October 26, 2018

Traveling with Large Groups on a Budget

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When you consider the cost of transportation, meals, lodging, and other travel-related expenses, traveling with a large group can get expensive. But don’t let that stop you from planning a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with your group or organization. On your next trip with a large group, keep the costs down with these money-saving tips from the budget travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, the leading Charter reservation company serving the US and Canada.

Rent a Charter Bus

Compared to airline tickets, taxis, and ridesharing services, the price per passenger is significantly less expensive with charter bus travel. At Metropolitan Shuttle, our selection of vehicles features buses with large capacities, which means you can keep your group all in one place during the journey. Many luxury coaches offer amenities for the long haul, like onboard restrooms, comfy reclining seats with footrests, Wi-Fi, and much more.

For shorter trips within a metropolitan area, the school bus is the most budget-friendly option. It might not have the amenities of luxury coaches, but it can safely transport your group from point A to point B for a price that everyone can afford.

Affordable Charter Bus Pricing

When you request a quote from Metropolitan Shuttle, we also give you one upfront price, which means you won’t get stuck with hidden fees that can throw you off budget later on. If you choose a charter bus for your transportation needs, look for trusted companies with an excellent safety record and top-rated customer service. At Metropolitan Shuttle, safety is our number one priority, which is why we verify operators’ safety records and insurance before assigning any to your trip… Our expert customer service representatives will give you a breakdown of the final price to make sure that you understand the exact cost of the trip.

Bring Your Own Food

It’s common knowledge that food and drinks are more expensive at restaurants than grocery stores, especially with large groups. Be sure to mention to your travel expert that you’d like to bring food and drinks for your group, so they can pair you with buses that allow food and drinks. This way you can enjoy inexpensive food and drinks at your destination. If it’s a day trip, you could also ask each member of the group to bring their own packed lunch, which will further offset the cost of food. When everybody has their favorite snacks and drinks to enjoy, tailgating with your group can be a fun bonding activity that also saves the group a significant amount of money.

 

Crowd Funding

Even when you cut corners in all areas, the cost of group travel can be a heavy burden for organizations on a tight budget. But don’t let that stop you from planning an epic trip for your group! In the age of social media, raising money for a group or organization has never been easier. With a small amount of effort, you can call on the online community for support with crowdfunding platforms like Go Fund Me and Kickstarter.

 

Group Discounts

Whether it’s an amusement park, a convention center, or other destination, many companies offer quantity discounts on tickets and passes. In other words, the more tickets you buy, the cheaper the price. Once you have a headcount, you can calculate the savings per passenger, which can be passed on to members of the group. Some restaurants and hotels also offer group discounts, so it would be worth your while to ask about group pricing when making reservations. Not to mention, sometimes the tickets are free for the group leader.

 

Plan Ahead

Travel expenses like charter bus rentals and airline tickets often fluctuate with the seasons, so get the most value for your money when you book your trip a few months in advance. That way, you can lock in the best possible rate, even if you’re traveling during peak season. According to the travel insiders at CheapAir.com, the best time to book airfare is during the prime booking window, which is three weeks to three and a half months before your departure date. For cruise vacations, booking well in advance can also get you extra perks and amenities like drink packages, onboard credits, and Wi-Fi.

 

Financial Apps

Another way to cut corners on group travel is with financial apps that automatically split all of your expenses. Splitwise is free and does all the number crunching for you; that way, you can make sure everyone gets paid back for the money they spent during the trip. The Splitwise app tracks expenses that are group related and then evenly splits group activities, dinners, or entertainment expenses. The app will even send reminders to everyone until the balance is paid off.

Another handy financial tool, electronic payment apps such as Venmo or PayPal are an efficient and secure way for members of your group to exchange money in real time, which helps everybody keep a closer track on daily spending.

Group travel can be expensive but when you incorporate money saving tips into your travel plans, you and your crew can experience the adventure of a lifetime while avoiding feeling overwhelmed by finances. From #FOMO to #YOLO, these budget-friendly ideas will ensure that you never miss out on the fun!

