+ 5 Reasons to Travel on the Green Tortoise Bus

five reasons to travel with the green tortoise across America

Ever wanted to explore the USA, meet new people and save money along the way?  Green Tortoise is probably your best option! In 2006 and 2007, I took the Northern Dream and Southern Crossing tours, scoring the hat trick in April 2014 with the Yosemite 2-Day Tour – each time trying out a new Green Tortoise bus.

If you live in the states or are visiting there very soon, I really would recommend taking a look at their options before spending $$$s on something similar. Obviously, this is by no means a replacement for your own special road trip, but there’s a few pros particularly if you’re travelling alone and/or can’t drive or get insured.

You get to travel thousands of miles, take in some unique American gems and meet a wide array of people for a really reasonable price. For instance, the 14-day cross-country tours can cost ~$1100 but my weekend trip to Yosemite was under $200. See below for the five reasons I think you should seriously consider taking this tour.

1) It’s a Great Way to Meet New & Interesting People: 
I’ve now been on three Green Tortoise tours, and on every single one there’s been a great mix of teens, twenty-somethings, travellers, San Franciscan locals, Aussies, oldies and everything in between! Although I don’t necessarily keep in touch with everyone, the fact that you get to spend up to 14 days with such a wide set of people is an experience in itself.

2) The Food is Healthy and Cheap
You pay a set amount for basic meals (barely anything) and for that money you get a wide array of meals that you and your fellow travellers cook in national parks most mornings/evenings. On my various trips the meals have included bean burgers, pancakes, tortilla pizzas such as this, pasta, and you also get

3) Inspirational Destinations
You can go east-west, west-east, via Burning Man and right on down to Central America. The sheer variety of tours and dates (through the year) means it’s very likely you’ll find something to fit your wishlist.

4) Fuss-Free – No Need to Plan
If you drive by yourself cross-country, you are responsible for planning ahead, paying for permits and are reliant on yourself to find the best camping spots. With Green Tortoise, the two drivers you share your trip with have years’ worth of experience and Green Tortoise wisdom. It takes all the hassle out of planning the trip yourself, and guarantees that things will go smoothly.

5) You’ll Tick So Many Things Off Your Bucket List
In my three Green Tortoise trips, I’ve been able to do the following:

– Cover myself with mud from the banks of the Mississippi river and let the current take me downstream

– Camped in a giant hole in South Dakotan prairies (the remains of some 20th-century Nuclear tests), surrounded by bison

– Ok, this wasn’t actually part of the Green Tortoise tour, but when in New Orleans I ended up in a lapdance bar!

Here’s some photos from my Northern Dream trip: