Posted on May 28, 2020 in Transportation
Tips for Renting a Charter Bus for School Field Trips
When you’re traveling with kids, you have to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row. From gathering permission slips and organizing lunches to recruiting chaperones and corralling everyone onto a bus– it can be stressful. That’s why having a thorough game plan is always needed when traveling with minors.
Shofur can help you organize a big part of your game plan — the transportation! Whether you’re traveling with a school group or a summer camp, a charter bus can make your trip a little easier. A Shofur rental expert will help you pick the type of charter bus you’ll need for your trip. We’ve also compiled a list of handy charter bus transportation tips to keep in mind when you have kids in tow.
1. Explore your bus options
A school bus is a standard, easy way for students and campers to travel. These buses can usually be reserved quickly and can be efficient for short trips. However, they can quickly become uncomfortable for long-distance trips or outings in major metro areas with hours of traffic. Having your camp troop stuck on a hot bus in Atlanta traffic doesn’t sound fun. Neither does keeping dozens of middle school students entertained while traveling between New York City and Philadelphia during rush hour. Instead, book a modern motorcoach for your longer trips to keep kids entertained and more comfortable throughout the ride.
Shofur has access to a wide range of charter bus models for groups of all sizes. Choosing the best type of charter bus for your group of kids will usually be determined by your group size. We recommend a minibus for groups of 25 or fewer people, while charter buses are best for larger groups. When choosing your model of bus, keep in mind that minibuses have fewer storage options and don’t have onboard restrooms. A full-size charter bus may be a better choice if you’re traveling long distances and have little ones who may need a bathroom break mid-trip.
2. Consider safety and mobility needs
School buses are a reliable way to travel, but charter buses can offer both comfort and safety. Charter buses rented through Shofur include features to ensure every passenger has a safe ride that exceeds all DOT regulations. However, like school buses, some models of charter buses don’t include safety belts. That said, if you’re traveling with children and safety belts are a must-have on your list of features, let your reservation expert know at the time of booking.
We can also reserve ADA-accessible charter buses to securely help passengers board who can’t transfer from mobility devices. The ADA-accessible buses in our network may also come equipped with hand railings and wider aisles so everyone can have a safe yet comfortable travel experience.
3. Request amenities for easier travel
Charter bus rentals can come with a variety of amenities that make traveling with kids a little less stressful. You can request entertainment options like WiFi and TVs with DVD players to keep kids busy and to avoid the dreaded “we’re bored!” Put on a movie to entertain young kids, or allow older kids to stream their favorite media on their mobile devices. If you want to engage in educational activities while on your bus, students can bring assignments onboard or complete online work with the bus’s WiFi and power outlets.
4. Ask about your driver
All of the drivers in Shofur’s network are professional, have completed a thorough background check, and have cleared drug screening. (Though you may want to request a driver with experience transporting children if you have a very large and rambunctious group.) We can also do our best to find you a driver with special certifications or clearances required by your local government, school board, or youth organization.
5. Look at long-term transportation options
Need recurring charter bus service for your school’s athletic games or weekly volunteer events? Our long-term shuttle experts are available at 1-844-881-3612 and can draw up a contract to meet your exact travel needs. Setting up a long-term contract is easier than booking separate trips every time you need a charter bus. A recurring service can vary depending on your needs and Shofur is happy to get you a charter bus once a week, once a month, or even once a day.
6. Think about your travel dates and destinations
Charter bus availability fluctuates depending on when and where you plan to travel. Spring and summer are the busy seasons for groups traveling with kids, and this can cause charter bus availability to dwindle and prices to rise. Major cities like Los Angeles, Orlando, and Washington, DC are also more likely to see shortages in availability due to their popularity. You’ll want to be on top of securing field trip transportation during these busy times around major cities. Start your booking process at least six months in advance to ensure you get the best type of bus for your field trip.
7. Organize payment well ahead of time
Although standard payment with a credit card is quick and easy, we understand that reserving services with purchase orders, contracts, or additional documentation is sometimes necessary. Shofur can work with your school or youth organization’s payment process with prior notice. Be sure you notify your reservation expert that you may need to provide alternative forms of payment through your school district or organization. Processing these payments can take additional time, so be sure to plan your field trip or kid-friendly outing as far in advance as possible.
8. Strategically seat your chaperones
You’ll need to have a headcount for your kids and chaperones before you book your bus. Once everyone is accounted for, you’ll probably want to assign 1 chaperone to each group of 10-12 children (or any other ratio you see fit). As everyone boards the bus, seat chaperones with their respective group of kids. With chaperones spread evenly throughout the bus, you’ll be able to supervise each kid and make sure they’re having a safe and enjoyable trip.
9. Pack a carry-on
Whether you have students bring their own bag or have a chaperone keep track of the personal items, you’ll want to have all the essentials inside your charter bus’s cabin. This can include snacks and drinks, games, electronic devices with chargers, and educational materials like workbooks. If permission slips indicate that a student requires special accommodations like medication, be sure these are easily accessible within the bus’s cabin too. Reserve luggage bays under the bus for large items that you won’t need to access during the drive.
Book Your Shofur Charter Bus Today
Educators, athletic coaches, and camp counselors can count on Shofur for all of their group transportation needs. We want you and your group of children to enjoy both the destination and the journey there! Check out our charter bus rental guide for more information, or give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-436-8719 to discuss your trip. Your reservation expert will get you a personalized, no-obligation quote for your outing.
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