The ABCs of Charter Bus Etiquette

Charter Bus Etiquette

When traveling by coach bus, it’s only natural to want to enjoy the entire experience – no matter the distance traveled. That can only happen when all of the passengers are considerate of one another. Sadly, that word means different things to different people. That’s why we’ve come up with a simple guide for bus behavior that everyone can follow to make bus trips enjoyable for all.

Always Arrive on Time

One of the most basic charter bus rules is to arrive on time. While charter bus drivers have been instructed not to leave until all passengers have arrived, it’s not a good idea to make everyone else wait for you to come. Additionally, you’ll also be wasting the time you’ve rented for the bus. Durations for charter bus rentals are typically set. You’ll risk going overtime or cutting the trip too short if you’re wasting your time waiting around.

Start your trip off on the right foot by being punctual – but it shouldn’t be just you. If any other group member has a reputation for coming in late, tell them the arrival time is earlier than expected to make sure everyone shows up on time so you can depart as scheduled.

Everyone Has the Right to Peace

Proper tour bus etiquette dictates that you should always respect each other’s right to peace. That means when you’re on the bus, you should always use your indoor voice. No shouting, talking loud on the phone, just keeping the volume of your devices at a minimum, or using headphones. If you’re playing bus games with a few friends, make sure to keep your voices at low levels to avoid disrupting the others who aren’t playing.

Charter Bus Etiquette Headphones

Children Should Behave while on the Bus

Traveling with children can be quite challenging, especially if your child isn’t used to traveling for long periods. While it may be difficult, keeping your children quiet and behaved shouldn’t be impossible. As a parent, you must do whatever it takes to keep your children in line, so they don’t bother the others. Keep them entertained with fun activities, feed them with light snacks, or let them watch a video or two on your mobile device. Remember, a happy child is a quiet child – and it’s the best thing in the world when traveling with children.

Don’t Bring Too Much Stuff

While it’s really not a rule, it’s still part of proper bus etiquette to avoid bringing too much stuff. Bringing way more than you need means bringing along plenty of luggage, which takes up too much space on the bus, leaving not enough room for passengers or their stuff. Instead, take only what you need and place them in a small travel bag, backpack, or any other back that can be easily stored on the overhead compartment above your seat.

Charter Bus Etiquette Luggage

Follow Bus Rules and Transportation Rules at All Times

Most charter bus companies are strict when it comes to bus behavior, garbage, and entertainment systems. Make sure to familiarize yourself with travel and bus rules beforehand to avoid causing any problems later on in the trip. Knowing the travel schedule, when you can use onboard entertainment systems, indoor facilities, whether you can eat meals on the bus, and drinking alcohol on board are some charter bus rules that you should know before your trip.

Garbage Belongs in the Bin

Snacks on the bus are always one of the most fun parts of the journey – but littering isn’t. Garbage has no business being on the floor or other parts of the bus that are not a garbage bin. When you’re done with your snacks, make sure to throw your trash in the garbage bin. If you can’t find one near you, you can simply place your junk in a plastic container or inside your bag and throw it away when you find the bin. Everyone deserves to have an enjoyable trip – and that includes your driver who shouldn’t have to pick up after you.

Be Mindful of Others with You

It’s always a good idea to be mindful of the needs and comfort of others who are with you when traveling on a charter bus. While on the bus, proper tour bus etiquette must be followed at all times to avoid making the others uneasy or uncomfortable. For example, other passengers might not want you socializing with them so they can take a nap. On the other hand, bus drivers might not want you to do the same, so they can focus on driving the bus.

Additionally, you must also treat the driver with respect. While gratuity is not always necessary for charter bus trips, it is still welcome as part of bus driver tipping etiquette. Typically, tips should be 10 to 20 percent for short trips. Long, multi-day tips usually cost one to two dollars per person per day.


At the end of the day, tour bus etiquette boils down to one thing: politeness. When you keep that in mind, you don’t have to keep up with all the rules and etiquette tips. Just being polite to everyone around you will ensure that your trip goes as smooth sailing as possible.

If you want to make your trips more pleasurable, go with the best coaches in the business. Travel in style with Chicago Motor Coach. For further questions, please contact us at 847-260-9797 and let us know how we can help you!

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