FAQs

England

Do I need a credit card to travel?

If you are renting a car, a valid credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express) in the driver’s name will be necessary in order to rent the vehicle. This is necessary for the security deposit taken as you pick up the car. Visa and Mastercards are the most widely accepted credit cards internationally. Rental car companies (as well as other vendors) do NOT accept Discover credit cards, so be sure to have a secondary major card if you primarily use Discover in the US.

Should I get travel insurance?

We recommend purchasing travel insurance. Tenon Tours offers a tour protection plan to cover your trip plus airfare – whether you purchase airfare through us or not. Travel insurance is affordable and gives you the extra peace of mind should anything happen during your trip. For specifics on our travel insurance coverage, contact your personal travel specialist.

What are travel times on Escorted tours usually like?

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.

What is the difference between a door-to-door transfer and a private chauffeur driver guide?

A door-to-door transfer is exactly that: You can hire a driver to pick you up at point A to take you to point B. With a service like this the driver is not a licensed guide to provide you with information regarding sites, history or stories during your transfer.

If you hire a Private Chauffeur Driver, they will get you from point A to point D, with stops at point B & C along the way while they are also providing you guidance as to where you are and what you’re seeing.

What will my hotel be like on an Escorted tour?

CIE Escorted tours use three classes of hotels – these are first class (3 star), superior first class (4 star, which include castle properties) or deluxe (5 star, which include castle properties).

First class hotels (3 star) feature a dining room, lounge, bar and comfortable guest rooms. Many have leisure facilities.

Superior first class hotels (4 star) offer the same amenities with higher standards and many have leisure and spa facilities.

Deluxe hotels (5 star) offer luxurious features and are often in unique settings.

Iceland

What is a Tour Escort?

An escorted tour includes an experienced Tour Guide or Driver Guide that stays with your group throughout your whole tour. Depending on where you are traveling you may be required to have a Driver and a Tour Guide. In Ireland and Scotland most tours are operated by a Driver Guide who acts as both.

Is it safe to drink the local water?

It is extremely safe to drink the fresh local water in Iceland (it’s actually some of the cleanest in the world!). In fact, we recommend you bring an empty water bottle with you as you travel, to help avoid the cost of expensive bottled water.

When should I exchange my US dollars?

If you would like to have cash upon arrival we recommend exchanging around $100 before you leave. You can then withdraw money from local ATMs as needed, or use your credit card (Visa & MasterCard recommended). The ATMs will give you the bank’s best exchange of the day. You may also exchange a small amount of money at your hotels. We do not advise exchanging a lot of cash at the airports as they generally give you a less competitive exchange rate. Traveler’s Checks are NOT accepted at most locations outside of airports so we do not recommend them.

What is the Super CDW?

The Super CDW is additional insurance you can add to your regular CDW for an extra cost. The Super CDW insures against the CDW deductible amounts. Tires, wheels, fuel contamination and loss of keys are not covered by premium. If not included in your quote, daily cost is approximately €/£12.00-22.00 EUR depending on car category.

When will I get my travel documents?

Your travel documents will be issued via EMAIL 10-14 days prior to departure. Documents will include your assigned hotel accommodations, transfer details and times, vendor contact information, emergency numbers and more. All you need to do is print out all of these documents and take them with you. You may forward them to friends & family to share your trip details and contact information.

Ireland

Can children travel on an escorted tour?

Children over the age of 8 years old are permitted to travel on escorted tours however if they are under the age of 8 they are not allowed. Those ages 8-18 are charged 90% of the full adult rate.

How many suitcases am I allowed to travel with?

In some instances for international travel, you are allowed one piece of checked luggage and one carry on, although many airlines are even charging for the first checked bag now. For example, WOW Airlines, a popular choice for Iceland, allows only a small carry-on and requires you to pay for extra carry-on and checked bags as well. It is best to check with your scheduled airline for specifics regarding size, weight, and number of items allowed.

Are there any free days for activities on Escorted tours?

All of our tours offer included sightseeing every day to maximize your time. If you want to take a day out to play golf, ride or simply relax and browse around, you may choose not to travel on a day tour when you are staying in the same hotel for two nights.

What if my credit card covers CDW insurance on my car rental?

Many credit cards offer additional insurance coverage, however it is VERY important to note if the country you are visiting is included. Ireland in particular is often an exception to this additional insurance coverage. If you’re one of the lucky few where Ireland is covered, all we need is proof of coverage from the credit card company to receive to book.

Do you offer a room sharing service for solo passengers on Escorted tours?

To ensure the comfort of all our passengers, we do not offer the option of sharing service for solo traveling passengers on escorted tours. We do, however, offer a single supplement whereby you will have the privacy of your own room.

For tour options specific to solo travelers and/or roommate matching options please see our solo / singles travelers options here.

Italy

Can children travel on a luxury escorted tour?

Children under 6 years of age are not permitted on luxury escorted tours.

Where should we eat?

