The Big Red Travel Tour Bus
A recent travel article by
Plansify’s Mike Snowden, “Travel Like A Local” Is Broken. Here’s How We Fix It about ‘ having an authentic local experience that is the very definition of good travel’ generated an interesting, internal discussion in me. I started writing about the experiential, ‘travel like a local’, mantra waayyy back in 2003. This ‘local focus messaging’ seems to permeate TBEX and other travel conferences that I have attended of late. While this certainly is a great motivator for a younger, inexperienced traveller still trying to find their niche, my own personal experience has shown me that at a certain point, going local just doesn’t cut it anymore; I get tired of forcing myself to ‘live as the locals do’ and simply just want to jump on a big red, double-decker tour bus and be driven around a bit.
In fact, on a recent trip to New Orleans, we did just that: hopped on and hopped off one of the locally-run, Grey Line tour buses that provided ample picture taking opportunities (albeit during several drenching, Louisiana downpours) teamed with our tour guide Charlie’s unique, local voice and immediate ability to answer questions. This allowed us to fully embrace the city, it’s space, it’s accessibility and neighbourhoods and THEN return to those places where we could poke about with our eyes open and experiencing. An added bonus? We kept bumping into Charlie on our walk-abouts of the city and took advantage of his friendly, free neighbourhood advice.
I live in Toronto and am up on the local, travel -related latest and greatest: Roncy, Ossington Village, West-Queen-West, Gerrard India Bazaar but still recommend to visitors the top 10 and then let them figure it out from there. Of course, all from the comfort of the Big Red Tour Bus! As Mike Snowdon (and travel guru Robert Reid) say “….we all need both. In the words of Robert Reid, it’s smart to travel ‘in the company of locals’ – but with the eyes of a traveler.”
Travel Well, my friends!