December 20, 2018

Best Skiing Destinations on the East Coast

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Compared to skiing in the west, the elevations are lower on East Coast slopes and knee-deep powder is a rare sight. But the ski resorts make up for the lack of powder with a high tech mix of natural and man-made snow. In fact, the snowmaking techniques are so advanced that you’ll have a hard time telling the difference on most mountains.

Despite the smaller mountains, there are several eastern skiing areas that have the long, steep runs of the higher western peaks. Our list includes plenty of ski resorts that offer both white-knuckle challenges and the bunny slopes for beginners. Skiing in the east also gives you the chance to experience the charming and scenic New England towns where the popular ski resorts are based.

Travel Tips

The close proximity of mountains within New England makes it easy to visit multiple ski resorts on the same trip. Skiing in New York or Massachusetts is only a few hours drive on the north-south interstates. The same goes for ski resorts in Vermont and New Hampshire. For on-the-road comfort and affordability on your ski vacation, the best way to travel to several resorts is with a charter bus, especially with a group of 10 or more.

At Metropolitan Shuttle, we offer charter bus reservations specifically for interstate travel. When you plan your ski vacation with a group, consider booking a charter with us, a budget-friendly option that is cheaper per passenger compared to other types of travel like airline tickets or taxis and rideshare services. And while we can’t protect you on the slopes, we can keep you safe behind the wheel, a testament to our strict safety guidelines that follow federal standards.

North Conway, New Hampshire

For the best mountain vistas on the East Coast, the Wildcat Ski Resort in North Conway fits the bill. Adventure-seekers in your group will also a get a chance to shred some powder on 2,112 feet of vertical and ride one of the fastest lifts to get there. You’ll also get to experience the charm of a classic New England town in between skiing the slopes.

Sugarbush/Mad River Glen, Vermont

With its stunning natural beauty and diverse terrain, Mad River Glen has become a favorite New England hub for family-friendly skiing. In the 60s, the town of Sugarbush was a big deal among the glamorous jet setters that loved to ski. Legend has it that the term ‘jet setter’ originated in this area. Today, dedicated skiers are drawn here year after year to experience the fun and thrill of Vermont’s highest chairlift. At the nearby Mad River Glen Mountain, it’s a skier’s dream with real snow that follows the curves of the slopes.

Jay Peak, Vermont

Situated in the green mountains of Vermont, Jay Peak has some of the best skiing terrain in the east. Make the most of your ski vacation with picturesque tree glades, long trails, and an abundance of natural snowfall. You’ll find a range of ski runs from beginner level to advanced, making it ideal for the whole family.

Killington, Vermont

Known as the “Beast of the East” in the skiing community, people come here to experience the rugged terrain, including tree glades and lots of bumps. The best place for experienced skiers is the Outer Limits, which features the steepest and longest runs in New England.

Pats Peak, Massachusetts

Only a few hours drive from Boston, Pats Peak is easy to get to and also stands out among other resort areas with nighttime skiing and a large amount of terrain for beginners. When you’re not shredding the slopes, the town of Henniker serves as a cozy backdrop with a charming downtown that features many local businesses and a private college.

Catamount, New York

Another accessible skiing area, Catamount is only a few hours from New York City and Boston. It also has the best beginner terrain in the Berkshires, plus a steep run for experts and a selection of terrain parks for snowboarders and freestylers. If you love the magic of skiing at night, you’ll also find over 32 trails with plenty of lights. When you’re taking a break from the slopes, you can thaw out with a hot chocolate in the nearby town of Hillsdale, which is known for its friendly and relaxed vibe.

Sugarloaf, Maine

Situated in a remote part of Northern Maine, Sugarloaf is a four-hour drive from either Boston or Montreal. But the longer travel time is worth the effort, especially with plenty of natural powder from 200 inches of annual snowfall. It also features the only ski lifts in the east that are above the treeline. In the western mountains of Maine, the ski season stretches into May, giving you access to wide open snowfields and 2,820 feet of continuous vertical.

