Renting a charter bus is a great way to ensure good transportation for your group’s trip. While the process is overall very simple, there are a few common mistakes that you can avoid to have the best experience possible.
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1. Not planning in detail
The most crucial part of renting a charter bus is the planning stage. Before reaching out to get a quote make sure to plan your trip down every detail as much as possible. Not only will this give you the most accurate and best quote, but it will help prevent unforeseen costs and hiccups down the road. Last minute changes can be pricey and drivers are often not authorized to make changes. Rental companies are also often able to help you tweak details to get you the best price too, but this will not be possible if you do not have specifics for your trip planned out. You need to make sure you know your needs for the actual trip, how many people will be joining you and any amenities that you require. At BookBuses, we can work together to iron out all the details, potentially saving you between 10% and 30%, and make sure that you get everything you need for your best price.
2. Not adding enough buffer in planning
It is also very important to leave a buffer in your planning. This can mean several things but the most important one is having enough time. Plan as far ahead as possible to leave yourself enough time to figure everything out, especially if changes need to be made. Not only does booking last minute cause a higher cost, but you will have a lot less options available to you than if you booked in advance. We recommend you book 8 weeks in advance. If you are planning a trip in the high season or for a national holiday, then try to book it 4-6 months in advance to give enough buffer.
Also try to give yourself a buffer in planning the details. Allowing some of them to have more leeway will allow us to optimize the details to get you the best price whether it is a school bus, charter bus or party bus.
3. Not looking over the terms
Not looking over the terms or even just skimming the contract can lead to misunderstandings leading to you potentially not getting your perfect trip. You need to make time to fully go over the contract and to double check that everything is correct and present in the document. Be sure that the contract states the details of your trip and accounts for all your needs to prevent problems later on. Also be sure to check any policies that may affect your group including cancellation and refund policies as well as things like service fees that add to your total cost, what can or cannot be brought on board, or alcohol policies.
4. Not checking yelp reviews
Do your background research on the rental companies that you are considering. Yelp reviews are a great way to get real customer opinions on the entire experience (link to bookbuses reviews or add in). This will help prevent you from getting an unreliable company and avoid any pitfalls that other customers have already fallen into.
5. Not calculating the real price
When determining your overall price, be sure to include everything. This should include things like tolls you may encounter, cleaning fees and the tip. Do not let yourself be surprised by fees that you could have easily accounted for ahead of time. It is possible to get all of these included in your quote, just ask the rental company if they will and read the contract to know of any potential fees.
Incorporating your tip into the bill can be nice when trying to stick to a budget and having everything in one place. You also will not have to carry large amounts of cash, but not every rental company will do it, so be sure to ask. It is common that tip for short charters and school bus rentals should be around 10-20%. However, for longer charters or multi-day trips, it is common for the tip to be $1 or $2 per person/per day. This can be a large cost that adds to your overall budget, so it is crucial that you think of it ahead of time.
6. Do not be rude to the driver
It should go without saying, but do not be rude to your driver. This goes beyond just the interactions you have with them, but also following all safety procedures and directions they give. The drivers are well trained to get give you the safest and best possible trip, but it is important to follow any directions. This includes not walking around the bus when it is moving, not letting your group get too loud or rowdy and any other safety procedures. Pay special attention if the weather or road situation has gotten bad. In those cases, the drive will know best and will make sure that your group is staying as safe as possible.
Also, be sure that your preferred route is decided upon ahead of time in the contract. This will prevent you from feeling the need to interrupt the driver. You never want to distract them from the road so that they can always give you the safest experience.
7. Do not assume anything
The single most important mistake to avoid is assuming anything. Do not automatically assume anything is understood or allowed. Always ask questions to avoid running into any pitfalls later. What you may find obvious about your needs or group may not be obvious to the rental company who does not know your specifics and works with many groups at a time. Each charter bus rental will also have a different set of rules, especially concerning what you can or cannot bring on board. Alcohol is a big one that is different for each company. If allowed, it may come with an extra cleaning fee or amount added to the security deposit, so it is crucial that your group doesn’t assume that it is allowed on board.
Talk With Us To Ensure Your Best Trip
Talk with one of our expert travel consultants to plan your next booking. Together, we can plan your perfect experience and make sure nothing is forgotten. Call (646) 801 6280 or fill out the form above to get started.