Have you ever been surprised by extra costs on a vacation or business trip? Me too! You create a budget, plan ahead, and something pops up that you weren’t planning on having to pay for. Sometimes, in my haste to get a task checked off of my to-do list, I forget to prepare for additional expenses, resulting in frustration.
As the person in charge, it is your responsibility to stay within your company or group’s budget. We all know the feeling of explaining to your boss that a project has come in over budget. This issue occurs if you are unfamiliar with all aspects that go into pricing ground transportation. Without this knowledge, you may easily be over budget once it is all said and done. If you are splitting the cost of the charter between the group on-board, you don’t want to have to ask each person for more money or get stuck covering the extra costs on your own.
Here are three areas to keep in mind when booking ground transportation that can help you set your budget correctly ahead of time and stay within that budget during your trip.
It is ok if you don’t know the exact itinerary when getting a quote. Plans and itineraries can change and evolve, and that is just fine. However, the closer you can get to accurate times and driving needs in the quoting phase, the more accurate your quote will be, therefore, making your budget more legitimate. A few things that can affect the quote are: starting and ending times, miles driven, hours of drive time for the driver, and where you will be traveling while with the bus. The more information you can provide, the better!
Are you staying overnight? Is the trip to the city or the suburbs? Are you attending an athletic event or concert? Do you need a staging area for a multi-bus event? Keep in mind that most carriers will require your group to provide and pay for any vehicle parking that you incur. Make sure your hotel or event location allows full-size coaches to park on-site, and whether or not there is an additional charge for coach parking. This may result in the need for extra planning and room in your budget.
I have been on several long-distance trips with groups on motorcoaches. On one trip, everyone with our group independently pitched in for the driver’s gratuity. We were notified beforehand and were able to plan and make sure extra cash was on hand. In most circumstances, it is discretionary, and you can pay the driver directly, but not always. Sometimes, driver gratuity is automatically included within the quote. Be sure to ask when receiving your quote so that you don’t get surprised later on. Your driver plays such an essential role in the success of your service, and they do appreciate the gratitude for a job well one!
When planning your next trip, use these tips to stay under budget, prove your responsibility, and keep everyone happy!