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October 26, 2018

Travel Accessories that Make Traveling Easier

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Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, create your own first-class travel experience with these practical and ultra-luxe travel accessories:

Wireless Shiatsu Massager

The cushy reclining seats on charter buses might be plenty comfortable, but sitting in an upright position for an hour or more can be hard on the spine. And if you’re flying on a budget airline, it’s even worse—the compact seats can really knot up your lower back. For instant pain relief from travel-related back strain, a portable back massager can provide the deep tissue massage you need to enhance circulation and reduce inflammation. Many back massagers have built-in features like healing heat functions and a 20-minute automatic shut off to prevent overstimulation of the muscles.

 

Portable Chargers

When you include a portable charger on your packing list, you’ll never be the desperado at the airport or bus station who has to fight over wall outlets to charge a device. A must-have not just for passing the time, a smartphone is the single most important travel accessory you can have because it keeps you connected during your journey. So when you need to make an important call or send an urgent text, a portable charger ensures that your phone never runs out of battery at the most critical moments. Make sure you pay attention to the amperage of the battery pack because it dictates how many times you can recharge your phone before having to recharge the battery pack itself.

 

Neck Pillow & Blanket

The unique shape of a neck pillow is designed to comfortably support your head in an upright position. Without it, you run the risk of waking up with a sore neck if you fall asleep in an awkward position. Bringing the comforts of home to your travels, the blanket ensures that you feel cozy and warm on the journey. Whether it’s a charter bus or airplane, there’s a good chance that the air conditioning with being on full blast, so keep your travel blanket close by and be comfortable in any temperature. Fleece blankets are nice and soft, but reflective “space blankets” are effective and real space savers compared with other blankets.

 

Noise Canceling Headphones

Don’t let outside noise pollution like loud talkers or crying babies put a damper on your travel experience. The perfect solution is noise canceling headphones, which help block out noise around you so you can concentrate on listening to your podcast, watching videos on your smartphone, or jamming out to your favorite music playlist. Without any outside distractions, these high tech headphones are perfect for helping you stay focused and fully absorbed in your on-the-road activities, whether it’s an eBook, writing in a notebook, or dreamily gazing out the window. You can also turn on the noise-canceling feature without music on, which will create a nice, calming quiet space.

 

Hard Carry-on Luggage Case with Charging Ports

Roller bags are essential for an easy and seamless trek through airports, bus terminals, or other transportation hubs. Made with ultra durable polycarbonate, the hard shell case has a glossy finish that holds up in the roughest of conditions. Luckily for the savvy traveler, this popular type of luggage gets a major update with high tech features like a TSA compliant lock that protects your valuables, plus a built-in USB port, which gives you a convenient way to charge your devices. Finally, there’s an all-in-one luggage case for the smart passenger! Just be sure to check your airline’s luggage rules as some have been imposing restrictions on “smart luggage.”

 

Sleep Mask & Portable Sound Machine

If you’re a light sleeper, a sleep mask with built-in ear coverings is a must-have for your travel checklist. More comfortable and effective than regular earplugs, this soft and silky mask significantly blocks out unwanted sounds and light. For deep REM snoozing on your travels, make it a complete set with a portable sound machine that you can clip onto your clothing, plus sleep earbuds to deliver the soothing sounds of ocean waves, rain, and other types of white noise. Or just use your noise-canceling headphones over your earplugs to further block the noise.

 

Universal Travel Outlet

Whether you’re at a public transportation terminal or relaxing at your hotel or Airbnb, a travel power adapter with international compatibility is the most practical travel accessory you can own. The device includes access to outlets that are compatible with over 160 countries, including the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, and many more. Look for models with four USB slots and one AC socket, which allow you to charge five devices simultaneously. Make sure you check the voltage of your electronics! Some countries use a higher voltage than the US, so even if the plug fits, you need to make sure that your gadget is compatible with the host country’s voltage.

 

RFID Blocking Wallet and Passport Case

Thieves are going high tech with wireless scanners that can steal your personal info directly through a wallet. And nothing is worse for morale than having your personal security compromised during a trip. The answer to protecting your most essential items like a wallet or passport is the RFID blocking wallet or case. Look for wallets made with top-grade materials like grade 5 titanium and electro-plated gunmetal for maximum security. On your next trip, protect yourself against electronic pickpocketing with these advanced wallets, which are also available in leather or glossy aluminum.

 

According to T.S. Eliot, “the journey not the arrival matters,” so get ready to travel in comfort and style with these handy, on-the-go accessories.

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