Stowe, Vermont

With a long history of skiing that dates back to the 30s, Stowe was the ski town where on of the first chairlifts were used, an interesting historical fact along with other notable events that are highlighted at the Vermont Ski Museum. On the slopes, you’ll find Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak. More than half of the runs are rated for intermediates while experts can get their adrenaline pumping on some of Vermont’s most challenging trails. Three terrain parks are also available for snowboarders and other outdoor sports like sleigh rides and snowmobile tours.

Tuckerman’s Ravine, New Hampshire

For the best in backcountry skiing, Tuckerman’s Ravine offers stunning vistas of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. The wild terrain provides the perfectly rugged and natural landscape for a true East Coast skiing adventure.

Okemo Mountain, Vermont

Its location in south-central Vermont makes the Okemo Mountain easily accessible by car or charter bus. Along with being close to major interstates, Okemo also has excellent natural snow and well-groomed runs that are perfect for all levels. It also features the longest superpipe in the east and nine top-rated terrain parks, making it a hotspot for snowboarders.

Whiteface Mountain, New York

A mix of natural and man-made snow, these extensive ski trails make up 35 acres of mountainside, including the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast. Whiteface Mountain also features two terrain parks, a beginner’s park, and a half-pipe for snowboarders and freestyle skiers.

Some would say that you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a lift pass, and for those who love skiing, it’s practically the same thing. With winter in the air and eternal spring in your heart, keep calm and shred some slopes!

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October 4, 2018

Group Leadership 101: The Ultimate Survival Guide

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As an effective leader, you’re expected to transform chaos into order while also keeping everybody happy. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’ve been thrust into a leadership role for the first time. Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, successful leadership isn’t easy to pull off when you consider all the different personalities and opinions that can clash along the way. But if you have a solid game plan, leading a group can be an enriching experience. Using a combination of psychology, plus old-fashioned hard work and cooperation, we’ve got the essential blueprint for mastering the art of group leadership.

Know the Ropes

Having a clear expectation of the group event is an absolute must. In fact, it would be a huge benefit to have a power meeting before heading out on the trip or activity. This way you can establish your role as the pack leader while also reminding everyone to focus on the goals of the event. A meeting also gives you the opportunity to address any questions or concerns. Whatever your goals are, the top priority for any group is the safety and comfort of group members, so keep that in mind when you’re leading your team.

Share the Workload

For every accomplished person, there’s a dedicated team working behind the scenes to make it all come together. The same is also true with scenarios involving group leadership. The three-part divide and conquer algorithm approach used by software developers is a smart way to distribute work-related tasks among group members. First, divide the task at hand into subtasks or subgoals that are smaller instances of the main problem or goal. This will take some of the pressure off the pack leader while also making people feel useful and productive. Secondly, conquer the subtasks or subgoals by assigning them to the right members of your team. An effective way to gain trust and respect is by showing that you acknowledge the strengths of each member of the group. Finally, combine the solutions of the subproblem or sub goals into the solution for the original problem or goal. Remember: Micromanaging isn’t leadership, so try to avoid it. Instead, assign the task and trust that the qualified person can get the job done right.

Make them Laugh

Humor is a fun and effective way to bond with group, especially in high-stress situations. Anyone thrown into a leadership role knows the importance of laughter, including Eisenhower, one of the country’s most powerful leaders. His advice? “Always take your job seriously, never yourself.” Humor has a magical way of lightening the mood and keeping up morale, so if you get into a jam, admit your mistakes and make light of the situation. And trust us on this—your humility and sense of humor will be duly noted by team members, and that goes a long way when you’re leading a group.

Set a Good Example

Nobody’s perfect, including group leaders, but there’s nothing wrong with striving for greatness. When leading a group, remember that you’re in a position of authority, which means that the group is looking to you for guidance and support. This is your chance to shine, so make it count by setting a good example. When you’re in a leadership role, be confident in your abilities while also making group goals your main focus. This positive leadership style will help you gain the trust and loyalty of the team, and in group situations, building up social capital is essential for success.

