How Big is Too Small?

There is a reason why airlines limit suitcases to 50 pounds.  And you all have that friend who travels with one bag designated only for shoes.  The size of the vehicle you need to get for your group can have much more to do with the amount of storage space you need than it does with the number of passengers you are traveling with! 

Most, but not all large vehicles have overhead storage space inside the vehicle.  However, different size buses come with different amounts of storage space.  While the full-size motorcoaches have large amounts of undercarriage bays for luggage, many of the mid-size vehicles that seat around 40 passengers are significantly smaller underneath the bus.  You lose at least one if not two full-size bays that are used to carry luggage or other equipment that your group might be traveling with.  Some minibusses and vans only have a rear storage compartment where the luggage is stacked vertically on top of each other.   So if you have 14 people traveling in a group and reserve a 14 passenger van, your group could end up holding something on their laps.  

Every vehicle is different.  If you can’t get a picture of the interior and exterior luggage storage spaces, it is always a good idea to ask how much luggage is suggested.  Some vendors would suggest no more than 30 passengers’ worth of luggage on a 40 passenger vehicle.  Or they may say that the 14 passenger van can fit 10 full-size suitcases in the rear of the vehicle but doesn’t have any overhead storage compartments.  So bookbags or purses won’t have a place to go if you do have 10 large suitcases in your group. 

Being mindful of the amount of on-board, rear, and undercarriage storage space that you will have available will help avoid wasting time when loading your vehicle and potential discomfort during the ride.  Your group may need to save space for other equipment that needs to be stored as well.   Make sure your group also knows what to expect ahead of time so that “friend” leaves a few pairs of loafers at home!

Don’t get stuck at the airport loading your bus slowly watching the bays fill up and wondering where in the world you are going to shove these last 3 large suitcases….  Thankfully, drivers are great at Tetris.