The best kind of journey is one taken with a group. If you are planning a meaningful trip for yourself, one of the best ways to ensure the experience meets your expectations is to have family and friends along for the adventure. Of course, traveling in large groups makes everything else more complicated.
Besides planning to feed more people, please more people, and monitor more people, you must consider how to get everyone to and from the same location. Even if you’re not traveling too far, it’s always an easier option for everyone to travel together so you don’t have an entire group figuring out parking, timing, and directions.
Chartering a bus is a great solution to removing the hassle from your travel experience. However, the convenience can come at a cost. Make sure you know how many people are contributing to the cost of the bus, so you can get a clear picture on whether the investment for your trip is worthwhile.
The first thing you need to know is how many people are joining you. This will dictate what kind of bus you will require. A typical charter bus can accommodate 50+ people, while a standard minibus hits a maximum of 30.
Next you need to make sure you understand how you are going to be paying. If you are only making a day trip over a short distance, you might end up paying by hour. This can come between $125 and $180 dollars per hour depending on whether you are going with a charter bus or a minibus. If you are renting for an entire day or multiple days, you are likely looking at something between $1200 and $1700 per day. Either way, always inquire about a free quote before committing to any preset rates.
For the purposes of safe estimates, plan on the high side of costs. If you are chartering for three days with 40 people and you want to know what to expect before getting a quote, expect paying a minimum of $1700 per day. That will bring the three day cost to $5100. You should also plan on tipping the driver for their time and services. Adding a 15 percent tip, the total becomes $5865. Split 40 ways comes out to just under $150 per person.
A minibus should be expected to be less expensive. For the same three day trip it might be fair to lower your expectations to $1500. Three days and a 15 percent tip comes to $5175. If you are only able to get 20 people to take the trip with you, the cost would be $260 per person. If you could get the bus to its 30 person capacity it would lower the cost to just over $170 per person. So, while the total expense comes out lower, there may not be as much value depending on how many people you have splitting the cost.
Remember, these are only estimates and a quote from a company could end up looking quite different. The main thing you will have to account for when you are looking into chartering a bus is the cost of not having personal vehicles with you. There are some places where that would be a big enough problem to rule out the bus completely. Otherwise, if you need to get around, there will be the added costs of using public transportation, taxis, or rideshare services. If you will be moving around a lot, the value of getting a charter can be eaten up quickly.
Planning appropriately is essential for any trip. While chartering a bus takes many of the concerns off your hands, it also adds new ones that you need to consider. How long is this trip? Are you going to need to feed all of these people on the way there and back? Where is the best drop off location for your destination? What is near that location? How are you going to maintain contact with everybody so that nobody is late for the departure or return trip? The value is doubtless, as long as you are prepared to deal with these new obstacles.