Air Travel vs. Motorcoach Rental

We’ve all been doing the airport hustle for more than ten years, and the dance doesn’t get any easier. One… two… take off the shoes. Three… four… what’s the hold up for? Now, scan, re-pack your electronics, get your clothes back on and sprint to the gate. This is what it takes for one person to fly the friendly skies. Now, multiply that for group travel, and you’ll find yourself in a challenging war to protect the fun from group travel difficulties at airports. Consider the three S’ of hassle when considering flying for your group travel.

Security…

While we’ve essentially covered this, getting a group through security and maintaining peace may require saint status. Long lines, inefficient processes and lacking social graces could turn Doris Day into Oscar the Grouch. Once you actually get through the scanners, you need to mitigate group travel difficulties by keeping everyone from wandering off to Starbucks or not losing gear in the gray tubs.

Squares…

Airports have improved their dining options, but you have to hunt them down. Given the amount of time spent in security, you and your group may be lucky to get to your gate on time. If your group does have the time and if you can find something not fried beyond recognition, then the sticker shock from the purchase will be a damper on the adventure before it’s even truly started.

Schedules…

Rain storms, blizzards, high wind, hail, mechanical issues, missing crew members, random attack of unicorns—these days it doesn’t take much to cause flight delays or cancellations. There’s only so much wiggle room when it comes to scheduling for groups. Flight changes create cascading difficulties that at some point can be unrecoverable.

Turning S’ Positive

The S’ turn positive when you evaluate them for renting a coach bus for your group. You manage the group list, so getting through security boils down to showing up on time. Dietary needs and budget concerns for meals can easily be planned around with stops offering a variety of quickly accessible, dining options. And, you can control the schedule with your coach bus. This allows an enormous amount of flexibility in your group’s day, enabling you to leave early to add in an unexpected side trip or leave later to avoid weather concerns. The big difference is you have the keys, and you are in control.

Now, all you have to do is click away to build your trip.  Check out our list of cities with charter bus operators in or nearby.

Staying Safe During Group Travel

The topic of safety may not have a high fun rating (unless we’re talking about Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance,” which we aren’t).

Statistically, traveling in groups is significantly safer than traveling alone. However, factoring in safety remains paramount to planning a successful group trip. Otherwise, one mishap may find a member or two of your group hanging in unusual tourism attractions, such as the local police station.

Get Creative

Your imagination is the key resource in successful planning. I don’t know about you, but I am able to conjure up some unique scenarios. This, of course, allows me to plan against it. For example, an elephant runs wild in the street where my charter bus has stopped to visit a local historic site. The excitable elephant stampedes and its giant tusks puncture the motorcoach tires. Now, go!

Based off of this scenario, I would need to work with my bus rental company to determine what happens should there be an accident. Are drivers and equipment on standby? What backup precautions does the bus operator have in wait? I would need to make sure there’s a first aid kit in case there are minor injuries that could be addressed on-site. It’s also smart for planners to obtain a master list of everyone’s emergency contacts, and travelers should be encouraged to have copies of their drivers licenses and credit cards in the case of a delay. I would also want to ensure that my cell phone was always fully charged.

Get Real

While the elephant scenario is unlikely, the exercise will serve you in being prepared. Replacing the elephant with flooding during hurricane season or a surprise tornado in the midwest might be closer to reality. What are those things that need to be planned for? What do you do if someone gets hurt or lost? Think through it and then you’ll have your plan for your group’s trip for the larger situations. On a basic, actionable path, there are other steps that you and those on your trip could take into consideration, particularly for long excursions that cross country boundaries:

  • Set safety ground rules for behavior on the bus rental. Be sure to include things like staying in seats, any rules on alcohol usage and what to do in an emergency (your bus operator and driver can brief you on their standards and practices, too).
  • Consider having security or medical personnel and multiple chaperones for larger groups, especially those groups which occupy multiple charter buses
  • Review any insurance coverage and, potentially, encourage purchase of individual travel insurance for medical purposes
  • Pack a first aid kit
  • Make photocopies of ID, credit cards and prescriptions to help if anything gets lost or stolen
  • Only carry small amounts of cash at one time
  • Make sure that everyone has the name, address and phone number of the hotel, and designate that as the home base should anyone get lost

Safety planning also includes ensuring that you have the right motorcoach for your group travel’s needs. So, let’s talk about your upcoming trip and how we can help get you and your group safely on the road.

