Frosh is one of the most memorable times of anyone’s college or university experience. It’s also the first exposure new students get to their campus lifestyle and to their peers. But before the week begins, they’ll probably be feeling nervous about the experience; they may have just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone or they’re understandably nerve-racked about kickstarting the next chapter of their academic career. As a frosh organizer, it’s your job to help them feel comfortable and ensure they kick off their year in style.
Why rent a bus for frosh
Apart from making sure froshies have an awesome time, it’s also your goal as a student organizer to create a safe and social environment for your freshmen. Student charter bus rentals accomplish both of those things. Since many students are new to the area and won’t know how to get around, a bus keeps them from having to scramble their way around the city trying to keep up, not to mention that it’ll keep them in a safe. And perhaps most importantly, the bus ride is an instant bonding experience – frosh-goers will immediately make new friends just by sitting down.
Types of frosh trips
The frosh party bus is as versatile as it is fun. It can escort your big group between bars during a classic frosh activity: The pub crawl. (In the process, it eliminates drinking and driving.) If your frosh includes a day trip to a nearby town or an afternoon at the beach, the bus is the best vehicle to get everyone there at the same time. And if you’ve got an outdoor activity lined up at a nearby park, you can carry all your equipment or gear in the bus’s roomy undercarriage storage while getting everyone and everything there on time.
Bus selection for frosh
Every frosh is different, and the bus you select for your event will depend on your needs. If, as mentioned above, you require storage for equipment, then the coach bus is the one for you. Of course, the classic yellow school bus will make your students feel like, well, students — and for shorter, no-frills-type trips, it’s a great option. For smaller groups, the minibus or mini coach bus may be more cost-effective — and easier to park.
How much does it cost?
Each bus has its own cost structure, which you can learn more about here. In general, the school bus is the most cost effective, starting at $81/hour. The most luxurious option, the coach bus, starts at $115/hour. But you can learn more about choosing the bus that’s right for you here.
Where there’s fun, there’s usually money that’s been collected to fuel it. If your school doesn’t fully fund your frosh activities, you may have to turn to fundraising to finance your welcome week. We’re talking about students that aren’t made of money, after all. If you go that route, consult our guide to financing your bus rental before anything else. We put it in easy-to-understand terms with an infographic.
When you should book your bus
We typically advise large group event organizers to book their bus rental six months ahead of time. Frosh is one of those things that happens every year at the same time. Depending on when the organizing committee gets together to plan the following year’s event, you may be able to hit that goal. Frosh Week is always the first week of school, in late August or early September. So you should reach out to Bus.com before the previous school year ends and the committee breaks for the summer.
Minors, Waivers, Medical Forms, Chaperones
If you do rent a bus, it’s important to follow some steps to ensure the students’ safety and that you’re doing things legitimately. Underage drinking is not permitted on our buses, so if your group is comprised mainly of minors, you may want to consider a dry frosh, or at least dry activities for the ones that use the bus. Each student should have identification with them at all times, and each bus carrying minors should have at least two chaperones on it. Even if your bus has no minors, a good rule of thumb is to have two frosh leaders on every bus.
Drinking isn’t usually permitted on our buses, but to be sure, confirm with your booking specialist, since it always depends on the bus provider’s rules. Again, if there are minors on the bus, there should be no drinking. Doing the party bus thing with drinks flowing can be fun, but it can also go very wrong. If someone gets sick on the bus, the clean-up fee will probably come out of the deposit (typically around $200). To be safe, it may be best to avoid alcohol during bus rides completely. Trust us: Froshies will find other opportunities to drink!
If your frosh schedule includes a trip to a big event that partners with Bus.com, and you don’t have enough people to fill one bus, you could consider the convenient rideshare option, wherein you book individual seats alongside other passengers rather than the entire bus for your group. Consult our guide to learn more about that option.
Decorating your bus
A big part of frosh week is school pride — you’re welcoming in a whole new class of students and they need to know from day one that they made the right choice. Announce yourselves to the city — and taunt your rival schools — by wrapping your bus in school colours, your school logo, or your sports team name. You could even organize a contest to come up with the best bus wrapping design!
Best frosh activities on the road
Again, it’s all about school pride! Teach your new schoolmates all the songs and chants everyone else already knows — that way they’ll know what they’re doing by the time they show up to their first school football or basketball game. Oh, and don’t forget about bashing your rival schools. As loyal as your frosh should be by week’s end, they should also be fully certified in chirping all the other schools.
Loading the bus
It’s important to consider loading zones around the city and around campus — places you can legally leave your bus sitting and running while students board. Make sure to check all the signs beforehand and build out a plan for pick-ups and drop-offs.
Communications on the road
How will you communicate with your group while on the road? Well, kids these days are pretty into their phones. So why not start there? Set up a group chat through iMessage or Facebook, or have everyone download Slack and message there. Share all important documents through their new school email addresses to get them accustomed to using them. Finally, create a fun hashtag for the week — you know they’ll be posting snaps with their new friends all over their socials! #BestFroshEver