So you’re going to be in a parade– congrats! Your hard work has paid off, and now you’re going to help supply the hype at Chicago’s annual Thanksgiving Parade!

Uncle Dan’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of Chicago’s most grand holiday traditions. Since 1934, the parade has provided holiday entertainment for families both at home via the television and up close live at the parade route. Each year, over 300,000 attendees line the sidelines of State Street to watch bands, balloons, horses, dancers, special guests, and more perform in the parade, with millions more watching from the comfort of their homes.

It’s an exciting time for your group, but before you get to be a part of the festivities, you’ll need to secure transportation so that everyone arrives on time. Planning to transport hundreds of people into Chicago and at the parade route in a timely manner can be stressful; so, here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re organizing your group’s transportation:

Rent a Private Charter Bus

When transporting your band or group of performers to Chicago’s Thanksgiving parade, a charter bus is the way to go, even if you’ll be traveling a long distance. While a plane ride may seem more practical, getting your group through the airport and onto the plane in an orderly fashion presents more of a hassle than simply loading them onto a bus and heading straight to your destination. Your bus can bring your group right to your hotel and stick around to ensure that you arrive at the parade route right on time on Thanksgiving morning.

With a bus, you won’t need to check luggage and equipment before you board– everything can be quickly loaded into your bus’s spacious luggage bays, where it will remain throughout your trip. Plus, once you’ve arrived, you won’t have to deal with waiting around at baggage claim or finding lost luggage.

If you’re concerned about fitting all of your group’s essentials on your bus, companies like Total Charter Bus are always willing to work to find the most spacious option for you!

Make Sure Your Passengers Will be Comfortable

Some amenities will be available on a plane, but they may come with an additional cost that you’ll need to take care of en-route. With a bus, you’ll have WiFi, power outlets, and televisions with DVD players at your disposal so that everyone can stay entertained on the road– unlike a plane ride, though, you won’t have to pay extra during your trip to access these amenities. In fact, most on-board bus amenities are available at no additional cost to you.

Buses also come with much more legroom than most planes, allowing more comfort for tall passengers.

Decide How Long You’ll Stay in Town

Maybe you just want to get in, do the parade, and get out; or, maybe you want to seize this opportunity to see more of Chicago. Companies like National Charter Bus allow you to keep your bus for as long as you’d like, so your group can stick around after the hard work is finished for a day or two exploring the city. Just be sure to consider your budget when booking your bus– multiple days out on the road will cost a bit more than just one or two days.

Secure a Safe Place to Park

Before you choose a designated bus-loading area, make sure there’s a safe place nearby for your passengers to park and leave their cars. During the trip, no one wants to be worried about their vehicle back home!

If you’re unsure of the best place to keep your bus during your stay, a representative from your rental company will look into parking and staging areas for you after you call to book your transportation.

Stay in the Suburbs

Hotels in the city can be expensive, especially if you’re booking around Thanksgiving. In the suburbs, you’ll find lower rates for hotels as well as much more space to park your charter bus. The distance won’t be a problem, either, since you’ll have a personal bus and driver to transport you everywhere you wish to go. Suburban restaurants are also more likely to have the space necessary to park your bus and accommodate every member of your traveling group.

When planning your trip, don’t forget to factor in costs for your driver’s hotel room. They’ll need a safe and comfortable place to stay so they’ll be well-rested and ready to keep your group safe on the road.

Book a Variety of Vehicles

If you’re going to have some extra time for your group members to explore, it’s unlikely that everyone will be interested in seeing the same things in the city. To make it easier for your group to split up, you can book a small fleet of minibuses instead of one or two large charter buses. This way, you’ll have plenty of vehicles to cater to each small group’s individual itinerary.