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Escorted Bus Tours FAQ
How can I book my vacation?
After you have fully explored this web site and found a tour that suits you, simply complete the short enquiry form that you will find at the top of each tour description page or call us Tollfree here in Ireland. We will check availability for your preferred date and respond by e-mail or telephone. Once availability has been confirmed and you are happy to go ahead with the booking, we charge a booking deposit to your credit card. An e-mail confirming all the details of the tour, including flights if booked with us, will be sent immediately. The full travel pack will be sent to you by UPS 21 days prior to your departure.
Do your tour guides sell optional sightseeing programs?
No. We want our tour guides to spend their time informing and looking after you rather than being sales people, so you enjoy a pleasant and interesting travel experience. We typically offer more sightseeing features and evening shows with dinner which are included in the tour. Once you are touring with us, you do not pay for any admissions or special entertainments.
Are prices guaranteed?
CIE guarantees that no increase in land costs will occur, once you have paid the deposit for your tour. This is your protection against international currency fluctuations. When you have paid for your airfare in full, there will be no change in the cost of the ticket, even if airfares rise later.
What travel documents do I need to visit Ireland and Britain?
If you are a US or Canadian citizen, the only travel document you need is a valid passport. If you are hiring a car, you will need your current driver's license.
Can I combine a coach tour with a self-drive program? Or can I combine a coach tour with a second one?
Yes, yes to both questions! Many of our coach tours are ideally suited for combining and we offer you a discount if you take two. If you are considering a self-drive vacation, a coach tour is an excellent introduction to both Britain and Ireland and will get you used to distances, customs and being "on the other side of the road."
Why should I purchase travel protection?
For the same reason that you have house and car insurance - to protect you, your loved ones, your possessions and your travel investment. If you or your family have unexpected health problems, experience flight delays or have possessions stolen during your vacation, you receive money back. This year we have a new trip cancellation waiver benefit. Read the full details of this plan by clicking to our Travel Protection Plan.
Why do I see no triple room rates featured in your brochure?
Because there is no reduction in cost for a third person sharing a room with two others. European hotel rooms tend to be smaller than North American rooms and the third bed may be a rollaway. We suggest taking a twin and a single so that your party will be more comfortable. However, we can request triple rooms in most hotels in Ireland.
How much luggage can I take?
On coach tours space for luggage is limited so each passenger is permitted to take one piece of luggage (suitcase or garment bag) per person. In addition, all passengers on coach tours receive a handy carry-on bag, which may be stowed under your seat or overhead in the coach. Self-drive clients need to consider the capacity of the car rental and soft-sided luggage is easier for stowing in a vehicle.
At what time does the coach tour leave the hotel in the morning?
Departure time depends on the itinerary to be covered on any particular day. In Britain departures are usually at about 8:00 am to 8:30 am, while in Ireland distances are shorter and the group usually leaves at 8:45 am to 9:00 am.
How early can I check into the hotel on day of arrival?
You may check into rooms between noon and 1:00 pm, depending on the hotel policy. As transatlantic flights generally arrive in Britain or Ireland early in the day, this can mean a wait at the hotel when the hotel has been heavily booked the night before. Or you may use this time to take a walk, have a snack or do a little exploring
How much time do we spend on the coach every day?
We want you to see as much of Britain or Ireland as possible without spending all of your time on the coach. We generally incorporate a sightseeing feature each morning and afternoon. And there are breaks at two-hour intervals or less so that you may stretch your legs, purchase a snack or lunch, take photos, smoke and avail of restrooms.
Will we have opportunities to take walks and exercise?
Many of our tours incorporate walking tours in interesting places such as York, Chester, Waterford, Kinsale and Derry. These are leisurely paced walks with a guide. As you will have some free time when you arrive in the hotel in the afternoon, you may like to take a walk on your own or use leisure facilities which are offered in most hotels. We suggest that you take a pair of comfortable shoes with non-slip soles as many historic places have uneven paving.
What is a table d´hote dinner?
It's a 4- or 5-course meal with a choice of appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts served in a hotel. Most hotels feature a good assortment of red and white meats, fish and vegetarian foods so that, if you have certain tastes or dietary restrictions, you will be sure to find something appealing.
Why do you offer independent transfers in London? And are they complicated to use?
As there are so many different flights to both Heathrow and Gatwick from different cities throughout North America, it is not possible to have our tour escort greet all clients at the airports on arrival. Therefore, in keeping with our transfer policy, we include vouchers for a reputable airport transfer coach service at the start and end of your tour. You will get full instructions as to how this service operates with your travel documents.
How much money do I need to take with me?
As most components of your tour have been prepaid, you will need cash for lunch each day and a couple of dinners when you have an evening at leisure. Are you an avid shopper? Do you like a cocktail in the evening? These costs are left entirely up to you. Also it is customary to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour. Credit cards and ATMs are widely used so there's no need to carry a lot of cash.
Are there any free days for activities?
All of our tours are carefully planned with attractive sight-seeing every day. However, as most tours offer 2-night stays, you may choose not to travel with the group and pursue your own interests on a day when the coach will be returning to the same hotel.
Would a coach tour be suitable for a honeymoon trip?
After arranging a wedding, honeymooners are quite happy to leave all the details of their trip to us! We find that many newly-married couples choose our programs and also our tours are becoming more popular with under 30s. People of all ages realize that a vacation can be more relaxing when someone looks after all the driving and arrangements for them
My family and I enjoyed their Tour from June 18 to 25, 2008. Jim Daly, our driver/guide/historian and all around good guy, was more than we could have asked for. Not only was his knowledge of the country amazing but he was a great driver and he went above and beyond to make our first trip to Ireland the best vacation of our lives. He felt like family by the end of the trip. We can highly recommend your Tours. Thank you!
Joy G, Cincinnati OH