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FAQs

Please find below the answers to some questions were are often asked. If the answer is not below or if you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tours:

What types of tours are offered? What’s the difference between Vagabond and Driftwood tours? How intense are the walks and activities on the Vagabond and Driftwood tours? Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues? Are there set itineraries? Are the days of departure set? Are the departure dates guaranteed? What are the minimum and maximum group sizes for the tours?  

Price and what’s included:

What prices are the tours? Are the tours suitable for solo travellers? Are the prices of the tour set or do they change depending on the time of year? What is included in the price? What optional activities are available? How are the optional activities organised? Do passengers have much free time on the tours? What time and where do the tours depart from? What documentation do passengers need to bring on tour with them? Which airport is best for the tour? Are airport transfers included? Are accommodation and/ or activities in Dublin included? Are there any baggage restrictions? What do you recommend passengers bring with them? Is Travel Insurance required?  

Payments and Bookings:

What is the booking process? How are payments usually made? Is a deposit required and when is the balance due? Are Vagabond Tours a member of any professional bodies? How is payment for the tours bonded/ insured? What is the cancellation policy? Are there any age restrictions on the tours? Are children allowed in pubs in Ireland?  

Guides

What is the policy as to use of alcohol by the guides prior to and during the time they are “on duty” and driving the mini coaches? What is the tipping policy in Ireland? When is the best time to come to Ireland?  

Accommodation:

What type of accommodation is used? What types of rooms are available/ Are triple or family rooms available? Do all the accommodations have hair dryers in the room? Do the overnight accommodations have air conditioning? Do all the overnight accommodations have separate bathrooms?  

Vehicles:

What types of vehicle do we use? Are passengers assigned a seat in the vehicle or can they move around each day? Is there a toilet on the vehicle? Is smoking allowed on the vehicles or in the accommodation? Does the luggage travel on the same vehicle as passengers?  

On Tour:

Are there any baggage restrictions? What do you recommend passengers bring with them? Do passengers need to bring any of their own equipment for the optional activities (horse hats etc)? Are electrical converters required? How much cash should passengers bring with them? If a passenger has special dietary requirements (vegan, gluten intolerance etc), can they be catered for easily? Do passengers always eat together in the evenings or can they do their own thing? Is there an option of where to eat each night or do passenger have to eat in the place where they are staying? Are there any laundry facilities along the way for the longer tours?  

Currency/Credit Cards/ Cash:

How much cash should passengers bring with them?Which credit cards are accepted in Ireland? What currency is required on the tours?  

Contact Queries:

Is internet access available on the tours? How can passengers get in contact with families etc.? How can passengers be reached on tour (in case of emergency for example)  

Other

Do you have any brochures? Where can passenger feedback be seen? What are your office hours? Our office hours are 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Please note these times are GMT so may vary depending on your Geographical location. If you leave a message on our voicemail, we WILL call you back. That’s a promise. Do you have any brochures? For environmental reasons we have decided to try and experiment by not printing brochures since 2009, but we can email you itineraries and any further information you might require Where can passenger feedback be seen? Yes, feedback from previous passengers can be seen on our website http://www.vagabond.ie/driftwood/feedback.php or on our Facebook Page.    

Tours:

