FAQs

Ireland

Does Tenon Tours operate the day tours?

Tenon Tours works with various partner companies and local tour operators to provide you with the best day touring options.  By utilizing local tour companies you will be provided with the expertise of the area you are touring by a licensed guide.

Note: Don’t forget to tip your drivers based on the level of service they provide!

Some partner companies include, but are not limited to: Rabbies, City-Sightseeing, Highland Explorer, Galway Tour Company, Deros Tours, When Where Wales, Cork Taxi Tours, Irish Day Tours, Irish Rail Tours, Dualway, Premium Tours UK and Odyssey Coach Tours.

Are tips included in my Escorted tour price?

Tips are not included within the price of your escorted 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.

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

 

What is VAT and how do I get it refunded in Ireland and the UK?

In Ireland and the UK, almost all consumer products are subject to Value Added Tax — VAT, for short. 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 and the UK: no VAT on books and no VAT on children’s clothing and footwear). Americans are entitled to get a refund of VAT paid. In order to get this refund you have to get a VAT-refund form at the time of purchase from each store in which you shop. This is very important! Unlike business travelers, tourists aren’t entitled to refunds on the tax they spend on hotels, transportation and meals.

Do I have to be a solo traveler to join this trip, or can I bring a friend?

You can absolutely bring a friend! Our Singles Tour is set up to be a great way to meet new people, but if you’re more comfortable traveling with a friend, then you can certainly travel together.

Please note that Hopper weeks assigned for solo travelers are not exclusive to solo travelers. Transfers from town-to-town may include other Tenon Tours travelers and the type of transfer may vary and is subject to change based on the total number of travelers traveling to/from the same destination on any particular date.

Are the vouchers refundable in Ireland?

B&B Ireland vouchers are refundable if you are not able to find availability or you find alternate accommodations. They must be returned to our office within 14 days of the end of your tour and they are subject to a $15 per voucher restocking fee.

Scotland

Are tips included in my Escorted tour price?

Tips are not included within the price of your escorted 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.

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

 

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.

How much money should I bring for my trip to Ireland and/or the UK?

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 €/£10-20; dinner between €/£15-30, not including drinks. This is just a guide to help you budget accordingly. You can also find fast food in the range of €/£4-10.

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.

What is included in my car quote?

Your car quote includes all compulsory insurance – Collision Damage Waiver insurance (CDW with an excess/deductible), theft protection insurance (TP), sales tax (VAT), unlimited free mileage, third party liability insurance, one driver (unless otherwise noted), airport surcharge, free road map 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.).

England

What is a day on an escorted tour like?

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, use a restroom, etc.

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 it is recommended to bring medication with you.

Will there be someone accompanying our group while we are on tour?

A full-time host or guide is not provided with Hopper 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.

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 time of day will we depart each city?

Departure times to each city can differ, but are usually between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. All departure times will be listed on the travel documents issued prior to departure from the U.S. so that you can plan out activities accordingly.

Are the UK vouchers refundable?

Unfortunately, if unused, the Circle vouchers are non-refundable.

Wales

What is the time difference in Ireland and the UK?

There is a 5-hour time difference between Ireland and the UK and EST. 12pm New York = 5pm Ireland and the UK.

Are children allowed on a small group escorted tour?

Children under the age of 5 are not permitted on a small group escorted tour.

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.

Do the hotels have hairdryers?

Most hotels have modern accessories, although specific offerings vary by hotel. We recommend you check the hotel website for details pertaining to complimentary and optional inclusions and services.

Should I pre-book my B&B room in the UK?

It is highly advisable to pre-book your B&Bs when traveling in the UK as there are fewer available in the more popular locations. At a minimum, we recommend your first and last night’s accommodation in advance. During the summer, some popular locations require a 2-night stay.

British Isles

What is the average group size of a luxury escorted tour?

The average group size varies depending on the trip that is selected. Most of our land journeys average 20 to 40 guests.

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.

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!

What is the advantage to using these vouchers for Ireland?

Using vouchers means you can purchase a packaged vacation that is cost effective, your accommodation is prepaid and you avoid having to carry money to settle accommodation costs, but you are free to take your trip day-by-day for maximum flexibility.

 

 

What hotels do you use in the city-centers in England?

London Premiere City-Center Hotels: Phoenix Hotel, Jurys Inn, Doubletree hotels, Grange hotels or similar.
Chester Premiere City-Center Hotels: Best Western Queen, Best Western Westminster, Chester Court, Macdonald New Blossoms or similar.
York Premiere City-Center Hotels: Queens Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson, Marmadukes Townhouse, Best Western Monkbar or similar.
Oxford Premiere City-Center Hotels: Best Western Linton Lodge, Macdonald Randolph, Mercure Eastgate, or similar.
Bath Premiere City-Center Hotels: Francis Hotel, Holiday Inn Bath, Pratt Hotel, Travelodge Bath or similar.

Italy

Why travel as a group?

Organizing your own group to travel gives you the flexibility to set the pace of the tour to match your interests and budget. It also allows you to take advantage of groups discounts in hotels, on tours and with airfare. You can reserve the land and air space with a minimum deposit to allow you time to promote the trip and gather participants.

What is the quoting process like?

You will work with your Personal Travel Specialist to prepare a preliminary itinerary for your chosen dates including your transportation and accommodations in order for a quote to be provided. Upon approval of the group tour details and pricing a deposit is required to secure the land components. You will also receive a payment schedule so you will know when all deposits & balances are due. If you would like us to hold group airfare for you we would also require a per seat deposit (depending on the airlines deposit terms) to hold the airline reservation.

Will my chauffeur driver speak English?

Yes! Your driver, while they may have accents native to their respective countries, will always speak English.

What type of clothing should I pack for Italy?

Comfortable, casual clothing is best and if you plan to visit nicer establishments, a dressy outfit or two will come in handy! Be sure to have sleeves and longer shorts in the summer if you plan on visiting churches. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for your busy sight-seeing days! Check out the official Tenon Tours Italy Packing List below:

 

ITALY PACKING LIST

 

What meals are included?

Breakfast is included daily at your accommodation (unless otherwise noted). Please check with each specific property for their serving time, menu and other details as most have time restraints. 

Iceland

When should I arrive at the airport?

Play it safe and plan to arrive 2.5 to 3 hours prior to your scheduled departure time to allow for any unexpected delays in traffic, check-in, security, or long lines at the newsstand!

I would like to organize a group trip, how do I get started?

As a Group Leader and Organizer you will be the liaison between the travelers and our Groups Department. So to get started on the research here are some of the details you will need:


What country would you like to visit?
When were you thinking of traveling?
How long would you like your trip to be?
How many people would you like to bring?
Does you group have a specific theme or interest, e.g. Golf, Music, Historic sites?
Will you be traveling together from one locations or from all around the US?
Need some ideas? View our sample itineraries.

The next step is to contact us to discuss the type of itinerary you would like and to receive a customized quote

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.

When will I get my travel documents?

Your travel documents will be issued via EMAIL 7 to 10 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.

Escorted Tours: Travel documents for escorted tours are mailed and will be  delivered via USPS (sent from our office in Massachusetts) and should arrive approximately 7-10 days prior to departure. 

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!