Riding the short-bus
February 9, 2007 12:47 PM   Subscribe

How can I rent a shuttle bus?

So, I have six children (boys/girls from 4-16), and I'm thinking it's high time we went on a road-trip style vacation. We haven't really been anywhere as a family since oh..forever. But I'd like to drive from Seattle to Disneyland, take two weeks and just meander. The problem being is right now we're a two car family, we both own station wagons, and to take a road-trip, we'd have to take both cars.

What would be sweet is if I could rent a shuttle bus (the short buses hotels and casinos use) for the two weeks. I'd be willing to pay $75-100 a day. We're not planning on camping, mainly hotels, but this would be easy on and off for everyone, and I think it would be memorable. Plus my older girls (14 and 16) could each take a friend.

I've googled, but everything I can find is geared toward chartering a bus. I just want to rent it, I'll drive it. I have good driving record. Can anyone help?
posted by patrickje to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I think that instead of a bus, you just want a large van. Any major car rental company will have those.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:51 PM on February 9, 2007

how about an RV?
posted by cahlers at 1:08 PM on February 9, 2007

Yeah, just start calling the big rental chains and ask about a van that can seat 10 (or whatever your target total). It may not be listed on their websites, but most will have them for exactly your situation. My extended family took a cruise from vancouver when I was in middle school, and we spent three days in Vancouver after the cruise. We rented a 'large van' which was like a little shuttle bus from Budget... long body, rows of no-frills seats, but it was enough to haul around all 6 adults and 4 kids plus luggage.

Of course, we weren't expecting that it would have the enormous Budget logo painted on the outside. When waiting for us to load up in front of the hotel, strangers kept getting in and asking when we would be leaving for the airport.
posted by ulotrichous at 1:11 PM on February 9, 2007

Actually, looks like Budget at Sea-Tac rents a 12 passenger van for $50 a day. See here. I didn't look at mileage / out of state stuff.
posted by ulotrichous at 1:14 PM on February 9, 2007

Thanks for the information about the large vans. That's what I'll do if I can't find a bus. I just think that an actual shuttle bus would be funky and kind of rocking, you could open the bus doors for the kids and all :)
posted by patrickje at 1:35 PM on February 9, 2007

I think you need a special license for even a small shuttle bus like you describe. I worked for a Senior Center, and that was the case for the shuttle bus we used (which I guess would seat about 16).

Probably better to go with the van as others suggest.
posted by kimdog at 1:42 PM on February 9, 2007

The hotel and "courtesy" buses I have been on didn't have seat belts. You might take that into consideration in your decision.
posted by nita at 1:43 PM on February 9, 2007

Excellent information nita and kimdog, thanks.
posted by patrickje at 1:53 PM on February 9, 2007

We did that once with a rented RV. Big fun.
posted by Alt F4 at 1:55 PM on February 9, 2007

You can definitely hire small buses, the only restriction being that how many passengers you can carry depends (at least here in AU) on what license you have. Here, one can hire a 12-seat minibus readily using a normal car license but larger than that you a license upgrade.

I think the yellowpages category you want is "Buses-Charter & Rental".
posted by polyglot at 4:29 AM on February 10, 2007

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