What types of tours are offered? What’s the difference between Vagabond and Driftwood tours? There are two main differences between the Vagabond and the Driftwood tours. Firstly the Vagabond tours are more active, and would include options for activities such as hill walking, horse-riding, sea-kayaking and surfing. The Driftwood tours would be less active, and instead we might spend more time looking at stately homes and gardens etc Secondly the vehicles we use are different, for the Vagabond tours we use Land Rover 4×4 vehicles which have been specially converted for us to carry 13 passengers. The are fun, chunky, have a spirit of adventure and are perfectly comfortable. However on the Driftwood tours, we use more luxurious mini-coaches which are easier to get in and out of, and they would have more space per person. In terms of overnight stops, they are pretty much the same, except on the Driftwood tour we don’t spend the night in a place called Portmagee, which is a small village right out on the end of the Ring of Kerry. Its a great spot but one of the main reasons for going there is to visit the Skellig islands, which can be quite adventurous, and we find it doesn’t appeal to the Driftwood tours passengers as much. Both tour types have plenty of history and culture, free time, great scenery and excellent overnights. Its really just about how adventurous you feel. How intense are the walks and activities on the Vagabond and Driftwood tours? Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues? The activities on both tours are totally optional and many people choose to sit them out. I always say that if you like the sound of Vagabond or Driftwood, then you’ll have a great time. The Vagabond Tours are activity/participation based tours though and are suitable for active people with a basic to moderate level of fitness. For people with mobility issues, I would recommend our Driftwood tours. The walks on the Driftwood tours are generally more like strolls and there are no long hikes. They are quite manageable and we would be happy to advise you further as to the suitability of each tour before booking. The vehicles are also lower to the ground and easier to get in and our of. Are there set itineraries? The scheduled tours do have set itineraries, but they are flexible when it comes to daily activities (the overnights are pretty much set in stone). We aim to make the whole experience as unhurried and relaxed as possible and we often change things whilst on tour just to suit a particular group – or the weather etc. Are the days of departure set? Yes we do have set departure days – all of our tours depart from Dublin on either Sundays or Mondays depending on the type of tour. Are the departure dates guaranteed? Yes. Once we have two people booked on a tour, then it is guaranteed departure, that’s a promise. And we do run tours every now and then with only two people. We are very aware that our customers have organized time off work, flights to ireland, dublin Hotels, etc around our tours and so we always run the tours once people are booked on. We have never cancelled a tour. What are the minimum and maximum group sizes for the tours? The minimum number for our tours is two people. The maximum group size is 13 for the vagabond tours and 16 for the Driftwood tours.  

Price and What’s included:

