FAQs

Ireland

Can children travel on a luxury escorted tour?

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

How do you pick roommates?/When will we find out who our roommate is?

Once we know how many travelers require a roommate, we will pair individuals based on gender and trip length. We will also do our best to match individuals based on age and/or where they are from, if possible. Roommates will be introduced prior to travel via email when travel documents are issued, approximately 7 to 10 days prior to departure.

What is the electrical current/voltage in Ireland and the UK? Do I need a converter?

Unlike the US and most European countries, the UK & Ireland’s electrical current is between 220-240 volts, 50 cycles A/C and work off a flat three-pin plug. An adapter is necessary and can be found in most duty-free shops in the airport, Brookstone, Bed Bath & Beyond, or in most hardware stores or pharmacies such as Walgreen’s. Please see our Adapter/Converter blog by clicking here!

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. 

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.

Scotland

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.

Are Escorted tours handicap accessible?

The coaches are not handicap accessible so you must be able to get on and off the coach unaided by our staff and be able to rotate seats on the coach. If you need extra walking assistance, you may bring a light-weight foldable wheelchair which can be stowed in the luggage compartment. You must advise us when booking a tour that you will be using a wheelchair or other medical equipment.

Are the pedals set up the same on manual cars in Ireland and the UK as in the U.S.?

The pedals are set up the same on cars in Ireland and the UK, though everything else in the car is reversed as the driver’s side is on the right of each vehicle. Reminder – you’ll shift with your left hand!

Why are automatic cars so much more expensive?

Automatic cars are in much higher demand than manual cars in Ireland and the UK because of international visitors not used to driving on the opposite side of the road or driving a manual.

When will I be able to check into my hotel/hostel/B&B in each city/town?

Typically, check-in is 3:00pm, although many places 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.

England

Can children travel on a luxury escorted tour?

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

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.

When are banks open in Ireland and the UK?

Banks in Ireland and the UK are generally open from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Mon-Fri. All are closed on weekends. Some close for lunch hours. ATM’s should be accessible 24/7.

What do you mean by scheduled service?

With scheduled transfers you’ll enjoy a ride on a luxury coach bus or train. Scheduled transfers can be upgraded to private transfers for an additional charge, please ask your sales representative.

Can I rent a GPS navigation system?

Ask your travel specialist about how to include a GPS and mobile phone rental in your Tenon Tours self-drive tour package, otherwise we rent GPS/mobile phone bundles for $20 per day. If you’d prefer to rent from your car rental company, you may rent a GPS only (normally around €/£10-15 per day) from them.

Inputting GPS Coordinates: 

For GPS coordinates, use the first format listed in the GPS: (h ddd.ddddd°)

If the coordinates given read: 52.710743, -8,878969, they should be converted and entered into the Garmin GPS as : N 52.710743 and W 008.87896

The first coordinate given is Latitude (North/South). Ireland and the UK are north of the equator. The second coordinate is Longitude (East/West). If negative, it is west of the Prime Meridian line, (Ireland and the UK are west of the Prime Meridian) if it’s positive it is to the East.

Wales

Is our tour departure guaranteed?

All tours are guaranteed and will not be canceled due to a lack of travelers. Our flexible transportation contracts allow for us to run a tour with anywhere from two to twenty people.

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.

When I book a chauffeur driver tour, can I plan my itinerary on the go?

Prior to travel you will need to have a rough outline of where you want to go and what you want to do so that we can help you determine if it is even possible within the driver’s hired time limits and the countries regulations.  There should be some flexibility built in for unforeseen time issues and/or if you would like to take a more causal approach to your sightseeing.  Always remember, there are time, mileage and driver regulations that must be abided by.  These regulations are not set by Tenon Tours and your driver will work with you directly as to any itinerary changes or updates that may be required.  For more details on itinerary planning for chauffeur driver tours, download our Private Chauffeur Driver Guide here!

Does my chauffeur driver stay with me all day?

Private chauffeur drivers are required to follow restrictions for the amount of hours per day they may drive, breaks they must take, and the amount of days they may work in a row. Drivers are legally allowed to work for only 8 consecutive hours per day of transferring and touring. Driver are also required by law to build in certain break times to their day which means your itinerary will also need to allow for this. For more details on restrictions on the private drivers, download our 10 Tips for Hiring a Private Chauffeur Driver Guide here!

