Smart Travel Starts Early

Published: 18th January 2024

Your ultimate guide to why booking in advance maximises your savings.

Time is money and every penny counts in a cost of living crisis. Savvy travellers are discovering a secret that not only unlocks incredible savings but also ensures a stress-free journey; booking coach travel in advance. Welcome to a journey where foresight becomes your greatest travel companion, and the road to substantial savings begins long before the wheels hit the road.

We want to focus our attention on finances and money saving tips, tricks and key information that will help you through your booking journey and choosing coach travel. As we embark on this exploration we are joined by our head of sales Jit. You'll discover how being the early bird not only catches the worm, but also snags the best deals in the travel realm.

Meet Jit, head of sales

Hi readers, 

I've worked across the travel and retail sectors for the past 25 years and upped our sales teams across our local depots around the UK. I'm passionate about delivering outstanding customer experiences and value to our customers (existing and future). 

My spare time is spent with my family. I have 2 young sports mad boys aged 11 and 9 and of course my wonderful wife!

I hope this blog acts as a helpful guide for you to get the most out of your coach bookings and consider coach the best fit for your transportation needs.

So, why coach?

Coaches are an environmentally friendly mode of transport and booking a coach for your group can greatly help you reduce your carbon footprint and congestion on the roads. 

One coach load of passengers can take up to 50 cars off the road, with each trip emitting CO2 1.5 times less than rail, five times lower than planes and six times lower than a car.

Take the stress out of your journey and make travel part of the fun, be picked up and dropped off to exactly where you need to be on time, comfortably and conveniently.

If coaches are not out on private hire what are they doing?

Many coach operators have home to school contracts.  Drivers typically drop children to school in the morning and collect them again in the afternoon to return home.  These contracts operate every day of the school year (190 days state, 165 independent). 

Coach operators are always looking for work to fill the middle of the day (MOD). This is because drivers are often paid for the whole day. State schools MOD is generally 09:00 – 15:00, independent schools MOD is generally 09:00 – 16:00/17:00. The vehicle has already earned some money therefore any MOD work that the coach operator can secure contributes to any remaining costs and or increases their profit.

Could this help you save money?

The short answer is yes, If you can make your trips fit within the coach operator’s MOD window, for example, if you are able to leave slightly later, you may be able to benefit from MOD pricing rather than an operator having to source an additional coach and driver for your journey.

If you're getting to your destination later, you may want to leave later than the end of the middle of the day window. In this case, ask the operator if they can collect after they have completed the home to school service e.g. 16:30.

If you do not need your vehicle to remain parked whilst you are completing your trip let the operator know! They can sell the vehicle in the MOD and potentially pass the savings on to you. You may find you get better availability and pricing this way.  For example, the outbound journey may fit with separate school/commercial contracts, the same for the return.

Does the vehicle's capacity impact the price?

The standard and most popular size of coach within most operators’ fleet is a 53 EXEC.  This means the vehicle has 53 passenger seats and a toilet (the EXEC bit).  However, coaches come in many different shapes and sizes. A coach company’s fleet will contain vehicles that have 8 seats right up to vehicles that have 106 seats and most things in-between.

We have access to an unrivalled fleet meaning that you’ve got wide-ranging options from minibuses for small groups of up to 24 or large executive coaches for groups of up to 81! There’s no group size too small or large for us!

How can this help to save money?

Find the vehicle with the most appropriate size for your group. Many companies list their fleets on their websites however a few phone calls will help you to soon identify an operator’s fleet profile.

For example, if you have 70 passengers, find an operator with a 70 seater vehicle rather than booking 2 x 53 EXEC vehicles or other combinations. One vehicle will almost always be cheaper than two!

How does the time of year impact the price of coach travel?

Arranging your trips at the right time to avoid busy peak periods for coach operators will help to reduce the cost of coach hire.

Take a look at our calendar below 

Please note this is a guide overview and availability can vary.

Why should you book in advance?

Always book as far in advance as possible.  There are not an infinite number of coaches and particularly drivers, and they do sell out.  The shorter the notice, the higher the price – much like booking an air ticket. Booking well in advance secures the vehicle and also the very best pricing.

Is it better to book online or over the phone?

Either way, we offer the same rates and offers.

What's the best way to book multiple trips?

Bulk bookings, if a group/business or school would like to offer us their whole term/year of bookings we can look to offer a discount rate across all journeys.

When you book in advance, can you spread the cost?

No. A deposit payable will be taken when booking and then balance prior to hire unless on credit terms.  We are always happy to offer credit terms subject to check and approval.

Things to remember when booking your trips

Parking – when booking attraction/activity tickets, always ask whether coach parking is included. Many venues will provide free coach parking to schools but will charge coach operators who in turn will charge you (unnecessarily)

Ask for a discount on volume - If you can send a list for a whole term to an operator (considering the principles outlined previously), ask for a discount if you were to go ahead and book multiple journeys

So there you have it, everything you need to know to get the most out of booking in advance. Simply give us a call at 03301 358 469 or fill in our quick quote form and we’ll be in touch with all the information you’ll need

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