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.

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.

Do I need a Visa to visit Ireland and the UK?

Travelers from the European Union, the United States and Canada do not need a visa to enter Ireland, the UK or most Western European countries for stays shorter than 90 days. If you hold a passport from a different country or plan on staying for more then 90-days, please check with your local consulate.

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.

What is the difference between a Hopper Tour and an Escorted Tour?

We’ve compiled a list below to help chart out the differences between these types of tours:


See the full blog here

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.

Will my tour guide be local on my Escorted tour?

All tour guides are locally employed.

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 children allowed on a small group escorted tour?

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

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.

What do we mean by “independent,” “flexible” or “semi-escorted” tours?

We arrange for transportation from town to town, rather than travelers having to drive themselves (self-drive), or having to be stuck on a bus with a tour group for the duration of their trip (fully-escorted). Paired with a provided itinerary and optional tours and attractions, this is the perfect way to combine the structure you need, with the flexibility you want!

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.

Can children travel on a luxury escorted tour?

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How many people are on an escorted tour?

On average we have around 35 passengers but the busses hold a maximum of 48 passengers. If you are on a small group escorted tour, the amount of passengers can range from 18-24.

Are you supposed to tip in Ireland and the UK?


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 valued the food and service. Generally people do not tip in pubs when only purchasing drinks but they do tip when purchasing food.


-For chauffeur driver tours where a private driver is hired on a daily basis tips are not included in your quoted price. Gratuity for your driver is at on your own discretion based on the quality and level of service you receive. Standard industry averages would suggest 5 to 10 Euros or Pounds per day, per person.  Please use the Chauffeur trip type drop-down for more questions and answers regarding tipping and your drivers.

-If your vacation does include door-to-door transfers with a driver or a tour guide (such as on our optional day tours) it is customary to tip between 2 to 5 Euros or Pounds per person based on the service and information provided by your driver.

-No tipping is required for drivers of public transfers.

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 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).

What is the currency in Ireland and the UK?

The local currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro (€) and Pound Sterling (GBP) in Northern Ireland and the UK (£). Current exchange rates can be found at xe.com.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

Do we need to tip our drivers on a Hopper tour?

Yes! For each door-to-door transfer with a driver or day tour with a tour guide (such as on our optional tours) it is customary to tip between 2 to 5 Euros or Pounds per person, per transfer based on the service and information provided by your driver and/or guide. No tipping is required for drivers of scheduled/public transfers.

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 are the pick-up times for the transfers between towns?

Pick-up times will vary based on the type of transportation provided. Your Travel Specialist can help provide you with an idea of times so you may choose optional tours prior to travel. You’ll receive exact pick-up times and locations in your travel documents.

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!

What if I pick up my car before the time on my confirmation?

If you 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 pick up the car early your return time will then change to the same time on the day you need to drop it off as car rentals are valid for a 24-hour rental period.

Can I pre-book a seat on a small group escorted tour?

Seats are not able to be pre-booked for any tours to allow passengers a daily first come first serve basis.

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.

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.

What is the advantage to using these UK vouchers?

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. This program offers you a lot of choices of itinerary throughout the country.

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 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.

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.

What type of clothing should I pack for Ireland and the UK?

The dress is extremely casual in Ireland and the UK so we recommend packing as you would prepare for a weekend away in the states. You can never go wrong with a general mix of casual and comfortable, as well as a bit dressier if you’re one to frequent nicer establishments. However, a light rain-resistant jacket and small travel umbrella are must-haves! To see what you should pack for your specific destination, click on the country you are traveling to below:







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. 

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.

Are there any extra charges we have to pay at the UK B&B?

A city tax of £10.00 (approximately $15) per room per night applies for the month of August in Edinburgh and during the summer months in Oxford, Bath, Maidenhead and Cambridge with the vouchers. This charge is paid directly to the accommodation provider and is not included with your payment to Tenon Tours.

Are the hotels air-conditioned?

