with their own coaches and offer dis-

or lay a hand on a real steel beam recovered

Group tour meal packages range from

counted group rates and step-on guides,

from the World Trade Center after 9-11?

sandwiches and salads to hot chicken and

all of whom are licensed and were born

The Reagan Library features world-class

beef buffets to the upscale White House

and raised in Brooklyn. Best of all, their

special exhibits, like the upcoming Pompeii,

Lunch program, which comes complete

tour guides can meet your groups in Man-

opening October 6, 2018 and running

with linen, china service and wait staff. The

hattan or Brooklyn. For more information,

through April 21, 2019, and holiday displays

White House Lunch costs $62.95 per per-

10 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


Special: Bus Tours for Next Summer son; however, museum admission and a docent are included in the program’s price.

Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Free on-site parking is available, with special bus stalls set aside, and the bus driver and an escort are comped. Groups of any size can be accommodated, but tour guides (docents) are available only for groups of 15 or more. All groups 20 or larger must make a reservation. Groups must also use one form of payment for the entire group, but payment may be made at the time of the visit. From Air Force One to historic photos and video to interactive games to exquisite landscaped grounds, the Reagan Library is sure to be a fun, entertaining and educational experience. For more information, particularly about special exhibits and events, visit reaganlibrary.com, or to schedule a visit, phone (805) 577-2704.

Glendower Mansion & Gardens Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio Glendower Mansion & Gardens sits on more than four acres of

War Encampment on Glendower’s lawn. Founded in 1997, the OVCWA is dedicated to the authentic representation of life during the Civil

park-like lawn dotted with huge maple, oak, cypress and walnut trees.

War era and has become one of the premier living history groups in

Located just south of downtown Lebanon, Ohio, the beautiful old

the country. They have held their Civil War Encampment at Glendower

house was built around 1845 in the northern antebellum Greek Revival

for more than 20 years. The group is comprised of volunteers from

style by State Representative J. Milton Williams and his wife.

southwestern Ohio and its surrounding states.

Each year during the last weekend in September, Glendower Man-

The OVCWA re-enacts an authentic Civil War encampment, which

sion hosts the Ohio Valley Civil War Association (OVCWA) for a Civil

includes soldiers as well as cooks, laundresses, camp followers, enter-

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 11


Special: Bus Tours for Next Summer During the Civil War Encampment, Glen-

have graced the stages of Los Angeles, New

dower Mansion & Gardens will be open for

York and Chicago. Adams’ special brand of

tours, and special admission will be offered

actors can be seen in film, T.V. productions,

for this weekend only. Hours are Saturday

cruise ships, comedy clubs and musical pro-

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4

ductions all over the country.

p.m. For more information, phone (513)

Glendower Mansion

932-1817 or visit wchsmuseum.org.

Adams Mystery Playhouse

Adams Mystery Playhouse Denver, Colorado

tainers and even prostitutes, which were

Welcome to Adams Mystery Playhouse,

legal during the Civil War. The soldiers

Colorado's only full-time interactive Murder

include infantry, artillery, medical and other

Mystery Dinner Theatre, producing inter-

military-related Civil War units. Their uni-

active comedy shows since 1990. Your

forms, kits, tools and weapons are authentic

group will remember this event for years

replicas of the ones used in the War Between

to come as you can rely on a unique and

the States. During the two-day event, there

quality entertainment experience. Thanks

will be examples of camp fire cooking from

to these happy reviews, you can also

Adams Mystery Playhouse focuses on pro-

150 years ago, close order drills, discussions

depend on Adams’ staff: Voted "Best The-

viding a fun, comfortable and interactive

on the various uniforms worn by Union sol-

ater" on Denver's A-list; 4.5 stars on Trip

atmosphere for dinner guests. Typically,

diers and the firing of a replica Civil War can-

Advisor; 4.7 on Facebook reviews and Peo-

doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is at 6:30 and

non. Visitors will learn all about life as a Civil

ple Love Us on Yelp. The signature produc-

the crime is solved (show over) at 9 p.m.;

War soldier.

tions at Adams include performers who

however, private groups can alter times of shows to their liking. The show begins the minute guests enter the Mansion, with a

New York’s BEST Step-On Guide: Jim Dykes - Over 20 Years Experience!

Scavenger Hunt and meet-and-greet with the "suspicious characters" (award-winning actors) before enjoying dinner and solving a hilarious crime. This is an exciting and suspense-filled experience for interactive theater buffs, located right by downtown Denver. The venue is handicap-accessible, and is a delight to experience, as the mansion was built in

Five Stars on Trip Advisor (Jim Dykes New York Tours) Friendly, Knowledgeable, Easy to Work With, Flexible. Half Day & Full Day Rates

1900 and is a well-appointed backdrop as the mystery unfolds. There is a parking lot and curb cut-out, making bus parking easy and convenient. Adams is counting on you to unravel the hysterical mystery. With the emphasis on fun and humor, you will relish their special brand of clean comedy. The five hilarious, professional actors weave together a story that you are sure never to forget. Regardless of age or personality, these Murder Mystery Dinners

Call or Email Jim Dykes at (212) 928-1640 jimdykesny@gmail.com 12 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

offer a well-rounded dose of humor for a wide range of audiences, and guests can participate as little or as much as they like.


Special: Bus Tours for Next Summer You will enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner,

some 4,000 acres of land and set out to

astrous winter of 1886-87, when many cattle

and if properly notified, Adams can accom-

develop the White-faced Ranch along the

were lost on the open plains, Child deter-

modate almost all dietary restrictions. Shows

Prickly Pear Creek. He spared no expense

mined to construct a barn large enough to

for the public are typically held Friday and Sat-

building this beautiful ranch. After the dis-

house as many as 300 head of cattle, 40

urday nights, but private group parties can be scheduled for any night or for a weekday matinee. Adams features a one-of-a-kind Casket Bar, stocked with a large assortment of beer, wine and call liquor, as well as non-alcoholic options. The cash bar is full-service, and tabs may be run for larger parties. Shows are perfect for bus tours, corporate team-building, birthday parties, high school senior trips, holiday parties, date nights or any other reason to bring a group together and have fun. Adams Mystery Playhouse is the place for you, so get ready to have the crime-of-your-life. For tickets and information, phone (303) 455-1848 or visit AdamsMysteryPlayhouse.com.

