So you may be saying to yourself, “Wait, wait, wait. Mulv Jones is actually going to tell me to take a tour? Is this a very late April Fools' Day joke?” No my friend, in fact, it is not a joke. The truth is, tours are a great way to get in touch with the place you're visiting. It is important to know the lay of the lay of the land, and unless you in fact “tour,” the location, you aren’t going to see anything worthwhile. The choice, though, is what type of tour you are going to take.
While some travelers are keener to taking organized tours through an agency, the well-versed budget traveler knows that this can hurt your budget, while rarely showing you the good stuff. That is why one great way to see a city is actually through taking a trip on their public transportation.
If you have ever moved to a new city, you know that learning the public transit routes are very important. Most people will figure out the routes one way or another, with some even bold enough to ride a train, tram, or bus the entirety of its line. This practice, in fact, is a great way to get a tour of a new place, with out paying top-dollar.
Public transport, if you engage it properly, not only gives you great views of a your new location, but also allows you to have your finger on the pulse of your new destination’s culture. You can observe the architecture of the buildings, the typical day-to-day happenings of its inhabitants, as well as getting a good grasp of things like fashion, literature and music habits, as well as what is being advertised around this city. Certain products may surprise you and billboards, signs and posters will let you know exactly how to spend your time.
Along with an outside view, if you have a good grasp of the local language, befriending others in transit can help add commentary to your tour. While there is no exact art to this, I’ve found that engaging in conversation with someone near you can often lead to a tour based on the local’s knowledge or personal preference. Finding someone who looks nice, knowledgeable,and loquacious is important for this travel tip to work.
Don’t waste your time and money on a tour that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Hop on the best looking loop of your destination, get a good seat, and let the public transportation set your day of exploration in motion.