Enjoy a bus trip together.

The Van Wert Council on Aging offers several day trips throughout the year. In order for us to provide a safe trip, each attendee will need to fill out the Bus Trip Emergency Contact Form, Payment Policy, Cancellation Policy & Assumption of Risk form.

2024 COA Day Trip Schedule

Thursday, September 5, 2024 Historic Sauder Village
Price: $115.00 cash or check, $119.00 credit or debit card. Step back in time and travel with the COA to Historic Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio. Sauder Village is a fun place to slow down, unplug, and enjoy times of yesteryear. Go at your own pace and visit the historic village to enjoy engaging stories, demonstrations, and fun activities while exploring historic homes, barns, gardens, and craft shops. Take a walk through time from 1803 through the 1920s while visiting pioneer settlements and the 1920s Main Street. Enjoy lunch at the Barn Restaurant, which includes their delicious lunch buffet, a piece of their pie, and a (non-alcoholic) drink. Price includes travel, bus driver tip, lunch buffet, and admission to Sauder Village. Walking level 4.
Wednesday, October 2, 2024 When Calls the Heart Shipshewana Blue Gate Theater 
Price: $130.00 cash or check, $134.00 credit or debit card. We will travel to Shipshewana for a delicious buffet lunch and then enjoy the afternoon musical play of When Calls the Heart. When Calls the Heart is based on the beloved series by Janette Oke. Elizabeth Thatcher is from a very wealthy family in Toronto, Canada. At the beginning of a promising teaching career, but deep down inside, she is feeling a bit “restless.” When her older brother writes to ask if she might consider taking a teaching job in the great Canadian west, she decides that this is the opportunity she has been waiting for! Saying goodbye to family and everything she has ever known, she sets off on the adventure of a lifetime! Mishaps, challenges, and new experiences ensure as the captivating story and enchanting music take you on a journey you will never forget! Walking level 2. Price includes travel, driver tip, lunch, and show.
Wednesday, November 6, 2024 Musical “Ruth” at Ohio Star Theater – Sugarcreek, Ohio
Price: $150.00 cash or check, $156.00 credit or debit card. We will travel to Sugarcreek, Ohio, and journey alongside an ordinary woman whose faith in God ignites a chain of events that will change the course of history. Enjoy a family-style Amish lunch before the play. Walking level 2. Price includes travel, driver tip, lunch, and show.
Each trip has a walking level: Level 4 is the most walking, and Level 1 is the least walking. All trips are subject to change. Ask about a payment plan. If you want to travel with us, please stop by to fill out a 2024 release form.
For further questions, please call the Council on Aging at 419-238-5011.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there required paperwork to attend the trip?

YES, it is required that you sign a COA’s liability waiver, emergency contact & cancellation policy information sheet.

What time does check in start?

6:30 am at the Senior Center located at 200 Fox Road, Van Wert, OH 45891.

What time does the bus leave?

Due to a full day’s schedule, the buss will leave at 7:00 am. Unfortunately, it will not be delayed for late travelers.

Is smoking allowed on the trip?

There is no smoking allowed on any Excursions Trailways Motorcoach.

Are food and drink allowed on the bus during the trip? Are there any restrictions?

In most cases, you can bring your own food and drink on board. We do ask that you do not bring sunflower seeds or glass bottles.

Do the motorcoaches have a restroom on board with a place to wash up?

Excursions Trailways charter buses do have bathrooms on board, but there are no sinks. We do supply sanitizer on most of our buses, but you are welcome to bring your own hand cleanser or wipes.

Are seats assigned like on a plane?

No, you are allowed to sit wherever you would like on the charter bus.

Are riders allowed to stand and walk during the bus trip?

For safety reasons, we prefer that everyone remains seated with seatbelts on, but you are allowed to stand and walk around if needed.

Do drivers get breaks between long trips?

