Go-As-You-Please & Custom Ireland Self-Drive
Ireland B&B Go-As-You-Please Vouchers
Should I pre-book my B&B room?
It is advisable to pre-book your first and last night’s accommodation in advance. Rooms in Dublin City and County can be difficult to find unless an accommodation is pre-booked. If visiting the capital city, we strongly advise pre-booking all accommodations well in advance. Never count on finding rooms on short notice in Dublin. The website for all participating B&B’s is http://www.reserveabandb.com This site is for voucher use ONLY.
What if I can't find a B&B with availability?
Should problems arise finding accommodation when in Ireland, contact any Tourist Information Office or seek advice from your host/hostess at Town & Country Homes. She/he will assist in booking subsequent night/nights for the cost of a telephone call.
Do I have to make a deposit in order to pre-book a room?
There is no charge to pre-book your rooms online, however a credit card will be required in the case of no-shows or late cancellations. Your host/hostess may also require a valid credit card at time of booking as a guarantee to hold the room(s) if you contact them directly. This system is put in place to ensure that clients are not pre-booking multiple homes.
What is meant by an ensuite room?
An ensuite room is a room with its own private facilities such as shower/bath, toilet and hand basin.
What are the check-in/check-out times?
Reservations should be made by 6:00 pm. Check-in times are normally between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm unless otherwise agreed with your host/hostess. Please note that late arrival, estimated after 6:00 pm, is by special agreement with each home. Check out should be no later than 11:00 am.
Are the properties inspected by Town & Country Homes?
All our homes are approved to Fáilte Ireland and Northern Ireland Tourist Board standards (The official Irish Tourist Boards).
What is the advantage to using these vouchers?
Using vouchers means you can purchase a packaged vacation that is cost effective, your accommodation is pre-paid and you avoid having to carry cash to settle accommodation costs, but you are free to take your trip day-by-day for maximum flexibility.
Are there any extra charges to pay at the B&B?
A room supplement for Dublin city and county of 7.50 Euro (approximately $12) per room per night applies for the months of June, July, August and September. This charge is paid directly to the accommodation provider and is not included upon payment to Tenon Tours.
Are the vouchers refundable?
Vouchers are refundable if you are not able to find availability or if you find alternate accommodations. They must be returned to our office within 30 days of the end of your tour. A full refund will be made less a $15 per voucher administration fee.
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Ireland General Travel FAQs
Do I need a passport?
Yes! All US citizens must have a passport that remains valid for the duration of their trip. All non-US citizens must check with their local consulate for documentation requirements. If you do not have a passport, one may be obtained through your local post office. Names used to book travel must be the same as they appear on passports (first and last names only). You may want to make a copy of your passport and leave it at home with a friend of family.
Do I need a Visa?
Travelers from the European Union, the US and Canada do not need a visa to enter Ireland. More information can be found here, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1145.html
When should I arrive at the airport?
Plan to arrive two to three hours prior to your scheduled departure time to allow for any unexpected delays in traffic, check-in or security.
What is the currency in Ireland?
The local currency in Ireland is the Euro (€). Current exchange rates can be found at www.xe.com
When should I exchange my US dollars?
We recommend exchanging around $100 before you leave if you would like to have cash upon arrival. You can then withdraw money from local ATMs in Ireland as needed or makes purchases with a credit card. Note, however, that acceptance of credit cards varies throughout the country. Be advised, too, that many banks charge an “International Transaction Fee” for every purchase made via credit card. ATMs will give you the best rate for cash exchange. You may also exchange money at your hotel(s). Some hotels and banks will not accept or exchange $100 USD bills, while most currently exchange places, such as Fexco, will exchange them for you. We do not advise exchanging at airports, where rates are often less favorable.
IMPORTANT: Many banks will freeze your debit/credit card if after the first few transactions to protect against fraudulent use unless you advise them of your travel dates. It is extremely important that you call your issuing bank for all debit/credit cards(s) pre-departure to ensure that you will be able to withdraw funds and use your card overseas.
Will somebody pick me up at the airport upon arrival?
There will not be a representative at the airport upon your arrival. Please follow the directions on your transfer voucher(s) and/or travel documents in order to locate your transportation company.
Will someone from Tenon Tours stay with us for the duration of our trip?
A full-time host or guide is not provided with City-Hopper or self-drive tours. Your Tenon Tours Travel Specialist will be happy to work with you prior to departure to answer any of your questions and make suggestions about available things to see or do. On most day tours and attractions there are licensed tour guides available and we also recommend asking the receptionists at your hotels for helpful tips and information. You will be provided with a 24/7 Tenon Tours Traveler Hotline if any issues or emergencies do arise and you need assistance. To read more about City-Hopper inclusions and host/guide FAQ's please click here.
