Dani Henion is an Atlanta-based freelance writer for GOGO Charters sharing travel stories, tips, and exciting destinations.
7 Travel Tips for Chartering Corporate Group Transportation
Planning an event, whether it's a team-building trip, an outing for key clients or executives, or a conference, takes an enormous amount of organization. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the to-dos piling onto your list, take a deep breath and remember that your work is worthwhile.
Just how important are your planning efforts? Conferences and special client and partner events help build pipeline, retain customers and contribute to the overall perception of your brand. Team-building exercises at company retreats can rally employees and leaders around their shared goals, uncover people’s hidden talents and give everyone a chance to reflect on ways to improve team performance.
In this guide, we’ll share our best tips for booking the right charter bus for your next corporate event or team-building trip.
1. Gather your trip details before you book.
Before you book your transportation, make sure you know the pickup and drop off dates, times and addresses. You should also have an approximate number of attendees in mind, as well as the kinds of amenities and accommodations your group will need.
Bonus tip: Compile all of your trip’s details in an online document and share it with your planning committee. If possible, print important documents, such as hotel confirmations and contact information, in case your access to cell phone service is limited at any time during your trip.
2. One size doesn’t fit all.
Do you need a large bus or a compact minibus — or multiple buses for shuttling? Before booking, check with the charter company to help you determine what size bus will best suit your group.
For example, you might need a corporate minibus rental if your group:
- Is traveling a short distance
- Has fewer than 25 people
- Doesn’t need space for luggage
- Is traveling through the heart of a dense city like NYC or Boston
However, a full-sized charter bus may be a better fit if:
- You’re traveling a long distance
- Have a large group of employees
- Need space for luggage and equipment
Bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to delegate! Your planning committee members can give you feedback on your plans, contribute ideas and uncover considerations for your trip you may have missed.
3. The further in advance you book, the better.
Booking your rental further out gives you the best selection of charter bus sizes and amenity options. For corporate team-building trips, we recommend booking at least three to six months in advance.
Bonus tip: Set up a timeline for the planning process of your team-building trip, and check it often to make sure you’re on track. Afraid of missing a deadline? Schedule reminders in a calendar or to-do app, and share the timeline with members of your planning committee.
4. You get way more than just a set of wheels.
Depending on the type of charter bus you rent, you can request amenities to keep your group comfortable and entertained along the way. If you are booking a full-sized motorcoach, you may request WiFi, power outlets, television monitors, DVD players and an on-board restroom. Most also come with luggage bays underneath the bus and overhead compartments above the seats.
Aside from restrooms, some minibuses have the same amenity options as full-sized models. However, you will need to check with your reservation specialist to make sure the amenities you want are available for your trip dates.
For groups with members who have physical disabilities or limitations, ask for wheelchair-accessible bus rentals. Every charter bus rental company in the United States is required by law to provide ADA-compliant motorcoaches within 48 hours upon request.
If any attendees have physical disabilities or injuries, ensure that every destination on your itinerary has wheelchair ramps, elevators, and any other accommodations they may need. Taking the time to check on accessibility beforehand will ensure everyone in your group can participate in activities and have a good time.
Bonus tip: You’ve booked a bus with amenities to keep attendees comfortable and entertained. Go one step further by creating a packing list for them. Will it take several hours to get to your destination? Advise group members to bring tablets, e-readers, laptops, books, neck pillows, light jackets and other small items that can be stowed in the bus’s overhead compartments.
5. Food and drinks are allowed on most buses.
Riders can enjoy snacks and drinks on most charter buses, but we advise you to check with your reservation specialist first. Your particular bus operator may have special rules about what is and is not allowed onboard their buses. If possible, bring an empty plastic bag with you so your group members can throw away wrappers and containers.
Bonus tip: Collect food preference and allergy info from your attendees. You can create a survey for free using Google Forms and send it out to everyone on the attendee list. Consider bringing a variety of snacks and small water bottles for the bus ride. Strategically place them in several of your bus’s overhead compartments so your group members can easily access them while the bus is moving.
6. Pricing depends on the details of your trip.
Wondering how much a charter bus for corporate events costs? If you want to first get an idea of the cost for budgeting purposes, check for pricing with the charter company of your choice. The final cost of your corporate charter bus rental will depend on how many people are in your group, the duration of your trip, mileage and more.
Bonus tip: Before calling to book a charter bus, it’s important to know how much of your budget you can allocate to transportation and other categories of the trip-planning process. Create a detailed budget breakdown for every part of your trip, including:
- Transportation (including bus rentals and parking fees)
- Food & drinks
- Supplies or equipment
- Admission or fees for group activities
Don’t forget to budget for unexpected expenses during your trip, such as tolls, spontaneous group activities, last-minute reservation changes and additional food and beverage needs.
7. Your driver is your new best friend.
One of the most common questions we get at GOGO Charters is, “Do I have to tip my driver?” Tipping is never required in the charter bus industry, but it is always appreciated. Your bus driver has the great responsibility of keeping your group safe, comfortable and on-time — which is no easy task when transporting large groups of people.
If you feel that your driver has done a particularly stellar job, a tip of 10-20% of your bus rental cost is an excellent way to say “Thanks for your hard work!” Gratuity is not included in the final bus rental bill, so many customers hand their driver a cash tip in an envelope at the end of their trip.
Bonus tip: Did you interact with particularly helpful hotel staff during the planning process? Have a planning committee that has gone above and beyond to make this trip a success? Let these people know they are appreciated with a handwritten note expressing your gratitude. They’ll be even more motivated to help you plan your next trip if they know how much their help means to you.