Kleffner Ranch East Helena, Montana

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ƌƤƧĆŚÂ?“£¥””£IJ Â?ÂœÂ”Â˘ÂŁÂžÂŚÂ?IJƼƨƍƤƼĹ?ƍƼƪĹƨƏƨĹƌƌƌƌ

In 1887, William Comstock Child, the son of a Long Island steamer captain, purchased

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 13


Special: Bus Tours for Next Summer Kleffner Ranch

After many requests from friends and neighbors, second owner Paul Kleffner constructed the pavilion down by the park and opened the ranch to the community for weddings and special events. In 2005, Paul sold the ranch to its present owners, Denis and Stacy Young, who have continued the legacy. The ranch is now used for weddings, parties, reunions, retreats and tours. In 1988, the ranch was placed on the registry for National Historic Places.

meal. Entertainment options can also be

horses, 300 tons of hay and 6,000 bushels of

Many commercial bus tour companies

worked into the visit’s timeframe or used to

grain in bins. He imported 30 Italian stone-

have made the Kleffner Ranch Pavillion their

extend the group’s stay. Please note that the

masons from Italy to build the large barn,

first choice for a Chuck Wagon BBQ or

ranch books up quickly during the wedding

house, and other out buildings, with the

catered meal. Often on a tight schedule, they

season, especially on Friday and Saturday

stones coming from the field and glacial rock

appreciate that their clients can stretch their

nights, so make reservations in advance.

on the ranch property. The three-storey barn

legs out on a ranch surrounded by Montana’s

Parking is plentiful and free, and pricing

has a total of 27,743 square feet. Envisioned

mountain views. The quiet beauty and coun-

depends on length of stay, number of group,

as a country retreat, the ranch was also used

try charm of the ranch is the perfect setting

and options selected to augment the tour.

as a meeting place for the elite of the era. In

to enjoy a memorable meal in either the barn

For

fact, Montana’s statehood was a topic nego-

or pavilion. Groups should plan on schedul-

kleffnerranch.com. To schedule a visit, phone

tiated in the octagonal mansion.

ing two to three hours for the ranch tour and

(406) 495-9090.

Relax, unwind and enjoy the scenery as we provide the atmosphere and memories of a lifetime in East Helena, Montana!

The Kleffner Ranch is well-known for special events, parties, family gatherings, and bus tours.

To schedule a visit or book a tour: (406) 495-9090 • http://www.kleffnerranch.com 14 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

more

information,

visit ❑


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Regional Roundup setting the tone for strong-willed and happyhearted generations to follow. Today, the beautiful grace of nature continues. Follow the path of the elk or walk the winding trails of early Native American settlers. Move your feet to the mountain music

Midwest

that defines the state. Take an adventure off the beaten path at any number of walking, biking, and horseback riding trails, including the Sugarcamp Mountain Trails, Garfield Trails or Jenny Wiley State Park.

Prestonburg Paddlefest Bridge

If you prefer water to land, enjoy a pon-

your favorite names at the premier music

toon boat tour around Dewey Lake or join

venue, the Mountain Arts Center. If you

other paddlers during the special summer

would rather enjoy a low-key evening out,

Take a peak into Appalachian living,

and fall event Paddlefest. The thriving out-

sing along while local songwriters and musi-

where heritage is rooted with art, history and

door scene of Prestonsburg is only matched

cians help you dance the night away.

adventure. The story of Prestonsburg, the

by its vibrant entertainment. Experience for

Do you prefer the stars with a side of air-

first town established in eastern Kentucky, is

yourself Prestonsburg’s unique “IT” factor

conditioning? Experience a variety of

one as old as the mountains themselves.

that has bred many world-famous perform-

exhibits, experiments and laser shows at the

Brave, adventurous men and women walked

ers. Take in a play at the Jenny Wiley

East Kentucky Science Center or take part in

Prestonsburg, Kentucky

the footpaths and paddled the rivers in 1797,

16 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

Amphitheatre, one of the country’s longest

the Moonshine Hideaway tours and learn the

running outdoor theaters or sing along with

secrets distilled from Appalachia. Then, pull


Regional Roundup up a seat to hear the tales of how a little town

sipping point” on The B-Line, Northern

inspired dishes. The restaurant’s ambiance is

in the mountains changed the course of the

Kentucky’s new Bourbon Tour. Head 70 miles

designed to complement the contemporary

Civil War and helped prepare a future pres-

south and enjoy a day trip to Kentucky Horse

style and comfort of the redesigned hotel and

ident as you enjoy a cup of coffee.

Park, the horse capital of the world.

features beautiful esthetics, which elicit relax-

Allow yourself to catch your breath when

After a day of touring, relax in Marriott’s

ation while dining. The restaurant’s menus

you visit Prestonsburg. After all, you never

newly renovated hotel, offering 302 guest

consist of locally sourced and executed pro-

know what you will find when you decide to

rooms that include a refrigerator for your con-

duce crafted into favorite offerings that rep-

take the scenic route. For more information,

venience, an in-room safe for your security

resent the rich culture of the community. The

contact Prestonsburg Tourism at (800) 844-

and 50-inch HD TVs with in room capabilities

spirit of Boone Bar & Kitchen is embodied in

such as Netflix, Amazon or Hulu to help you

modern cooking and cocktail techniques,

4704 or visit prestonsburgky.org.

unwind. Their newly designed atrium

Cincinnati Airport Marriott Hebron, Kentucky Cincinnati Airport Marriott is currently

offers flexible seating and open spaces that are perfect for gathering.

Cincinnati Airport Marriott

using “regional” as an inspiration. Allow Cincinnati Airport to welcome you and your tour bus so

ranked in the top four percent of all full-

Enjoy grab ‘n go

that

service Marriott Hotels in the United States.

items from their on-

enjoy the leg-

Their newly renovated hotel is located within

site

Starbucks ®

endary hospitality

10-15 minutes of Cincinnati, Newport on the

kiosk and lunch or

Levee and many family friendly attractions,

dinner in their restaurant,

including Creation Museum, The Ark

Boone Bar & Kitchen.

you

may

that has placed them among the best in the Marriott brand. Competitive

Encounter, Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquar-

Named after the county in which it resides

group rates start at $109 and include: HSIA

ium, Great American Ballpark, Florence Mall,

and located at the headwater of the Kentucky

(valued at $12.95 each/day); one complimen-

Crestview Hills Towne Center and much

Bourbon Trail, the new Boone Bar & Kitchen

tary room per 40; a concierge upgrade for tour

more. Adult travelers, you can “find your

features American cuisine and Kentucky-

manager; customizable group menus; hot,

Lo Loew Loe Loews Ch Chi Chic Chica Chicag Chicago C O’ O’H O’Ha O’Har O’Hare O Ho Hot Hote Hotel H

Groups Welcome! For Group Pricing and Availability: 859-334-4610 Cincinnati Airport Marriott 2395 Progress Drive, Hebron, KY 41048 P 859.586.0166 | F 859.586.0266 www.Marriott.com/CVGAM

Groups Welcome! 53 530 5300 N N. R Ri Riv Rive River R Ro Roa Road R Ros Rose Rosem Rosemo Rosemon Rosemont, Rosemont Ro IIl Ill Illi Illin Illino Illinoi Illinois Illinois, 6 60 600 6001 60018 8 847 847847-5 847-54 847-544 847-544847-544-5 847-544-53 84 847-544-530 847-544-5300 lloe lo loew loews loewsh loewsho loewshot loewshote loewshotel loewshotels loewshotels. loewshotels.c loewshotels.co loewshotels.com loewshotels.com/ loewshotels.com/c loewshotels.com/ch loewshotels.com/chi loewshotels.com/chic loewshotels.com/chica loewshotels.com/chicag loewshotels.com/chicago loewshotels.com/chicagoloewshotels.com/chicago-o loewshotels.com/chicago-oh loewshotels.com/chicago-oha loewshotels.com/chicago-ohar loewshotels.com/chicago-ohare Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 17


Regional Roundup daily breakfast for two; discounted driver rates;

erage program, Flavor by Loews Hotels. Loews

rolling hills of Upstate New York, just south

complimentary parking for the motorcoach; a

Chicago O’Hare Hotel features Filbert’s Old

of Penn Yan on State Route 14A. The Wind-

dedicated convention services manager to

Time Root Beer – a Chicago tradition for more

mill began more than 30 years ago with one

assist with a seamless arrival and departure

than 90 years, Veruca Chocolates – decadent

man’s dream, a bulldozer, volunteers, a barn

experience, and a welcome amenity upon

treats with unique shapes, colors and textures

raising and hot dogs, and it is growing

arrival. For group pricing and availability,

to delight the senses, and Rare Bird Preserves

stronger than ever. Currently, The Windmill

phone (859) 334-4610, or for more information,

– small batch preserves and curds that utilize

is host to more than 175 shops that are filled

visit Marriott.com/CVGAM.

