Group Planner: New York City in Autumn and Winter

 

Magic becomes redefined in New York City as the Big Apple puts on a spectacular display to transition from fall to the winter holidays, followed by the ushering in of a new year. When planning group travel, it’s hard to resist gathering a group and heading to the city that never sleeps in November and December. While there’s a bounty of eating options (check our restaurant guide for assistance) and no shortage of activities (see our events guide), we would recommend that you anchor your group’s trip around the festivities of the season.

November:

The crisp fall air, blue skies and sunshine will provide the perfect backdrop for a fall excursion. For laughs, you can check out the laughs at the New York Comedy Festival or the competition along the 26.2 mile route of the New York Marathon.

However, the event-to-beat-all-events in November is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Imagine sitting alongside your friends on Broadway, hot coffee in hand, watching Kermit fly six stories overhead or wave to Santa as he signals the start of the holiday season.

December:

Once the parade ends at Herald Square, the holidays in NYC are in full swing. You may want to plan your group’s lodging to be in mid-town, so you can easily get to many of the sites. You can find hotel options by clicking here.

Once you get off your rental bus, you won’t be able to blink without seeing signs of the holidays. There’s the world’s largest Menorah in front of the Plaza, the train show at Grand Central Terminal, the LED snowflakes on the Saks Fifth Avenue building across from the tree at Rockefeller Center and miles upon miles of holiday store windows. Your group can shop till they drop on Fifth Avenue or in the quaint holiday shops in Bryant Park.

The list of holiday activities and sights goes on longer than the island of Manhattan itself. So whether you go for the kicks of the Rockettes Holiday Show, the classic holiday brunch at the Plaza or if your group joins thousands to watch the ball drop in Times Square, be sure to choose the right rental bus to get your group to the Big Apple safely and in proper New York-style. Conduct your search at BusRates.com and start planning today!

Group Planner: Agenda of Attractions for Travelers

When planning your group’s travel agenda, it might be easy to take a cookie cutter approach, and think that if it worked for my family of four, it will work for 60 or more. We would caution that unlike the souvenir shirt that’s one-size-fits-all, vacations, especially attractions, need to be tailored for your group. So what exactly makes an attraction….well… attractive?

You may want to consider your destination points from a logistical perspective:

  • Is the spot known for successfully handling larger groups?
  • Where would the buses park?
  • Will pick-up diminish the destination experience?
  • How much time is needed to get the full experience?
  • What are the food options?
  • Does the attraction fall within the budget? The timeline?

You could also examine the attraction’s appeal from your group’s perspective:

  • Will your party be excited about going to the attraction? (Will they buy the postcard?)
  • Does the attraction offer something for a variety of interests?
  • Is the attraction a value-add to the overall group trip?
  • Is the stop unique or something they wouldn’t have otherwise considered?
  • Are there facilities and/or accommodations for special needs? (Ramps for wheel chairs, closed captioning for the hearing impaired, etc.)

We would also suggest using reviews off of TripAdvisor or Yelp! to help in guiding your decision process. If it happened to one traveler, try imagining it magnified in a group dynamic. Their issues could be a road map to successful planning.

Now that you’ve thought through the decision factors, get your mouse in motion on our group-friendly attractions directory to create your group’s amazing attractions agenda today.

Group Planner: Football Game Transportation by Bus

It doesn’t matter if you like college or pro football. It doesn’t matter if you like SEC over Big 12, or NFC over AFC. We would even offer that the brats over burgers decision is second to decide how you get to the game.

There are several key factors to consider, but two “S’” top the list when planning for any group trip to the big game.

Safety

Safety is, of course, the ultimate game-changer, which is why the keys will be managed by a certified bus operator. This leaves you and your guests free to make beverage choices appropriately (and responsibly!).

By hiring a charter bus, you can leave the driving to someone else, ensuring that everyone gets to and from the game safely. Bus operators that allow alcohol on board will have a checkmark under “ALCH” within their profile on BusRates.com. Plus, you can ensure the bus operator you are interested in is authorized, compliant and safe with the BusRates.com Operator Authority Guide.

Style

Now that the serious point is addressed, let’s talk the second “S,” otherwise known as style. You can check out all the charter bus rental options here, but we have a couple of options that may suit your group.

The limo or party bus will get the pre-game festivities rolling before you leave the parking lot. The limo bus features leather perimeter seating and can even have an onboard attendant to serve drinks.

For events like the World’s Largest Cocktail Party at the Florida/Georgia game or longer road trips, your group may be interested in the day coach with more of a lounge feel, featuring a leather couch and chairs along with a kitchen area and private bathroom.

If you’re looking to bring influence to the game with a large number of fans, then you might want to look at a charter bus or minibus. A charter bus can seat more than 55 guests, while a minibus can accommodate smaller groups of ten to 36.

To help pregame, consider running team highlights on the DVD/TV system, run team trivia games on the way to the game and, of course, play the team fight song. Now that we’re less than 50-days from kickoff, get on BusRates.com and start your game day planning now!

Group Planner: Fourth of July Travel Destinations

 

It’s undeniable. There’s no better way to learn or appreciate our fine country than by going out and seeing it. We have a vibrant story to tell and unique cultures interwoven into the fabric of our nation. Books and movies can only scratch the surface of its beauty, so we challenge you to plan your group’s July travel to seek America this Fourth of July.

HISTORY

2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and observances are planned on both sides of the former Mason Dixon line. Stand where Lincoln delivered his famous speech at Gettysburg. Walk the stone cobbled streets of Charleston or visit Fort Sumter, which was the site for a major victory for the Confederates.  Of course this is just one milestone, there’s always Independence Hall, the Smithsonian Museums, the Alamo or the Trail of Tears to name a few that remind us of where we’ve been.

CULTURE

It’s amazing to think of all the different cultures and nationalities that meld together and one of the great ways to sample it is…. Well, is to truly sample it. Your group can hit the road this Fourth of July and dig into say at San Francisco’s Chinatown, Boston’s North End for Italian or even take your group’s charter bus to New Orleans for the U.S.’ own creole in the French Quarter. No matter which way your group goes Laissez les bons temps rouler!

NATURE

While we could go on and on about the majesty of our landscape, we’ll just pull out a few destinations that would make for an amazing Independence Day group travel. From the Florida Keys to the San Juan Islands outside of Seattle, Mother Nature shows off her brilliance at all points in between with something for everyone, including the Shenandoahs and the Rockies; Big Bend and Joshua Tree.

Now, all you have to do is click away to build your trip.  Check out our charter bus directory to find a bus rental to fit your group size and the trip. Then, you can use our site to help build your itinerary, including finding hotels and group-friendly restaurants to fit everyone’s needs. Then, all it takes is for your group to gather and go!

We’re out celebrating our right (to group travel,) liberty (to take a vacation) and pursuit of happiness (seeing our great nation via charter bus), but wanted to share one of our favorite patriotic songs, along with a few links for traveling inspiration.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!