School Trip Tips

Friday, 14 June, 2019

June is traditionally the busiest month of the year here at McComb’s – and we’re not on our own.  Coach hire demand peaks in June for lots of different reasons.  For us it’s mainly because our tours are so busy, but for most coach companies it’s because of school trips.

Most local parents will be all too familiar with kids coming home with a note from school needing a permission slip signed and payment for the annual school trip in June to somewhere like Exploris, Oxford Island, W5 – you name it – our kids have been there too!

The problems start when local schools, whose budgets are so tightly squeezed, have to book the cheapest mode of transport they can lay their hands on.  You would be stunned to spend a day in our office at the moment to hear the number of calls we are receiving from school staff begging for us to provide transport at the last minute, because another coach company let them down.  Now, we’re not into naming and shaming, but if a price seems too good to be true, it is.  Companies take on more work than they can actually do, and then the day before the booking either claim they knew nothing about the job, or just make an excuse to not turn up, some just don’t turn up with no prior warning.  This week alone we have had 10 phone calls to pick up the pieces for schools which had been let down.  That’s around 300 kids not getting to go on their school trip.  Can you imagine their faces showing up to school, and no bus there to take them out?

This is far from true of the coach hire industry on the whole, but it only takes one company to let you down.

Our tips for those who are responsible for booking coach hire for any time of the year, but especially June are:

  • Book with the same company all the time – the provider to a loyal customer will always try harder to help, and you will probably get discount for booking frequently.
  • When calling for a coach to replace a cancelled one it’s never a good idea to start the call with “I’ve been let down by another company, and I’ve called lots of other companies before I’ve called you but they couldn’t help” – we want to be your first choice!
  • Get to know the coach company you are booking with – strike up a relationship as it will ensure you get the most support available.
  • Cheapest is not often best – the smaller the cost, the more likely a company is to let you down in the busy  months.
  • Always call to reconfirm your booking at least a week before the booking date.
  • Pay in advance if possible – it makes your contract stronger.
  • Get written confirmation of your booking.
  • Book with McComb’s!