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel

only the best seasonal ingredients made with

with handcrafted items too numerous to

Old World methods and modern flavor profiles.

count. You will discover great food, tasty

The Ashburn, inspired by Chicago’s first

treats, fresh produce, furniture, fashion,

airport – Ashburn Flying Field, is an innovative

entertainment, hands-on activities and more.

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel redefines the

restaurant that celebrates the heritage and

It is recommended that groups allow two to

meaning of the words “airport hotel.” The prop-

tradition of aviation, offering modern inter-

three hours at The Windmill, but a whole day

erty features 556 guest rooms and 60 suites,

pretations of classic American cuisine in a

can easily be spent. The Windmill offers many

53,000 square feet of stylish meeting space, a

relaxed gastropub setting. Whether wandering

on-site dining options from full restaurants

live music and comedy venue – The Montrose

the hotel’s on-site art gallery, featuring artwork

to snack options. With six wineries, a brewery

provided by some of River North’s

and a distillery, The Windmill is a one-stop

most renowned galleries and the

destination for tastings.

Rosemont, Illinois

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel

city’s finest artists, or exploring

The Windmill is a short drive from so

nearby Parkway Bank Park and

many things to do and see; it is easy to know

Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Loews

why they are in high demand for large and

Chicago O’Hare Hotel allows guests

small group tours, which are always wel-

to experience an unexpected

come. They welcome limos, small buses and

corner of Chicago with the

large motorcoaches. The facility can accom-

convenience of being close to

modate several thousand people at a time.

Chicago O’Hare International Air-

There is ample convenient parking for several

port. For more information, visit

motorcoaches at the Hobson Road entrance.

Room – that hosts regular shows and can be

loewshotels.com/chicago-ohare, or to make

Reservations are not mandatory, but The

rented for private events, an on-site art gallery

a reservation, phone (847) 447-4203.

Windmill would like to preregister groups so

and a fully-equipped fitness center.

that they can be welcomed with a step-on

Explore the entertainment options in The

guide. Preregistered groups will also receive

Village of Rosemont with Loews Chicago

a gift certificate for the tour leader and the

O’Hare Hotel. Located just steps from Fashion

motorcoach driver, as well as shopping bags

Outlets of Chicago – the Midwest’s only two-

for the group with a discount flyer for use

level indoor shopping experience with more

with participating Windmill vendors.

than 130 outlets, near Parkway Bank Park – home to Joe’s Live, iFly, a variety of free summer concerts and fitness activities, and just down the street from Impact Field – home of the Chicago Dog’s, Chicago’s newest independent baseball team, Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel is the ideal home base for enjoying all the fun there is to be had in Rosemont. In addition to being conveniently located, Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel offers visitors the

Northeast The Windmill Farm and Craft Market Penn Yan, New York

chance to experience a taste of the local flavors

Situated on 44 tree-lined acres, The Wind-

of Chicago through an innovative food and bev-

mill Farm and Craft Market is nestled in the

18 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


So much, so close!

No matter your interests, Huntington has something for everyone!

Let your folks nuzzle a llama, celebrate Appalachian heritage in a variety of historic museums, catch a show at the Keith-Albee Theatre, or enjoy great meals and local shopping! Take advantage of one of our popular itineraries, or let us customize one for you!

#visithuntingtonwv

THE REAL HATFIELD AND MCCOY FEUD Adventure through actual feud sites on the real Hatfield and McCoy tour. From romantic entanglements to property disputes, learn how two families’ mountain pride led to the most famous feud in American history. MOVIES, MINERALS AND MINING TOUR Stops include a wide array of fun from Blenko Glass, one of the finest glass-making facilities in the world, to Hillbilly Hot Dogs, a restaurant like no other featuring gourmet hot dogs with quirky, down-home charm. Visit actual “We Are…Marshall” movie set locations and the Marshall University Memorial Fountain before heading over to West Virginia’s only Smithsonian-affiliate, Heritage Farm Museum & Village!

C AB EL L C OU N T Y | V I S ITHU N TIN GTO N W V. O RG | 304. 525. 7333

Contact Anna at anna@visithuntingtonwv.org to set up your visit to Huntington! Visit us online for a complete listing of Cabell County’s attractions, events and festivals.


Regional Roundup The Windmill Farm and Craft Market is a

at Shaw Air Force

family fun day in the country. Begin your day

base pulls the train,

with them at 8 a.m. and stay until they close at

and

4:30 p.m. Admission is always Free. Opening

have the option to

passengers

Day is the last Saturday in April, and their sea-

ride in a closed

son ends the second Saturday in December.

coach or to experi-

The Windmill is also open Memorial Day, July

ence the breeze

4 and Labor Day. To keep up to date with events,

and views first hand

celebrations, demonstrations, special guests

in a covered open

or recently added activities, visit The Windmill

air car. Convenient

Farm and Craft Market on Facebook or browse

bus

their Web site at thewindmill.com. For more

available in the lot

parking

South Carolina Railroad Museum and Rockton Rion & Western Railroad

is

information or to preregister your visit or both,

adjacent to the sta-

phone Mary Wilson at (315) 536-3032.

tion. RR&W’s charter coordinator will greet your group, and tours of the railroad museum will be con-

for your group to use, but please have your

ducted before the train departs. Bus drivers

tour members bring a picnic lunch.

are welcome to ride the train with the group

The RR&W is a non-profit, all volunteer

at no charge or remain at the station if they

educational organization. It offers discounts

prefer. Total time for the visit is approximately

to groups of 30 or more, and payment is

two hours plus any additional time for lunch

accepted by check or credit card. RR&W usu-

on-site. A large covered picnic area adjacent

ally requests a deposit to reserve the time

to the station and the parking lot is available

as it operates their train as an exclusive

Southeast South Carolina Railroad Museum and Rockton Rion & Western Railroad Winnsboro, South Carolina Looking for a unique and nostalgic experience for your tour? Look no further than Rockton Rion & Western Railroad, conveniently located five miles off Interstate 77 in Winnsboro, South Carolina, and less than 20 minutes from Columbia. RR&W is the only passenger tourist railroad in the state and offers a 70-minute, 10-mile round trip through bucolic and historic Fairfield County. With historic sharecropper home remains, rustic hunter’s cabins, the historic Greenbrier School and a ride through a hand-hewn deep rock cut, the scenery offers vanishing vistas of a time long past. A historic diesel locomotive that saw service either for the Army in the Korean War or 20 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

Try the Tourburst App now available as a free download for iOS and Android users. Showcasing the Tri-State Area!

