Maven Moment: Bus Tours

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One summer when I was a child, my family took a bus tour to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It was one of the most memorable trips of my life.

The novelty of a long bus ride and the interesting scenery — at least it seemed so to me — left a lasting impression, as did our destination, which seemed to be a “world frozen in time.” How did the Amish live without electricity, I wondered? Weren’t they bored to death without a TV? This memorable trip gave me a peek into a fascinating culture that was entirely different from my own. By taking the bus, we kept our environmental impact low, though not as low as the Amish.

An outing like a bus tour worked well for our family because we had only one car and Dad wouldn’t think of driving it to another state. Mom didn’t have a driver’s license when we were little, so taking a bus or train trip was a great way to travel. Traveling by bus or rail eliminated the stress of finding your way on unfamiliar roads and driving in heavy traffic. And no worries about parking when you reached your destination.

These days, I still love a good bus tour or train trip. Here in New York, we have the Long Island Railroad. Mom and I once took a train followed by a bus out to the wineries on the East End where we toured the vineyard and sampled the local wine. And I got to enjoy the outing without the worries of driving over two and one-half hours to get there.

Last summer, I picked a driving-free day-trip destination. I took the train to a town called Oyster Bay with no particular activities in mind other than visiting a new location. But when I walked around, I discovered quaint shops, interesting restaurants, and even a small whaling museum with artifacts from the area’s history. I ended the day sitting by the water and eating a sandwich. What a fun day! No car needed!

Train and bus travel is a great way to have sustainable travels and adventures. By using public transportation systems like the Long Island Railroad, Greyhound buses, and Amtrak, you can get to any number of destinations without the responsibility and stress — or the huge carbon footprint — of driving a car. Fun, easy, and better for the planet!

Joanna, the Green Maven

About the Author

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.

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