What type of transportation will we use while traveling on a Hopper?

Hopper tours, depending on your country and itinerary, utilize a combination of transfer types including door-to-door transfers with a driver, trains and/or scheduled bus.

For scheduled Hopper tours with guaranteed door-to-door transfers between towns, vehicle types will vary depending on group size. While we don’t retain a single vehicle for the duration of your trip, we do work with several local transportation and tour suppliers to ensure comfortable, hassle-free transfers and sightseeing excursions. 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.

Airport transfers to/from the airport are provided via scheduled service shuttle buses to the city-center. Upgrades are available for door-to-door transfers with a driver.

If customizing your own Hopper we can help you set up various types of transportation between towns including a private driver, train and/or scheduled coach bus transfer. When utilizing scheduled transportation the proximity from pick-up and drop-off points to your assigned hotel may require up to a few block walk or hiring a taxi at your own expense. Maps of locations will be provided. Upgraded pricing available for all private transfers, please contact your travel specialist.

British Isles

How much luggage can I bring on a luxury escorted tour?

Due to motor coach space limitations, most luxury escorted tours only allow for one normal sized suitcase per individual. Remember, a wise traveler packs light! We also encourage just one carry-on bag per individual (for carrying items that might be needed during the day’s sightseeing excursions or camera/video equipment). Dimensions for carry-ons should not exceed 17” x 12” x 10”, allowing it to fit under the seat or in the overhead rack of most motor coaches.

What is the ratio of females to males?

Each trip is different, but on average the ratio is about 3:1 (female to male).

Will I get competitive pricing?

We work directly with the suppliers on the ground and as a result have competitive contracts and experience in negotiating special rates with vendors. We also stand Price, Product and Policy Promise to make sure you receive the best deal and best service.

Why are automatic cars so much more expensive?

Automatic cars are in much higher demand than manual cars in Ireland and the UK because of international visitors not used to driving on the opposite side of the road or driving a manual.

How/when do we meet up with the group?

A welcome event is included with your tour on your first evening. Your first day is free to tour as you please, on your own. Tenon Tours will create a Facebook event prior to departure and invite all travelers to “join” so that everyone may introduce themselves and discuss the upcoming trip. If travelers would like to set up a time on their own to meet the first day before the welcome event we encourage it!

Italy

Will I be charged in my home currency ($USD or $CAD) or in the local currency of the country I am in?

Many times you will be asked if you want to be charged in your home currency OR the local currency. We suggest choosing the local currency of the country you are visiting and in that case your bank/credit card will determine the exchange rate (which may be more favorable for you, especially if they have no International Transaction Fees). If you choose your home currency then the establishment you are in will determine your exchange rate (note: you may also still be charged an International Transaction Fee even if it is your home currency).

Will my chauffeur driver speak English?

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

When will I be able to check into my hotel/hostel/B&B in each city/town?

Typically, check-in is 3:00pm, although many places 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 is the electrical current/voltage in Italy?

In Italy, the standard voltage is 230 volts (220-240), 50 cycles A/C and works off a round 2 pin plug. An adapter is necessary and can be found in most duty-free shops in the airport, Brookstone, Bed Bath & Beyond, or in most hardware stores or pharmacies such as Walgreen’s. Please see our Adapter/Converter blog by clicking here!

Consider Registering with STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program).

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. Click here for more information.

Iceland

When are banks open in Iceland?

Banking hours are generally Mon-Fri 09:00AM-4:00PM

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!

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.

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

Can I bring a wheelchair or motorized scooter?

Wheelchairs and certain types of motorized scooters can be accommodated on some luxury escorted tours. It is best that you inquire for the specific journey you are interested in. As a general rule, wheelchairs and motorized scooters are not accepted on luxury escorted tours. The international community does not adhere to the same accessibility standards that hotels, restaurants and public buildings do in the United States. That combined with tour itineraries that might require a considerable bit of walking in old historic city sections, in and around attractions, over cobblestone streets, up hills and climbing staircases make wheelchairs impractical to bring.