Or visit our website at: visitfortmadison.com 1-800-210-TOUR


Regional Roundup

Rockton Rion & Western Railroad

charter for your group in most cases. This

Take a ride into history!

ensures the personal service and attention

Come and see the Boyhood Home of Ronald Reagan!

your tour will appreciate and what separates RR&W from other attractions in the area. Charter group tours are available weekdays or Saturdays. Regular excursions operate Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

South Carolina’s only tourist train!

from late May to September. For more information or to book a tour and train ride or both, contact RR&W at (803) 635-9893 or scrmcharters@gmail.com.

803-635-9893 scrmcharters@gmail.com 110 Industrial Park Rd. Winnsboro, SC Only 5 miles off I-77 Exit 34

EVERYDAY HEROES

Groups Welcome!

Reagan Home

Free and convenient motorcoach parking. Reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance. Plan at least an hour for your visit.

April 2 - October 31 Monday - Saturday: 10AM - 5PM Sunday: 1PM - 5PM

Normandy, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.

Just a few of the places that have brought out the best in America‘s sons and daughters. Historic Downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina 910.643.2778. www.asomf.org

BRING YOUR BUS to Climb Aboard OURS!

COME SEE the ORIGINAL BUS Boys Town sports teams used to travel across the country for national competitions!

boystown.org/tours 1-800-625-1400

Visitor Center

Visitor Center 810 S. Hennepin Ave Dixon, Illinois 61021

Reagan Home 816 S. Hennepin Ave Dixon, Illinois 61021

(815) 288-5176 director@reaganhome.org www.reganhome.org

Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown Cleveland, Ohio

The Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown offers the largest standard rooms in Cleveland. Your tour group will love our 13 ft. grand ceilings and hardwood floors. We also have a complimentary full buffet breakfast included in the room rate, complimentary high speed wireless internet, a 24/7 fitness center, small arcade and billiards table. To make things even more bus tour friendly, we have a surplus of public gathering space accessible 24 hours to all of our guests. With the complimentary bus parking directly behind the hotel and being located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, we are exactly where your bus tour will want to stay!

Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown 629 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 Lauren Barnum | Sales Manager Phone: (216)-443-1000 EXT. 4409 Lauren@holidayinncleveland.com www.hiexpress.com/clevelanddwntn

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 21


ABA Working for You

B

with and connect with leaders in their sec-

The 2019 ABA Marketplace will be held

business enhancing benefits all the year-round.

tor. ABA’s councils include the Bus Industry

January 25-29 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Belonging to the American Bus Association

Safety Council (BISC), Bus Maintenance

Louisville will be a great time to not only

means you belong to a community that is 4,000

and Repair Council (BusMARC), Entertainer

attend ABA’s council meetings but get a taste

strong, giving you the opportunity to network,

Motorcoach Council, Hispanic Motorcoach

of the year-round education programs that

learn and know that there is an organization

Council, School Bus Council, Women in

ABA provides members.

that has your back when you need it.

eing a member of the oldest, largest

interests of our members? ABA enables

ABA Marketplace Brings All the Benefits

and most respected motorcoach, tour

industry professionals the chance to meet

of ABA to One Place

and travel association comes with

Buses Council and Asian Motorcoach

During Marketplace, attendees can pop

To enable our members to keep up to date

Council. All councils hold at least one in-

into more than 100 education sessions and

on government regulations, industry trends

person meeting each year and conduct

education quick bites throughout the week.

and professional education, ABA created a

other online or teleconference meetings

ABA’s BISC provides safety leaders with

number of programs to add value to your

and educational opportunities throughout

expert speakers and government/industry

membership.

the year.

officials who present on issues and topical

Being a member of an ABA council means

interests in the areas of safety, regulatory

ABA’s Councils Help Members Network

you are connected to peers and leaders in

Year-Round

the industry to learn from and talk about the

ABA’s BusMARC provides hands-on learn-

latest issues affecting your business and the

ing for your maintenance team through rele-

industry.

vant education sessions for motorcoach oper-

Did you know that ABA offers seven affiliated councils to meet the needs and 22 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

compliance, technology and security.


Warner Winery and Tasting Room

There’s more to experience in

PAW PAW Paw Paw offers group travelers the perfect hub to Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan attractions. Find great value with a charming downtown and affordable lodging options. Explore the area and plan tasting trips to over 20 wineries, visit beachtowns along Lake Michigan, and enjoy authentic restaurants.

Learn more and arrange your group’s lodging at www.stayinpawpaw.org Oak Cove Resort

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 23


Special: ABA ations. Topics include

Administration’s 2020

110 Outlets & Wi-Fi,

mandate on driver edu-

Adaptive Braking, AGM

cation. ABA helps you

Batteries, Remote Diag-

meet

nostics/Diagnostics

requirements with our

Network

online program at a

and

ELD

Installation.

the

theory

generously discounted

After you are done

price for members.

learning all day, visit

Because we know

the Marketplace Net-

you are busy and do

working Floor to see

not always have time,

the

ABA’s

latest

motor-

webinars,

coaches coming off the

including our newest

line from all the major

partnership with John

manufacturers

and

Kennedy Consulting,

visit ABA’s supplier

can be accessed on

members’ booths to

demand – whenever

take care of all your

you want, wherever

business needs.

you want. ABA also provides a number of learning

With education at the center, along with

and development programs for members for

discount programs and working on Capitol

The learning and the networking do not

learning on demand. One of ABA’s latest

Hill for your business, membership in ABA

ABA Offers Best in Class Education

stop after the show is over. ABA conducts

offerings is our Entry-Level Driver Training

is a crucial piece to your business’ success.

webinars with nationally recognized and pro-

program. ABA’s training program gets you

Learn more about how to belong to the ABA

fessional speakers throughout the year.

ready for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety

family at buses.org.

24 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


National Transcom Inc. For Sale by Owner: 1-800-USA-TOUR and Web Domain Name by George Belcher, CEO

B

randing is the acknowledged key to

and became: 1-800- FLOWERS. This expanded

marketing. He became convinced that the

business success, providing recogni-

the local business’s geographical marketing

800USATour asset package would generate

tion, memorability, trust and value.

potential. The vanity number and ingrained

sales and add value to the bottom line of any

Surveys tell us that 60 percent of consumers

“800” prefix provided an easy to remember cus-

company using it. These are perfect tools for

prefer to purchase a known brand. Over time,

tomer contact vehicle and created a highly suc-

online direct response marketing. The brand

the popularity of a product perpetuates its iden-

cessful national brand. When the World Wide

identity, 800USA-Tour, is indelible and com-

tity. Professional studies show a continuing

Web emerged, 800- FLOWERS added a dot-

municates stability and value while offering a

increase in online shopping. They also show

com address and 1-800-Flowers.com became

multitude of inbound and outbound leisure

that people like doing business with people and

a global brand. It has been reported that if the

travel experiences. Many accountants and

hearing a human voice. A February 2018 Ad

1-800-FLOWERS telephone number were avail-

investors say that intangible assets are out pac-

Week article points out that most online shop-

able today, its value could exceed $10 million.

ing tangible assets in valuing a business.

pers prefer to complete their purchase by live

Advertised to a leisure travel market, the

Today, leisure travel advertisers can reach

voice telephone contact. For these reasons,

USA TOUR package is instant global branding.