Please note that if a tour host is included (for select tours) they are not a licensed tour guides, but are available to assist with things such as check-ins, transfers, optional tours and events, as well as any emergency situations that may arise.
How will I get to the airport for my return flight home?
Airport transfers have been arranged by Tenon Tours and you will be notified of the departure time on your transfer voucher.
When will I be able to check-in to my hotel/hostel room in each city/town?
Typically check-in is 3:00 pm although many hotels will allow you to check-in earlier once rooms have been cleaned and inspected. Luggage can be stored in a secure area for early arrivals.
What type of beds and room configuration should I expect in the hotels?
A “double room” is designed to accommodate two people and will have either one double, queen or king size bed, or two single or double beds depending on whether you are traveling as a couple or as individuals. At times there may be one double bed and one single bed. Triple rooms typically have two double beds or a double and a single. We cannot guarantee three separate beds for rooms of three. Hotels assign room configurations based on availability including whether a double, queen or king bed is provided.
What type of beds and room configuration should I expect in the hostels?
Hostel accommodations can vary among differently sized rooms. Your room could house up to six beds (unless you have paid to upgrade to a smaller room). Bedding can consist of twin, full or bunk beds.
Do the hotels have hairdryers?
Most hotels have modern accessories although specific offerings vary by hotel. We recommend you check the hotel's website for details pertaining to complimentary and optional inclusions and services.
What is the electrical current/voltage in Ireland? Do I need a converter?
Unlike the US and most European countries, Ireland’s electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles A/C and works off a flat three-pin plug. An adapter is necessary and can be found in most duty-free shops in the airport, Brookstones, Bed Bath & Beyond or at most hardware stores or pharmacies.
Is there Internet access available?
Yes. Nearly all hotels offer Internet access in their lobbies and wireless access throughout. There are also Internet cafés scattered throughout the major cities/towns. There is normally a fee for using the internet at public terminals.
What meals are included?
A full Irish breakfast (hotels) or light breakfast (hostels) is included at daily at your hotel/hostel (unless otherwise noted). Please check with each specific hotel or hostel for their serving times (most end by 10:00 am). All other meals at your leisure to give you maximum flexibility in terms of your time and budget.
Where should we eat?
We suggest checking with the front desk at the hotel or asking locals for recommendations based on what you’d like to eat and how much you want to spend. Ireland is a very friendly country and most people are glad to help visitors.
How much money should I bring for my trip?
It varies greatly from one person to another, but we recommend budgeting $100 per day to allow for lunch, dinner, drinks, gratuities and other expenses. For food, lunches can range from 10 to 20 euros, and dinner between 15 and 30 euros, not including drinks. You can also find fast food in the range of 4 to 10 euros.
Are you supposed to tip in Ireland?
Food/Drinks: Some restaurants will include a service charge in the bill. If the service charge is not included it is customary to leave between 10-15% depending on how you value the food and service. Generally people do not tip in pubs when only purchasing drinks but do tip when purchasing food.
Transportation: If your tour includes private transfers or a tour guide (such as on our optional tours) it is customary to tip between €2 to €5 per person based on the service and information provided by your driver. No tipping is required for drivers of public transfers.
What is the weather like in Ireland?
Ireland has a mild, temperate climate which produces temperatures in the high 70s during the summer months and the low 40s in the winter. Spring and autumn temperatures usually hover around 50 degrees (F). Rain is very common and tends to appear unexpectedly so make sure to plan accordingly. However, we have found that it never rains in the pub… or so the saying goes. Read more information about the weather in Ireland here
What type of clothing should I pack?
The dress is extremely casual in Ireland. We recommend packing as you would for a weekend away in the states. You can never go wrong with a general mix of casual and comfortable, as well as some dressier attire if you’re one to frequent nicer establishments. However, a light rain-resistant jacket and small travel umbrella are must-haves! Please see our Tenon Tours Ireland packing list here
How many suitcases am I allowed to bring?
If you’ve read or watched the news lately, you may have seen that individual airlines are modifying their age-old baggage allowances. In most cases you are allowed one piece of checked luggage and one carry on free of charge, although some airlines have now begun charging for the first checked bag. It's best to check with your airline for specifics regarding size, weight and the number of items allowed.
What is the time difference in Ireland?
There is a five-hour time difference between Ireland and EST. 12:00 pm in New York is 5:00 pm in Ireland.
What is VAT and how do I get it refunded?
In Ireland almost all consumer products are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is a "hidden tax" — already added into the purchase price of any souvenirs bought on a visit (there are two notable exceptions in Ireland: no VAT on books and no VAT on children's clothing and footwear). All non-EU residents are entitled to a refund of VAT paid. In order to get this refund you must get a VAT-refund form at the time of purchase from each store in which you shop. This is very important. Unlike business travelers, leisure travelers aren't entitled to refunds on the tax they spend on hotels, transportation and meals.
