Ways to Ensure a Cost-Effective Charter Bus Rental
You’re planning a special trip with friends or family. If you’re a savvy traveler, you know there’s no better way to go anywhere with a group of people than on a charter bus from BusRental.com. Statistics show that it’s far and away the safest way to go anywhere in the United States and the limited access to a bus means you and your personal belongings will always be secure. Unlike other modes of public transportation, delays and cancellations are virtually non-existent with charter buses. In addition, there’s unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to decide when and where you go and how long you stay there. It’s also one of the most affordable ways to travel.
How Much Does It Cost to Travel by Charter Bus?
When you’re planning any kind of a group trip, you’ll want to have a realistic budget. To put that together, it’s helpful to have as accurate an estimate of the total costs for the charter bus as possible. However, because of the flexibility that charter bus travel offers, and all the variables that go into calculating the total cost, it’s extremely difficult to provide a specific tally of those costs in a blog. Here, however, are the factors that affect the total price of a charter bus, so that you can plan accordingly.
- The distance and duration of your trip—At BusRental.com, there are typically two ways that we bill for a charter bus—by the length of time the bus will be used, or by the number of miles that will be logged. For most single day events, such as engagement or birthday parties, concerts or events in or near your point of departure, it’s more likely that you’ll be billed by the hour. There is customarily a minimum number of hours for which you’ll be charged. On the other hand, if your trip is substantially longer, you’ll probably pay by the mile. Multi-day trips are typically billed by the day.
If you’re planning a multi-day trip, you’ll also have to plan for the needs of your driver(s). A coach operator cannot be on the road more than 10 hours in a row without at least 8 hours off. If you need to be on the road more than 10 hours to get to your destination on time, you may need to hire a second driver. Alternatively, if you need to stop for the night at any point during the trip, you’ll need to cover the costs of the driver’s lodging for the night.
- When you’ve scheduled your trip—There are peak seasons in the charter bus industry, just as with other businesses, and the availability of buses, as well as the cost, can vary from one part of the country to another. For example, there’s a much greater demand for charter buses in Florida in the winter, and much less in the summer. It’s exactly the opposite in New York and New England. As a consequence, if you don’t book early, you’ll usually have less options and may have to rent a more expensive coach than you need. There are also times of the year that are more popular across the country—spring and summer are always busier in the charter bus business because of graduations and family reunions.
The day of the week also has an impact on the cost of a charter bus. There’s more demand for buses on the weekends, so you’ll typically get a better deal if you have the ability to schedule your trip Tuesday through Thursday, as opposed to Friday through Sunday.
- How big is your group?—The larger your group, the bigger the coach you’ll need and the greater the cost. But ensuring that you get the best price is as much about choosing the right coach as it is keeping the size of your group down. The most important thing, from a cost perspective, is to minimize the number of empty seats. BusRental.com has vehicles that will comfortably accommodate as few as 12 and as many as 57 passengers, with plenty of room for luggage and other items.
- What types of amenities do you require?—Most of our coaches have the basic conveniences, but the price can vary depending on what types of additional conveniences you require. If you’re planning a lengthy trip and believe that on-board restroom facilities are necessary, you can expect to pay more for that option. You are more likely to find bathroom facilities in our larger coaches, so you may need to rent a larger bus, if a restroom is essential. We also offer specialty buses, designed for mobile parties, with such features as wet bars, dance floors and high-end stereo systems, all at additional cost.
- What is your point of departure?—There are certain locations that are conducive to charter bus travel and others that are not. In some of the country’s older cities, where the streets are pretty narrow, it’s difficult for larger buses to get around. For that reason, you’ll find fewer charter bus operators, and fewer options. If you can’t find a charter bus company in your town, you may have to get one to come from another city. If so, you’ll pay what is known as a “deadhead” fee, a charge for the bus to travel with no passenger aboard.
- Are you booking a round trip?—It’s typically far more cost-effective to have your trip start and end at the same location. If you book a one-way trip, you’ll most likely end up paying the deadhead fee for the coach to return to its city of origin.
- Other potential fees and costs—You will typically be responsible for any tolls, as well as the costs of parking. It’s also a common practice (though not mandatory) that you tip the driver at the end of your excursion. A customary tip is 10% of the total cost of the charter bus rental.
Guidelines for Managing the Cost of a Charter Bus Rental
Now that you know the criteria that are used to calculate the total cost of a charter bus trip, you can take specific measures to ensure that you get the best deal:
- Be clear about where you want to go and how long you want to stay there—The more detailed itinerary you put together, the more accurate your pricing will be, allowing you to streamline to meet your budget.
- Make your reservation as early as possible—This is most about ensuring that you have as many choices as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that the coach that best suits your needs will not be available and you’ll have to settle for something a little bigger (and more expensive) or that includes amenities you don’t need.
- Pay attention to when you are traveling—If you have flexibility as to when you can travel, consider taking your trip during periods where there’s less demand—you’ll usually have more options and can avoid paying for something you don’t need. In addition, if you can travel in the middle of the week, rather than the weekend, you’ll usually pay less.
- Carefully manage your passenger list—Your goal should be to minimize the number of empty seats on your bus—you’ll be paying for them, so you want someone to fill them. Be realistic about the number of people you can reasonably expect to participate. In the long run, you may be better turning a few people away than paying for empty seats. If the trip is that popular, you can book another one soon and know that you can take a larger group.
- Look for ways to minimize additional fees and costs—Check with your hotel or with any of the venues you plan to visit to see if there’s free or reduced cost parking nearby. Ask if the hotel provides discounts or free lodging for bus drivers.
With a Charter Bus from BusRental.com, You Can Let Your Voice Be Heard
BusRental.com, the largest charter bus network in the nation, has set the standard in the charter bus industry for more than three decades, providing quality coaches to more than 21,000 events each year. To learn more about the different coaches in our fleet or to get a free quote, call 1-888-502-3458 to talk to one of our experienced agents.