Be Flexible with the Itinerary

You may have carefully mapped out every detail of your itinerary, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. But if you stay flexible with the plans, it shows your problem-solving skills and pragmatic approach to getting things done. When you solve problems quickly and efficiently, your group won’t have any doubts about your commitment as the leader of the event or activity. You never know when unexpected circumstances can throw you off schedule, which is why you should always have a solid back up plan. No matter what happens, the safety and comfort of everyone involved should always be the number one priority of a successful group leader.

Hone Your Time Management Skills

Being a group leader requires you to make quick decisions and snap judgments from moment to moment, which makes time management a major challenge. In order for things to run smoothly, try to “feed the eagles, not the turkeys.” In other words, try not to get bogged down in little details and instead, focus your energy on the tasks that can make your group really soar. Another big time-saver is chartering a bus. Instead of using taxis and rideshare services, keep it simple with a charter bus driven by a professionally trained driver. At Metropolitan Shuttle, we take the hassle out of travel arrangements by helping you coordinating the itinerary of your group. With an efficient schedule that meets your needs, you can focus on more important things, like bonding with group members.

Understand the Process of Group Formation

According to psychologist Bruce Tuckman, successful group formation happens in four steps: forming, storming, norming and performing. During the forming stage, some team members might be anxious if they are still unsure of the team expectations of the trip or event. Others members of the team may be positive and polite. These minor clashes then morph into the next stage, which is storming. As the pecking order is established, tensions may rise. Keep in mind that as a leader, you play a dominant role at this stage and can make the forming and storming stages proceed smoothly. Once the ice is broken and order is restored, the group enters the norming stage, where roles and responsibilities are established, and rapport is developed among group members. Finally, during the performing stage, goals can be accomplished as the group ascends to its highest level of teamwork and achievement.

The process of group leadership can be extremely rewarding for both the leaders and followers because of the opportunity to inspire greatness in others. As General Patton once said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” A great leader is also humble. “He who has learned to obey will know how to command,” as Solon put it. Great leaders can inspire great followers, who will in turn be inspired to do great work. Respect between leaders and followers is a two-way street, but once achieved, it can lead to innovation, creativity, and success for the group. In fact, as leadership expert Warren Bennis said, oftentimes the difference between a good leader and a great leader may come down to having a vision and being able to communicate that vision to the group to make it a reality.

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September 17, 2018

How to Throw the Ultimate Bachelor Party Without Breaking the Bank

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Bachelor parties are fantastic ways to party with the guys and celebrate the groom’s transition into married life. But you shouldn’t have to take max out your credit card just to afford an epic bachelor party. If you’re looking to party on a budget, say ‘I do’ to our budget-friendly bachelor party ideas and get ready to have a bachelor bash that everybody can afford.  

First, consider the bachelor’s interests: “Does he like sports?”; “Is there another state or city he’d love to visit?”; “Does he want to simply go camping?” Wherever you decide to go, stay on budget with some fun bachelor party tips from the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, the leading charter reservation service and your answer to significant savings on travel expenses.

Plan Ahead

Going with the flow is great for yoga and meditation class but when it comes to an affordable bachelor party, you’ve got to have a game plan. Instead of going the way the cookie crumbles, make the most of organized fun when you book your travel arrangements in advance. When you reserve a charter bus a few months ahead, for instance, you get the best deals because you can lock in the cheapest possible rate. Advance notice also gives your pals plenty of time to budget for the trip.

Charter a Bus

Compared to ride-sharing services, car rental, and taxis, charter bus rental is significantly less expensive, especially when you consider the price per passenger. Whatever the size of your group, another benefit of chartering a bus is that everybody arrives together and you can party along the way. Our Party Bus, for example, can fit up to 40 passengers and also features luxury amenities for on-the-road comfort and convenience. At Metropolitan Shuttle, we make the process of renting a charter bus as seamless and efficient as possible. When you reserve your charter vehicle, you can expect a flat fee with no hidden costs—this way, you can divide the price between your friends without having to worry about surprise charges later on that can throw you off budget.

