Traveling with your sports team by bus has the power to create camaraderie amongst teammates that few other things can. If you’re planning on hitting the road with your fellow athletes sometime soon, read our guide to renting a bus for your sports team to simplify your group transportation!

When to book your bus

As soon as you know you need one! Team schedules are always distributed in advance, so as soon as you get your schedule delivered to your inbox, you’ll have a good idea of which away games and tournaments may require a bus. If your budget doesn’t allow for up-front payment, you can take advantage of our handy Book Now, Pay Later option which allows you to reserve a rental immediately, but only dole out the funds closer to your departure date. This would be especially useful for tournaments, where your team manager might have to collect additional money that wasn’t part of the original season budget for the season.

Bus Types

Coach Bus

Best for: Long trips with players, coaches, and parents. That’s right, when the whole team and families are along for the ride, only the coach bus can get the job done. The coach has plenty of overhead storage for luggage and space down below to fit everyone’s gear, plus some team practice gear you might not otherwise be able to bring along on those out-of-town weekends. Plus, the coach’s leather seats and air conditioning keep everyone happy, and an audio system allows the coach, er, the team manager, to address the whole squad with important updates.

Mini Coach Bus

Best for: Players only. For teams traveling far with lots of equipment, but leaving the team’s supporters to fend for themselves, a mini coach provides most of the amenities of the regular coach, but is more intimate — or as we’d put it: optimized for team bonding. School teams work well on the mini coach. Once you reach your destination, the mini coach is nimble enough to carry everyone from the hotel to the field for all the games.

Charter bus rentals for sports teams.

School Bus

Best for: Local trips. Say the school team needs to get to an away, but in-town, game. Load up the school bus. The big yellow bus is efficient for short trips, and it’s outfitted with advanced safety features. With a school bus, capacity is typically around 47, but teams should ensure they can leave a few empty rows of seats in the back to carry gear since there’s no additional storage.

Minibus

Best for: Small teams with minimal gear. Say a track or swim team heading to a local meet. The minibus carries 21 people on average and is short on storage. The minibus would also be a perfect secondary vehicle to carry a coaching staff when the players’ bus is full, or to carry a group of parents to trail the team bus.

How to transport sports equipment

Renting a bus is not only a great way to get the team from point A to point B. It’s also a great way to transport team equipment and keep it all in one spot. Just make sure you pack everything in safely. For one, don’t just toss equipment into the aisles. It’s not only annoying for passengers, it’s dangerous and illegal. Our coach buses have undercarriage with enough space to fit any standard equipment you would need to bring along. Mini coach buses can accommodate gear as well, but if you’re packing heavy, you’ll want to stay away from a school bus or minibus. Check out our guide to choosing a bus type to find out which one is best for you.

Charter bus rentals for sports tournaments.

Different types of sports trips

Tournament travel

Anyone that grew up playing sports still counts the out-of-town tourneys as some of the best memories of their lives. On these trips, the bus is everything. First, it gets you and your teammates to the tournament site — and when it’s just you and your best friends on a bus, the longer the trip the better. Then, your team bus shuttles you from your hotel to each game. Whether you get to celebrate a win on the bus ride back, or the whole bus turns quiet after a devastating loss, there’s no better place to be postgame than surrounded by your teammates.

Away games

Getting on the bus was a routine part of going to school back in the day. But nothing beats cutting out early because you played on one of the sports teams! You’d say sayonara to final period, and file onto the big four-wheeler to head to your rival school for the big game. Whether you were a headphones-in-drown-out-the-noise type, or you’d ham it up with your teammates the whole ride, taking the bus to an away game was a prime stage for getting game-ready.

Tailgating

Some of the best sports memories we have are the games we didn’t even play in. Instead, we rallied together and showed up to support our friends, brothers, sisters, or sometimes even another school team. For non-players, the bus ride to the field or arena is especially rowdy — and that doesn’t end when you get there. Filing out of the bus 50 fans deep not only intimidates the other team’s fans, it launches your epic tailgate party.

Group transportation for sports teams.

Inspiration trips to pro sports games

True sports fans travel for their teams. If you support a big league team that plays miles away, it’s basically your responsibility to organize a road trip to see them. And if you support the home team, then you’ve got to get out there and fill up the opposing buildings with your team’s fans. Following your favourite team with dozens of others that bleed your colours is an experience everyone should have at least once.

Creating an itinerary for your team

Consider this the playbook for your team’s travel. Your players should know that showing up to the bus on time and ready to go is as important as being at their position when the game starts. Draw up an itinerary that both players and parents can follow with exact departure times for each game or team outing.

Funding your team’s transportation

Chartering a bus is the most cost-efficient option for transporting large groups like a team. But it’s still an expense that needs to be funded. If you can’t work it into the existing team budget, you may want to consider fundraising to pay for your team’s travels. Alternatively, why not find a local sponsor? Your sponsor covers the costs of your bus, and in turn you could use your bus as an advertisement on wheels with our bus wrap option. Speaking of…

Wrap your sports bus

What better way to show team spirit than decking out your bus in team colours? Let everyone on the highway and at the stadium know exactly who’s coming with a custom bus wrap. Turn your bus into a rolling team mascot by outfitting it in your team colours and logo. Talk to your Bus.com booking specialist to see if you can make it happen. But first, check out our ultimate guide to bus wrapping for inspiration!