consumers with print, broadcast, outdoor or

George Belcher, CEO of National Transcom,

The package promises a memorable brand. It

web media, but marketing success relates to

Inc. believes 800-vanity phone numbers are a

also capitalizes on current technology but does

capturing response, and this comes down to

desirable asset, which is why he is offering the

not depend upon it. The travel services cus-

immediate action that relates to the telephone

1-800-USA-TOUR number and matching Web

tomer can do business with the advertiser with

that the consumer holds in their hand. It is nearly

domain names for sale.

or without an app, computer, tablet or cell

impossible to get a true dot-com and true toll-

When he registered the trademark USA

phone. Anyone with an alphanumeric tele-

free 800-vanity number that match. Business

TOUR, his plans were to establish it as a brand

phone keypad can call 1-800-USA-TOUR. Con-

demand for toll-free numbers is so great that

and distribute its incoming calls to member

sumers can shop 800usaTour.com on the Web

there are now seven new 8XX prefixes. If your

operators through the caller's area code. It was

and dial: 1-800-USA-TOUR or its numeric equiv-

company is not a recognized brand, consider

possible; however, technology in the 70s and

alent to complete the sale. In China and the UK,

re-branding. The big guys do it. The Ctrip Group,

80s limited the economic feasibility of his plans.

for example, an international caller adds 00.

the second largest online travel agency, grossing

It is different today as technology affords oppor-

Calls are toll-free in U.S. states and territories,

billions, re-branded and is now “Trip.com.”

tunities for a business to become a giant beyond

Canada and the Caribbean.

Belcher would be happy to hear from any

geographical limits. “I only wish I were young

Developing support material, Belcher spent

motorcoach industry contacts that would like

enough to take advantage of it, but age and

considerable time researching the elements

more information regarding the asset he is

health restrictions force me to sell the intangible

and online international travel agencies, trans-

selling.

assets of National Transcom, Inc.,” he laments.

portation, hospitality and other leisure activity

gebelcher.nti@gmail.com.

To

contact

him,

e-mail ❑

The properties package includes: International, Toll-free 1-800-USA-TOUR plus domains; 1800-USA-Tour.com, 1800USATour.com, 800USA-Tour.com, 800USA-Tour.com and 800USATour.com. The telephone number has a clean history, and the dot-com domains have not been used in commerce. If you are looking for a case study on the success of vanity numbers, take 1-800- FLOWERS as an example. In 1982 a local florist with the sign Flowers over the door made a leap. The owners secured a toll-free vanity number Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 25


Putting the Pieces Together

C

rafters and quilters are an emerging niche group who are

looking for opportunities to travel, meet people, learn new

skills and work on new projects. There are many bus tour

companies that specialize in everything from quilting tours to famous quilting attractions, such as the Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, or attending shows like Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon. Many quilters enjoy factory tours of companies, that make quilting supplies. Growing wild in popularity are group retreats, where attendees work on projects in the company of fellow quilting enthusiasts, learn some new tricks or do a make-and-take project. Rural retreats seem to be very popular with groups because of the “homey” ambiance that meshes so well with the craft of quilting. However, there are also retreats taking place in larger cities, which offer a plethora of stores for shopping for supplies, sightseeing during downtime and expert presenters. If you are interested in getting a “square” of this growing market, planning the right retreat can be fun, rewarding and profitable. Many tour companies that offer quilting retreats say their buses fill up quickly. Generally, quilting retreats are done with smaller groups. However, with research and careful planning, a larger group retreat could be a huge success with the right amenities, such as lodging, meals, work-

Creating a Quilting Retreat

shops, visiting local attractions and learning opportunities. Finding the right venue for the retreat is a vital step. Resorts often

by Laura Wagenknecht

have meeting space that can accommodate a group of quilters, although it may be up to the planner to secure the equipment and supplies needed for the retreat. There are also many venues (mostly for small groups) that are specially designed for quilting retreats, offering quilting tables, equipment and supplies as part of their package. Whether you choose a rural location, an urban location, a local location or one that requires a day or two of driving is entirely up to you and your targeted clientele. Many quilting guilds plan bus trips to locations out of state for a change of scenery, but there are also those who prefer to stay local to work with their known suppliers and experts. Do your research to see if you can partner with a local supply store that can offer discounts on merchandise, store tours, crafting classes or even work space for your group. Often retreats encourage quilters to bring their own supplies (some offer a suggested supply list for attendees), but there are retreats where supplies can be provided as part of the package or can be purchased when the group arrives at the partner store. Finding experts in the field to showcase their handiwork and designs, offer advice and inspiration, present workshops and assist attendees with projects is always an outstanding addition to any retreat. In addition to presentations, workshops and tours, retreat attendees should have some free time to work on their projects at their own pace. They can relish in unstructured time to work on their individual projects while enjoying the company of kindred spirits who share their love of quilting.

26 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


Quilting Retreat Group activities that do not involve quilt-

Many hotels and resorts can work with

If you want a good starting point on all

ing are also something you can consider

you on helping to plan a quilting retreat at

things quilting, try a Web search. An easy

adding to your itinerary. Check out some of

their property and offer great perks such as

and highly comprehensive guide to the

the local attractions that would be appropri-

discounted room rates, on-site entertain-

craft can be found at quilt.com. Local quilt-

ate for groups, such as a scenic boat cruise

ment, group meals, work space and itinerary

ing guilds and clubs, craft supply stores

or guided motorcoach tour of the city for a

planning assistance. Often they can also help

and numerous books and magazines that

fun diversion.

with recommending local artisans and

specialize in this popular hobby can help

Do not forget the food and drink. Plan for group meals at nearby restaurants, break

crafters willing to present a workshop or

inspire you to get the tour planning wheels

appear as a special guest.

spinning. Happy stitching.

time snacks and refreshments, dine around

There are plenty of specialty tour com-

nights if your quilting retreat is in a place

panies offering a variety of tours and

with restaurants within close proximity to

retreats all over the country. Many offer her-

your lodging. A special treat would be a

itage crafting themes such as Norwegian

gourmet cooking demonstration and meal

rosemaling (a popular art form thanks to

for

Elk

Disney’s hit movie Frozen) or quilting in the

Viewing/Gourmet Dinner at Thunder Bay

your

group

such

as

the

Amish tradition. The ever-popular holiday

Resort in Hillman, Michigan, a property

retreats are great events to inspire that per-

which hosts very popular quilting and craft-

fect showpiece for the home or handmade

ing retreats. Late night pizza parties are

gift. Check out what these niche companies

always fun after a day of cutting and sewing.

are offering; perhaps you can even contact

A farewell wine and cheese party is a mem-

them for some tips or see about creating a

orable way to end a retreat.

collaboration with them that can be mutu-

ally beneficial.

Awe

IN

BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL ILLINOIS

Our Visitors Center features Route 66 & Abraham Lincoln history! 309.827.0428 • CruisinWithLincolnOn66.org

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 27


T

here is a lot of buzz out there about autonomous cars, trucks and buses, so in all likelihood you have been

sold on a driverless future. While no one can precisely predict when the futurists’ dreams will become the world’s reality, it is safe to

say the party celebrating the robo-revolution is premature. Still, there are many reasons to be excited about the technologies that will change the future of road transportation, but until these technologies are perfected enough to answer all of mankind’s needs, drivers are guaranteed to stay right where they have always been: in the driver’s seat. Here are five reasons why B US T OURS M AGAZINE believes motorcoaches will not become autonomous anytime soon.