When you charter a bus, it also takes the stress out of traveling because the pack leader doesn’t have to worry about appointing a designated driver, finding parking, or figuring out directions. When an experienced professional is doing all the driving, everybody can relax and focus on what’s more important—quality time with your bros before the groom walks down the aisle.

Throw a Blowout House Party

It is common knowledge that alcohol is more expensive at a restaurant or bar than the liquor store, so make your shopping list and get ready for a legendary Bachelor-themed blowout. On average, bachelor parties cost every member involved anywhere from $700 to $1,500 (besides the groom). Much of the cost is attributed to food and alcohol. Instead of a formal dinner or heading to the bar, fire up the grill and cook a delicious meal that everybody can enjoy while also drastically reducing the cost of food. With the amount of money you’ll save on food and drinks, you and your friends can pool together your extra cash and rent a luxury beachfront house with a pool and all the trimmings.

Go Camping

You should never underestimate the fun you can have while camping. It can be a worthwhile trip to visit a natural spring or lake with campgrounds, plus it’s way cheaper than a hotel or Airbnb. Whatever the occasion, tubing is a great way to relax while wandering about the meandering twists and turns of a river, giving you an up close look at the great outdoors; it is a mesmerizing experience. You can also have an exceptional time grilling, swimming, hiking, and if the campgrounds allow it, partying! So, throw some burgers on the grill and have a good time.

Head to the Mountains

Or, you can travel to the mountains, but be careful because you won’t want to leave. The majestic cathedrals of Mother Nature, mountains are among the most beautiful wonders you’ll ever experience. Plus, you’re really missing out if you’ve never gone snowboarding or skiing. It is an enthralling way to challenge yourself as you weave through the scintillating snow-covered slopes. According to Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did,” and he was right. Even though this idea is a little pricier, nobody will regret the trip, plus, our Bachelor Party Bus will save you a ton of money and make the journey there even more entertaining!

Have a Boat Party

You can never go wrong with a party on the water! You can enjoy activities like water skiing and wakeboarding, or rent some jet skis and have a blast. Nothing beats water sports, especially if you visit the captivating crystal-clear lakes in the west like Lake Tahoe. When Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki visited Lake Tahoe he claimed, I have been fortunate to travel all over the world, and in my mind, Tahoe is still one of the most incredible places I have seen.” Once you arrive, you will know exactly why he praises Tahoe as such.

Place Your Bets on Casino Fun

You can’t go wrong with partying at the casino… unless you lose all your money! Plus, it’s is a terrific way to please everyone involved. You may spend as little as you want or as much as you would like. In turn, if played responsibly, everyone of any financial status can appreciate this flexible idea. It’s a great all-around emergency plan for a bachelor party that everyone can enjoy. You can also choose whatever you would like to place your bets on: Whether you play drinking games, poker, or blackjack, everyone will love the rush of winning big at the casino. If you’re on a budget, don’t overplay your hand by going to Vegas. Instead, choose a lesser-known city and get ready to place your bets on some affordable casino fun!

 

After a summer of love, head into wedding season with your wolf pack and get ready for the last big hurrah with all your bros—the budget-friendly version.

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August 8, 2018

How to Make the Most of a Long Bus Trip

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With an ocean of highway between you and your final destination, a long bus trip can quickly get monotonous and boring. But when you make the most of your travel time, it makes getting there half the fun. With charter buses, a professional driver does all the work, which gives you the luxury of being able to sit back and relax during the drive. From the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, here are a few activities to keep you occupied for the long haul.

Network with Like-minded Professionals

If you’re traveling on a charter bus with a large group, everybody is headed to the same event, which means that there’s a good chance you’ll share similar interests. Using your travel time to engage in conversation is more than chitchat – it’s a smart and productive way to network with friends and colleagues.

