Peak tourism season is upon us, and that means it’s the busiest and most profitable time of year for tour operators. There’s so much to plan, and when the majority of a company’s business comes in the stretch of only a few months, things can get downright stressful. Transportation is one of the most important elements of the group tour, and Bus.com makes it easier to handle, taking into account the specific needs of each operator. If you’re looking for some helpful tips to facilitate your responsibilities this peak season, check out our tips for seasonal tour operators below.
Why should you charter a bus for group tours
For any group tour, be it a school trip or an office party, a charter bus is a no-brainer for transporting a large collection of people. Not only does a bus keep everyone together, but you enjoy the liberty of having your own driver with whom you can work to build a flexible itinerary. If ever you need to alter a route or mix up the schedule on the fly, you can do so as well. And with Bus.com, you’re connected with a booking specialist and will benefit from 24/7 support and access to our online trip platform.
When should you book your charter bus
When it comes to booking a charter bus, it’s always best to book as early as possible. We tend to recommend six months in advance, so if you have the luxury of planning your trip that far ahead, don’t hesitate, don’t wait, and don’t procrastinate. The peak season for bus operators coincides with peak season for tour operators, and both cities and travellers tend to all be on the same page, as far as busy season goes. All that being said, travellers are all looking for the same thing at the same time. So book as early as you can to make sure you get your ideal choice of bus.
How to book a bus for seasonal tours
Start by plugging your itinerary into our instant pricing tool to obtain a quote. The next step is to review the quotes we’ve provided for you and work with one of our booking specialists to choose the best bus for your tour group’s needs. Pro tip: If you have a full slate of bus trips on deck for the upcoming season, you can go ahead and book all your trips for the entire season in one go. Our experts will walk you through it to ensure it’s a breeze, getting a significant portion of your season’s work taken care of in no time. As a bonus, you can use our Book Now, Pay Later option to spread the costs out.
Get to know your booking specialist
Running a tour business is all about building relationships with partners and providers. When you work with Bus.com, your bus booking specialist is one of your most valuable partners. Our experts are here to answer any questions related to pricing, choosing a bus, insurance, and more. They’ll always help you find the very best bus operator at the very best price in your area.
How to keep track of your trips
Tracking your trips is easy when you work with Bus.com, because we provide you with a convenient and easy to understand platform that neatly organizes all of your trips, past and future. This makes it easy to refer back and look ahead for smooth organization. Twenty-four hours before your departure, you’ll receive a dispatch number and your driver’s name and number. We also provide you an emergency number to contact, and you can use that emergency support line at any time during your trip. Your convenience, safety, and comfort are our priorities.
Pick the perfect loading zone
There’s a lot that goes into organizing a bus tour, but we’re here to help you with intricate details you might not have considered ahead of time. For example, you have to plan pick-up and drop-off locations for each and every stop you make, and you have to consider the rules of every hotel, landmark, restaurant, or museum that your bus enters. Remember that coach buses can take up three or four parking spaces, so ask your hotel if they have designated spots for bus parking, or if they can block off a spot for you. You’ll find yourself calling and asking lots of establishments whether they have bus parking. If they don’t, don’t be shy to ask store managers with big parking lots whether you can use their space to stage and load your bus.
One of the great perks of chartering a bus rental for your tour group is the airport pick-up. Flying into a foreign city for a vacation, a business trip, or a sports tournament is exciting, but once you land there’s a level of stress that kicks in over hailing a cab or a transit bus and getting to your hotel — and when you’re travelling in a big group, that stress is only amplified. But when you can walk out of the airport as a group, and your charter bus is waiting for you, ready with a direct route to the hotel, that’s simply euphoric.
While the busy season can be hectic for tour operators, the off-season can sometimes be a little too quiet. Thankfully, certain groups will prefer travelling in the off-season to avoid the crowds and higher rates. Seniors in particular like to get away during the lower volume seasons; wintertime is particularly popular for senior tours, as plenty of retired Northern snowbirds tend to journey down South to enjoy the sunnier states during that time. These groups can fill in that coveted off-season slow time for your tour company. For senior groups, we always suggest the coach bus as it’s the most comfortable and spacious option, loaded with perks like air conditioning, undercarriage storage, and wheelchair accommodation.
Marketing in the off-season
Many companies thrive off summer tours and suffer from particularly slow winters. What can they do to remedy the imbalance in their schedules? First, you can plan specialized tours during the holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter all fall in the so-called off-season. You can also seek out groups that are not reliant on the time of the year: wedding parties, corporate groups, traveling sports teams, and family reunions. Plus, you can use the slower off-season to plan ahead and prepare for the high-season when you are super busy. Use this time to double down on your marketing efforts.