For many individuals, the news that they have been allocated responsibility for coordinating the coach travel arrangements for an office trip is tantamount to being passed a poisoned chalice.
Although you may have the support of a great coach and limo hire services provider, there are only so many things they can do for you and managing your own personnel isn’t really one of them. So, it’s going to be up to you to make sure everything is organized and goes off without a hitch.
Based upon extensive experience, the following tips highlight where things usually go wrong and what you can do to avoid them.
- Put together a process that states a cut-off date by which people must have registered their intention to travel by coach or otherwise. Make it clear to your colleagues that if they haven’t done so by the said date, you will assume they will not be travelling on the coach and that will be final. In reality, you may have some flexibility but failing to get a grip here can result in (e.g.) 45 people turning up to try and board a 35-seater coach!
- Some people love travelling by coach or bus whereas others don’t. You may be able to reduce the level of grumbling by investing a few extra dollars in a more luxurious coach and one that is well appointed with fittings and perhaps entertainment.
- Publish well in advance, details of the boarding and drop-off points for both the outward and return journeys. Issue a reminder a few days prior to the event, rather than expect people to remember or have noted what you said in a circular several weeks previously.
- Be absolutely specific about collection and drop off points as well as departure times. Include a map if possible because ambiguity leads to confusion, delays and potentially chaos with people even being left behind due to being in ‘the wrong place’.
- Make sure you count people onto the vehicle.
- If possible, build at least some slack into your timings. You can be absolutely sure that there will always be at least one person who is late.
- Understand the coach and limo hire provider’s policies relating to things such as eating and drinking in the vehicle. Make sure that this is clearly, communicated to all passengers well in advance.
- Where practical, consider hiring a coach that has a few more seats over and above what your specific head count requires. Not only might that give you a little extra flexibility in terms of numbers but it may also permit passengers to sit alone if they wish or avoid people they don’t get on with.
- Again, take the advice of your professional coach rental providers but as a general rule, you may wish to discourage your colleagues leaving valuable personal possessions on the vehicle when they disembark for the day.
- Finally, if the day is rather more of a leisure and recreation event than a professional one, do whatever is required to ensure that alcohol is consumed only in moderation before the return journey. If you don’t think you have the authority to deal with that issue, you should make sure that you get the support of someone who does. Alcohol-fuelled rowdy behaviour on coaches is rarely amusing for the majority of people and may cause issues with the driver.
These are a few basic tips but if you follow them, you may come to realise that you haven’t been passed the poisoned chalice after all!