One of the easiest ways to start a conversation with acquaintances is by asking a question because it shows that you have interest in the person. Or, you might need help or advice about the upcoming event – people are usually happy to offer their advice and assistance. Another approach is commenting about the weather. It might be a cliché, but it can easily lead to other topics of interest.

Catch Up on Your Favorite Entertainment

Think of these couple of hours on the bus as free time you wouldn’t normally have during your busy schedule. This makes a long bus ride the perfect time to catch up on all your favorite entertainment, which can be easily accessed from your smartphone or laptop. With apps like PLEX, you can stream the latest releases as well as classic movies and TV shows. After binging on a few shows or indulging in a double feature, you’ll be at your destination before you know it.

Stream New Music for a Playlist

Making a playlist isn’t something you can just throw together. There’s a certain approach to each mix depending on the theme, recipient, and occasion. As your bus travels down the interstate, take some time to search for new music, plus albums you’ve been meaning to upload. Everybody loves a good playlist because as soon as you put on headphones, it takes you away to a special place of insight and introspection, a state of mind that allows you to focus on the music and what it means to you.

Get a Jumpstart on Work

With smartphone technology, you have the convenience of your office in the palm of your hand. Use your time on the bus to catch up on emails, sort through paperwork, put together invoices, or other administrative tasks on your ‘to do’ list. When you’re on your way from point a to point b, make every minute count by being productive. After a few hours, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

Set Goals For the Week

A long and boring commute is the best time to make goals for the work week ahead. In fact, many successful people are in the habit of setting goals on a regular basis. With plenty of time to think, try focusing on what you hope to accomplish. Get out your calendar and make self-imposed deadlines for yourself so you’ll always be a step ahead at work. Take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture – did you achieve all your goals or do you still have some work to do?

Bring Snacks

If your charter bus allows it, pack a variety of your favorite road trip snacks, including something savory, sweet, and most importantly, thirst quenching to wash it all down. If the bus doesn’t allow food and drinks onboard, another option is to pack a tailgating cooler for the whole gang to enjoy in the parking lot before the event. Whether you’re catching up on work-related tasks or watching your favorite entertainment, snacks make everything more enjoyable.

Catch Up on Pop Culture

As long as you catch the major headlines, it doesn’t matter if it’s TMZ or CNN. Listening or reading articles about news, sports, or the weather forecast gives you plenty of material for small talk, the social balm you need to create a rapport with clients or colleagues. When you sound informed, you’re more likely to make a good impression.

Make Time for Personal Growth

Educational audiobooks and other materials are widely available, including accessible lectures from The Great Courses, which are taught by college professors. You could also learn a new language or hone your mental reflexes with a brain-training app like Lumosity.

Have Fun with Trivia

If you’re traveling with a group, get the whole gang involved with a friendly but competitive game of trivia. Download a trivia app like Fun Blast Trivia, which is like Trivial Pursuit for your smartphone. You’ll find a variety of questions that cover history, pop culture, politics, and more.

Meditate

While you might not think that a bus trip is the ideal place to meditate, the rhythm of riding on a comfortable and lengthy bus ride might be the perfect place to center yourself. If you need some guidance, there are a variety of guided meditations available on Youtube or apps like Headspace. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and slowly close your eyes. Picture a peaceful lake next to a field of flowers, with a gentle breeze rustling through a grove of aspen trees. Relax in your comfy reclining seat, and soon you’ll be deep into your meditation session, which will help you mentally prepare for the upcoming event.

Exercise

On any long trip, it is important to improve your circulation through exercise. You might not realize it, but there are many exercises you can do while seated and without needing special equipment. Start with an upper body stretch by raising both arms over your head and then finish with a few calf raises. Do ten reps of each to feel energized and refreshed by the end of your trip.

Podcasts

Podcasts provide an amazing array of entertaining and educational information. iTunes or Google Play features any topic imaginable, which makes it easy to find podcasts that pique your interests. Another great feature of podcasts is that you can adjust the setting to faster speeds, which means you can gain even more knowledge in a shorter amount of time. Before your trip, visit iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and start learning about a new business venture or hobby, or simply be entertained. Another way to enjoy the journey is with a comedy podcast. Having a few laughs with your favorite comedians helps relieve stress and keeps you in a positive mindset for the journey.

