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The Best Way Not to Give Up the Ghost on a NYC Double Decker Bus Tour

During the New York City portion of our 10 day Canada/New England jaunt, my husband and I decided to do something completely touristy: take a double decker bus tour. (a.k.a. the “hop on, hop off” tour.)

It turned out to be the best investment we could have made given the short amount of time we had in the city. (We were only there for just over 24 hours. The tickets were $54 each, but they were good for 48 hours and gave us access to all the routes. Plus, it was hop on, hop off so it made for a really great way to get to different parts of the city.)


However, something immediately caught my eye during the tour: the potential danger. I snapped a pic of the notice plastered to the back of each seat.

“Keep your parts inside the vehicle while in motion” is a pretty standard warning, isn’t it? You’ll find something similar to it on many amusement park rides.


Trouble is, even though New York City sizzles with a sort of oversized amusement park atmosphere, it’s not a playground. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you’re immune from getting hurt. And there are opportunities galore to give up the ghost on a double decker bus tour if you’re not paying attention.

I was amazed by how many people didn’t get that. They kept standing up when the vehicle was in motion. I think because there were seats to hold on to they thought the biggest danger was from falling if the bus stopped too quick.

Wrong. That was one danger, but not the biggest.

One of our tour guides (because we took advantage of the hop on, hop off part of it as much as we could) could not stress enough to some other passengers to remain seated. They kept wanting to stand to get better shots.


The trouble was they weren’t paying attention to what was over their heads. And I guess they weren’t watching our guide the couple of times he stood up while the bus was in motion. There were obstacles that, if they didn’t lob your head off, would certainly give you a solid, and likely incredibly painful, thunk on the noggin if they hit you.

I’m talking about street signs and stop lights.

When we’re pedestrians down on the sidewalk or driving behind our cars, signs and lights serve as guides to help us navigate. But when you’re that high up on a bus you need to pay attention to them for a different reason –because they come at you in a no glasses needed 3D kind of way.

Hit one (especially a sign) at just the right angle going just the right speed and it’s not hard to imagine how heads could roll…


I turned some video I took into a sort of safety tip video. It’ll give you an idea just how low the signs were. (Even from my seat I could’ve reached up and touched them if I’d been so inclined. I’m pretty short with short arms to match, so that might give you some indication of how little clearance there was.)

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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3 thoughts on “The Best Way Not to Give Up the Ghost on a NYC Double Decker Bus Tour

  1. I kept my hands in and my butt in the seat. I highly recommend taking this tour especially if you are a first-timer in NYC. My Mom, daughter, cousin and I were in NYC three days and took this tour the first day. We saw so much of the city. It is totally worth the money and time.

  2. I completely agree, Julie! Wayne goes for business all the time, but has never had the chance to be a tourist. (Although E&Y’s offices are right in Times Square so that’s usually where he stays and gets a taste of that touristy part of things.) But he wanted to see more of the city. And I hadn’t been since I was 14 so…this tour was perfect for us. We really enjoyed it. (And had good guides on all the buses.)

    Chris, I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to go!

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