What prices are the tours? The prices for the trips are below: Driftwood Journeys of Discovery Seven Day ‘Treasure Ireland Tour’ Tour: E1249 (6 nights Hotel and B&B Accommodation based on two sharing) Single supplement: E210 (Departing: Mondays May onwards) Five days ‘Backroads and Byways Tour’ Tour: E909 (Including 4 nights Hotel and B&B Accommodation based on two sharing) Single supplement: E115 (Departing: Mondays May onwards) Five days ‘Northern Driftwood Tour’ Tour: E909 (Including 4 nights Hotel and B&B Accommodation based on two sharing) Single supplement: E115 (Departing: Sundays May onwards) Eleven Day ‘Discover Ireland Tour’ Tour: E1929 (10 nights Hotel and B&B Accommodation based on two sharing) Single supplement: E330 (Departing: Mondays May onwards) Are the prices of the tour set or do they change depending on the time of year? Our tour prices are set so they don’t fluctuate depending on the time of year. What is included in the price? The price includes your accommodation and breakfasts, other meals you simply pay for at the time. Lunches tend to be a mixture of picnics, BBQ’s and pub lunches and then in the evening we normally head to a good pub or restaurant for our meal. It is easily possible to eat well for E35pp per day. What optional activities are available? • Each tour is packed with great scenery, fresh air and outdoor activity, local culture and loads of laughs. We stay away from the coach parks of the main historical sites and head for areas that mortal tours simply cannot reach, lots of time is spent on the beaches, going for walks, heading across to islands etc – it is spectacularly good. Additional activities on the tours are: Visit to working sheep farm – E7 (southern tours) • Boat trip to Garinish Island – E15 (southern tours) • Visit to Bantry House and Gardens – E8 (southern tours) • Day trip to the Aran Islands –E20 ( 7 and 11 day tours) • Boat Trip to see Fungi – E16 (southern tours) • Cooking Demonstration in Dingle – TBC (southern tours) • Black Cab taxi tour of Belfast – GB£10 (northern tours) • Jaunting Car ride in Killarney National park – E15 (southern tours) • Titanic Experience – GB£14.75 (northern tours) • Bushmills Whiskey Distillery – GB7.50 (northern tours) • Walking tour of Derry – GB4 (northern tours) • Dunluce Castle (Northern tours) – GB£3 • Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge – GB5.60 (northern tours) • Boat trip to Slieve League Cliffs – E20 (northern tours) • Hot, relaxing sea-weed bath – E25 (northern tours) • Blarney Stone and Rock of Cashel – E16 (combined) (southern tours)) But even without these additional activities – the tours are brilliant. How are the optional activities organised? The optional activities are organised by the guide while on tour so there is no need to prebook. Also payment for optional activities is made directly to the supplier. Are the tours suitable for solo travellers? Is there a single supplement? We get a lot of passengers on the tour who are travelling solo, it’s a great, worry-free way to see the country and meet other people. Regarding rooms, the price is based on two sharing, with a single supplement for single rooms. If there is someone to share with, they can always pair up to save the supplement, but we can’t guarantee there will be, in which case we would have to charge the supplement. Though to be honest even if there is someone to share with, its nice at the end of the day to have your own room and probably worth the little extra. Is Ireland a safe place to travel, particularly for solo passengers? Ireland is a fairly safe place to travel on your own, as safe as anywhere else in Western Europe. We have lots of people who travel here on their own who have had no problems travelling solo. However travellers should exercise sound personal safety practices to minimize their chance of becoming a victim. Is a VISA required when travelling to Ireland? People from certain countries need a valid Irish entry visa before arriving in the State, whether by air, sea or land. The list of countries whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Ireland is defined in the Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2011 (SI 146 of 2011). If in doubt as to VISA requirements please contact the Irish VISA Office (http://www.inis.gov.ie/) or contact the Irish embassy or consulate in your home country. Are any vaccinations required when travelling to Ireland? No special immunisations or medications are generally required when travelling to Ireland but if you have any medical conditions, we strongly advise that you check your individual circumstances with your GP/ medical professional before hand if in doubt. Do passengers have much free time on the tours? In the true spirit of Ireland, we like to keep our tours as unhurried and relaxed as possible, with flexibility and also free time built in to the itineraries. There is no better way to meet Irish people and experience first-hand their famous hospitality, warmth and humour. What time and where do the tours depart from? The tours leave from Dublin city centre at 08.30am on the first morning and get back about 6pm on the last day. So we would advise all apssengers to arrive at least the night before and if they would be planning to fly out on the last night, then not to book a flight before 9pm. What documentation do passengers need to bring on tour with them? Passengers will be issued an e-ticket and approximately 10 days before departure which they will need to read carefully and then print out and sign. This must accompany the passenger and be given to the tour guide on the morning of departure. Which airport is best for the tour? The tours depart from and return to Dublin City so Dublin Airport would be the best option for all flights. Are airport transfers included? Airport transfers are not included in the price but there are plenty of taxis which cost about €20-25, or passengers can get a bus for €6-8. The blue ‘aircoach’ leaves from outside the airport every 15-20 minutes and drops off in the city centre. The drivers are very helpful and will probably let passengers know when they reach the right stop. Are accommodation and/ or activities in Dublin included? We don’t include pre/post tour accommodation or activities in Dublin as it is relatively easy to book these yourself. And because of the huge choice available, we find it’s best to allow passengers book these elements. However in our bookijg confirmations we do send out a list of hotels in Dublin that are close to the meeting points. Are there any baggage restrictions? We have been finding over the last year that more and more people are arriving on tour with larger and larger suitcases. So we have had to introduce a size limit on bags to one suitcase person, (that are no bigger than 30” (75cm) along their longest side) or one large suitcase per couple. Soft sided bags are even better. Most hotels in Dublin now will store your luggage for you while you are on the tour if you need to leave one behind, and we can also organise laundry facilities for you on tour. What do you recommend passengers bring with them? We always suggest that you try and travel light, but there are a few things we do recommend you bring: Walking boots or walking shoes, Camera, Waterproof jacket (it has been known to rain over here), a towel for the beach and Music – Bring MP’s or IPods for the journey, we can plug them into the vehicles. We get a bit bored of listening to our own. Is Travel Insurance required? Yes. Vagabond strongly recommends that the client purchase comprehensive travel insurance cover for cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, personal luggage, money and public liability before you travel. Vagabond reserve the right to refuse admission to a passenger unless the client has arranged appropriate insurance. Vagabond accepts no responsibility for loss or personal damage to personal belongings or liability for personal injury/death.  

