If you want to experience the beauty of the USA, a bus trip is your best bet. It’s a cost-effective, convenient, and fun way to travel as a group. This lets you enjoy the scenery, the company of family and friends or new acquaintances from an interest group, and the freedom to customize your itinerary.
The good news is that anyone can plan a bus trip. You don’t need to be an expert to organize a bus trip, but you can’t wing it, either. You need to pay attention to important details to ensure your trip goes without a hitch.
It doesn’t matter where you are. You can get a bus from Boston to Portland, Maine, or some other city that you wish to visit. However, you need to do some advance planning, and here are some tips to help you with that:
- Find A Reliable Bus Company
Since a lot is riding (literally!) on the bus, you must choose a reputable bus company. You can start by reading customer reviews to find out if they’re trustworthy and reliable.
National bus lines are typically reliable and cover every state. You may consider smaller bus companies as they’re more affordable. But if your group is large enough, you might want to consider chartering a bus for your group’s private use.
- Compare Prices And Amenities
After coming up with a shortlist of reputable bus companies, you should compare their prices and amenities, settling on the best deal for your bus trip. Some buses offer free WiFi or onboard entertainment systems. Some even have electrical outlets and a bathroom for your convenience, especially for long trips.
Make sure you get value for money by comparing prices and perks offered by reliable bus lines.
- Secure Tickets
It’s ideal to book tickets weeks in advance to guarantee the availability of seats and to save money as well. If you buy tickets on the day of your trip, the price will likely be higher.
Once you have finalized the details of your trip, it’s time to collect money from every group member so you can make reservations with your chosen bus company. It’s essential to collect the cost of tickets before making reservations to ensure they’re committed to joining the bus trip. Make a list of those who have paid for tickets to avoid any confusion on the day of the trip.
- Create a Travel Budget
It’s also essential to make a travel budget and stick to it. Your budget will depend on your group size, trip duration, itinerary, and convenience.
If your group would like to go sightseeing, determine the admission costs. If your group is on a budget, you might want to consider only those places that offer free admission or charge minimal fees such as parks and museums.
- Pack Smart
Packing efficiently ensures you have the items you need for the much-anticipated bus trip. The rule of thumb is to travel light. The more stuff you carry, the harder it is to move around.
Also, packing smart minimizes the impact of losing your valuables. For instance, don’t bring too many gadgets as these tend to be heavy and are prone to damage if they’re dropped or get wet. They could also distract you from fully enjoying the place you came to visit and the people you’re with.
- Prepare Activities During The Trip
Particularly for long-distance trips, it would be good to plan some activities to pass the travel time and for the members of the group to get to know each other better. It could be an ice-breaker activity for an interest group that’s getting together for the first time. It would be preferable if the activity is related to the group’s interest.
If there are children aboard, you could prepare kid-friendly games to keep them entertained during the trip, instead of being glued to their screens. You can try the memory game ‘I packed my bag’ which involves reciting a list of items to pack, which gets longer as each player adds to it.
Fun activities make the trip more pleasurable and before you know it, you’ve reached your destination!
Furthermore, you should pack for the weather. Bring rain gear if it’s likely to rain and warm clothes during the cold season.
In a nutshell, pack only what’s needed and leave out the excess.
- Set The Departure Time
It’s wise to schedule the departure time no less than 30 minutes to one hour before the bus leaves. This ensures the group has plenty of time to get settled before departure. As the bus waits for no one, everyone must be made aware of this departure time. It’s much better to sit on the bus for several minutes than be left behind.
If you’re raring to go on a trip but don’t have enough savings to spend on airfare, consider a bus trip with your family and friends. Although organizing it isn’t a walk in the park, following the practical tips listed above will help ensure your bus trip will be a fun and thrilling experience for every member.