Bus travel is a great way for school, sports, and community groups to take part in a variety of stimulating activities.
From away games to academic decathlons, student-age groups gain valuable life experiences from these trips. However, underage group travel presents some unique challenges for chaperones. How can responsible adults keep their group of youngsters and teens safe, accountable, and compliant throughout their bus ride?
Prioritize Rest Stops
Integrate rest stops into your travel plan to burn off excess energy and keep boredom at bay.
- Schedule a rest stop for every two hours of travel. Give them 15-20 minutes at each stop to use the bathroom, get a drink, or take some time to themselves.
- Take advantage of distractions. Museums, parks, and historical markers are a clever way to add special value to your trip while giving little ones the chance to move around unrestricted.
- For meal times, stop at a restaurant or picnic area. Give children plenty of time to eat and rest before heading back onto the road.
Frequent rest stops may delay your arrival but they will definitely increase your travel comfort.
Keep Them Busy
Preempt any possible troublemaking by keeping young travelers occupied on the bus.
- Pack travel-friendly games and activities. Playing cards, Bingo sets, and coloring books are some travel-friendly ideas.
- Singing is fun, creates a sense of unity, and uses a lot of muscles. When young travelers get rowdy, lead them in a few choruses of your favorite song.
- Use car games to bring the group together. For a competitive twist, split the group into teams. Make sure to reward the winners.
You don’t need electronics to enjoy a road trip with kids and teenagers.
Plan for Safety
Keep mischief to a minimum to ensure the safety of your entire group.
- Assign accountability partners at the beginning of the trip. This is especially important if there aren’t many chaperones.
- Consider tours and other guided activities to minimize the chance of wayward students slipping away or getting lost.
- Include a list in your first aid kit that notes any special allergies or medical conditions your young travelers might have.
Take measures to protect youngsters from potential dangers on the road.
Feed Them Well
Avoid hunger-induced tantrums and troubles by making sure everyone has plenty of fuel to keep them going.
- Pack healthy snacks like crackers and cheese, veggies with peanut butter, and fresh fruit to satiate them in-between meal stops.
- Try to schedule meal stops before hitting the road. Use the internet to find cafes, fast food, and other eateries on your path.
- Restrict the consumption of soda, candy, and other sugary foods so kids aren’t forced to sit still through a sugar rush.
A full belly also ensures that everyone is ready to have fun when you finally reach your destination!
Group travel with kids and teens doesn’t have to be a hassle. Use these tips to keep everyone calm and happy on your next bus trip.