Payments and Bookings:

What is the booking process? If you would like to sign up for one of our tours, this can be done in several ways: 1. Online Booking – click here 2. By Telephone – using the numbers to the left 3. By Fax – using the Driftwood booking form which can downloaded by clicking here. How are payments usually made? Methods of Payment Driftwood is delighted to accept payment using: 1. Most major credit cards (2% booking fee applies to credit card bookings) 2. Electronic Bank Transfer – details can be supplied 3. International Euro drafts or euro cheques issued in Ireland Bookings are confirmed by e-mail, confirmation includes – Reference number, Helpful Information Pack and Driftwood Terms and Conditions. We can also send out copies in the post if required. How are travel documents sent out? All Vagabond and Driftwood customer correspondence and booking confirmations are sent by email (and confirmations are not required to be printed by passengers). Is a deposit required and when is the balance due? We require a deposit of 15% of the tour price to secure the booking with the remaining balance being due 60 days before departure. If there is less than 60 days until departure then full payment is required. Are Vagabond Tours a member of any professional bodies? How is payment for the tours bonded/ insured? In June 2009 Vagabond was accepted into the ITOA (Irish Tour Operator’s Association) which was a great milestone for us. This is the professional body for inbound tour operators in Ireland, and we are delighted to have become members. The benefits for our customers are that we are bound by a strict code of ITOA conduct and we are also contributor to (and are covered by) the ITOA Insolvency Insurance Scheme. So you know that when you book with Vagabond you are dealing with a well established and reputable company. The ITOA website can be found at http://www.irishtouroperators.com/home/ ATTA – Vagabond is also a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association based in Seattle. What is the cancellation policy? Our cancellation terms and condition are outlined below, and we are very flexible if you had to postpone a tour then that’s no problem. We have had some people postpone a tour for over two years. Cancellation 3.1 Cancellation of a clients booking must be confirmed in writing to Vagabond. Cancellation charges are calculated on the day when notification is received by Vagabond. The Table below shows the number of days before departure dates that Vagabond receives written confirmation of cancellation, and the percentage of tour fare, including any surcharges that will be imposed on the client as cancellation of charges. Days % Charge Over 45 Deposit 45-22 30% 22-7 50% Under 7 100% 3.2 Once the tour has started, no refunds will be made under any circumstances for any unused sectors or sections. 3.3 If the reason for the client’s cancellation is covered by the client’s insurance policy, the client maybe be able to make a claim under that policy. 3.4 If the client wishes to change to an alternative departure date, this must be done with a minimum of 7 days notice. One change of date is allowed free of charge; any subsequent changes will be subject to a €40 administration fee. Are there any age restrictions on the tours? We actually get all ages on the tours, although the average is probably 35-65 we also get lots of people either side of that. We normally set a minimum age of around 8 years for a scheduled tour but we do quite often get teenagers on the tours, and they have a great time (as long as they have been consulted on going on the tour it seems). There is plenty to keep them occupied and it can be a real learning experience for them. It is rare to get children on the Driftwood tours though. Are children allowed in pubs in Ireland? Children (anyone under the age of 18) are only allowed in licensed premises if they are with a parent or guardian, but this provision carries certain restrictions. For example if accompanied by a parent/guardian, the child may remain on the premises between the hours of 10:30am – 9pm (10pm May to September) (unless the licence holder feels this is injurious to the child’s health, safety and welfare). Children aged between 15-17 years may remain on the premises after 9pm where they are attending a private function at which a substantial meal is served. All licensed premises must display a sign to this effect in a prominent place at all time and failure to do so can result in a fine. Guides Who guides the tours? The cornerstone of any good tour is the guide and Vagabond is fortunate to be able to attract the very best in the business. There is no doubt that they are some of the most passionate, talented, and professional guides in Ireland and as you travel through the country, through wild and rugged landscapes, to hidden historical sites, castles and legendary battlefields our team will keep you informed and entertained and also provide you with an insight into life in Ireland today. You can meet the team on our website – http://www.vagabond.ie/guides.php. What is the policy as to use of alcohol by the guides prior to and during the time they are “on duty” and driving the mini coaches? Our policy on alcohol for drivers is very strict, if any of them were found to be drinking during a tour or turned up for work under the influence of alcohol then it would be instant dismissal. It is not a situation we have encountered so far in ten years of operating Vagabond. Our drivers are very professional and we have never had a cause to doubt them. What is the tipping policy in Ireland? Tipping is not generally expected in Ireland but it is always appreciated. Drivers/guides on tour buses are usually tipped at the end of a trip, sometimes with a communal tip collected from all of those on the tour. The amount is up to the individual, and will depend on the length of the tour and the quality of the service. We have heard that the industry standard is about E10 per person, per day. When is the best time to come to Ireland? I think anytime between May and September is a good time to visit Ireland. July and August are the traditional summer months but quite often we get better weather in May, June and September – though if there is one thing in Ireland that you cannot rely upon – its the the weather.  

