5 Chartered Bus Trips Around Puget Sound

Looking for adventure? Charter a bus and hit the road.

Day trips and local adventures abound near Seattle, lucky us! Our expert coordinators plan group transportation for executive transportation, families, and any group that needs to arrive at their destination safely and on time. Here’s a short list of our favorite spots, an easy chartered bus trip away.

Future of Flight Aviation Center

The Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett is just 30 minutes up the road from Seattle. Experience this Boeing Aircraft Company factory at work and see the largest aircraft construction hangar in the world. North America’s only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant, the center’s guided tour features construction of the latest high-tech aircraft. Getting there is easy, too. Charter a well-appointed motor or mini coach for a larger group or choose a 10-passenger van or luxury SUV for smaller parties.


Leavenworth offers up a hefty dose of Bavarian charm and is the perfect family-friendly day trip. About a three-hour drive each way, visitors enjoy outstanding food and treats, shopping, wine tasting, outdoor activities, and cultural events, all wrapped up in gorgeous scenery.

La Conner

The historic little town of La Connor promises a laid-back day spent strolling the boardwalk, perusing galleries, boutiques, museums and more. Famous for its springtime tulip and daffodil festivals, it’s a fantastic day trip any time of year. Bring your friends—charter a mini coach bus or SUV and make transportation simple.

Mount Rainier

Visit this majestic Pacific Northwest icon as often as you can, especially since it’s a mere two- to three-hour drive from Seattle. A day trip will allow time to explore and do a little hiking, but stay longer if you can. Mount Rainier is the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest and offers extensive hiking, camping, and climbing activities. A chartered bus is a great transportation option that will let you pay attention to the scenery instead of the traffic.

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens takes a bit longer to get to, about three-and-a-half hours from Seattle. This active volcano notoriously erupted in May 1980 and is now a protected national monument that’s been left to return to its natural state. Interesting exhibits and beautiful scenery make the drive worth it.

Charter a bus to get there.

Shuttle Express offers trusted, safe, and reliable group transportation for business or pleasure, groups large and small. We’re best known for our iconic Sea-Tac Airport van service, but we maintain an expansive fleet of luxury cars, SUVs, large and small coaches, and private vans, perfect for day trips throughout the Sound, overnight excursions, executive transportation, and special occasions. Reach us at sales@shuttleexpress.net for a quote and more info.

Who’s Driving? 6 Tips for Safe, Fun Prom Transportation

Prom night means rolling out the red carpet, celebrating with friends and creating life-long memories–you don’t want to worry about who’s driving. The transportation coordinators at Shuttle Express put together a short list of important things to look for when booking your prom limo, luxury car, or group coach. Yes, Shuttle Express has luxury vehicles! We offer a full fleet of luxury limos, black cars, and coaches to choose from, and it’s not too late to book the perfect ride for your special night.

  1. Choose a reputable company.
    Make sure the company is registered, licensed with the state, and has the proper insurance. Shuttle Express is fully registered and licensed, insured with five times the amount required by law, and compliant in all areas of safety.
  2. Know your chauffeur is checked out. Choose a company that hires chauffeurs with proper training and licensing. For example, Shuttle Express does a complete background check on every chauffeur, including drug testing, so you can trust our chauffeurs are trained and fit to drive.
  3. Get the vehicle you want.
    Ensure the vehicle you choose has the space and features you want, preferably with one or two extra seats. Do not exceed the max capacity, because that quickly gets uncomfortable. If you have a large group, check out our larger coaches that seat up to 55 of your closest friends! Economical, comfortable, and fun.
  4. Get the total price, including extras.
    Ask if a fuel surcharge, service fees, and gratuity are included, or are you getting the base price before all the add-ons. Ask what happens if you go over your reserved time so you aren’t shocked when you see the final bill on your credit card statement.
  5. Set some ground rules.
    Parents, you have the right to tell the chauffeured transportation company what will and will not be tolerated in the vehicle. For example:

    • Ask that the chauffeur keep the privacy screen down.
    • Make sure the kids know that alcohol and drugs are strictly forbidden on board the vehicle.
    • Give the transportation company a curfew.
  6. Extend the night.
    Don’t forget that there almost always is a post-prom party or event. Remember to book the transportation for a few extra hours to ensure time to enjoy all the events before getting safely home.

Shopping for prom transportation in the Greater Seattle area? Shuttle Express has everything from luxury limos to large coaches, chauffeured by professional, background-checked, and drug-tested drivers.  Reach us at sales@shuttleexpress.net.


