Group Trip Social Media Usage

 

These days if you’re not involved in social media of some sort, then chances are you may have a rotary phone readily available. Seriously though, social media is a godsend for group travel planners and connecting with your travelers. It enables you to establish a conversation with them before they ever set foot on the charter bus, which sets the tone for the trip and goes beyond providing an agenda to building a community.

At BusRates.com, we have our Facebook page to share information with our community, so we’ll start there. You can create your own closed group Facebook group that will allow travelers to get to know each other. Invite conversations by asking people to introduce themselves; share what they are excited to see or take polls on what movies to watch on the trip. You can also install a countdown clock to help spark more excitement, along with fun facts on your destination or details on your charter bus that you found on BusRates.com.

Now that you’ve established a central hub, let’s look at what else we can use:

Twitter

The nice thing about Twitter and Facebook is the content can be cross-populated if you have some travelers that prefer one outlet over the other. Then, everyone can be involved in the conversation. You just need to setup your group’s own hashtag (#).

Instagram

Instagram and travel go together like peas and carrots. This camera app that creates a collaborative environment enables your group to use its unique hashtag on their pictures and enable the group to see them. Additionally, those images can also be placed on the group’s Facebook page, so it’s all in one place.

Pintrest

Invite your travelers to “pin” items associated with your trip to develop excitement. The pins would then appear on the Facebook page and invite more conversations or pins.

Additionally, smartphones bring out the Coppola in some of us, so be sure to capture those videos too. Instgram recently added the ability to post 15-second videos on its site, which is similar to the offerings on Vine. Longer videos can be posted to YouTube and then placed on the Facebook page.

The technology and its application is constantly changing, so these are just a few ideas. The key is to create a way to create a living scrapbook that continues after the trip is over. It’s quite possible that the group will continue to chat on the page and swap memories or family updates. This will also allow you to alert the community of new trip ideas to consider for their next adventure.

Now that we’ve planted a few seeds of ideas here. What are your ideas for using social media to enhance your group travel? Tell us on the BusRates.com Facebook page and keep the conversation going.

Group Planner: Top 10 Group Travel Destinations

 

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a list. There’s the list you get when looking for a charter bus on BusRates.com. Or the list of great restaurants our directory pulls together when you search here.

However, one of our lists is the one that starts it all–a list of destinations. We’re so keen on lists; we’ve even got a list within a list!

Learn a Thing or Two

Philadelphia, PA & Washington, DC

The City of Brotherly Love and our Nation’s Capital are two prime locations that can easily facilitate a group’s travel experience. Both cities have remarkable destinations that bring our history to life and make for a great shared experience. Additionally, they are both great food towns, so after walking the streets of our forefathers, the group can kick back with an amazing meal in cities that excel in everything from burgers to tandoori.

Catch a Show

New York, NY & Las Vegas, NV

The Great White Way and Sin City both offer sensory-engaging staged spectaculars that sweep you into a news world. The 2013-2014 NY season will be star-studded with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in “Waiting for Godot,” Denzel Washington in “Raisin in the Sun” and Billy Crystal in “700 Sundays,” to name a few. Las Vegas has many productions that made it big on Broadway like “War Horse,” “Mamma Mia” and “Sister Act.” There may also be a few other items of interest that may excite a group.

Tap Your Toes

New Orleans, LA & Memphis, TN

Music lingers in the air of these fine Southern cities like Chanel #5 in the department store. You can’t turn a corner without catching a waft of a syncopated rhythm or the wail of a muted horn. You name the mood there’s music readily available. You couple the tunes with a lil’ creole or ribs, and your group will be saying, “laissez les bon temps roulez!”

Toes in the Sand

Myrtle Beach, SC & San Diego, CA

Slow things down and grab some vitamin D by hitting these beaches fit for groups of all ages. Plan March and April for Spring Breakers or May and June for families. There are endless options for your group to explore. If the wide sandy beaches aren’t enough to entice, there’s also championship golf courses, amusement parks and plenty of shopping.

Amusement Abounds

Orlando, FL & Hershey, PA

You had us at chocolate, but the combination of rollercoasters and Hershey would be hard for any group to turn down. Then, when you’re talking about amusement parks, the “Happiest Place on Earth” has to lead the list. Both cities do a great job at making group travel easy to get to their main attractions, as well as in and out of hotels and restaurants.

Group Planner: Fall Foliage Tours

 

We realize that the temperatures continue to be sweltering, but the calendar does say that we’re nearing Fall. While September might not be enough to convince you, perhaps the re-emergence of gridiron rivalries and Sam Adams’ Octoberfest may help in turning your thoughts to one of our finest driving seasons.

The best part is the spectacular changing of the colors isn’t confined to just New England. You and your group travelers can see the fall leaves from coast-to-coast. Let’s take a look at the peak predictions or places to see the show:

New England/Eastern U.S.:

Peak in Maine will be towards the end of September with peak periods continuing through early November as you move down the East Coast. New York and Boston are looking on track for a mid-October peak with a late arrival for Washington, D.C. and Virginia, including the Shenandoahs.

Southeast:

For color in these parts it’s best to head to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Peak appears to be late September/early October, so be sure to schedule around football weekends.

Midwest:

According to Midwest Living, good fall foliage spots in the Midwest include Brown County, Ind.; Cuyahoga Valley National Park outside Cleveland, Ohio; the Mackinac region of Michigan; the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway; Door County, Wisc.; the Ozarks in Arkansas; and Minnesota’s Lake Superior shore.

Rocky Mountains:

The crown jewel for the Rockies is the turning of the aspens, which happens in late September in Northern Colorado. The central part of the state gets the show in early October, followed by early to mid-month for the rest of the state and New Mexico.

West Coast:

Turns out the top spots on the West Coast also happen to be great wine spots. Try the Sierra and Sonoma Valley in California; the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon/Washington; North Cascades National Park and Mount Ranier.

Once you set your path, figure out what your group travel needs are for your journey. Is it a large group? Then, maybe a deluxe motor coach is the way to go. Maybe you have a smaller group or want a more intimate experience? Then, a mini-bus might suit your needs.

Learn more about your charter bus options here, and find your provider here. No matter what your group size… get your group travel plans together… click on BusRates.com… and hit the road this Fall!