Group Hotels, Bookings for Charters

You’ve selected your rental bus using our handy bus type reference guide. Now, it’s time to figure out where your group is going to stay on their journey. We’re talking lodge, abode, hotel, motel, inn, crash pad… a place for your group to rest their heads. Lucky for you, we’ve got a tool for that, too.

We don’t want you to worry about reserving rooms for your group. Making your decision doesn’t have to be like playing the tables in Vegas. We can help you make educated decisions; BusRates.com is dedicated to helping you find the perfect hotel for your group travel needs.

All of the hotels in the BusRates.com directory are members of the National Tour Association, whose members specialize in North American tourism business and are committed to quality travel experiences. We provide you strong resources, along with a few questions to ask yourself and the facility during the planning process.

For example:

  • What’s more important to your group: the rate or the location?
  • Is breakfast included with the stay?
  • What are the must-haves for your group hotel?
  • What are the nearby dining options for lunch or dinner?
  • Will your group get any perks by staying at the facility? (free wi-fi, access to the business center, etc)
  • Will the charter bus be able to park onsite?

On each hotel profile in the BusRates.com directory, click to view
nearby restaurants, attractions and events using our map feature

More questions can be found in our list of top ten questions to help with picking your hotel, plus tips for finding a great deal for your group travel. All of this knowledge power will fuel your fantastic trip. (And, if you’re needing assistance with fuel of the food kind, we can help you there, as well.)

Finding the right hotel for your group travel is similar to solving a puzzle within a puzzle. You put all the pieces together to find the best lodging for a group travel booking that will then enhance the success of the trip.

Best Movies for Charter Bus Groups

Best Movies to Watch on a Charter Bus

They say it’s not the destination, but the journey that’s important. If that’s the case, then showing the right movie sets the tone for drive. Essentially, setting the movie list for a group charter trip is the modern-day equivalent of the perfect mix tape. There’s got to be a little bit of everything for everyone. Below are just a few of the best travel movies on our list to be shown on your charter:

“Vacation” (R):

We know we shouldn’t start off with the best first, but the Griswold’s reign supreme when it comes to road trip mayhem. You can even make it a mini-marathon, and follow it up with “European Vacation.”

“Field of Dreams” (PG):

This may be a non-traditional pick, but there’s something for everyone in this flick. There are some good laughs over the absurdity of building a baseball diamond in a cornfield. Tears when Ray finally plays catch with his dad. Plus, you just can’t go wrong with James Earl Jones.

“Tommy Boy” (PG-13) & “Blues Brothers” (R):

These two also make for a good double feature. They showcase two unlikely duos overcoming adversity for a greater good. Facing their challenges head on results in great physical comedy, assisted by some great cameos. So, order up your dry white toast, two whole chickens and a coke, and enjoy!

“Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” (PG):

The love of Pee Wee Hermann’s life—his bike—is stolen, and we get to follow his search that leads him across the country. Along the way, Pee Wee saves some furry friends, shows off his trademark dance moves to “Tequila” and teaches us about the Alamo.

“The Muppet Movie” (G):

Essentially you can’t go wrong with a frog, a pig and a bear road adventure with musical numbers interwoven throughout, as they chase their dreams.

“The Wizard of Oz” (G):

If “The Muppet Movie” doesn’t prompt a sing-a-long, then, this one will! “The Wizard of Oz” may be the quintessential movie for a charter trip. What better way to see America, then by watching an American classic?