Games

Play a game. Whether it’s Punch Buggy, I Spy, Twenty Questions, or Truth or Dare, a good old-fashioned game is a great option for passing the time and bonding with the group. You could also play traditional board games such as Scrabble, Battleship, or Four in a Row, which come in popular travel versions. Sometimes real games are more fun than video games, and they are far more relaxing.

With a range of fun and productive activities at your fingertips, getting to your destination is anything but boring.

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July 23, 2018

Music Festival Hacks

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Music festivals are a great way to have fun with friends and family, especially because many of them are open to all ages. Whatever your musical preference, you’ll find a festival that celebrates it. Whether you are an EDM fanatic, a country music lover, a jazz aficionado, into bluegrass, or prefer classic rock, the iconic music festival is the place to be.

Music festivals happen all year round, in many scenic places around the country. Also, many of them offer on-site camping, a magical way to reconnect to the great outdoors while jamming out to your favorite tunes.

With all the fun to be had, here are a few hacks to make your festival experience the best ever.

Set a Budget and Book Ahead

When it comes to planning, it’s all about the Benjamins – how much is it going to cost? Once you have a set budget, it’s time to book your transportation, and the further in advance, the better the outcome, especially when it comes to savings. This is especially true with charter bus rentals, which vary in price depending on the season. When you book in advance, it allows you to lock in the best possible rate.

Also, popular festivals often sell out way in advance, and the only chance you have of getting tickets is through overpriced ticket scalpers online or at the show. Make a list of the festivals you can’t miss and get on the email lists to get updates and notifications when tickets go on sale. Secondly, make hotel reservations or campground reservations well in advance. These may also book up quickly, especially for groups.

Look for Lesser-Known Festivals

Another often-overlooked hack is going to lesser-known music festivals with free admission. Oftentimes, these events feature something special that other festivals don’t offer. For instance, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival often sells out quickly and scalpers sell any remaining tickets at an inflated price. Instead, consider attending the free French Quarter Festival, which is held throughout the French Quarter of New Orleans. The fest features popular local bands that are often staged in the heart of the French Quarter, giving you ample opportunities for dancing in the street.

Be Prepared for Weather

Do not forget to prepare for all kinds of weather. Festivals are typically outdoors, so gear up with a hat, sunscreen, a water bottle, and a rain jacket or poncho. Make sure you check the festival website for rules regarding what is allowed to be brought into the festival. Many festivals have specific rules regarding items like water bottles, backpacks, umbrellas, food, and drinks. If the festival does allow you to take a backpack and water bottle, take advantage of it and bring a refillable water bottle as well as a rain poncho and sunscreen. If the festival doesn’t allow food or drinks, consider bringing along a cooler for a tailgating picnic in the parking lot, which can save you even more money.

Transportation

If you are going with a group of friends or family, consider renting a charter bus for these special events.  Chartering a bus is not just for rock bands on tour. You can book your own charter easily online and it is surprisingly economical when sharing the expense with a group. When considering the high cost of gas, the wear and tear on your vehicle, plus the cost of parking, it’s a no-brainer to charter a bus.

Even better, you have the added luxury of getting to relax and have fun with your group while a professional does the driving. The fun isn’t just the destination, but also the journey when you charter a bus that has all the modern amenities to make your road trip comfortable and relaxing.

How to Book a Charter Bus

First, look for a company that has a reputation for high safety standards and excellent customer service. Many charter companies such as Metropolitan Shuttle feature safety-certified vehicles and only work with vendors and operators that are in good standing with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). This government agency requires companies to comply with routine safety checks and maintenance on buses, which prevents any mishaps on the way to the show.

Drivers must also have a commercial drivers license and adhere to strict quotas on the number of hours behind the wheel. These regulations ensure that drivers are always alert, a must-have for getting precious cargo to and from the festival.

