5 Tips for Group Tours of Boston Colleges
Boston, MA, carries a proud tradition of prestigious schools, engaging student life, and rich history, making it a popular destination for large school trips and academic tours. If you’re planning to tour a college campus in the Boston area, there are many factors to consider before you step foot in the city. When you book a bus with Boston Charter Bus Company, transportation logistics will be the least of your worries. Our experts will pair you with a custom rental with amenities that will entertain and provide the ultimate comfort for your caravan of aspiring academics.
Here are five things you should know when planning your Boston college tours:
1. Skip Public Transportation Hassles
Boston boasts the oldest subway system in the United States: the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, locally known as the “T.” This five-line system includes stops near many of the city’s major campuses, and once settled into campus life, many Boston students use it to get to and from class.
However, navigating a public transportation system as robust as Boston’s can be tedious when you’re unfamiliar with the city, and with a large group of touring students, someone is bound to get lost. Plan ahead with a private minibus rental and make sure no one gets left behind. Minibuses are the perfect vehicles for transporting large groups in city centers like Boston, because their compact size allows your driver to easily navigate busy streets. At the end of the day, private bus travel costs less per person than average public transportation or rideshare fare, which reduces the overall cost of your Boston trip. In all, booking your transportation beforehand is a safer option for large groups that are new to the area.
2. Plan Campus Tours Well in Advance
While most Boston colleges and universities are open to the public, many institutions have limitations and guidelines when it comes to tour groups. For example, Boston College only offers tours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Whereas, Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT) can only accommodate campus tours during specific times of the year, and Boston University tours are available for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors only.
As a general rule of thumb, contact the colleges you plan to visit at least three weeks in advance to check availability and schedule your campus tour. Planning a visit over multiple days can ensure your students and chaperones have enough time to fully explore each location on the itinerary.
3. Ask About Tour Fee Discounts
Some institutions even offer to waive tour registration fees for large tour groups. In particular, Harvard offers a potential fee waiver or discount for Massachusetts public schools, and MIT waives tour fees booked by an educator or school counselor. It is recommended to inquire about discounts like these when booking your Boston campus tours, because they can save you money in the long run.
4. Coordinate Parking Before You Go
As with any major city, parking in and around Boston’s colleges is limited, and finding adequate spaces can be stressful. Boston University, for instance, doesn’t offer guest bus parking on campus, which is an important fact to consider when visiting the university for a group tour. Instead, your bus driver would most likely need to drop off students outside the BU visitor’s center, park off-campus, and meet you back at the visitor center at the end of the tour. Before your trip, your professional driver can arrange specific pickup and dropoff points around any of Boston’s campuses. In other words, with a private bus rental, all you need to worry about is making sure your tour group knows where and when to meet up at each campus.
5. Explore Local Boston Culture
While college tour trips are designed to answer students’, parents’, and educators’ questions about the schools— what degrees and certificate programs are offered, what kind of scholarships are available, et cetera— it is important to consider factors outside the academic field. Your college town becomes your home-away-from-home for 4 years and should be a place you are proud to call your alma mater. Make sure your students feel at home in Boston’s culture before they commit to a college in the city.
If your tour group has the time, it is wise to explore the local culture unique to the Boston area to ensure your college of choice is the right fit for your students in a cultural and social sense. Grab dinner at local eateries like Saus Boston or even take an afternoon to walk along the Freedom Trail. With a bus rental, passengers can securely store personal possessions in the spacious overhead compartments, so visitors can follow this string of historic landmarks without juggling academic pamphlets, paperwork, and school merchandise.
Bus Mobility Made Easy
No matter the size of your student group or number of campuses you plan to visit during your Boston stay, we can easily accommodate you with a modern, reliable coach. Schedule your bus transportation by calling our reservation specialists at 617-314-7577. If you call today, we will offer a free, no-obligation quote on the perfect bus for your group.