The Complete Guide on How to Book a Charter Bus for a College Tour

Your high school years are over and now comes a new set of adventures and worries—applying to college! You know that touring colleges is a vital part of the process. But with such a crucial decision looming large, it can be difficult to keep track of what to do. How many colleges should you visit? Where should you start? What questions should you ask?

One of the most vital questions you should ask yourself as you start planning your college visits is, “How am I getting there?” The drive from, say, San Diego to La Jolla can be short, but the trip from, say, Boston to the University of San Diego may require a long-distance drive in the car.

How about a charter bus? It can transport your entire group, so you don’t need to worry about finding parking or driving yourself, and your parents can relax on the journey while you get to know more about the colleges you're considering.

At Price4Limo, we’ve helped countless families & high schools organize school tours throughout the U.S., and we want to share some tips to make the process simple and stress-free.

The Complete Guide on How to Book a Charter Bus for a College Tour

What to Know Before Booking Your Bus

Price4Limo’s network includes thousands of buses across the United States. We have access to everything from 18, 20, 25, 35 passenger minibuses to full-sized 56 passenger charter buses and even school buses, making it easy for us to find a bus perfectly matched to your group’s size.

If you’re a family or small group of 18 or less, a minibus rental would suit your travel needs well! Minibuses are typically more compact than larger charter buses, which make them easier to maneuver on crowded roads. If you’re visiting campuses in a city with notorious traffic, like Boston, New York, or LA, a minibus would be perfect.

Larger groups of 20 or more have a few options. If you prefer a more compact vehicle, there are minibuses that can accommodate up to 35 passengers. If you have a larger group, a full-sized charter bus rental can seat up to 56 people. If your group is still larger than that, our team can even organize a custom fleet for you.

charter bus luggage

The Price4Limo team can also help book school buses for student tours, though these buses come without the amenities like WiFi and reclining seats. Our team of reservation specialists is always available to assist you with choosing the best type of bus for your next group tour!

Plan Your College Tour Itinerary

Before you even consider calling us to book your ride, you need to know a few things:

  1. How many passengers are in your group?
  2. Where are you planning to go? Are you starting at home and visiting a handful of colleges nearby or are you going out of state? How many college campuses are on your list and how far apart are they from one another?
  3. What days are you traveling? Will you be going for just one day or over several days?
  4. What time will your tours be? This includes official campus tours as well as other stops like meeting up with alumni, grabbing lunch at the campus dining hall, attending a club meeting, or getting your feet on the field or court!

Once you have these details, you can call 866-265-5479 and discuss your group’s transportation needs with a Price4Limo reservation specialist. We’ll ask about the colleges you’re interested in, the days you’ll be there, when your college tours will begin and end, and whether you have any additional stops or overnight stays planned. We’ll also make sure to discuss which bus amenities, if any, you’ll need.

Secure Your College Tour Dates

The Complete Guide on How to Book a Charter Bus for a College Tour

You have your transportation mostly planned out, but when will your actual tours be? Keep in mind that your school year is busy, college admissions offices have limited time and resources, and families may have to work around vacation time. This means your college tours need to be organized in advance! Some things to keep in mind when contacting colleges to reserve tours:

  • Contact the admissions office: Each college and university will have a slightly different tour registration system, but a good first step is to contact their office of admissions. Their phone number can easily be found on the website, or you can reach out via email. Pro tip: Don’t have your parents call! If you are a student, call up and show the admissions office that you are proactive and interested in enrolling. Trust us, they will remember this!
  • Book your tour as early as possible: Once you have a few colleges on your short-list, secure your preferred date and time for each school. College and university tour spots can fill quickly. If you’re traveling in spring or during holiday breaks when schools are closed, tour spots will fill up even faster.
  • Talk to a live person: Don’t register for a group tour online—call the admissions office directly. Talking to someone will give you more leeway to have any additional requests or needs met. If your group includes someone with disabilities, for instance, you’ll want to make sure you can reserve accessible accommodations. If you’re an art student hoping to sit in on a figure drawing session at a certain school, you’ll need to organize your tour registration with someone over the phone.
  • Be sure to note any discounts for visiting colleges: Some universities will waive college application fees for students who take an official campus tour or offer discount codes for local businesses like hotels and restaurants.

Things To Know Before Touring The Colleges

Make the most out of your campus visits with these tips.

  • Write down any questions you may have about the college or university, and don’t be shy to ask when you have the opportunity! This includes admissions questions, as well as questions about student life, financial aid, or academics.
  • Dress casually. You’re not going to a scholarship interview. You’re there to check out a school and see if it’s a good fit for you. Leave the business attire and prom dresses at home!
  • Do your research before the tour! Look at the college’s website and campus map before you arrive, and make sure you know where to park if you are arriving in a personal vehicle.
  • Be prepared to attend an information session. An admissions counselor will likely talk about topics like admissions procedures and financial aid. Prepare your questions ahead of time.
  • Take time to experience student life! If possible, have lunch on campus to taste what the dining hall has to offer. If you have overnight accommodations, consider spending the night in a dorm. The college may also have sporting events, concerts, or club meetings occurring during your visit—plan to visit and see what campus culture is like.
  • Don’t forget to explore the surrounding area of each college! You’re visiting the campus to make sure it’s a good fit for you. But you also want to make sure you feel comfortable in the town itself.
  • Follow up after you visit! It’s polite to send a thank-you note to everyone you met on campus, including the admissions counselor and any professors you may have met with.

Enjoy the Ride to Your Future University

College tours can be quite stressful. You have to meet new people, visit unfamiliar places, and learn a ton of information in one day. Relax on your charter bus instead! You can even use your time to do some homework, play bus games or make lists about your favorite college campus spots.

Many charter buses come equipped with plenty of amenities to make travel easier and comfortable. If you’re traveling long distances, an onboard restroom will be a great addition during hectic itineraries. When you call a reservation specialist, ask about reserving a bus with WiFi and power outlets, TV monitors and DVD players, reclining seats, and spacious luggage compartments.