Where do you fall on the technology spectrum? Do you love it and can’t live without it? People on that end average 5,400 touches on their phone a day (according to a study by research firm Dscout: https://blog.dscout.com/mobile-touches). Do you fall on the opposite end, hating and trying to avoid it? Those who are closer to this side enjoy reading things printed on paper and don’t care about the unread emails in their inbox. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I love technology when it is simple and makes my life easier, but sometimes I just don’t get it.
I use my iPhone for email and social media, but I still enjoy opening up a good, old fashioned, printed book with a cup of coffee! I use Google Maps when I travel to a new location and enjoy watching the occasional fainting goat video on YouTube while I am waiting for an oil change. But all in all, I hadn’t ever paid too much attention to places that have WiFi or not, what info I could gain from scanning a QR code or downloading an app to find out what kind of bug I just killed in my basement.
Technology has become a HUGE part of the motorcoach industry. One of the standard features on most motorcoaches today is WiFi and having outlets available throughout the bus. We have found that passengers want to freely use their phone, tablet, or PC as they would if sitting on their couch at home and not drain their battery while they travel. Many school groups or athletic teams want their students to have internet access for homework when they are traveling. Some people want the convenience of tracking the location of their bus. Therefore, many carriers are sending links that you can click on to find your bus and see how close it is to pick you up. Can you also believe Direct TV has become a popular add-on service?
So, how does this affect you when making a motorcoach reservation? These add-ons can affect cost. There could be additional fees associated with WiFi, Direct TV, or other technology that you want to account for in your budget planning. Another huge change that can significantly affect your charter is automatic driver logging. The Department of Transportation has set standards that all over the road drivers must follow to be legal to drive. Motorcoach operators are only allowed to be on-duty for up to 15 hours a day, with a 10-hour driving maximum. Pre-trip and post-trip work can count towards that time as well. So, if your group will be traveling over 500-550 miles in a day, you’ll need to account for breaks, an overnight stop, or be prepared to have a driver exchange along the way. Know that these regulations are industry-wide. The motorcoach provider isn’t looking to put a damper on your plans. They are trying to cooperate with trip organizers to avoid breaking the law.
The biggest benefit of technology is a safe and more enjoyable ride. Did you know that some buses are equipped with security cameras that can tell when the brakes were applied quickly so the safety department can determine why? Additionally, the logging of driver hours ensures the drivers are fresh and alert! Direct TV, WiFi, and outlets all let your group enjoy the ride and make the time pass more quickly! So whether you are in the Love It, Hate It, or Don’t Get It category, you can appreciate the technology that keeps your group safe and allows them to create lasting memories!