Great Way To Get Your Bearings

One of the easiest way I have found to get an appreciation of the place you are visiting are the ‘Hop On Hop Off’ buses.

In some cities there are even ‘Hop On Hop Off’ boats.

The buses are probably a bit overkill for smaller places, but we have found them a boon for big city holidays.

The commentaries can also give you a lot of hints about what things are worth doing.

Picking a company

There are often several competing companies but the companies with the most buses are the most convenient, otherwise you can too long waiting at stops.

Travel Hack – Spend half an hour having a coffee near one of the main tourist venues and watch the buses arrive. . . . You will soon know which are the most common bus companies.

There is also an advantage using companies with an ‘app’ that gives you an idea how far the bus is.

How We Use Them

Generally we get on the bus on day 1 of our visit and stay on the bus for a complete lap of the circuit.

We will then get off and visit one of the sights and start to plan the next few days.

If most of the sights are close to each other we will use the bus to get to the more remote places only.

The closer sites we will save for days on foot, or use public transport.

When all the sites are well separated it can be worth booking a 2nd Day on the bus (Normally at a considerable discount compared with a one day fare)

Some Downsides

If the traffic is really bad it can be very frustrating. . . . . In Kuala Lumpur there were times when the bus took 20 minutes to move 100m.

Sitting on the top deck can mean:

  • With the breezes you don’t realise that you may be getting burned on sunny days.
  • You quickly get very cold on overcast spring and autumn days.

In the USA the guides will be dropping heavy hints about ‘Tips’ every time you get off the bus.

Another Thing

Ten years ago we booked a day on a ‘Hop On-Hop Off’ bus in New York.

A year later we received a cheque for $30 as a result of a court ruling on cartel behavior by the two main operators.

Where Is the Car?

Have you ever had trouble finding your car at the airport?

One time when I was often travelling for work I went through Melbourne Airport on 9 consecutive days.

I had no idea where my car was by the end.

That is when I started using my camera phone to take a photo of the car park location.

Always make sure that either there is car park zone sign in the background of the picture, or take a photo of the nearest sign!

I have been using this travel hack for around six years and never lost a car since.

Driving From The Airport

People worry about the risk of a plane crashing but probably the riskiest part of their travels is driving from the Airport.

Generally the only time I drive from an airport is in places I know well. and when I don’t have to drive more than an hour.


Just got off a long haul flight? . . . . . . Before you rush of to the car rental kiosk think about whether any, or even all of the following will apply to you.

  • Don’t know the roads.
  • Not sure where you are going.
  • Don’t know the road rules.
  • Might be driving on the opposite side of the road.
  • Tired.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster for me.

You might be better checking in a hotel and hiring a car the next morning.

Home Country

Well you may be familiar with the driving but the problem of tiredness isn’t to be underestimated.

Particularly if you live 3 or 4 hours from the airport.

With two of us driving we make sure that we swap drivers more often than we otherwise would.

By myself I stop at least every hour and ‘Power Nap’ at the first sign of drowsiness.

Probably the most dangerous part of the drive is when you are on the most familiar roads.

I have heard a few people say “I was almost home and started to relax, the next thing I remember was waking up as the car ran off the road!”