Seattle Wedding Venue Gems

It’s never too early to start planning your wedding day once you’re engaged, and it’s never too early to snag the coolest venue in Seattle. Our transportation coordinators sifted through dozens of unique wedding venues, including those where we’ve transported our wedding party clients, and we narrowed our list to these four shiny gems:

  • Stimson-Green Mansion
    If you’ve dreamed of getting married in an English Tudor Revival-style mansion, this place is for you. This 1901 landmark in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood features a variety of architectural styles, with each room offering something different. Notable highlights of the mansion include gorgeous leaded-glass windows, antiques, vintage fixtures, and rich wood detailing throughout. Best for smaller weddings, this venue is limited to 80 seated guests for an indoor ceremony.
  • The Great Hall at Union Station
    Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s Pioneer Square, this historic space once served as the main concourse of Seattle’s Union Pacific Station and features stunning turn-of-the-century grandeur that will awe your wedding guests. The 1911 landmark boasts a magnificent 55-foot-high barrel-vaulted ceiling, central skylights, polished limestone walls, archways, and a striking black-and-white mosaic tile floor.
  • Sodo Park by Herban Feast
    In a former life, this venue was a hard-working factory built in 1907, but it’s been reborn as an industrial-chic location perfect for the bride searching for an elegant, contemporary vibe. The space’s highlights include a loft design with vaulted ceilings, original windows, and an inner courtyard for more casual gatherings. Check out their award-winning in-house catering company, Herban Feast Catering.
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass
    Getting married among the magnificent suspended glass sculptures of artist David Chihuly would be memorable, to be sure. You and your guests can enjoy the world-renowned art glass installations at this unique venue. The shimmering Glasshouse can accommodate the largest of weddings, and it’s conveniently located at the Seattle Center.

Planning wedding transportation? As Seattle’s local transportation experts, Shuttle Express has taken part in hundreds of weddings, transporting brides, grooms, and guests to venues all over the region for nearly 30 years. We bring transportation knowledge, professionalism, and caring service to your most treasured event to ensure nothing is missed.

Choose from our extensive fleet of black cars, limousines, and luxury coaches to handle each part of your wedding event. Contact us at sales@shuttleexpress.net to arrange a site visit to personally inspect our luxury fleet and to meet your coordinator. We can’t wait to meet you!


Helping Others, One Ride at a Time

No matter what time of year, it feels good to lend a hand, to make someone smile, to lighten someone’s load. Our Shuttle Express Team was fortunate enough to get that opportunity this holiday season when KING5 Evening asked us to help a local family get to the Seahawks game on Christmas Eve.

The Gritten Family of Spanaway won tickets to the Dec. 24 Seahawks-Cardinals game through Ben’s Fund/Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington, an organization that helps families affected by autism. Ben’s Fund/FEAT was founded by John Schneider (general manager of the Seahawks) and Traci Schneider in honor of their son Ben, who has an autism diagnosis. (Check out their site to find out about their great work with Washington families!)

The Grittens have been through some significant health challenges this year, and going to the game promised some needed fun and relaxation for the whole family. The monkey wrench in the plan? The Grittens’ vehicle had broken down, and they had no way to get to the game.

KING5 Evening thought of us and called because, well, that’s what Shuttle Express does—we get people to where they need to be. We were delighted to send a 10-passenger private service van to take the Grittens to the game and back home again. Problem solved. Game enjoyed!

Thanks, KING5 and Ben’s Fund/FEAT, for inviting Shuttle Express to join in helping the Gritten family make happy memories this holiday season. The pleasure was all ours.

From our Shuttle Express family to yours, enjoy a safe, happy 2017!

15 Best Travel Tip Tweets

Check out some of our favorite travel tip tweets that will help make your travels stress-free, fun, and memorable. And don’t forget, if you’re flying out of Sea-Tac Airport, the best advice is to leave your car in your garage and book safe, reliable shared van or private black car service with Shuttle Express. We’ll get you to Sea-Tac and back.

