Traveling in tight quarters for long distances, as is often the case when on a charter bus group transportation, can be an exercise in patience and courtesy. However, thanks to a few simple etiquette rules, traveling will be a much more pleasant exercise for everybody on board.
Common rules on the bus are similar to the ones you would expect in any common space: stay courteous and respectful of others as much as possible. So, before you board your next long-distance bus trip, take the time to read these tour bus tips.
#1. Travel Light
Storage is often limited on buses. Bulkier luggage often does not fit under the seat in front of you or the overhead bin and can therefore affect your neighbors’ comfort and the safety of the bus. Unless you can take advantage of an undercarriage storage compartment, pack light and keep only what you may need during your trip – such as water, medication, and a light snack – on board.
#2. Arrive on Time
Any delay will affect the other passengers’ plans and may jeopardize the rest of their itinerary as well as yours. Most charter bus regulations aim to leave on time bearing any technical issues. To ensure that your travel goes smoothly, make sure you know where your bus is leaving from and what time, and plan extra time for any last-minute issues. Punctuality is a must during your travels as well – at rest stops, for example.
#3. Don’t Use Your Cellphone Often
Cell phones have become ubiquitous, and it is only natural that you may need to use them during a long trip if only to keep other people waiting for you apprised of your progress and any possible delays. However, the noise of conversation or video streaming can be a nuisance for other passengers, so stay discreet as much as you can in such tight quarters. You may need to bring a comfortable headset if you are planning to listen to music or watch your favorite shows to pass your time onboard. In addition, try to use text instead of calling and keep your phone silent as much as possible.
#4. Respect Your Driver
Your driver is here for your safety, and their job is to get you to your destination in one piece. Therefore, it is in your interest to do your part by staying respectful and making it easier for them. Most tour bus rules include tips such as “don’t talk to the bus driver unless necessary” so they can keep their eyes on the road. It is also common courtesy to keep your seat clean as many bus drivers accomplish light maintenance as part of their job, but their focus is driving. Remain polite at all times, and make sure to follow the charter bus regulations.
#5. Be Mindful with Your Snacks
No road trip is complete without a full set of tasty snacks to pass the time and keep hunger at bay. However, since you will be traveling with a large group, one of the most common tour bus tips is to choose your snacks carefully. Anything that is too loud or has a strong smell should probably be left out for other occasions. Besides, make sure to clean up after yourself if you spill anything or miss a few crumbs.
#6. Watch Young Children
Traveling with young children is not easy, especially on long trips with other groups of passengers. Make sure you have plenty of entertainment and snacks ready to keep them busy during your travels. More importantly, monitor them at all times to ensure they do not disturb other passengers or cause a safety issue.
#7. Keep the Volume of Your Entertainment Down
Music, videos, audiobooks, podcasts, and so on, are excellent ways to pass the time while on a long bus trip. This kind of entertainment is easily portable and is less likely to get you sick than reading if you tend to have nausea while traveling by bus or car. However, your fellow passengers are not necessarily interested in the same subjects as you are. Therefore, if you are using your phone, tablet, or laptop to keep you entertained during your trip, tour bus etiquette requires you to keep the volume at a reasonable level and bring headphones.
#8. Stay Seated
When traveling by bus, try to keep your seat as much as possible, especially if you are seated at a window seat. Not only does unnecessary movement disrupt other passengers, but it can also be a safety hazard, especially if the bus hits a bump or if the driver can break suddenly.
#9. Respect Your Fellow Passengers’ Personal Space
Traveling by bus implies letting go of a certain degree of privacy. However, you can do your part by minimizing your impact on other passengers as much as possible. Stick to your seat and avoid spreading body parts or belongings beyond your allocated space. This simple tour bus etiquette will ensure that everybody has a more pleasant flight.
#10. Use Trash Bags
Between food wrappers, unfinished snacks disregarded magazines, and empty bottles, you may find yourself dealing with a lot of trash before the end of the trip. Bus etiquette and common courtesy encourage bus travelers to bag up litter and dispose of it before or after they leave the bus.
#11. Be Kind and Polite
It should be one of those rules on the bus and beyond but remaining polite and mindful of others’ comfort and safety during your travels is a must. Be respectful of your surroundings, your fellow passengers, as well as your bus driver, even if you feel like the stress and exhaustion of traveling may get the best of you.
Traveling by bus in close proximity to large groups of people can be stressful, but it does not need to be unpleasant as long as all passengers take respecting bus etiquette to heart. It is also one of the few modes of transportation that allows you to move large groups of people from point A to point B as economically as possible.