Tips for Planning a Holiday Trip to DC by Bus

Tips for Planning a Holiday Trip to DC by Bus

If you’re planning a journey to Washington, DC, with your family, choir group, or band this holiday season, DCTrails is here to assist you. Say goodbye to disputes over who has to take the wheel or how much each person should chip in for gas expenses. Instead, leave the driving up to our experienced charter bus drivers by renting a bus to Washington, DC.

Planning your trip, however, goes beyond just booking your bus. Keep reading for valuable tips on how to make the most of your charter bus adventure this winter.

Know Who’s Going

In order to plan your trip well in advance, it’s essential to determine your travel companions. Whether you intend to journey with friends, family, or a church group, it’s important to reach out to them and confirm the precise number of participants. Once you have this information, you can proceed to secure your tickets and plan your budget accordingly.

Secure Tickets Ahead of Time

Similar to airplane seats, charter buses tend to fill up rapidly in November, December, and early January. To secure the appropriate number of charter buses with the desired features and sizes, it’s advisable to make your reservation by the end of October. This is particularly crucial if you require ADA-accessible buses since there are fewer of them available, and booking in advance greatly facilitates our ability to locate one for you promptly. Many DCTrails buses still have space for dates during the holiday, so hurry and secure your tickets now!

Plan Your Itinerary

Before you take your bus to Washington, DC, plan out a few things you want to see when you arrive in this city. During this time of the year, the city is bustling with various holiday-themed activities, including:

National Christmas Tree Lighting

Attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Ellipse near the White House. This annual tradition features live music and the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, followed by the Pathway of Peace.

Ice Skating

Head to outdoor ice skating rinks like the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink or the Wharf Ice Rink to enjoy some ice skating in a picturesque setting.


The Smithsonian’s National Zoo hosts the annual ZooLights event, where you can walk through a dazzling display of animal-shaped lights, enjoy winter-themed activities, and see the animals at night.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Join the New Year’s Eve celebrations on the National Mall, featuring fireworks and live entertainment, or attend a New Year’s Eve party at one of the city’s many venues.

Download Holiday Movies

Ensure you have your preferred holiday movies ready for your trip to Washington, DC. Take some time to explore Netflix before your journey and download a selection of films that you’ll enjoy during the ride. Picture yourself reclining in your comfortable seat, wrapped in a warm blanket, and watching a classic film like “Christmas with the Kranks,” “Elf,” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 

However, you’re not limited to Christmas-themed films. Whether you don’t celebrate the holiday or simply have different cinematic preferences, a lengthy road trip allows for a movie marathon. Now is your chance to binge-watch all the “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter,” or “Star Wars” movies in succession. 

If you find yourself unable to download any movies before going on your trip, there’s no need to worry. DCTrails charter buses offer Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream your beloved movies throughout the entire journey. We also provide power outlets, so you won’t need to concern yourself with running out of battery power.

Make a Holiday Playlist

Every one of our charter buses is furnished with complimentary Wi-Fi, guaranteeing you can indulge in uninterrupted Spotify or Apple Music streaming throughout your expedition, without any worries about data consumption. Whether you decide to do this before taking off on your journey or right at the beginning of your bus adventure, take a moment to create the ideal holiday playlist featuring all your cherished Christmas melodies. Apple Music and Spotify offer a variety of holiday playlists tailored to your tastes. 

Pack Your Favorite Seasonal Snacks

Our buses feature both overhead storage compartments and undercarriage luggage space, offering ample room for all your holiday goodies, without the concern of running out of space for your suitcases. While you can certainly opt for bags of chips and a few apples if you or any fellow passengers have a penchant for cooking, why not consider preparing some delightful treats to pleasantly surprise everyone on the journey? On the day prior to your bus excursion to Washington, DC, consider whipping up a beloved holiday season snack like sugar cookies or gingerbread snaps. This delightful treat will help maintain the festive spirit throughout your travel experience.

Catch Up on Sleep

In the real world, there aren’t nearly as many chances to squeeze in a nap. Thankfully, road trips provide the perfect opportunity. Our buses are equipped with reclining seats and climate control, allowing you to recline comfortably, extend your legs, and bask in the perfectly regulated air as you indulge in some well-deserved rest. Upon awakening, treat yourself to a snack and savor a movie or some music as you approach your final destination.

Let Friends and Family Know on Social Media

By requesting complimentary Wi-Fi and charging outlets at each seat, you won’t need to restrict your online activities. This means you can freely share numerous photos on Instagram or Snapchat. Whether it’s uploading pictures taken during your journey or snapping selfies with your fellow travelers to showcase your comfortable travel attire, you have the freedom to stay connected.

You can also stay updated with the latest news on Twitter, check your emails, and send warm holiday wishes to your friends for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Year via Facebook. Regardless of the holiday you observe, you won’t have to miss out on spreading love just because you’re on the move.

Ask DCTrails About Bus Rentals to Washington, DC!

Are you traveling to Washington, DC, with a large group this holiday season? Inquire about charted bus rentals to Washington, DC, with DCTrails today! We rent large charter buses for church groups, universities, and more. Get in touch today to learn more!


Ready To Book Your Private Group Or A Charter Bus? Contact DCTrails!

Looking for a reliable and simple way to book a charter bus service? You have come to the right place. Reach out to us with your requirements or queries and we will walk you through the step-by-step process to help you plan the perfect trip to Washington DC.