Due to the cooler average climate in Ireland and Britain, most accommodations (hotels and/or B&B’s) do not have or need air-conditioning.  Some accommodations will state that they have “temperature control” in the rooms, however the control you have over how hot or cold to make it is not to the extremes that our clients may be used to in North America.  Some accommodations may have fans available, check with reception or your B&B host. Please see more detailed information here in our blog!

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!

Are the UK vouchers refundable?

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

Do hotels allow guests?

Every hotel has different policies, but at night most hotels check guests at the entrance to ensure only resident guests are staying the night, as well as provide extra security.

What are the hotel bedding options?

It is important to note that European hotel rooms generally tend to be smaller than North American hotel rooms.

For your hotel room you can choose to have:

Double– One bed for two people (usually Queen size, sometimes Double/Full.  King only by request and not always guaranteed).

Twin– Two separate beds (can be two Single beds, two Double/Full, one Single & one Double/Full, etc…)

Triple– Two beds to sleep three people.  Rarely will there be three separate beds.  (Normally you will find a Double/Full bed and one twin bed for a total of 2 beds.  Sometimes you may find two Double/Full or three Single beds, but it is rare.) Please note there is no reduction in cost for a third person sharing a room with two others. For comfort, we suggest that three adults take two separate rooms.

Twin and Triple Room configurations will be assigned based on hotel availability at the time of check-in.

Note: No more than three people can share a hotel room on escorted tours.

Is there a host/guide with us on the tour?

Our Singles Tours are set up the same as all of our Hopper tours without a full-time host or guide; however, we do provide a local host during your welcome event on your first evening. Please remember these tours were designed for the independent traveler. See our General Hopper Questions above for more information regarding the structure of Hopper tours so you know what to expect during the tour.

What are the check-in/check-out times at B&Bs?

You should arrive for your reservation at a B&B by 6pm. Check-in time is normally between 2pm – 6pm, unless otherwise agreed with your host/hostess. Please note that late arrival, estimated after 6pm, is by special agreement with each home. Check-out should be no later than 11am.

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.

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 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 ratio of females to males?

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

What is the weather like in Scotland?

Scotland has a mild, temperate climate which produces temperatures in the 60’s during the summer months and the low 30’s in the winter. Spring and autumn temperatures usually hover around 50 degrees (F). Rain is very common and tends to appear at the most random times so make sure you plan accordingly.

Check out Scotland’s average monthly temperatures below:

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 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.

Will everyone be staying in the same hotel?

We do our best to keep everyone together, but this is not guaranteed. Multiple hotels may need to be utilized in different towns due to availability and different room type requirements.

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.

How much luggage can I bring on my Escorted Tour?

On coach tours, you are permitted one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag per person. Porterage between the coach and your hotel room is included.

Can I combine an escorted tour with another type of tour such as self-drive?

Yes! You may combine any of our trip types per availability.

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!

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

How far in advance do I need to book my group?

It is never too early to book a group. Keep in mind that the further out from the departure date the better chance you have of reserving the perfect hotels, tours etc. If you are planning to travel between the months of May and September we highly advise at least 10-months notice to if you are set on securing particular properties. Any group that wants to book and travel inside 90 days would have to pay in full to secure the booking.

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.

Can we pick the hotels we want to stay in?

Accommodations are carefully chosen by Tenon Tours based on the needs and size of the group. For more questions about Hotels please see the Hopper Tour Hotels section above.

How do I make phone calls while on my trip? Does my cell phone work?

Depending on your cell phone plan/carrier, your cell phone will work in Ireland and the UK but will come with connection fees and minute charges. Digital Phones with GSM capabilities and an International roaming agreement will work but we recommend you contact your mobile company to see if they have a specific plan available or it will be expensive. Local cell phones are available for rent through Tenon Tours.

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.

Can we book optional day tours/attractions while we are traveling or do we need to book everything ahead of time? If we can book while we are traveling, how do we do that?

Day tours, attractions and activities are available for selection and pre-purchase up to 21 days prior to departure. Travel documents cannot be issued to the group until everyone traveling has submitted their selections so make sure to let your Travel Specialist know your requests as soon as you can!