How do I make phone calls while on my trip? Will my cell phone work?
Most likely, your cell phone will not work in Ireland. Only digital phones with GSM capabilities and an international roaming agreement will work and, even then, it could be hit-or-miss and/or expensive depending on your plan. Tenon Tours offers customers mobile phones rentals at discounted rates. Should you choose to rent with us, we will ship your phone to your home prior to departure. All of the information needed will come with the phone, including instructions on how to load it for credit and rates for calls.
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Ireland Self-Drive FAQs
What if I pick-up my car before the time on my confirmation?
If you do arrive to pick-up your car before your confirmation time and a car is available they will let you pick it up early. If you do pick-up the car early your return time will then change on the day you need to drop it off.
Are the pedals set up the same on the manual cars as in the U.S.?
The pedals are set up the same, though everything else in the car is reversed as the drivers side is on the right on each vehicle.
Why are automatic cars so much more expensive?
You will notice that there is an increased rate for automatic vehicles due to the demand of these cars, mainly by international visitors not used to driving on the opposite side of the road or driving a manual.
What is included in my car quote?
Your car quote includes all compulsory insurances - Collision Damage Waiver insurance (CDW with an excess), protection insurance, sales tax at 13;5%, unlimited free mileage, third party liability insurance, single driver, airport surcharge, free road map of Ireland and 24 hour peace of mind break down coverage. We highly recommend that you read through all of the terms and conditions of the car rental so you are familiar with what is included and what is not, as they will present you with several options upon pick-up (increased insurance, GPS, etc.).
Can I rent a GPS navigation system?
A navigation unit is highly suggested. Tenon Tours does have GPS units for rent with discounted rates for Tenon Tours travelers. We will ship it to your home prior to departure, all of the information needed will come with your equipment. For more information on pricing and rates please visit http://www.tenontours.com/ireland-uk-phone-gps/. If you did not rent one from Tenon Tours directly you may rent a GPS from the rental company upon pick-up of your car (normally around 15 euros per day).
M50 motorway toll
a. Toll Booths replaced by new barrier free tolling system.
Customers should be aware that there is no longer a cash payment facility at the tolling point on the M50 motorway (Dublin's Ringroad). Drivers of all vehicles using the section of the M50 between Junction 6 (N3 Blanchardstown) and Junction 7 (N4 Lucan) are liable to pay a toll.
b. How much is the Toll?
Cars cost €3. Passenger vehicles with seating for more than 8 people cost €3.80 Tolls must be paid by 8pm on the day following the journey. Failure to pay a toll will result in additional charges. All unpaid tolls and violation charges relating to car hire vehicles will be referred by the authorities to the car rental company who will process payment through customer's credit cards. The car rental company will not accept liability for violation charges arising from unpaid tolls and these will be included in charges passed on to customers. An administration fee may also apply.
c. Where can I pay?
There are various ways to make this payment, all of your options will be given to you upon pick-up of your car.
You may think that the main thing you need to keep in mind when driving in Ireland is to stay on the left (a.k.a. "wrong") side of the road. That's important, true, but there are a few other things to remember when you're doing a road trip in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Automatic vs Manual Many overseas rental agencies charge a premium for automatic cars. If you're used to driving an automatic at home, you may not want to try to save a few bucks by renting a standard. You'll have enough on your mind without worrying about stalling the engine on Ireland's hilly roads. Ignore this advice, and you too may end up with a frustrated passenger yelling from the backseat, "Clutch! Use the clutch!" Or you may develop your own version of Irish driving mantra, invented such as when the car starts wandering toward the shoulder every time you change gears: "When you shift, you drift."
Park the cell phone. In both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, driving while using a handheld cell phone is illegal, and fines are steep.
Remember that every drive takes longer than you'd think. When passing through towns, major highways often morph into traffic-clogged two-lane streets. And farm vehicles are allowed just about anywhere, including most four-lane roads. So the 400-kilometre drive from Belfast to Cork takes close to six hours. On the bright side, most of the scenery you could be crawling past is awfully pretty.
Rent a monster car at your peril. Roads are narrow (particularly those marked "R" on Republic of Ireland maps), and they're often lined with parked cars or dense hedges. If you enjoy having side mirrors, forgo the SUV.
Learn to handle roundabouts. They can be terrifying, but you can't escape them. Just remember that traffic already in the roundabout, and traffic approaching from the right inside the roundabout, has right of way.
Budget wisely for gas. You think your gas prices are high? Check the latest prices before you go at aaireland.ie/petrolprices.
Look before you pump. Diesel is more widely available in Ireland than in Canada. Make sure you're pumping the right fuel before popping that nozzle in the tank.
Don't rush! Ireland, like good whiskey, is best savoured slowly. Allow yourself time to get lost, and you're almost certain to discover a special castle, pub or golf course far off the beaten track.
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