Comfort, convenience and time saving factors are just a few things you consider when planning a trip. More isn’t always better and one-size doesn’t always fit all. In fact, with travel, groups can number from few to many, and based on the size of your group, there is a vehicle size that is just right for you. Typically, when you have between 20 and 30 people, a mini bus is the small package you’re looking for and it can really be a good thing.
What is a mini bus?
A mini bus1 is also called a microbus or mini coach, but whichever name it goes by, most people agree it’s the bus size that falls been a van and a motor coach. Depending on the bus company, the number of seats can range from 8 to 30, and at US Coachways we provide different sized minibuses that can seat a maximum of 24 to 30 or 35 passengers.
Minibuses have gained in popularity in recent years, and according to the American Bus Association2, about 35% of motorcoach companies operate mini buses today.
When should I rent a mini bus?
A mini bus is perfect for mid sized groups going on short trips. Let’s look at a couple scenarios where renting a mini bus is ideal: weddings, corporate events, church outings, sports teams and social group excursions.
Mini Buses for Weddings
For large weddings where people fly in from out of town, many brides and grooms reserve a block of hotel rooms at discounted rates. Family and friends reimburse them, and it provides out-of-town company with a way to enjoy staying at the same location. Of course, hotels have shuttle services, and while it may seem plausible to have the hotel shuttle your guests, you usually find that hotels run shuttles on their own schedules. Hotel shuttle services are geared toward transporting hotel guests from the airport, train stations or other arrival spots to the hotel. They are not set up to accommodate wedding itineraries and large numbers of wedding guests through their shuttle service.
Leaving guests to fend for themselves and arrive on their own often results in a string of problems. Travelers run into traffic congestion, get lost or once they arrive, spend time searching for parking places.
When you charter a mini bus to bring guests to your ceremony and reception, you are the one in charge of the schedule. Our customer services representatives at US Coachways can help you tailor a schedule so your guests arrive at the right place and right time and no one has to miss your big moments. We have the route mapped out, know when roadways are busy and can use alternate routes if needed to avoid traffic jams and congested roadways. You won’t have to worry about guests straggling into the church while you’re exchanging vows, or even worse, family and friends who miss the ceremony all together because their Uber share ride was late or took the long way to get there.
Multiple Trips to Meet Your Needs
A mini bus can make multiple trips and ensure everyone arrives on time, and after the wedding, it can bring your friends and family to the reception. As the evening winds down, your charter can transport guests back to their hotel rooms and you don’t have to worry about designating drivers to make sure travel is safe nor worry about anyone driving drunk behind the wheel.
If you’re a corporate event planner, you’re not the first planner to stress over how you’re going to get co-workers or clients to a conference on time. Group activities are all about coordination and one of the biggest barriers to timely arrival are when attendees lack an organized means of transportation and have to wing it on their own.
You can probably envision this scenario: the conference is about to start and the event planner notices the room is half empty, yet the reservation information indicated a head count that warranted this specific size of meeting room. Attendees start trickling in while the conference is underway, searching for their seats, making noise and trying to ascertain which speaker is talking on the program. Late arrivals are an event planner’s nightmare. They disrupt the conference and can easily be avoided by making transportation arrangements in advance for attendees to ride in mini buses that take them to the conference on time.
By renting mini buses, you can work out the details for pickup and drop off locations, necessary arrival times and times for departure when the conference is over. Professional drivers are trained to navigate traffic safely and use routes that save time. You can calculate the number of mini buses you will need. Because they’re smaller vehicles than coaches, they fill up faster. Therefore they can leave and return more quickly, providing efficient turnover times for coming and going to the conference hall.
Churches with active youth groups like to plan outings for their youth ministries. Outings are often short trips that:
- Provide community service
- Offer youth group choirs opportunities to perform
- Encourage fellowship by doing something fun
- Minister to people in need
When there are 20 or more teenagers in your group, renting a mini bus offers significant advantages over carpooling or using a church bus or van. For one thing, you have a professional driver, who is well trained and experienced in driving groups of kids and adults. Your driver knows the best routes, can predict what traffic will be like and you can gain peace of mind knowing your group is in safe hands.
Charter bus companies ensure that drivers are fully licensed and well trained. Passenger carriers, including mini buses must meet the requirements and regulations set by federal authorities3, such as having a commercial driver’s license to carry passengers, and having a valid medical examiner’s certificate and a clean driving record.
Unlike a church member driving a church van or bus, a professional mini bus driver can rest once the group arrives at its destination. The driver does not have to fulfill several roles and stay busy with the group’s activities, which means your driver will be rested, fresh and not fatigued when making the trip back.
As far as amenities go, your church van or bus probably has air conditioning, and that’s about all. A chartered mini bus has high leather back seats and televisions, and the larger mini buses4 have WiFi, DVD and CD players and an on-board restroom. You can sit comfortably in spacious seats and also have enough room to move easily down the aisles.
Across the nation, private sports teams have cropped up for soccer, football, little league baseball and other sport activities. Since team spirit is a large factor in winning games, there’s nothing like traveling together to reach the game venue. Along the way, coaches can talk strategies, provide encouragement and light a fire under the team’s desire to win. Let your cheering begin during the ride and boost your winning attitude long before you reach the stadium.
Parents and coaches can relax when a professional driver deals with the stress of traffic and parking. You can make your time together work to your advantage and focus on winning.
Whether you’re taking a group trip to a casino, making a trip to a winery, or planning a bachelor/bachelorette party or some other special celebration, there’s a particular type of mini bus, called a party bus that is a great size to rent and perfect for the occasion. It’s large enough for everyone to travel together but also intimate with its perimeter seating so travelers can spend time and chat with each other along the way.
Festive occasions call for festive planning, and you can go all out when you rent a party bus because your party begins the minute you step into the vehicle. Talk about good things coming in small packages… party buses have luxury amenities such as Alpine surround sound systems, CD changers to listen to your own music, and large screen TV’s and DVD players. Some party buses even have wet bars and onboard restrooms. Be sure to find out about amenities when you rent the bus so you can have all the luxuries.
What more could you ask for to get the party going and make your social event a time that everyone will remember?
Get out, have fun and make your ride part of the wonderful memory!
Reserve Your Mini Bus
If you’re used to reserving online, you’ll find it’s easy to book your minibus through our websites interactive form. Just fill in the information and we’ll give you a quote. US Coachways looks forward to helping you plan safe, affordable and enjoyable travel. If you have questions or would like help with coordinating your trip, give us a call at 1-888-340-9122. Feel free to ask questions. Our friendly agents are happy to explain available options and are always ready to help.
Mini BusSpherical Image – RICOH THETA