On long trips do you have more than one driver in case of fatigue? Yes, our drivers stop every two hours to rest and take a break for at least 15 minutes. On long trips, we usually only have one driver per bus. If the trip requires more driving than the legal limit, we assign two drivers per motorcoach. The safety of our drivers and passengers is always important to us.

What happens in the case of a medical emergency?

Our drivers will call 911 to have emergency services notified.

Do the buses have Wi-Fi?

Most buses have Wi-Fi and electrical supply to charge electronics.

What should passengers wear while traveling on the bus?

We suggest comfortable clothing with a light jacket or blanket, in case the air conditioning is too cold for some passengers.

Are pets allowed on the charter bus?

No animals are permitted on the bus unless they are a registered service animal. Please contact the COA for more information about service animals and handicap accessibility questions.

Are there restrictions on the movies or music that can be played onboard?

No but we do ask that you wear earphones. Travelers must bring their own earphones.

What happens in the case of bad weather when travel is not advised or allowed?

The Bus Company will advise the COA of incoming bad weather and recommend postponing or canceling the trip. If this occurs, the COA will contact participants. SAFETY IS THE #1 PRIORITY.

Do I need to bring extra money for a driver’s tip?

The driver’s tip is included in your travel price and will be paid by the COA to the driver. It is at your own discretion if you want to provide an additional tip to the driver.

Travel Tips

Water and Snacks

This is the number one item you should bring on your charter bus trip to make sure that you’re comfortable. While there are stops for breaks, why spend money on extra items you could bring from home? Dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, chips and dry goods are all good choices for the charter bus. We ask that you do not bring glass items or sunflower seeds. These can spill or great and be dangerous and difficult to clean up. Consider plastic reusable bottles or other snacks. Plus when you bring snacks on the bus, you won’t have to wait until the next stop when you’re very hungry. Just make sure you have some to share.

Pillows and Blanket / Jacket

The next item that will keep you comfortable on the charter bus are a pillow and blanket or jacket. A pillow will be great for taking a nap on board. Whether you choose a small “travel” pillow or a neck pillow that you may use on airplanes, there’s no wrong choice as long as you’re comfortable. A blanket or jacket are great for when the A/C is a little bit too cold for you , or if there are stops in locations where the weather is colder than where you’re coming from. You don’t want to step outside in short sleeves when it’s 30 degrees outside! Make sure you’re packing appropriately for your bus trip.

Things to Do

While there is always the option to chat with friends or watch a movie on one of the in-bus screens, you might also want to bring some other entertainment options. Some ideas for things to bring might include travel sized games (available in most stores or online), tablets, handheld gaming systems, mobile phones or music players, books, crosswords, or something else that you enjoy. However remember that you are in a shared space so must use earphones and pick appropriate materials. Additionally, remember that you will need to pack this in your board bad so pick only what you need. 

Assistive Devices

The bus lines will do their best to accommodate reasonable requests. Many of these devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and folding power scooters can be accommodated. For answers regarding specific devices, please contact the COA.

Walking Definitions

For your convenience, the COA provides basic guidance regarding the trip and walking that may be necessary during the dray trip. This added benefit will help you understand how much walking may or may not be needed on a trip or tour.

The trips will be rated (1 through 4). This indicates the level of walking as described below. Please understand these are simply estimates based on information provided to us by the specific locations we will be visiting/touring.

Walking Level 1 – this tour involves minimal physical activity. It requires climbing some stairs, boarding the motor coach and walking from a parking lot area to the attraction.

Walking Level 2 – This tour requires that you be able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground, paths, roadways and cobblestone type streets/ 

Walking Level 3 – This tour includes moderate physical activity. The itinerary blends some longer tours with shorter tours and more leisure time. This includes walking tours, as well as walking slightly longer distances, upstairs, or uneven walking surfaces should be expected.

Walking Level 4 – To truly experience the program and destination, you need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing stairs and periods of standing. Some of the tour days may be longer with select included activities that may require greater physical stamina.