Once you find a reputable company to work with, request a quote online or by phone. Charter reservation companies often require a refundable down payment after the contract is signed, which secures the buses for your specific dates of travel. At Metropolitan Shuttle, full payment is due thirty days before departure for your convenience. Then, you will receive a travel itinerary and driver details approximately 24 hours before your trip, which can also be accessed with the MetroTrac® app.  

Types of Charter Buses

Summer is the season for good tunes and good times, so gather your pals, lace up your Chucks, and head to the festival in the best charter bus for your needs. Charter buses of the modern era have many options, depending on what your group requires. Whether you have a large group and want to book the most affordable choice in the form of a school bus or concert party bus, or you have a smaller group but want to fly high in a luxury bus rental, there are a range of options to consider.

If you’re getting the band back together, the shuttle van is ideal for a group of 6 to 15 people. Another way to transport a small group to the festival is with the minibus, an economical transportation option for short trips. It also seats 24 people, and in the festival world, the more the merrier! At Metropolitan Shuttle, we offer customers a range of buses that fit any budget, including 60 seat charter buses with luxury amenities designed for the long haul.

Charter Bus Pricing

A local area charter typically charges between $125 and $150 an hour with a four to five-hour minimum. For longer trips, interstate charters cost $3 or $4 per mile, plus a “deadhead rate,” which applies to one-way charters that includes the return trip of the empty bus. Keep in mind, that it can be cheaper to have the bus wait for you at the destination than have it return earlier empty. When you break it down per seat, however, the price is significantly cheaper than airfare, plus it gives you a chance to hang out with your pals on the way to the show.

To help plan your budget, check out this page for pricing of the different options!

Travel on a Budget

Sometimes you have to fight for your right to party, which includes sticking to a budget. Attending your favorite festival is important because nobody wants to get a case of #FOMO (fear of missing out), but you also don’t want the event to break the bank. By sharing costs with a group, you can still have the time of your life and save money at the same time.  When planning a group trip, figure out what all the shared expenses will be, such as hotels, meals, and transportation, and then divide it by the number in the group.

To save money on accommodations, try booking a campground or hostel instead of a hotel, or consider renting a house for your group on a vacation rental site such as AirBnB.  As mentioned previously, a charter bus is a great way to save money on transportation when traveling with a group. To save money on airfare, consider using a travel rewards credit card, which can earn you a free ticket when you sign up – just make sure you pay off the total balance of the card so that you don’t rack up credit card debt.

Volunteering at a Festival

Another way to save money is to volunteer at a festival. Often, festivals offer free admission to participants who offer to volunteer at the festival for a certain number of hours. Volunteering can save hundreds of dollars on the ticket price, plus you often get a backstage pass, which allows you to get an up close glimpse of all the action. Not only is it a rewarding experience, but you might even get band merchandise like a free volunteer t-shirt or other memorabilia. Check the festival website to find out if they accept volunteers, and as always, make plans to apply early at your favorite festival, because spots fill up quickly.

Make the most of the summer festival season with a well thought out plan that fits your budget and needs. That way, once you arrive at the fest, all you have to do is put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the show.

 

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June 22, 2018

What You Need to Know to Charter a Bus for the First Time

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What You Need to Know to Charter a Bus for the First Time

There are many factors that need to be considered when chartering a bus, especially for first-timers. Here’s everything you need to know:

The Process

The Metropolitan Shuttle staff helps walk you through every step:

  1. Quote – Request a quote online via our website or over the phone.
  2. Review quote by phone or via email with a Metropolitan Shuttle representative.
  3. Receive contract – After signing a contract, a refundable down payment is required.
  4. Trip Confirmation – The buses are reserved for your party.
  5. Payment – The full payment of your trip is due 30 days before departure.
  6. Receive trip and driver details 24 hours before departure.

