Charter bus rentals carry 631 million passengers each year across the U.S. and Canada alone. There are currently 16,000 shuttles working for charter bus companies in the United States. There are a number of factors most travelers look for in a charter bus company. Most begin with cost, and while price should certainly factor into your decision, we’d like to highlight a few other aspects of charter bus rentals you may not have thought of yet.
How to choose a charter bus carrier:
The size of your group will help determine a lot about your travel options. Charter bus rentals come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from the six person caravan to the 56 passenger deluxe motorcoach. Get an accurate headcount first and foremost so you can be sure the charter bus company you choose has the vehicle best suited for your trip.
Does the charter bus company have a track record for timely departures and arrivals? Frequent travelers will likely know all too well the pain of a perfectly planned trip that’s held up by transportation. Over three million people brave commercial flights every day and we all know how unreliable they can be. Let’s not even mention the agonies of taking a taxi – – particularly during rush hour. Before you rent a charter bus, ask about the company’s reputation for reliability. Many charter bus companies will have systems in place to track their departures and arrivals and help them avoid unnecessary delays in traffic.
Hand-in-hand with reliability is safety. It’s important that you feel you can trust any charter bus rentals you take to get you to your destination both on-time and safely. A safe charter bus is one whose driver and company can be counted on to put their passenger’s safety first. Charter bus rentals are like all other vehicles in that they require regular maintenance and upkeep. Often times when you come across charter bus rentals whose price is drastically lower than the competition, it means the company is cutting corners to save costs. Those corners may very well be in bus upkeep such as keeping the brakes and tires in peak condition. Finding out about a company’s safety record is a prudent step in sorting through potential charter bus rentals for your trip.
Travel can be stressful enough without your transportation driving you through discomfort. When planning a longer trip in particular, you want to make sure your charter bus rental has the amenities you need to make your trip as comfortable as possible. Often times it’s the small things that create the most strain, from uncomfortable seats to swings in temperature. Your charter bus should be the cherry on top of your trip, not the downfall.
While we’re talking about comfort and cherries on sundaes, let’s talk amenities. Arguably the most fun part of choosing charter bus rentals, the amenities on board your charter bus can make even the most road-weary traveler take notice. Depending on the charter bus company and rental you choose, you may have access to on-board WiFi, DVD players with flat screen TVs, satellite television, power outlets, restrooms, and even a kitchen galley. Some amenities may be essential (e.g. flat screen TVs) and others may be negotiable, but all are welcome. Look for a charter bus company who can get you not only where you want to go but how you want to get there. What amenities are important to you and your travel companions?
Now that we’ve talked about what makes a great charter bus rental, we’d also like to mention that buses are by no means the only rentals most charter bus companies offer. If you’re a smaller party looking to travel in style, you may want to consider a stretch limousine in place of a charter bus rental. Certain types of larger limousine can carry as many as 20 passengers. For much smaller parties, there are also town cars, SUVs, and luxury vans available.
It goes back to the first item on our list: group size. The number of passengers will determine the options you have available, from there you can narrow down by reliability, safety, comfort, amenities.