We suggest checking with the front desk at the hotel or asking locals for recommendations based on what you’re looking to eat and how much you want to spend. Iceland is a very friendly and hospitable country when you are looking for suggestions or are needing questions answered.

Do I need a credit card with a chip?

It is suggested, but not mandatory. Most banks have adapted to this technology and have been reissuing cards with a chip. If you have not received one yet you may call your bank to request one. These Chip & PIN cards help protect against fraud by requesting a pin to be entered to complete a transaction rather than the standard signature we have been used to. The main time it may become an issue if you do not have a chip is at unattended kiosks such as train stations or gas pumps where there is not a person to physically process the card for you. If this is the case we would just advise to find an ATM to withdrawal cash and pay that way.

Will somebody pick me up at the airport upon arrival?

Generally there will not be a Tenon Tours representative at the airport upon your arrival unless you booked a private taxi. Please follow the directions you were given on your transfer vouchers and/or travel documents in order to locate your appropriate transportation company (car, bus, private taxi).

Should I get travel insurance?

We recommend purchasing travel insurance. Tenon Tours offers a tour protection plan to cover your trip plus airfare – whether you purchase airfare through us or not. Travel insurance is affordable and gives you the extra peace of mind should anything happen during your trip. For specifics on our travel insurance coverage, contact your personal travel specialist.

Scotland

Do I need a passport?

Yes! All US citizens must have a passport that remains valid 6 months beyond the dates of your 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, which also offers expedited processing. ALL NAMES PROVIDED TO TENON TOURS MUST BE AS THEY APPEAR ON YOUR PASSPORT (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.

How does group airfare work?

Airlines require that you have at least 10 people traveling on the same itinerary in order to be considered a group. Your per seat deposit will hold airline reservations and guarantee your base fare until 90-120 days prior to departure depending on the airline. Tax and fuel are subject to change until paid in full and tickets are issued.

Will I have free time or will I have to stay with the group the entire time?

The foundation of our tours is the flexibility that is built into them. Other than transfers from town to town & scheduled tours or attractions, your vacation to spend as you please. A Hopper Tour is designed to provide you flexibility and independence in which your itinerary, accommodations, transfers and some tours/attractions are all pre-arranged to provide you with the structure you need while traveling. The rest of the trip is up to you to do as you please.

What is the age range of the group?

We encourage travelers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to join this tour. Any age is welcome; however, due to feedback from past trips we realize that some travelers over 50 did not prefer to travel with such a wide range. If you’re traveling to Ireland and looking for a slightly older crowd, consider joining our 50+ and Active Hopper Tour. 50+ and Active tours in Scotland, England & Wales will be announced soon.

Do you offer a room sharing service for solo passengers on Escorted tours?

To ensure the comfort of all our passengers, we do not offer the option of sharing service for solo traveling passengers on escorted tours. We do, however, offer a single supplement whereby you will have the privacy of your own room.

For tour options specific to solo travelers and/or roommate matching options please see our solo / singles travelers options here.

Wales

Self-Drive Hints:

You may think that the main idea you need to keep in mind when driving in Ireland and the UK is to stay on the left side of the road. That’s important, true, but there are a few other details to remember when you’re doing a road trip in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and the UK.

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 and the UK’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 and the UK, 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. Farm vehicles are allowed just about anywhere, including most four-lane roads. So the 260 mile drive from Belfast to Cork can take four hours or close to six hours. On the bright side, most of the scenery you could be crawling past is very 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 the right of way.

Budget wisely for gas. You think your gas prices are high? Keep in mind that the price listed is per liter! (Roughly 4 liters make up a gallon.)

Look before you pump. Diesel is more widely available in Ireland and the UK than in the US/Canada. Make sure you’re pumping the right fuel before popping that nozzle in the tank.

Don’t rush! 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.

How much luggage can I bring on a small group escorted tour?

There is a restriction to one medium sized suitcase/bag (maximum 15 kilos or about 33 pounds) and one carry-on bag of either a backpack or handbag per person due to the limited space of the vehicle.

Will I have free time or will I have to stay with the group the entire time?

The foundation of our tours is the flexibility that is built into them. Other than transfers from town to town & scheduled tours or attractions, your vacation to spend as you please. A Hopper Tour is designed to provide you flexibility and independence in which your itinerary, accommodations, transfers and some tours/attractions are all pre-arranged to provide you with the structure you need while traveling. The rest of the trip is up to you to do as you please.

Can I ask my chauffeur driver questions along the way?

Of course! In fact, we encourage it!  Your driver will be an amazing source of knowledge for the area you’re touring, so be sure to pick their brain as much as possible!

Does my flight need to arrive or depart at any specific time? How do airport transfers work?

Your flight does not need to meet any specific time requirements though most flights from the U.S./Canada do arrive early in the morning. Airport transfers are supplied by local city-center shuttles (bus/train), hotel shuttle or pre-paid taxi. Shuttles are provided by companies such as Aircoach, CityLink, Heathrow Express or Bus Eireann depending on your airport and location.