decorating party bus

Our Guide to Decorating Your Next Party Bus Rental

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Add some flair the next time you need to rent a bus for a special occasion, such as a school field trip, a corporate outing, a sports tournament game, or even a bachelorette party. Decorating a rental bus can set the tone for the fun in store. However, before you go gaga at the party supply store, take some decorating tips from the pros.

Ask Permission When Decorating Your Party Bus

Yes, there are rules, and you don’t want to make assumptions. You also don’t want to begin buying supplies and starting to daydream about the inside of your bus rental, only to realize that the bus rental company can’t accommodate some of your specific design requests.

In general, a party bus can be decorated, as they are regularly used for occasions such as prom, bachelorette parties, and soirees. However, that doesn’t mean you need to have a party bus to set the mood when you’re headed to your next rally or tournament. So, talk with the rental company to make sure you understand its policy on decorating, as it will save you from additional expenses, should you accidentally breach the contract.

Even companies that will allow you to decorate might have specific limitations on the kinds of decoration allowed on board. There may also be specific terms to follow, such as what kind of tape can be used and what surface areas can be covered with decor.

General Rules for Decorating Your Bus Rental

Once you’ve gotten the green light to start decorating, give yourself enough time to do so by renting the bus about an hour earlier than your guest’s arrival time.

With a clean bus, the only other law of decorating is to make sure that the driver can see. Whatever you do, don’t put decorations on the mirrors or on the front or back windshields. The goal is to get where you’re going safely and set the mood–so don’t do anything that may obstruct the driver’s clear view while the bus is underway.

At the end of the rental period, be prepared to remove the decorations to avoid any additional cleaning fees. Knowing this should help you understand which decorations you want to be dealing with after the fact.

Incorporate the Event’s Theme

How you decorate a bus for prom is going to be very different than how you might decorate on the way to a chess tournament. So, take notes and let that be the foundation for your decor strategy. No matter what the theme, here are some of the best ways to temporarily add some flash to your bus rental.


Balloons are a festive way to spruce up a bus. Luckily, they come in all colors and are often already themed for certain occasions, which means you just need to spend a few minutes going through a catalog or searching through a party story to find the perfect options for your event. If you’re unsure about what colors are best, a good rule of thumb is to go with neutral colors, such as gold and silver.

If you’re going to incorporate balloons into your decorations, get creative with how you use your ribbons. You can leave the strings long and tape them to the floor, so the balloons float in the aisle, or you can let them bob against the ceiling with the long ribbons hanging down like the branches of a weeping willow. Just make sure that the balloons cannot reach the driver’s seat at any time during the trip.


Find the right words for your event and put them on a banner. Running banners or streamers along the interior of your bus rental is an excellent way to get your message across. Banners are particularly effective for events, such as corporate trips, where balloons might not be appropriate.

It’s also possible to put streamers or signs on the exterior of the bus, to help those riding the bus identify their bus in a crowded parking lot. Just make sure that everything is secure and won’t rip off once the bus begins to move, especially if the route to your destination includes highway travel.


The lighting on a bus can dramatically impact the mood of the passengers within. Some party buses are built with adjustable light systems. If you’re looking for something special, inform the rental company ahead of time: it’s easy to get the specific colors for your celebrations. Better yet, some party buses even come equipped with a disco ball!

Party Favors

If you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate circumstances that you signed a contract with a rental company before finding out that they don’t allow any decorations, party favors can provide an alternative way to get passengers in the mood for the event you’re heading to.

Party favors are easy to match to themes, making them great for most events. If you’re using the bus for a corporate event, you can put company giveaways on the seats before everyone arrives. Loot bags filled with snacks and small gifts are also great party favors.

Decorating Your Next Bus Rental for Specific Trip Types

Though a bus can be decorated for all kinds of events and parties, here are some tips for the usual suspects.

Field Trips

Let the kids do the work! Decorating a school bus for a field trip can be transformed into a fun learning experience for kids as they prepare their transportation with a theme that matches the destination. For example, if you’re going to an aquarium, let the students put up a picture of their favorite sea animal where they will be sitting. You might even opt to invent bus games for students that incorporate your choice of decorations.

Sporting Events

Know your colors and show your pride with decoration inside and outside the bus. Make use of mascots, as well as banners, which are an effective way to let the whole world know who you came out to support.

Award Ceremonies or Graduation

Add personalized touches to the seats to make those who are graduating or being honored feel special. You don’t have to go crazy; decorations can be as simple as an elegant name card on their seat.

Corporate Events

Show plenty of brand love by plastering the bus with your company’s logo. Using the corporate color scheme for decorations is also a surefire way to set the mood as everyone prepares for the event. If the bus you rented comes with a TV, the ride can also be a good time to watch company presentations.

Decorating Your Next Bus Rental

Taking the bus doesn’t have to be boring. With a little creativity (and permission), you can put everyone in the right mindset during your next outing on a rental bus. By using BusBank, an industry pioneer and leader in providing a single-source for chartering a bus anywhere in North America, you can talk with a representative to ensure that you are matched with the best bus service to meet your needs. If you already know you’ll be decorating it, they’ll be prepared to answer any questions about doing so.

See a decadently decorated bus? Send us a pic on Twitter @BusBank.