“Lord of the Rings” (PG-13):

Granted, this selection would be for a niche group, but we know they are out there. As you begin your trip, follow the Fellowship from the calm of the Shire to the forbidding forests in their mighty quest. An added bonus is it’s almost three hours long.

***One notable exception left of our best travel movies list is “Thelma and Louise.” We just can’t justify destroying a gorgeous 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible like that.

Feel free to use our travel movies list to mix and match your drive time selections. Or, use it to develop a marathon list tailored for your group. All of it enhances your charter. Just be sure that your driver has an ASCAP, BMI and Motorcoach Movies license/permit to avoid any copyright issues. (Please note that they need all three licenses to show movies on the charter).

By the way, there’s extra credit for creativity by tying in local attractions with your movie selections. We can help you find attractions best suited for your group with our group attraction search.

Travel with Kids – Summer Group Travel

Spring Break signals that summer vacation is around the corner. That means twelve weeks of unstructured time begging to be filled up. In our book, when you travel with kids, nothing says summer quite like catching a baseball game. The great thing about watching the boys of summer is the ballparks are in cities with other great group attractions. This makes for a great combination for kid group travel options. Regardless where you are, baseball is the diamond gateway for a fantastic trip for when you travel with kids.

Northeast

When talking baseball, it’s best to start with the oldest ballpark in the nation, Boston’s beloved Fenway Park. Opened in 1912, it is one of the last of the early 20th century parks, and is still going strong after more than 100 years. It’s easy to make a day at Fenway with watching the Red Sox and touring the historic park.

Boston also provides a slick way to sneak in some history lessons. From the Freedom Trail to the U.S.S. Constitution, Boston is a great place to explore the early days of America so your group of kids can get an interesting history lesson as well.

Mid-Atlantic

Similar excursions can be built up and down the East Coast. However, Washington, D.C., takes the cake for pleasing a diverse crowd of kids. Your crowd can take in current events at the National Capitol or learn about innovation at the National Air and Space Museum. Read the actual Declaration of Independence or honor the nation’s forefathers with the monuments that line the 2.5 mile stretch of the National Mall. After the National Mall, you can catch the Washington Nationals at their high tech home. There are many reasons to visit DC when you travel with kids.

Mid-West

Planning a trip around seeing the Colorado Rockies offers a few different options for your kid crew. You could stay in Denver visiting the Denver Mint and the zoo or taking on the rollercoasters at Elitch Gardens.

Alternatively, an outdoor adventure might be the great compliment to the Mile High City baseball game. Rocky Mountain National Park is 71-miles from town, and offers ranger-led activities, plus hundreds of trails and scenic areas ready to be explored.

West

San Diego wins hands down with the best summer-themed kids trip and great outdoor activities for groups. Planning a trip to San Diego offers the opportunity to enjoy the great California beaches, plus a chance to watch the San Diego Padres.

Plus, there are great parks that get the kids engaged with our animal friends and keep the kids outside, enjoying the summer sun. They can meet Samu and friends at Sea World, visit the more than 4,000 animals at the famous San Diego Zoo or explore the tide pools and its creatures in their natural habitat at Cabrillo National Monument.

Make Your Trip a Real Hit

So now that you are thinking about children travel planning and you have some destinations in mind for your travel with kids, what’s next? First of all you are going to need a way to get everyone there safe and secure. Check out our charter bus directory to find a bus that can take your group of kids from point A to point B. Next, you need to think about where you can all stay for the night. The best place you can start is our directory of group hotels. You can search by check in and out date, number of rooms needed, State, City, Zip or even by a specific hotel name if you have a favorite in mind. If you are looking to find even more attractions in the surrounding area, try our free directory of attractions for groups. Also, if we all know anything about kid group travel, you can be sure they will get hungry! Find group friendly restaurants along the way of your trip!