If you are an American or Canadian citizen travelling to Ireland or Britain, the only travel document you need is a valid passport. Check that yours is valid, preferably until six months past your travel date and with blank pages so that officials can stamp entry/exit details. Other nationalities should check visa requirements with their nearest Irish or British embassy or consulate. For information U.S. citizens may visit the U.S. Department of State website – travel.state.gov while Canadian citizens may visit www.cic.gc.ca.
We usually ship documents by UPS ground service approximately 21 days prior to your tour departure date provided that full payment has been received. If you require documents earlier, we need sufficient notice to arrange for early delivery by regular service.
Documents include vouchers for coach tour and other services, an itinerary, hotel list, deluxe backpack, Get Ready Get Set Go booklet, document wallets, luggage straps and tags.
You have paid for tour vouchers so treat them as you would money as they are non-refundable. You will need to present the relevant voucher in return for services such as hop-on, hop-off bus tours.
Generally the dress code for our tours is very comfortable and casual. Our supreme tours will require that men wear a dinner jacket, however this will not be required for any other tours. Dressing in layers provides most comfort as you can shed and add items when the temperatures fluctuate. Consider packing the following items:
Comfortable walking shoes
An all-weather coat with removable lining
Comfortable clothing that can be easily layered
Our Get Ready Get Set Go booklet will contain more advice and suggestions on what to pack. This booklet is sent with your travel documents before your departure.
On coach tours, you are permitted one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag per person. Porterage between the coach and your hotel room is included. Self-drive clients need to consider the limited trunk capacity, and that soft-sided luggage is easier to stow. Airlines have their own regulations and some carriers charge for checked baggage.
Major credit cards are widely accepted and we recommend you use them to avoid carrying cash. ATMs are widely available and will accept appropriate US cards and dispense cash in the local currency. Additional fees may be charged so please check with your financial institution before you travel. It’s also a good idea to inform your bank that you are traveling overseas to ensure that they don’t block your ATM / credit cards.
Tips are not included within the price of your tour but are customary to show gratitude to your tour director or driver for satisfactory service. Tipping for restaurant/bar staff is usually discretionary but some restaurants do add a 10% – 15% service charge so be sure to check your bill first.
Our tipping guidelines are as follows:
Recommended minimum amount Per person per day
Driver/Guide (1 person crew) $8
Tour Director (part of 2 person crew) $5
Driver (part of 2 person crew) $5
Guide for walking or city tour $2
Driver for chauffeur vehicle $20
A 3-prong adapter for use in both Ireland and Britain can be purchased in most North American homeware stores. Hotels provide a shaver outlet in the bathroom and most hotels have a hair dryer and iron in the room or will supply them on request. More information can be found in your Get Ready Get Set Go booklet which is sent with your travel documents.
Check-in time varies between 12:00 noon and 3:00pm depending on the individual hotel. As transatlantic flights generally arrive in Britain or Ireland in the early part of the day, this can mean a wait at the hotel. Many hotels offer a left luggage area so you may enjoy this time by taking a walk, having a snack or doing some exploring.
We want you to see as much of the country you are visiting as possible, without spending all your time on the coach. We generally incorporate a sightseeing feature each morning and afternoon. There are breaks at two hour intervals or less so that you get a chance to stretch your legs, purchase a snack or lunch, take photos, have a cigarette or use a restroom.
On all tours, seats are rotated on a daily basis to allow all passengers an opportunity to sit towards the front of the coach. The tour director assigns seats for all clients. Seats belts must be worn when the coach is in motion. If you suffer from motion sickness bring medication with you.
Morning departure time depends on the itinerary to be covered on any particular day. In Britain the tour day begins between 8.00am to 8.30am, while in Ireland the day usually begins between 8.30am and 9.00am. Arrival back to the hotel/ or at the next hotel is usually between 4.00pm and 5.00pm.
Our coaches make frequent stops for sightseeing, smoking, lunches, snacks and bathroom breaks. You will have breaks at least every two hours or less.
Many of our tours incorporate walking tours in interesting places such as Derry, Cobh, York and Edinburgh; these are leisurely paced guided walks. You will have free time when you arrive at a hotel in the afternoon, so you may like to take a walk on your own or use the hotel’s leisure or spa facilities. Pack comfortable shoes with non-slip soles as many historic places have uneven paving.
Most of the hotels on your tour have wonderful leisure facilities and spas. You have some free time most days and may like to enjoy some relaxation and spa serenity, so be sure to pack a swimsuit and workout clothes.
Most hotels feature laundry and dry cleaning services and can be used when you stay in the same property for two nights. However, they do not offer self-service facilities. Check with the hotels to see exactly what services they offer.
Many hotels in Ireland and Britain do not provide washcloths so it is a good idea to bring some with you. Guest rooms have TVs and hairdryers; some also offer an iron and ironing board. Hotels also provide a shaver outlet in the bathroom. For exact information please check the hotel’s website.
Most small medical devices, for example C-PAP machines are permitted on tour. If you travel with a C-PAP machine, be aware that distilled water is not as readily available in stores as in North America. Some, but not all, pharmacies stock supplies. Bring distilled water with you or contact one of the hotels and arrange this directly with them.
If you need to bring insulin please be sure to bring a box to store it in together with freezable ice packs. Hotels can store the insulin for you and can freeze the icepacks to keep it cold when traveling on the coach. If you take prescription drugs, ensure that you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip and always keep them with you. Any medication must be in its labelled container when going through airport security and customs.
Book Irish Tours could not exist without our great locally employed tour directors – they are the envy of the travel industry. From the moment you land in Ireland or Britain, your tour director is there to welcome you, handle your luggage, drive you from place to place and give you daily commentaries. Tour directors make history and culture come alive and create a superb experience with daily doses of humor, information and assistance.
Once you meet your tour director, you don’t have to handle your luggage! At every hotel your suitcase is delivered to your bedroom door and collected before departure. However, luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one piece of carry-on baggage per person.