  1. Make a list of the items you’ve packed in case your luggage gets lost, then you’ll know exactly what to report missing. #traveltips
  2. Bring lots of light clothes you can layer—pile them on or peel them off. Bonus: they’ll wash and dry quickly! #traveltips
  3. Finding it hard to sleep on your plane ride? Wear your neck pillow under your chin, especially if your head tends to tilt forward. #traveltips #travel
  4. The “Do Not Disturb Sign” can make your hotel room seem occupied, which is especially handy if you leave expensive items inside. – #traveltips
  5. Protect your shoes and clothes when traveling: put your shoes in a shower cap to keep your suitcase clean. #traveltips
  6. Prone to getting lost while traveling? Input your hotel’s phone number in your phone in case you need directional help while being adventurous! #traveltips
  7. If you’re unsure about the weather when traveling, bring a large scarf–it can keep you cool and warm. #traveltips
  8. If you’re out and about and your mobile device needs charging but you aren’t near an outlet, make sure you carry a portable charger. They’re compact but powerful. #traveltips
  9. Your hotel concierge can be your BFF when traveling–it’s a great way to stay local and get all the ins and outs of the city. #traveltips
  10. When calling your hotel’s front desk for extra blankets or toiletries, call in the morning to beat the bedtime rush. #traveltips
  11. Give your kids a disposable camera so they can capture the world through their eyes. #traveltips
  12. Pack an extra outfit in your carry-on, because you never know what to expect when traveling. #traveltips
  13. Staying for a short time? Make it worth the trip by staying in a centralized area of the city. #traveltips
  14. New city, new adventures! Save time by creating your itinerary ahead of time so you can map out your route in your GPS. #traveltips
  15. Save even more when traveling–search for any online coupons while souvenir shopping. #traveltips #travel #TravelTuesday

Follow us on Twitter for more travel-related tidbits and info. Happy travels from Shuttle Express!

-Kimberly Kong, Sales and Marketing

5 Reasons Why Employee Shuttles Are Good For Business

Many companies now offer group transportation and shuttle service options to help ease the commute for their employees. The environmental benefits of the trend are clear―fewer cars burning fuel, crowding urban streets, and taking up valuable parking areas. But employers are also discovering that the benefits of a shorter or more pleasant commute make for healthier, happier employees.

Some of the options our Seattle-area clients use include offering a shuttle that picks up employees from public transit hubs, such as King Street Station and popular Metro stops, and takes them the rest of the way to work. Other clients run a roving shuttle during the morning and evening, taking employees between the office and less crowded off-site parking locations. Check out these five great reasons to consider offering shuttle service for your employees.

  1. Your employees will probably feel better.
    Employees who take advantage of a corporate shuttle can use the down time to prepare for their day, get a jump start on their email, or just rest and relax while someone else drives. They may even get healthier; studies show that stress-related health problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, high cholesterol, and depression are all associated with routinely driving in traffic day in and day out.
  2. You’ll strengthen your reputation as a great place to work with nice perks.
    It’s good for business to be known as a desirable employer, one that cares about their employees and supports a reasonable work-life balance.
  3. Your shuttle service may attract and keep more great employees.
    A shuttle program may help attract more new hires and reduce turnover because in addition to the health and wellness benefits, employees know they will save money on transportation costs. Social interaction is another benefit for employees. It’s a nearly foolproof way for them to make friends with and get to know their colleagues, which helps them feel more connected to their workplace and have a sense of teamwork.
  4. Commuter shuttles might save you money, too.
    A commuter shuttle service might be less expensive over time than paying for employees’ mileage or building a parking garage. You may also get tax credits for offering commuter programs.
  5. Going green helps everybody!
    Encouraging your employees to ride share and join the company shuttle greatly reduces your company’s carbon footprint. Fewer vehicles on the road is a good move for your company, your employees, and your community.

Shuttle Express offers all types of solutions for your corporate transportation needs – employee shuttles, private and shared airport service, and hourly luxury car, SUV, and coach options for any sized group. Call us at 425-981-7096 or email sales@shuttleexpress.net for more information or to get a proposal for whatever transportation your team needs.

4 Frightfully Fun Halloween Activities

With Halloween right around the corner, there are tons of scary and not-so-scary activities for all ages! Check out these ideas for some fun ways to celebrate everyone’s favorite scary holiday.

Scavenger Hunt
Downtown Seattle
Turn Seattle into your own fun game board! Following clues on your smart phone, start at Seattle Center making your way south through the city. Who knows, maybe this scavenger hunt will show you some parts of Seattle you didn’t even know existed!

Costume Carnival
October 31st, 4pm-8pm
Seattle Children’s Museum
Bring your family to the Seattle Children’s Museum for the kids costume party, where they can experience a haunted mountain, scavenger hunt, games and treats.

Run Scared
October 31st, 10am
Seattle’s Seward Park
Have some Halloween fun with a dash around Seward Park! Choose from a 5K run, 4K walk, or the free Kids Dash. After the race, enjoy pumpkin bread, a candy corn tasting bar, and (of course), a costume contest. The best part? All the proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!

