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What No One Tells You About Bus Tours

5 Reasons To Always Choose A Custom Tour Of New York City

Tourist traps. Overtourism. Throngs of people. It’s not the experience most people dream of when they book a trip to the Big Apple. Hoping for a sample of culture, history and lip-smacking eats, visitors leave with a bad taste in their mouths. So how does a trip to the best city on Earth go wrong?


Most of the time, this is what happens:


You arrive to New York City, ready for fun and adventure. Seeing you marvel over the luminous skyscrapers, a bubbly salesperson approaches and sells you an organized tour package. “It’s the only way to see the best of New York!” she says.


Or, while planning your trip online, you see deals for hop-on, hop-off bus tours. By jumping on and off, you can pick and choose what to see in just a few hours.


And it sounds great! It’s economical and easy. You don’t have to worry about getting lost, doing research or missing out on cool stuff. Just sit back and let the bus explore.


However, as most seasoned travelers know, most of these ‘deals’ are anything but. Here are our 5 top reasons why:

It’s Fishy.

Once you’re loaded up on the bus, shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, you become separated from the city. When you’re stuck behind glass, you see the city rush by, but you don’t feel the excitement and energy in the air. You’re isolated.

By getting out and walking the streets, you become part of the city itself-- you experience sights, smells, and tastes like you’ve never imagined. You hear captivating stories, interact with locals and discover little-known secrets.

And you miss all of it when you’re zooming by on a bus. It’s like seeing the Big Apple from inside an aquarium-- and you’re stuck as the fish.

Your Time Isn’t Yours

On an organized tour, you give up freedom for convenience. Most tours begin at 9 or 10 am, allowing everyone time to shower and eat breakfast. However, there are always late stragglers holding everyone up-- cutting your tour short.

You’ll also lose precious time at over-priced souvenir shops. Sometimes, these stores are disguised as “interactive museums,” or artisanal shops full of candies, jewelry, textiles, or carvings, but they’re actually designed to make you spend money-- and some tour guides stretch this part of the tour because they’re not charged fees.

With hop-ons and hop-offs you have a little more wiggle room, but often, the buses are too packed for everyone in your party to fit. Unless you want to split up and (hopefully) meet up at the next site, you’ll be stuck waiting for another bus.

Instead, a curated walking journey is optimized for your enjoyment. Entirely personalized according to your interests, you get to take back the most precious asset of all-- your time.

Whether you want to linger at an Old World cafe over a steaming cappuccino or shop ‘til you drop in SoHo boutiques, every moment is yours and special.

You Won’t See Everything You Want

On an organized bus tour, group think rules. That means, if you’re (likely) running late, your tour guide might ask the group to vote on seeing certain places. If you’ve got your heart set on seeing exhibits at MoMA, you might miss out because members of your group went overboard at the souvenir shop. 45 minutes isn’t enough time to get started at the Museum of Modern Art!

However, on a custom walking journey, everything changes. Designed around you, you can spend all day on Broadway or crawl every pub in Harlem. It’s all about you! Together, with your favorite people, you’ll skip the lines and see the sights you’re actually interested in. Nice!

Plus, with insider-access, you’ll uncover local secrets and trendy hotspots only frequented by those in-the-know.

Staying On-Script

With organized tours, your tour guide is taught the top facts and stories about the places you’re visiting. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll land an experienced tour guide who’s collected cool tidbits about the city. But, many tour guides only know what they’ve memorised (and they have to stay on-script), which means you’ll miss out on the most extraordinary tales of New York.

However, on a custom tour with an experienced, Licensed New York City Tour guide, you’ll be with someone who knows the city inside-and-out-- someone who’s planned your trip to the very last detail and knows your interests. Tour guides who do private, custom tours are passionate and can’t wait to share fascinating New York stories that’ll change your whole view of the city.

You Miss The Best Parts Of The Big Apple

Although bus tours guarantee that you’ll see the most famous spots like The Empire State Building, The Rockefeller Center, and Central Park, New York City is so much more. Every block you pass between tourist attractions holds countless stories, treasures and wonders. Tales of rebellion, heroism, love and betrayal are everywhere here-- and they’re waiting to tell their tales. With 200 different nationalities calling New York home since the 18th Century, every cobblestone and brick is infused with history.

Even if you’re not a history buff, the Big Apple is bursting with must-see locations off the beaten path. All 5 Boroughs are chock-full of decadent goodies, cool shops, architecture, fashion and art. It’s almost endless!

Get Off The Bus And Enter A World Of Possibilities

When you get off the bus and away from overcrowded tourist spots, you’ll find the city’s hidden pulse. You’ll meet interesting New Yorkers, taste mouth-watering delights and see the birth of fashion trends before they’re hot. You’ll hear music in the street by performers about to make it big. You’ll feel the soul and heartbeat of the city.

This is the real New York City, where people create the history of the future. And you can be part of it by skipping the bus tours and exploring on foot with a custom journey.

Ready to create a New York experience unlike anything else? An adventure entirely focused on you? Then buckle up and book your personalized walking tour here.

At Yellow Shoes Tours, our private, custom tours of New York City are a journey of untold stories and hidden gems. From personalized adventures, historical tours, and city scenescapes, you’ll experience the unforgettable side of New York.