Someone you and many other people in your community cared deeply about has passed away. You wish everyone could go to the funeral, but the deceased individual had moved a good distance away many years ago, and that is where the services will be held. It has crossed your mind that a charter bus service could provide the solution to this problem. With a charter bus, a large number of people could travel to the funeral together. Consider the steps involved with organizing this trip. 

Create a Travel Schedule

As soon as you know the date and time of the service, you can create a travel schedule. A bus trip for this purpose is generally a day trip only because a large group of people likely can't all be gone longer than that.

Estimate the amount of time it will take to get to the destination and back and the amount of time you all will spend at the visitation, the service and a gathering afterward. Add at least an hour of additional time before the service to be on the safe side. 

Determine the Level of Interest

Before you start calling charter bus services for pricing, get an estimate of how many people want to go. Then you'll know the size of the vehicle you'll need.

The interest level may be lower than you expected if the service is at an inconvenient time for many individuals, such as 11 a.m. on a weekday. You might still have enough riders, however, to justify chartering a full-size sport utility vehicle or van. Depending on how far you're traveling, that may still be a less expensive option than everyone going to the destination in their own vehicles. 

Organize the Group

Determine a convenient place for everyone to meet, and schedule the bus, SUV or van to arrive there at the designated time. If you'll be traveling by bus, keep in mind that these large vehicles must be allowed on that street and the driver has to maneuver the bus at the location. 

Determine the Features You Prefer

If you have several choices for charter service, find out whether some offer certain amenities or have fewer restrictions than others. For instance, your group might choose to spend a bit more for extra leg room and luxury seats. If some individuals in the group would like to drink beer or wine coolers on the trip back, you'll need to find out which charter services allow alcohol. 

Do a little research online to make sure the services you're considering are not known for complaints. A large majority of bus travel experiences are good ones, but it's best to take precautions. Over about 4-1/2 years of reviews, the most common complaint focused on old equipment in poor condition or dirty buses. Even then, the chance of that problem occurring was only about 5 percent. 

Make Reservations & Pay for the Bus

Some services require full payment when you make the reservation, while others only require a down payment. Since you're probably scheduling this trip for a date less than a week out, any payment you make will probably not be refundable.

The price might be set by the hour or by the mile.

You'll have to decide whether you feel comfortable paying with your own credit or debit card and collecting payments from your group later. If you need payments from the group before you pay, acting quickly is important. Funeral services generally are scheduled fairly quickly after the person passes away, and you'll want to make sure you have transportation reserved.

Be Grateful for the Emotional Support

It will not only cost everyone less to travel with a charter service, there also is the advantage of being together for emotional support. You all have the opportunity to do some grieving together on the journey to the funeral, and on the way back, to reminisce about good times you had with the person who has passed away. That can be cathartic and provide some closure.