1. Most of the new autonomous buses are tiny. Easy Mile’s EZ10 Shuttles are currently operating in downtown Jacksonville, Florida (and elsewhere in the world). The problem with the EZ10 is that it has a maximum capacity of 15 passengers. Likewise, Navya has operated shuttle buses in sev-

Five Reasons Why You Will Not See Autonomous Motorcoaches Anytime Soon

eral nations, including the United States, Switzerland, Australia and Japan. The com-

by Tiffany Wilken

pany claims its Autonom Shuttle can accommodate 15 passengers, 11 seated. To borrow the line from Jaws, “You’re

you hear about in the news are transit

3. They are not ready to handle every

gonna need a bigger boat.”

buses, so they have not been engineered

road condition.

Fortunately, Mercedez-Benz has built a

to seat 55 passengers comfortably, store

With radar and LiDAR and GPS and

full-sized bus. Unfortunately, the cabin of

their luggage, furnish them with a restroom

cameras

Daimler’s Future Bus has been engineered

or journey on highways and byways.

autonomous vehicles have a full assort-

wide side door is beckoning, and glancing

2. Most are too slow for highway travel.

igation. Yet, these sensors are only as good

at the interior, one is impressed by its cozy

This reason is a cheat. The truth is

as the program that fields their input. Many

for comfort and not efficiency. The bus’s

covering

every

angle,

ment of bells and whistles to aid their nav-

though limited bench seating and gener-

autonomous trucks have been carrying

autonomous vehicles have had successful

ously sized wireless charging stations that

loads, so autonomous vehicles can reach

runs, but it is their unsuccessful runs the

allow passengers to power up their mobile

and maintain highway speeds. However,

public cannot forget nor forgive. After all,

devices while they ride. The bus’s overall

if you consider only the EZ10, the Autonom

the technology’s two biggest promises are

design is slick and mid century futuristic,

Shuttle, and the Future Bus, it is hard not

efficiency and safety.

chosen no doubt to garner excitement and

to laugh at the inadequacy of their reported

make the vehicle live up to its name. If any-

top speeds. Both the EZ10 and the

autonomous Uber hit and killed a pedestrian

In

March

the

news

reported

an

thing, the Future Bus proves size is not an

Autonom can reach 45 kph (roughly 28

in Arizona. It is sad to contemplate, but there

issue. Yet it is worth noting not a single

m.p.h.), while the Future Bus reaches 70

will probably be more fatalities involving

autonomous motorcoach has been tested

kph (roughly 43 m.p.h.).

autonomous vehicles, which will lead to delays

much less built. The autonomous buses 28 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

in their development and implementation.


Autonomous Coaches Mercedes-Benz Future Bus

4. The world has not caught up with the new technology. Here begins the transportation industry’s descent down a rabbit hole that leads to a wonderland of questions. What regulations will govern the production and operation of autonomous vehicles? Will autonomous vehicles need special infrastructure to operate? Who will pay for that infrastructure? How will autonomous vehicles operate in tandem? Who is at fault when an autonomous vehicle gets in an accident? Will autonomous vehicles cost more or less than traditional vehicles? What will be the insurance rates for autonomous vehicles? What will happen to insurance premiums for traditional vehicles? Can autonomous programs be hacked? Will enough people trust autonomous vehicles? Will penalties for

5. There is no driver.

traffic violations be higher for drivers who do not set their vehicles

After hearing developers tout all the cost and safety benefits of a

in autonomous mode? Will laws require people to set their vehicles

perfected autonomous system, it may seem a human driver is nothing

in autonomous mode? What will happen to the jobs of commercial

but a liability. It is true that driver fatigue is a serious roadway hazard,

drivers – can the world’s economies handle that much structural

but when it comes to the motorcoach industry, the safety record is

unemployment?

quite excellent. Besides, there are numerous activities motorcoach

On and on the questions go, with no clear answers just conjectures. One can trust these questions will be answered in time, but currently

drivers perform on a tour. First, drivers handle the motorcoach’s fueling. Bus and truck

there is no ready-made solution, and that is because autonomous

drivers are expected to pump their own fuel and quite often choose

vehicles are still being tested. No one knows which program or pro-

to pay at the pump with a credit or debit card, so they do not inter-

grams will win the race to true autonomy, but everyone can rest

act with attendants. Second, they dump the bathroom’s waste. It

assured there are several more laps to go.

is a dirty job, but the driver does it, and because he does, passengers do not have to wait for the next pit stop to use a restroom. Third, they load, lock up, and unload passenger luggage. Fourth, they work chair lifts and secure mobility devices for passengers with disabilities. Fifth, they are the bus’s ambassadors. Whether they are paying cash tolls, speaking with custom’s officials and border guards, or even police officers and roadside inspectors, drivers answer for the group, absorbing much of the responsibility and thus stress of a long road trip. Sixth, they announce important safety regulations or play the appropriate pre-recorded message. Seventh, they manage roadside repairs. They may no longer change tires themselves, but they do call someone to assist. They know where to go for help and how to signal to busy traffic that they should proceed with caution as they pass the stranded bus. Finally, they know the technology on the bus, so they can help escorts queue up their DVDs and mix tapes. Certainly, someone other than a driver can perform these tasks, perhaps even an autonomous bus can be programmed for some of them, but it is not likely escorts will be signing up for extra duties. It is more probable future motorcoaches will be semi automatic rather than autonomous. Even during today’s test runs, autonomous is a misnomer because drivers or attendants are often placed on board. If companies cannot provide near perfect results, then drivers will remain behind the wheel but assisted by the very technology that threatens to replace them.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 29


Tour Planner Spotlight Terrapin Tours, LLC

In addition to their more than 25 tours

has been the key to the company’s success.

North Woodstock, New Hampshire

offered annually, Terrapin recently began offer-

Offering just a handful of tours in their first year,

ing what they call their Signature Tours. Each

to now offering nearly 30 tours annually, Ter-

by Alyssa Yolda, director of operations

year, these three tours offer travelers the

rapin’s growth has been tremendous. A testa-

chance to experience distinct and unique des-

ment to their success is the extremely high

Terrapin Tours, LLC was the long-time

tinations, with small group sizes (maximum

repeat client base they have, with many trav-

dream of owner Kelly Cooke, whose passion

of 36 passengers) and special inclusions. Since

elers continuing to “hop on the bus” with Ter-

for travel began at a young age. After taking

Terrapin began offering these, all have sold

rapin Tours year after year, trip after trip.

an educational trip to Europe during high

out – some more than a year in advance.

