If you are taking students on an educational or performance tour, chances are good you’llfind yourself on a coach bus for transportation either to your destination or to get around once you’ve arrived.
Here are seven things to consider before climbing aboard that will help your group make the most of your time on the road.
1. Bus size and day groups - Make sure you know the capacity of your buses. Most buses carry either 47, 55, or 56 passengers. Ask your student travel consultant so you can plan ahead for the best way to seat your group if you’re using multiple buses.
2. Electronics - A day of touring and photo taking can zap a phone battery quickly. Until on-board technology catches up with our usage demands, taking steps to make your battery last longer will be worthwhile. While some buses have outlets for recharging, they cannot be guaranteed. Here are some great tips on How to Make Your Smartphone Battery Last Longer.
3. Screen Time - Make the most of your time by watching movies related to your educational goals and the sights you’re visiting. For example, a trip to Washington, D.C. could feature the film We Fight to Be Free about the defining moments of George Washington’s career - perfect for a ride out to Mount Vernon. Using bus time for official films of the sights you will visit also gives groups more time to enjoy the grounds instead of sitting in a theater when you arrive. Most buses have TV monitors and a DVD player, but check with your student travel consultant if this is a feature you want to guarantee.
4. Safety first - Talk to your students about on-board behaviors in advance to ensure safety, like staying seated, leaving the aisle clear, and keeping volume down. With limited sleep and adrenaline at work while on tour, even the most well-behaved kids can benefit from a review and sometimes need reminders from chaperones while on the road.
5. Eating on board - Check with your driver, but most allow food and beverages on board. Ask your travelers to exercise caution with anything made of glass and avoid open cans and cups for obvious reasons. You also should consider any allergies that could cause a reaction if a person is exposed on board. It’s helpful and courteous to clean up before leaving the bus by passing around a garbage bag and dismissing students by row after checking the area.
6. A trusted bus company - A friendly, safety-minded driver, a bus that is inspected according to federal safety standards, and an insured charter bus company are guarantees when using NationsClassroom’s partner companies. These relationships provide you with fair prices, experienced drivers, and buses with the features that will best meet the needs of your tour group. For this reason, it’s highly encourage that school districts allow NationsClassroom to work with our preferred partners and not restrict your group with a predetermined list of charter bus companies.
7. Good service and gratuities - It is customary to tip your driver for a job well done. NationsClassroom tours are all-inclusive, which means tips are covered. Beware: not all tour companies include gratuities. This is something to confirm so you’re not stuck passing a hat at the end of your tour.
Motor coach transporation is a step up from the yellow buses we're used to riding during field trips. Hopefully these planning tips will make it even better. Enjoy the ride!
If you are new to student travel, download this free eBook that is filled with advice for planning a meaninful experience for your students that will help you get the approval you need for your educational or performance tour.