The beauty of custom tours is that they’re just that: custom. You can create a tour of your city, take a trip across state lines, or spread out all over North America. Create a tour for high school kids, a seniors’ residence, or a special interest group. Your options are endless when you charter a private bus rental. It just takes a little planning, but that’s no surprise to seasoned tour operators. When you work with Bus.com, we’ll handle the transportation, scouring our North America-wide network of bus operators to find a company that’s best for your trip.

A tour for every group

For every interest, there’s a group. For every group, there’s a tour. And for every tour, there’s a bus. We’ve organized bus trips for a wide variety of groups, and can advise you on the optimal ground transportation for your tour.

Seniors’ Tours

Activity coordinators at seniors’ residence are always looking for tours that take into account the needs of their residents. Comfort is the name of the game with seniors tours. Passengers will be retired so take that into account when you make your bus selection. Coach buses are all equipped with on-board restrooms and comfortable seats. They can also include air-conditioning and audio-visual equipment. Specify the amenities you want when you request a bus rental quote.

Special Interest Groups

Catering to the needs of special interest groups takes a lot of research. Whether they’re Hollywood cinephiles or BBQ-buffs, these people know their stuff. Start by researching the must-sees for them so you don’t disappoint. You wouldn’t want to let down a hockey fan in Toronto by forgetting to stop at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Make sure you add a few surprises too, dazzling your guests with something unexpected. Whatever group you’re catering to, it’s important to demonstrate your knowledge, and that means starting your research early. Check out some of Bus.com’s must-see destinations for inspiration.

Famous movie locations in Los Angeles to visit with a tour group.

Student Tours

Booking transportation for a college tour or field trip seems daunting. It’s that nagging thing that too often gets sidelined in the planning process. But with a little forethought, the right tools, and some expert help, you can book a charter bus for your trip in a simple and budget-friendly fashion. Use the Bus.com quote generator to calculate the cost of your bus trip. Our booking specialists will guide you through the booking process, and our Ultimate Guide to Student Bus Rentals will provide helpful tips for transporting students, and particularly minors.

Let Your Imagination Run Wild!

Maybe you’re planning a bachelorette party. Maybe you’re looking to challenge you employees with a team building tour. Pick a theme. Do a little research. And plot an itinerary for a tour of America’s Weirdest Roadside Attractions, Famous Miami Movie Locations, or any other obsession you’ve got on your mind.

Why you Should Charter a Bus for Group Tours

The flexibility of itinerary, route, and schedule that charter buses offer allows you to create a truly tailored experience for your group. Want to leave at 6am? Sure. Want to take the scenic route? Of course. Want to stop at an incredibly specific attraction that only your group will enjoy? Let’s do it! Tell your booking specialists all your travel desires. They’ll help you set up your dream tour.

Rent charter buses for your custom group tour.

Drafting an Itinerary

Take all that research you’ve done and write up the first draft of your itinerary. Make sure it includes all the attractions you want to see, but don’t forget to include drive time, loading time, and rest time. You’ll want to give your group ample restroom opportunities, especially if you’re not traveling on a bus with an onboard bathroom. Once you have an idea of how long your trip will take, add fifteen minutes to every chunk of time you’re on the bus. For example: You’re planning a sports themed tour of Miami. Your pick up location is Miami International Airport. The bus will drive you to your hotel, take you to AmericanAirlines Arena, then off to lunch. After lunch, your bus will drive you to Marlins Park. Finally, you’ll head back to your hotel. For each bus trip—the airport to the hotel, the hotel to the arena, the arena to lunch, lunch to the park, and the park to the hotel—add 15 minutes to make sure you don’t fall behind schedule.

When to Book your Charter Bus

Book your bus anytime and we’ll find you a bus operator. But to get the best bus for your trip at the best price, book your bus at least six months in advance. As your tour date approaches and bus availability decreases, price surging tends to occur. To help you avoid unnecessary expenses, we’ve instituted a Book Now, Pay Later option. Book your bus as soon as you have a head count and date, then wait to pay until 21 days before departure.

How to Book your Bus for a Custom Bus Tour

It’s simple. Enter your itinerary into the online booking tool. Review the quotes and bus options. Then accept the quote. Once you accept your quote, you’ll be put in touch with a booking specialist who will guide you through the final details and help you complete the charter bus rental. By using the booking tool, you get access to our North America-wide network of bus operators. We’ll match you with the best bus company for your trip. This is a major time saver, as you won’t have to call a dozen companies and manage a dozen quotes.

Custom group travel tours by charter bus.

The Best Bus for your Tour

Your bus selection will depend on three factors: (1) The length of time you’ll spend on the road, (2) the amount of passengers you’ll transport, and (3) the level of comfort you’d like to provide. A variety of buses are available for custom tours, ranging from the no-frills minibus to the luxe coach bus. If you are spending more than two hours on the bus, we recommend selecting a vehicles with more amenities, like the coach bus or mini coach bus. If you’re transporting fewer than 30 people, choose the mini. If more, go for the big boy.

Pro tip: The largest portion of the bus cost is the driver’s time, so there isn’t a vast difference in price between the school bus and the fully-equipped coach bus. Consider springing for extra comforts like air-conditioning, audio-visual equipment, and wifi.

Better Budgets for Custom Tour

When you create your budget, be sure to include accommodations, food, entry tickets, insurance fees, and, of course, your transportation cost. The quote you receive from Bus.com factors in your driver’s industry standard gratuity, his or her accommodations, the time you’ll be on the road, and deadhead (that’s the time it takes your driver to get from the bus depot to your pick up location).

Custom charter buses for group travel.

Building a Relationship with your Driver

All charter buses booked through Bus.com come with a vetted driver. We ensure that every person who gets behind the wheel is reliable, efficient, safety-conscious, and friendly. It’s important that you have a pleasant experience with your driver, especially since you’ll be relying on him or her so heavily. They’re the person you’ll turn to when unexpected obstacles present themselves. 24 hours before departure, you’ll receive your driver’s name and phone number. You’ll also get a dispatch number for your trip and an emergency phone number to call. We encourage good communication with your entire ground transportation team. Oh, and don’t forget: our customer service representatives are on hand 24/7 to help with any questions or concerns!

Parking vs. Drop-off

One of the benefits of chartering a bus is that you don’t have to park two dozen cars. You do have to park one, though. Don’t worry. Your booking specialist will be right there to advise. One option to make parking a little easier is to be dropped off at your location and picked up later. This way your driver can park in a place that can accommodate a large vehicle—note that many locations cannot do this. The exception to this is sports facilities. They’re usually well versed in charter bus parking and provide ample spots for large vehicles.

Charter a bus for your custom group tour.

Preparing Your Passengers

We’ve talked a lot about preparing for a bus rental, but we have yet to touch on preparing your passengers. Create good lines of communication to ensure important messages and emergencies are heard by all. Obviously you’ll want to collect phone numbers, but think about ways that you can make group communication more efficient. Consider setting up a group chat and use shareable documents for any important resources.

Planning a big event?

If you’re planning a big event with thousands of attendees, consider setting up shuttle buses. Through our rideshare program, we build partnerships with event planners to provide shuttles for their attendees at a reasonable price. Speak to a booking specialist for additional information.