School Bus VS Tour Bus: What Is Right for Your Group?


If you could take the time to sit at a busy intersection in your town or the off-ramp from a highway, you would see a lot of different buses making the rounds. There will be some slick, stylish tour buses gliding effortlessly down the highway and you will wonder what it's like to glide along inside one.

You will also see dirty yellow school buses bouncing down the highway or through the intersection. You may see hands wandering inside the windows and it could take you back to when you were a child sitting in one of those seats.

Then you may see something that ties features of the school bus with features of the tour bus: school buses designed for commercial purposes and adult riders. These buses are a bit like tour buses since they are rented out by groups of every variety for group travel. Yet, they are not nearly as luxurious as most tour buses because they are modeled after the modest school bus.

Most will not be bright yellow. These buses may have the basic shape and design of a school bus, but they are typically painted white or another simple color to set them apart from the yellow buses dropping kids off at their homes in the afternoon.

Differences to Consider

The biggest difference that may be noticed between a school bus rental and a tour bus rental is price. Tour buses can be quite fancy and have more decorative designs. They may have features that you will not get with a school bus, such as bathrooms and small kitchen areas built right into the bus.

These more elaborate tour buses are typically rented for longer trips. School buses are typically rented out for shorter trips.

School buses may also have more size options than tour bus rentals. You can get short buses designed to carry less than 15 people or larger buses that can carry 30 people. Tour buses tend to be larger so you will not have the opportunity to adjust expenses by picking smaller buses.

That is a huge perk that comes with a school bus rental. You can get the size you need at a good price rather than renting a larger bus that will be half empty if traveling with a smaller group.

The style of seating may also be different, but do not assume that a school bus will have uncomfortable seats. Many school bus style rentals are not designed for children, so they do have comfortable seats for people of all ages. They just may not have as much cushioning as you could get with a fancier tour bus.

Making Your Decision

Consider all of the following when determining whether a tour bus or school bus would fit your travel needs:

• How many people are traveling with you?
• How much can you afford to invest in transportation for this trip?
• What is the total distance being traveled?

The number of people traveling with you is always the first concern, but price comes in right after it. You need enough room to accommodate everyone going on the trip, but you do not want to pay for more seating than you will actually use.

In general, school buses are rented out for shorter or local trips while tour buses are more comfortable for long distance trips.


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