Fright Fest
October 30-31st
Wild Waves Theme Park
If you’re looking for something a little more on the scary side, Fright Fest at Wild Waves offers rides at night plus two amazing haunted houses. Want something a little more kid-friendly? Check out Booville, perfect for kids 12 and under, featuring a giant inflatable slide, obstacle course, and more. Be sure to wear your costumes!

If you need transportation for Halloween, or any special occasion, let Shuttle Express take care of you—e-mail us at sales@shuttleexpress.net. Have a safe and fun Halloween!

-Kimberly Kong and Jana Heinrichs, Sales and Marketing

A-B-Cs of Hassle-Free Conference Transportation

Stress-free transportation is a critical part of any successful conference, but oftentimes it’s forgotten about until the last minute because, let’s face it, planning a conference is hard work and something’s bound to slip through! Our Shuttle Express sales coordinators understand, and they’ve compiled these tips to help make planning your conference transportation just a little easier.

A is for Airport

The first and last impression that all attendees will have of the conference is their transportation between the airport and the hotel. Unfortunately, this is also that little detail that most attendees forget about. They remember to book their flights and hotel rooms, but many don’t even consider how they’ll get from the airport to the hotel and back.

Give your attendees options. Find shuttle services in the area that are willing to work with your conference. Many services, like Shuttle Express, will offer discounts based on the anticipated volume, which means the bigger your conference the more likely you are to get discounted rates for your attendees! Look for online booking portals (similar to hotel booking portals), that you can place right on the conference website. We provide this option, which makes it easy for your attendees to book and will ensure they have a positive experience right from the start.

B is for Bigwigs

Once you’ve identified transportation options for attendees, find out if the shuttle company offers professional town car service for your VIPs and speakers. These are the guests you want to impress, so set them up with a little luxury.

If you get quotes from different companies, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Are they licensed and fully-insured? Where does the driver meet the guest–in Baggage Claim, or does the guest have to call the driver? Is gratuity included? Are there any discounts for the conference?

Talk to your headquarter hotel. Many hotels work with a town car company that they can recommend, and you know your VIPs will be taken care of. We partner with many hotels in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area to provide professional car service.

C is for Charters

Did you plan some fun activities for your attendees? Many conferences offer fantastic galas or parties at off-site locations or have different tours and activities planned that attendees can sign up for at registration.

Usually, you’ll need transportation for these events, so head back to your shuttle company and find out if they offer charter service. Chances are, if they have those vehicles for their airport service, they can provide private service for your events. For example, Shuttle Express has a large fleet of 14- to 55-passenger coaches available for most-sized groups.

The Best Advice?

Hand over your full itinerary and anticipated attendance and let the shuttle company take care of the transportation details. You have enough on your plate planning a conference, and this is what they do all day long!

When planning a conference or convention in the Seattle area, contact Shuttle Express for all of your transportation needs. As the region’s transportation experts, we can offer full-service transportation, from your attendees’ airport service, town cars for your VIPs, and charter service for those off-site events.

If you need help with your conference transportation, contact us at sales@shuttleexpress.net, or call 425-981-7096 and ask for the sales team. We’re happy to help!

-Jana Heinrichs, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

7 Tips for an Affordable, Fun Cruise

Booking a cruise for the first time can be a bit daunting with the many details and choices to consider. And finding an affordable option takes some savvy and research, but with these tips you will be on your way to a memorable cruise vacation, and still have some green in your wallet!

1. Book at the Last Minute

If your schedule is flexible, you can score amazing deals on last-minute cruises. Tip: for the cruise you’re interested in, find out how close to the departure date a traveler can cancel their reservation without a penalty, usually two to three months before departure. This the perfect time to call and check for deals, or cabin upgrades if you’ve already booked.

2. Pick the Right Time to Go

Finding a plum deal on a cruise may be easier during certain times of the year.  Mid-September offers some of the very best rates since the summer has wound down and the kids are back in school. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is another time to save some money, when most people are preparing for and celebrating the holidays at home.

3. Pay the Extra for a Balcony

When choosing your room, spring for the most your budget can handle. Your options are usually:

  • Inside, with no windows
  • Outside, with window/porthole view
  • Balcony, which is a room with a balcony on the outside of the ship
  • Suite, which is a larger cabin often with separate living and sleeping areas

You will appreciate the extra space and awesome view you get from a balcony room or suite, especially if you have kids, want to dine in, or just want to enjoy fresh air and some extra space.