Terrapin will continue to add new tours and

school, Cooke began her career in the travel

In the past two years, along with the tour

destinations to their annual tour calendar, while

industry as a tour planner and director. After

schedule, the Terrapin team has grown to

also offering tours that so many travelers find

a brief hiatus working in marketing, she

include a second tour director, operations

appealing. Many of their tours sell out year after

launched Terrapin Tours in 2011. Her desire

manager and part-time office assistant. The

year - New York City, the Ottawa Tulip Festival

to share the cultural, educational and personal

company is doing everything possible to

and tours to the Canadian Maritimes to name

growth one can experience while traveling

change how bus tours are perceived and how

a few. By continuing to offer these popular tours

was what inspired her to start the company.

they operate, and they are certainly having

as well as new destinations, Terrapin is able to

some fun while doing so.

continue to grow their client base and ensure

Terrapin Tours offers a variety of tour types and destinations. Departing from Concord, New

It is really no secret; Terrapin prides itself

Hampshire, tours can bring travelers on a day

on quality and value. Extra meals; quality hotels

trip to Boston to enjoy an authentic Italian meal

in central locations; premium seating at theater

The focus of Terrapin Tours has always

and a Broadway show, or on an eight-day jour-

and musical performances; VIP tours at attrac-

been outbound tours, but recently they began

ney combining land and air travel to see polar

tions; the right mix of free time and planned

to see a need for receptive operators in their

their repeat travelers have a wide variety of new tours and destinations to choose from.

bears in Manitoba, Canada. Tour sizes can vary

activities; a friendly, professional tour director

region. A new division of the company, NH

depending on the tour length, but top out at 46

on all tours; luxury motorcoaches and cour-

Discovery Tours, has been recently launched

passengers, and can include destinations such

teous, professional drivers all go into creating

and is focusing on crafting unique, memorable

as Savannah, Georgia; Quebec City and Lan-

an amazing experience for their travelers.

tours for groups visiting New Hampshire,

caster, Pennsylvania. No matter the tour length

While they are not the least expensive tour

greater New England, and Eastern Canada.

or destination, Terrapin always maintains its

company, this is not their goal. Their goal is to

While this part of the company is still in its

standards in quality and experience, never sac-

create the best tour that they can at a fair price.

early stages, Terrapin is confident that by stay-

rificing or cutting corners.

Cooke knew when she started Terrapin

ing true to its core values and travel philoso-

Terrapin Tours partners with Lamoille Val-

Tours that the nature of senior group travel

phy, this division will be as successful as Ter-

ley Transportation to provide new, clean, lux-

was changing. Seniors did not want the bus

rapin Tours in providing amazing experiences

ury motorcoaches and courteous, profes-

tours of years past – they wanted something

for groups visiting the region.

sional drivers. Terrapin knows a critical part

better – smaller group sizes, more free time,

in the overall tour experience is the comfort

opportunities to better experience the area

and safety while traveling on the bus and

they are visiting and not to be herded from stop

partners with companies that have the high-

to stop on a tight schedule. Keeping this in

est standards and top safety ratings.

mind and crafting tours that fulfill these needs

30 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

If you are a tour operator or planner who would like to be featured in future Tour Planner Spotlight articles, contact BUS TOURS MAGAZINE via e-mail at editorial@busmag.com.


Social Marketing for Tourism by catherine Heeg

front sign-up your http://bit.ly/2toK3bz

Three Magnetic Ways to Strengthen Your Email List Is your e-mail list a bit skinny? Does it lack the strength to bring new leads? Love it or hate it, e-mail is part of our culture and a workhorse when it comes to marketing. Did you know that 44 percent of e-mail recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional e-mail? (Source: http://bit.ly/2MKCXaa) Let us think about this from a tourism perspective. Imagine a consumer opening an email from you about an upcoming tour. They not only see the tour info, they are reminded of their wanderlust and maybe even their fond memories of their last tour with you. They get excited and possibly pass along your e-mail to a friend. You have hit the mark with an emotional spark and inspired them to take some action. E-mail is a cost effective way to: 1. Build stronger relationships 2. Rekindle fond memories and emotions 3. Grow your brand awareness 4. Inspire top of mind awareness 5. Increase Web traffic and SEO Growing your List Growing your e-mail list does not have to be a tug-of-war. Earning the right to e-mail people can be simple with these easy tactics and a downloadable give away lead magnet. Lead Magnet Ideas Growing your valuable e-mail list with interested and intrigued potential clients is easy. First you will need to create a valuable resource that will be so captivating that people will gladly give you their e-mail list in exchange for your downloadable treasure. Think about what types of questions your clients ask and then build your content to answer those questions. Design evergreen content such as: • Top 10 lists • Destination guides • Dining guides • Packing lists • Travel tips • The joy of motorcoach touring • Before-you-go checklists

and

center:

2. Social posts No matter where your social fans hang out, creating a social post that drives people to your Web site sign-up form is easy. Think about creating a graphic that tells people what they will get and has a call to action. Then write some text inviting them to sign-up or download. You may say something like this: • Dreaming of your next vacation? Do you wonder what you’ll really need to pack for your next tour? Here’s an easy packing list for you to print and start packing.” (Then include the link to your sign-up form and ultimately the link to your downloadable lead magnet.) • Not sure if touring by motorcoach is really for you? Check out these fun reasons why a motorcoach tour is perfect.” (Then include the link to your sign-up form and ultimately the link to your downloadable lead magnet.)

These downloadable lead magnets may take the form of infographics, e-books or simply a checklist. Here are some tools to create these visual wonders. http://bit.ly/1jCh8bU

1. Your Web site Now that you have your downloadable lead magnet, what will you do with it? We have all seen pop-up boxes on Web sites inviting you to download a free e-book or sign up for a newsletter. Do you have one on your Web site? Your Web design team can create this for you or else check out Supsystic.com. You can customize the popup box appearance, timing and location. In addition, you may want to have your e-mail magnet live right on your home page. Here is an example of how to make

3. Your Blog We all know the SEO value of writing a blog, but what about the opportunity to build stronger ties with your readers. Give this a whirl: at the end of each blog post insert a graphic (maybe the same one you have used in your social posts) inviting people to sign up or download your lead magnet. Giving awesome incentives to clients for joining your e-mail list does not have to be too pushy or sales-y; it can be a great opportunity to offer your clients insight into your engaging content. When you are ready to increase your market share and your bottom line, remember this: ‘people who make purchases marketed through emails spend 138% more than people who do not receive emails.’ (Source: http://bit.ly/2MKCXaa ) Get ready to skyrocket your sales. What step will you take next to grow your ❑ e--mail list?

Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at cmsspeaking.com and socially. Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 • 31


20 Tips For Bus Tour Planners by Clairemarie Owens

20 Tips for Homeschool Trips

learn about the state’s history, geography, cli-

pools is a great way to study marine biology.

The number of homeschooled children has

mate, and flora and fauna. If you are visiting

Taking a whale-watching boat trip is a great

been increasing and has almost doubled since

an area with historical sites or national parks,

way to observe marine animals in their natural

2005. It now represents the fastest growing

there are usually educational materials you

habitats.

segment of student bus tours. Here are my 20

can print beforehand.

Tips for Homeschooled Trips.

7) Tour a laboratory, university or a

4) History. When it comes to history,

factory. What better way to see how some-

1) Socialization. One of the most com-

tours of museums and historical buildings

thing works than by taking a tour of a labora-

mon questions homeschooled children face

are the obvious choice, but there are other

tory or factory to see how tests are performed

is that of socialization, and as a home school

ways to get an even closer look at historical

and how real science works. Many universi-

veteran, I have to admit it is one of the biggest

events or gain hands-on experience of the

ties, laboratories and factories offer tours of

hurdles home school graduates face when

past. Consider attending a reenactment, or

their facilities at a free or discounted rate for

they enter the “real world.” A Home School

better yet, becoming reenactors yourselves.

students.