Pricing

Local Area Charter (trip within metropolitan area)

  • Charges hourly ($95 -$195 depending on size and grade of bus)
  • Garage time (the time it takes to get the bus from garage to departure point and back) is included
  • Typically a 4-5 hour minimum

Interstate Charters

  • Over-the-road trips are charged by mile ($3-4 per mile)
  • A deadhead rate, which accounts for the return trip of the empty bus, is charged on one-way rentals

Benefits of Charter Bus Rental

  • Compared to airfare, a charter bus is often much cheaper per passenger, especially when every seat is filled. Bus travel is the safest mode of transportation. Professional chauffeur allows passengers to relax.

Payment Terms and Options

  • Metropolitan Shuttle requires full payment 30 days before departure
  • Accepts credit cards, checks, and money orders

Charter Bus Safety

  • Twice as safe as air travel
  • 50 times safer than a car
  • To ensure the safety of passengers, Metropolitan Shuttle only works with vendors and operators that are properly insured, and are in good standing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA.)

Support

  • At Metropolitan Shuttle, customer satisfaction is a top priority, which is why someone is always available for support or your questions.

Have more questions about chartering a bus? Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or request a free quote today.

 

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June 16, 2016

Chartering a Bus for the First Time: What You Need to Know

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A charter bus is one of the safest, most reliable, and most economical ways to travel. But booking a charter bus might seem intimidating. What kind of buses are available? What are the rates? Will someone be available to answer my questions after departure? Metropolitan Shuttle has the answers to all those questions, and more. Here’s everything you need to know to get started booking a charter bus.

The Process

Booking a charter bus is easier than you might think. The staff at Metropolitan Shuttle will help walk you through every step of the process.

  1. Quote: Your first step in chartering a bus will be getting a quote from Metropolitan Shuttle. You can request a quote online via our website, or over the phone.
  2. Contract: Once all points have been negotiated, a contract is signed. A refundable down payment is required when negotiations are complete.
  3. Trip Confirmation: The buses are secured
  4. Payment: The full payment for your trip is due thirty days before departure.
  5. Trip and driver details will be sent to you approximately twenty-four hours before you are due to depart.

Pricing

Have you looked into chartering a bus in the past, only to experience “sticker shock”? Metropolitan Shuttle will help you break down the quote and understand where your money is going. Here are the basics of chartering a bus:
A local area charter (that is, a trip within a metropolitan area) charges hourly, usually around $125-$150 per hour. “Garage time,” or the time required to get the bus from garage to departure point and back, is included in this cost. Most charter bus companies require a minimum of four to five hours.

Interstate charters charge by the mile, usually $3 or $4 per mile. A “deadhead rate,” which accounts for the return trip of the empty bus, is added to this charge. When broken down by seat, a charter bus will run you much significantly less than airfare, and probably much less than taxi or Uber service, provided you fill most of the seats in the bus. We’ll always help you to find you the most suitable vehicle for your trip. Please refer to our article “How much does it cost to charter a bus” for more in-depth information.

Payment Terms and Options

Metropolitan Shuttle accepts credit cards, checks, and money orders. Customers using a credit card will see a small processing charge will be added to the bill.
As stated above, Metropolitan Shuttle requires full payment in advance, thirty days before departure.

Safety

A charter bus is one of the safest ways you can travel — twice as safe as traveling by plane, and almost fifty times safer than by car.

There are legal limits to how long a driver can drive per day. By law, a bus driver can only travel 600 miles or 10 hours (whichever comes first) before requiring a relief driver. This is done for the safety of all passengers.
Some companies in the charter bus industry engage in unscrupulous practices. They sometimes neglect the maintenance of vehicles, neglect to carry insurance, or fail to attend to the safety needs of drivers.
Metropolitan Shuttle prides itself on its reputation as the most trusted charter bus brand in North America. We check the federal FMCSA safety records to help ensure the safety of our passengers and bring peace of mind to your next trip.

Support

Support from Metropolitan Shuttle doesn’t end when you sign the contract and pay for your trip. Someone will be available for support or questions at any time, from the moment of booking until the last passenger has left the bus.

Still have questions about chartering a bus? Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or request a free quote today.

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