4. Pack Light

Make sure to pack smart—which means light! Ships usually don’t offer much space for extra stuff, so make the most of a few key outfits that do triple duty. All ships offer laundry service, too, so you can launder outfits as needed. Ask about the “formal” evenings and how strict the dress code is so you can plan accordingly. If you prefer not to attend the formal events, you can get room service or Lido dining those evenings and skip packing the tux and gown.

5. Get There the Night Before

Arrive the night before your cruise and enjoy an extra evening on vacation. You’ll skip the stress of trying to get to your port city the day of sailing―we’re talking about delayed flights, unforeseen traffic, and weather delays that have caused many cruisers to miss the boat! So, plan to arrive at your port city early and check out the town, enjoy dinner, sightseeing, and prepare for your cruise without worry.

6. Check in After 2 p.m.

Cruisers are often anxious to get on board as early as possible, which means the cruise terminal can be hectic and stressful during the first few hours of boarding, usually from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. if your ship sets sail at 4 p.m. or later. If you board early, you may not even be allowed into your cabin until later in the afternoon, which means you’ll be waiting around with all your stuff. Instead, avoid the hassle and check in after 2 p.m. You’ll walk on stress-free, and head straight to your cabin.

7. Skip Port Calls?

Port calls sound inviting, exciting, can’t-miss, right? But when you ask those who have done port calls before you, they tell a different tale. Often times, you hardly see or enjoy the place you’re visiting, despite paying a high price for the excursion. Many cruisers suggest staying onboard your ship since most facilities are still open, and you’ll have them to yourself―it’s your ship for the day!


Check out these resources to make your cruise experience stress-free and enjoyable:

Cruise and Sea-Tac Airport transportation

Pre- and Post-Cruise Packages from Seattle Southside

Seattle’s Cruise Terminal Info

5 Fun-filled Ways to Celebrate Mom

Looking for an extra special way to show mom she’s the best mom ever? Don’t delay―Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, so start planning now with these top five ideas for a memorable weekend that mom and the whole family will enjoy!

Barrel Wine Tour
Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Woodinville Wineries, pick-up downtown Seattle and Bellevue locations

Treat mom to Seattle’s premier wine tasting experience with a Barrel Wine Tour. Offered most Saturdays, you’ll meet the winemakers, tour their cellars, and taste outstanding Washington wine from the barrel at four to five of Woodinville’s best wineries. Plus, enjoy a multi-course wine-paired meal and tour in comfort. If you’d like a private tour for your group, they specialize in that, too!

Mother’s Day Brunch, Blake Island Cruise with Argosy Cruises
May 10, 11:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
from Pier 59, Seattle Waterfront (ticketing near Aquarium Entrance)

Celebrate family this Mother’s Day with a cruise to Blake Island, featuring a wonderful buffet with Tillicum’s famous salmon. Guests will also see the regular Tillicum Village show, a one-of-a-kind stage performance and imagery combining Coast Salish storytelling and live traditional Native American dance-plus moms receive a special champagne toast. Add chauffeured Seattle town car service to and from the pier to make getting there convenient and enjoyable!

Mom & Me At The Zoo
May 9 at 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Phinney Ridge, Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle
Celebrate with the Woodland Park Zoo’s 25th annual Mom & Me event. The whole family can enjoy the animal exhibits, sponsors’ booths, and special activities. The North Meadow and zookeeper talks will focus on the zoo moms and babies out this spring.

Seattle Maritime Festival: Family Fun Day
May 9 at 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
South Lake Union , South Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle

This annual family festival is chock-full of maritime demonstrations, boat races, vessel tours, free music, food and beer garden, and the grand Fireboat Display and WorkBoat Parade. Kids can enjoy free boat building, face painting, arts and crafts and bouncy houses.

Nature’s Nurturers: A Celebration of Mothers
May 10 at 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bainbridge Island, IslandWood, 4450n Blakely Ave. N.E., Seattle
Hike the trails and learn about the lives of wild animal mothers and the work they do to nourish, teach and protect their young at this annual IslandWood event. Interpretive stations will be set up in the woods with activities for the whole family. After your hike, come back and relax with afternoon tea and a lunch, including quiches, smoked salmon, wraps, chocolate tortes and more.

For more ideas and links, visit Red Tricycle’s great list of events and activities. If you need transportation for Mother’s Day, or any special occasion, let Shuttle Express take care of you–email us at sales@shuttleexpress.net, or call 425-981-7000, option 5. Happy Mother’s Day!