Bus Tour not only allows children to make

Similar but more concerned with everyday

8) Re-create a famous journey. Many

new friends outside their social circle but also

life are living history sites such as Colonial

famous journeys can be made much more real

gives them the opportunity to step outside

Williamsburg (Virginia), Pioneer Living His-

with your own re-creation. For example, a

their comfort zone. They will have the oppor-

tory Village (Arizona), and Camlann Medieval

study of the westward expansion of the United

tunity to interact and deal with people of all

Village (Washington).

States can be much better understood with a

ages, races and backgrounds that they might

5) Music, theater and ballet. Cities like

not have otherwise had the chance to meet

New York, Chicago and San Francisco have

in a safe and controlled environment.

well-respected symphonies and significant

9) Take in a local festival. There are

drive across the Great Plains or by following the Oregon Trail.

2) Create educational road books.

venues that attract the world’s best talent in

local festivals of all varieties all over the

Travel is the most amazing way to learn about

music, ballet and theater. Tickets are some-

county. These will give you a chance to cel-

art, history, geography, foreign language, etc.

times reduced in price close to performances,

ebrate products and people important to the

Incorporate as many educational facts and

and some places run programs that cater to

local community and economy, as well as

stops into your trip as possible. I like the idea

home schoolers and school children. Carnegie

give students a chance to learn about a new culture.

of expanding on the traditional road book or

Hall in New York City offers a selection of free

itinerary and adding stories, fun facts, local

programs for families, and the Kennedy Center

10) Plan a trip to a farm to learn

history and a place for journaling. This can

in Washington D.C. offers free private tours

where food comes from. Your kids might

also be used as a marketing tool to show par-

of their facility.

ents exactly what their children will be learning and when.

know food comes from somewhere, but they

6) Beaches and the sea. Trips to oceans

might not be aware of how much work it takes

and beaches can include many activities that

to get it to the supermarket. A trip to a farm

3) Encourage students to learn before

support biology and other science topics,

will help them learn about farming, environ-

they leave. Many states have Web sites built

which are often overlooked and hard to incor-

mental issues and eating right while introduc-

just for kids to learn about that state. You can

porate into an educational trip. Exploring tide

ing them to new foods.

32 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018


20 Tips 11) Decide if your trip is going to take on a religious component. Most parents in North America who decide to homeschool their children do so for religious reasons and have strong religious beliefs. According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, only 25 percent of home schoolers in the United States are secular and of the 75 percent that were religious, roughly two-thirds of them were Protestant. If you are religious, consider adding a religious element to your tour, no matter what your religion or denomination. 12) Documentaries. In addition to being a great way to deal with the distance between destinations, documentaries have in-depth information, photos and visual aids. They add detail and history to an area that can be sparse or hard to enjoy from a vehicle. Look for information on battlefields, native peoples, local geology and National Parks, just to name a few. Documentaries should be a complement and should not be used to replace a presentation. Because documentaries often go very deep into a subject, consider showing only part of the film, a short film, or clips from several films to hold attention. 13) Book it in the off-season. Take advantage of not being limited to Spring Break, Winter Break and Summer Vacation. One of the benefits of being homeschooled is being able to go on vacation whenever you want, so take advantage of this by planning your trip during the off or shoulder season when hotel rates are the lowest. This will vary from region to region, but in general October, November, late February, March and early April are when hotels are the most affordable. 14) Make time for study time. Most parents will want to supplement their trip with additional homework, required reading and in most cases journaling. Set aside some time every day for students to finish the work that might be required from their parents, homeschool group or school. 15) Make it fun. Make sure you balance all the learning and museums with someBus Tours Magazine / September, 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ 33


20 Tips thing fun. A trip to the beach can be comple-

that everyone is accounted for; student trips

place all the students in the same area, and

mented with a lesson at the tide pools, but it

require more attention than adult trips.

if possible, have boys and girls on different

should not be the entire purpose of the excur-

18) Keep meals simple and cut down

floors. Please be conscious of the hours and

sion. Pair a matinee concert or ballet with an

on mess. Picnic lunches at the park are fun

the traffic in the halls and have chaperones

evening at an amusement park.

and quick. Try to avoid or limit meals at high

try to limit the use of the telephone, especially

16) Chaperones. Chaperones on stu-

end or messy restaurants such as BBQs, which

from room to room.

dent trips can help prevent students from

can add time to your itinerary. While buffets

20) Have a home school tour leader

wandering off, control behavior and provide

are convenient and great for picky eaters and

to supplement the guide. Tour guides are

back-up during emergencies. Some state or

those with dietary restrictions, they should be

there to facilitate your tour. They are trained

local laws or venues set minimum chaper-

limited because they often allow kids to over-

to be flexible and make changes to the tour

one-to-student ratios, but it usually falls

load on pizza and ice cream.

and the tour itinerary as needed. While many

between 6:1 and 10:1. If a trip is co-educa-

19) Request your group be blocked

tour guides are retired educators, their pri-

tional, there should be a chaperone of each

off in the hotel. While students are children

mary role is not to teach children. Consider

gender. Consider opening up these trips to

that may be more excited about their tour

adding a home school tour leader to your

parents and making this a family home

than the adults, they are in an adult setting

group tour that can assist with the educa-

school trip.

and must respect the rights of other hotel

tional aspect of the tour, freeing up the tour

guests around them. Request that the hotel

guide to do his/her job.

17) Do not overload your itinerary. Long lines at popular attractions, traffic jams and other unforeseen circumstances will create tremendous pressure on everybody and a rushed tour is no fun for anyone. You will also want to include extra time during bath-

Clairemarie Owens was born and raised in Los Angeles. After attending Boise State University, she travelled around the United States and Europe for a few years before returning to Los Angeles. She currently works as a tour operator where she plans bus tours in the U.S., Canada, Cuba and Africa for both American and international clients.

room breaks and at attractions to make sure

Advertiser’s Index A Slice of Brooklyn Tours . . . . . . . . . .10

Lincoln CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

Adams Mystery Playhouse . . . . . . . . .14

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel . . . . . . .17

Airborne & Special Ops Museum . . . .21

McKinney CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

American Bus Association . . . . . . . . .15

McLean County Museum of History . .27

Atlantic City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

National Comedy Center . . . . . . . . . . .13

Boys Town USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

National Transcom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Cabell-Huntington CVB . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Paw Paw in Southwest Michigan . . . .23

Castle Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Prestonsburg Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Cincinnati Airport Marriott . . . . . . . . .17

Redding CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

City of Ft. Madison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home . . . . .21

Columbia Gorge

Ronald Reagan

Interpretive Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Columbus Chamber of Commerce . . . .2

Presidential Foundation . . . . . . . . . .11 Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers

Dancing Horses Theatre . . . . . . . . . . .13

Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

George Bush Library & Museum . . . . . .6

South Carolina Railroad Museum . . . .21

Heartland Travel Showcase . . . . . . . .36

Starved Rock Lodge

Holiday Inn/Bourbon

& Conference Center . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Barrel/Denny’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

Visit Tyler Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Holiday Inn Express/Cleveland . . . . .21

Warren County Historical Society . . . .12

Jacksonville Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Windmill Farm & Craft Market, The . .18

Jim Dykes – NY Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Kleffner Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 34 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2018

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Profile for Bus Tours Magazine

Bus Tours Magazine September/October 2018  

Bus Tours Magazine September/October 2018