By purchasing these options prior to travel you are able to pay in $USD or $CAD while locking in the exchange rate as well as any discounts that may have been extended to Tenon Tours clients. Your space on these tours is also guaranteed as many day tours sell out months prior to operating. Some day tour options are provided to Tenon Tours clients privately and must be purchased prior to travel so minimum group size requirements are met and the proper vehicle size can be reserved.

If you do not plan to arrange your tour and attractions prior to travel you may purchase these items directly from the vendor itself at their retail rates and in the local currency, if there is availability. During your tour please feel free to check with your hotel reception desk or concierge for information on tours or for the location of the tourist office.


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.

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. 

For whom are tours recommended?

We recommend our tours for active independent travelers who want an alternative to driving themselves or a fully-planned tour with no freedom or flexibility. This tour is not recommended for those who require a full time guide, private transportation service at all times, luggage handling or have mobility issues requiring wheelchairs, have trouble walking or limiting medical conditions.

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.

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.

Can you accommodate my special dietary request on an Escorted tour?

Hotels throughout Ireland and Britain offer a wide variety of foods. When making your reservation please notify us of your specific requests, especially for low-salt or celiac diets. We cannot guarantee all requests and it is a good idea to double check once you are in your tour hotels.

How many people do I need for a group?

A group can be any size, however most group discounts start with a minimum of 10 people. The more people in your group, the lower the price will be per person.

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.

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 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 are acceptable forms of payment?

Tenon Tours accepts checks and the following credit cards: VISA, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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!

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.

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

Edinburgh Premiere City-Center Hotels: Jurys Inn, Parliament House, Mercure Princes Street, Inn Place, or similar.
Glasgow Premiere City-Center Hotels: Mercure, Best Western Glasgow City, Jurys Inn, Grand Central Hotel or similar.
Inverness Premiere City-Center Hotels: Royal Highland Hotel, Mercure Inverness, Glen Mhor, Craigmonie Hotel or similar.

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.

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!

Will my chauffeur driver speak English?

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

What if I run out of medication during my trip? Do I need any special vaccinations?

If you take prescription drugs, ensure that you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip and always carry them in your hand luggage. If you rely on medication, glasses, contact lenses or dentures, it is a good idea to carry a prescription with the generic drug name so it can be filled abroad. Iceland has medical facilities of similar standards to North America and no special vaccinations are necessary to travel here.

Are driver tips included in my Chauffeur tour price?

For chauffeur driver tours where a private driver is hired on a daily basis tips are not included in your quoted price. Gratuity for your driver is at on your own discretion based on the quality and level of service you receive. Standard industry averages would suggest 5 to 10 Euros or Pounds per day, per person.

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.

What type of accommodations do you use for a Hopper tour?

With a commitment to immersing travelers in the culture of each city, Tenon selects accommodations that enhance a traveler’s experience. Accommodations are carefully chosen based on location and quality in an effort to meet our travelers’ expectations and ensure satisfaction. Hotel locations provide easy accessibly to attractions, restaurants, pubs and public transportation. Whether it’s a boutique hotel or a large chain property, our hotels will always have a quality rating of three or four stars and a TripAdvisor rating of three or higher. Tenon offers a wide variety of hotels in each of the cities on our Hopper Tours. Hotels are subject to availability and the discretion of Tenon Tours. Hotels of the same class not listed below may also be substituted. Travelers’ exact hotel assignments will be issued with travel documents 7 to 10 days prior to departure.

How many people are normally on this tour?

Past Singles tours have ranged from 12 to 25 people. There is no maximum, though we prefer to keep the group under 30 travelers to maintain a more intimate experience.

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 of Ireland or the UK 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.).

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.

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 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.

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.

Are there age restrictions to rent a car in Ireland and/or the UK?

Yes. In Ireland, the driver must be between 23-80 years at the time of travel. Certain conditions apply for drivers 76-80 years old, and elderly drivers may have to provide additional documentation to rent a car. Drivers aged 23-24 years are restricted to the economy-sized car class and pay a daily surcharge of €26.00. If you are 23, 24 or 75+, please let your travel specialist know at the time of booking. In the UK, drivers must be 25+, no exceptions, and there is no upper age limit.

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.

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.

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