Bus Tours for the Summer: Making Your Plans & Bookings
by The Coach Team
It’s been such a warm spring this year. Winter ended early, and the winter coats and boots all went back into the closet.
I’ve been tracking this since 1984, and my professional opinion is that as soon as spring hits, customers start booking their summer trips! That is happening now.
This year, however, there is an additional bigger circumstance that will affect booking availability, especially for Friday, Saturday & Sunday summer traveling plans:
Unfortunately compared to last year, there are almost 10% fewer existing charter bus companies. Sadly, some have gone out of business, and others have merged and consolidated with other companies. Many tour bus companies that previously downsized starting in 2008, have not again expanded to serve the increased recent demand for service which is especially prevalent in the Northeastern part of the USA.
It’s not too late to still make plans, but if you are concerned about the summer availability of your desired dates – now is the time to secure your trip early.
Deposit Options When Booking Your Charter Bus Trip or Vacation
Here’s a word of wisdom – don’t make the required timeframe an issue when booking now for a future trip. Your invoice from the charter bus company typically states the need for the deposit to be paid within 30 days (or less) of solidifying your travel dates. As they say on Broadway, “It ain’t necessarily so!” – because as they also say in the Bible, “Ask and you shall receive!”
Discuss the deposit time frame with the tour bus company you select, and hopefully an alternative can be implemented that will work for both parties. Customer service is the ultimate priority for almost all of the reputable charter bus companies, and your business and ease of booking is an important component of that relationship.
Unavoidable Booking Changes
What if you change your mind and can’t actually proceed with the booked trip? Things happen and situations can often change. That is why it is smart to know the cancellation policy of your tour bus company. Get it in writing and confirm that it is a firm and clear statement. You need to know the date you can still cancel by to receive a full refund, and what will happen if that date has already passed by. Often one can cancel if that same deposit is transferred to another trip, assuming the new trip is re-booked in a reasonable amount of time. Within this scenario, be cognizant of the fact that different seasons have price ranges, and comparative prices may change if the booking is modified.
Certain things like the cost of fuel, taxes and labor can change with the season as well. You may get to reuse your deposit but it may be at a higher cost in the fall, or possibly even a lower cost if you decide to reschedule for some time during the winter.
Finally, If you book more than 4 months in advance – make sure pay your charter bus trip deposit with a credit card!
, That will protect you if, for some reason, the company isn’t there when you call back with the trip details. It will also give you peace of mind if there is any dispute in your billing or scheduled plans.
Hope your summer trips are just fabulous!! Coach travel is a great way to see the country as your move towards your destination.