5 Georgia Attractions to Visit During Your Next Group Trip

If your church, school, or social group is planning a trip through the southern part of the United States, be sure to add these 5 Georgia attractions to your must-see list.

These Georgia tourist destinations all lay near Interstate 75. A major highway that runs from the Great Lakes region all the way to the Florida coast. Even if Georgia isn’t your primary destination you can enjoy these impressive sights without going too far out of your way.

Jefferson Davis Memorial Site

Take Exit 78 from I-75 to find this treasure. The Jefferson Davis Memorial site marks the spot where the President of the Confederacy was captured by Union soldiers on May 9, 1865. Take group shots in front of the commemorative stone plaque, immerse yourself in Confederate history at the museum, or spend some time resting from your long drive on the 13-acre park grounds. This attraction is a little off the beaten path but its worth the extra drive time.

Make sure you have the right vehicle for your group so that you can experience all that Georgia has to offer!

High Falls State Park

Off of Exit 198, High Falls State Park features manmade and natural waterfalls. Take your group hiking through the well-manicured trails that lead to picnic areas, campgrounds, and breathtaking photo opportunities. Also, go for a swim to beat the Georgia heat or explore the park with the help of a knowledgeable ranger. Georgia Public Library cardholders enjoy free admission to state parks and historical sites.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta boasts impressive fish and wildlife displays. One of the top Georgia attractions, beluga whales, penguins, dolphins, and sea otters are just a few of the friendly animals you’ll get to meet. Interact with animals, learn more about conservation efforts, or just take time to appreciate the astounding variety of life housed in this educational fun center. Contact the aquarium before your arrival. You may be able to snag a discount for your travel group.

Lane Southern Orchards

Georgia is rightfully proud of their delicious peach crops, visit Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley.  You’ll get a first-hand look at what it takes to satisfy the world’s craving for fresh fruit. Guided tours let your group follow the entire process of preparing fruit for sale. A farmer’s market lets you select products to take with you for the long journey home. In October, the farm has a corn maze and hay rides to help you celebrate the harvest season.

Crime and Punishment Museum

Ashburn, Georgia is home to the Crime and Punishment Museum. Once the Turner County Jail, this historic site was converted into a museum in 1993. Visitors can view a replica of “Old Sparky”, the electric chair the state uses to execute convicted prisoners. There is also an execution chamber where 2 murderers were put to death by hanging. The adjacent Last Meal Café is the perfect place to refuel before you get back on the highway.


Alcohol on Charter Buses

Be aware of alcohol on charter buses laws

Renting a charter bus for your day trip lets you have more fun with your group. You’ll be able to spend your travel time socializing instead of driving in separate vehicles.

Having alcohol on charter buses is a perennial question because charter buses offer greater flexibility and control of seating options than public transportation. So, like airplanes and passenger trains, depending on where you are traveling, you may be able to enjoy alcoholic beverages during your bus ride. Where can travel groups legally drink on a charter bus? Is it a good idea?

For more on this subject of alcohol on charter buses click here!

Is It Legal to Have Alcohol on Charter Buses?

Open container laws vary by location. Canada does not allow open containers of alcohol on any of its roads. In the United States, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) included guidelines for state open container laws. These guidelines include:

  • Prohibition of open alcoholic beverage containers in the passenger portion of a vehicle.
  • Definition of the passenger area of vehicles that includes seats, glove boxes, and any other areas that are accessible to riders and drivers in a seated position. Open containers are allowed in trunks or storage spaces behind the last row of seats.
  • Definition of open alcoholic beverage container to include wine, beer, and distilled spirits in a can, bottle, or receptacle with a broken seal.
  • Application of these restrictions to all vehicle passengers. States can, however, allow open containers in motor vehicles like taxis, buses, limousines, and house trailers.
  • Application of the laws to vehicles on public highways.

Currently, 40 states and the District of Columbia conform to these standards. Traveling through these areas with open containers of alcohol on your charter bus, will result in you being charged with a misdemeanor crime. Traffic infractions and fines are other possible punitive measures.

Open Containers Where and When Are They Allowed on Charter Buses?

Open container laws are different from county to county.  You will unwittingly break the law during your trip, if you don’t prepare accordingly. Talk to your travel agent or coach rental company about specific regulations for the areas you will be visiting.

These states generally allow passengers to possess open alcohol containers on charter buses.

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Missouri
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Arkansas and West Virginia allow open containers but prohibit drivers and passengers from consuming the contents.

With the popularity of party buses, more local governments are allowing open containers in the passenger area of certain vehicles. Your rental representative will have more information on what is allowed on your trip.

Should You Have Alcohol on Your Charter Bus Trip?

Even when Charter Buses allow alcohol, additional restrictions will  apply. States like California require a designated chaperone if passengers under the legal drinking age are in your party. This is to discourage underage consumption. Get all the details from your coach driver or company before your party hits the road.


4 Ways to Make Planning an Itinerary Easier

A well-planned itinerary ensures that you get the most out of your next group getaway.

However, making an itinerary can be challenging. Here are four tips you can use to make your trip planning sessions simpler.

Gather Your Paperwork
Start your planning process by gathering some vital information. This will give you everything you need when it’s time to start booking.

  • Make a checklist that includes every step you need to complete. Assign dates to time-sensitive tasks.
  • Have each traveler fill out a form that includes their name, contact information, and personal preferences.
  • Find a travel itinerary template or make your own. Use Excel to make your file easily shareable with the group.

Buy Vacation Packages
Vacation bundles that include your airfare, hotel, and rental vehicles are a great way to save time and possibly reduce your total bill. While online booking sites are convenient, they do have some drawbacks.

  • You may not be able to get exactly what you want. To keep the prices competitive, booking sites don’t always offer the best options.
  • You might actually pay more. Since the booking site has to get a cut of the profit, you might be able to get a better deal by working with the airline, hotel, or rental agency.
  • You sacrifice flexibility. Many sites will limit your ability to reschedule, cancel, or otherwise change your plans once payment is received.
  • Watch for extra fees. Monuments, museums, and other tourist attractions that charge admission may not be included in your package.

Make sure that you have the right vehicle for your trip, click here to find out how you can help ensure that everyone is comfortable!

Keep Accurate Records
Tracking payments, travel times, and personalities is a struggle for even the most organized individual. However, accurate records are essential to a smooth experience.

  • Use an accordion folder to store checklists, receipts, and brochures. Include a copy of online purchase receipts.
  • More technical planners can use a scanner to make digital copies of files that are easy to store and reference when needed.
  • Create a map or spreadsheet of your trip that includes each planned activity to avoid over-scheduling and other conflicts.
  • Even if you do have a digital backup, keep a hard copy of vital data like flight times, addresses, and reservation numbers.

Get Professional Help
Professional travel agents are the simplest way to make sure you have the best possible vacation for several reasons.

  • Experienced agents have connections with service providers at a number of travel destinations that allow them to get you exactly what you want at the best price available.
  • Using a travel agent protects your group from shady businesses.
  • Thorough agents can make suggestions that enhance your established plans.

Instead of spending hours researching and calling, your agent will attend to all the details. All you have to do is enjoy yourself!

Follow these tips to reduce the challenges of planning your group’s travel itinerary.