Accommodation:

What type of accommodation is used? For accommodation we normally use a mixture of B&B’s, small hotels and Lodges. Each place is different and adds its own flavour to the tours, we have put a lot of work into finding just the right places and everyone seems really happy with the results. We have more information on our accommodation suppliers on our website at http://www.vagabond.ie/accommodation.php What types of rooms are available/ Are triple or family rooms available? All of our accommodation providers offer a choice of room types including singles (one bed), twins (two beds), doubles (one bed) and triples (usually one double and one single bed). Family rooms for adults and children can also be arranged upon request. Do all the accommodations have hair dryers in the room? All the overnight accommodations do provide hairdryers, but I am not exactly sure how good they are! Most people seem happy with them, but you might have problems getting the Monica Lewinsky look! Do the overnight accommodations have air conditioning? We wish we needed air conditioning in the rooms however, the weather over here usually doesn’t warrant air conditioning. Do all the overnight accommodations have separate bathrooms? Yes all of the rooms have their own separate, ensuite bathrooms.  

Vehicles:

What types of vehicle do we use? For the Vagabond tours we use unique Land Rover 4×4 vehicles which have been specially converted for us to carry 13 passengers. The are fun, chunky, have a spirit of adventure and are perfectly comfortable. However on the Driftwood tours, we use more luxurious mini-coaches which are easier to get in and out of, and they would have more space per person. Are passengers assigned a seat in the vehicle or can they move around each day? Seating on the vehicles is not assigned and passengers are encouraged to move around each day if they wish. Is there a toilet on the vehicle? I’m afraid there are no bathrooms on board the vehicles for the simple reason that we make regular stops along the route where passengers can avail of bathroom facilities. Is smoking allowed on the vehicles or in the accommodation? Vagabond Tours operates a strict no smoking policy on all of our vehicles as smoking is illegal in all enclosed places of work in Ireland. This includes office blocks, various buildings, public houses/bars, restaurants and company vehicles (cars and vans). The ban was introduced by the Tobacco Smoking (Prohibition) Regulations 2003. However certain exceptions can be made in relation to accommodation so smoking rooms can be provided on request. Does the luggage travel on the same vehicle as passengers? Yes all baggage will travel with passengers in the same vehicle in a luggage compartment or in a securely locked and weather proof trailer. On Tour: Are passengers responsible for moving their own luggage? Yes passengers are required to move their luggage themselves but if they require assistance at any stage there is not usually a problem. Do passengers need to bring any formal attire for evenings or is the tour quite casual? The tours are quite casual so no formal evening wear is required. Jeans and sneakers are fine for most places. Do passengers need to bring any of their own equipment for the optional activities (horse hats etc)? All equipment required for the optional activities will be provided by the suppliers. On the Vagabond adventures shoes or boots with a slight heel may be required for horse riding but most walking boots are fine for this purpose. Are electrical converters required? Yes you will need an adapter. We use a three pin plug here, with square pins, just like in the UK. The voltage is 240v so you need to check that any appliances you are bringing over can work on a 240v system. It should say somewhere on the device. Are there restroom stops along the way? Yes we make regular stops along the route where passengers can avail of bathroom facilities. If a passenger has special dietary requirements (vegan, gluten intolerance etc), can they be catered for easily? Most places in Ireland now cater for specialized dietary requirements so that should be no problem. All our customers in the past with special dietary requirements have all said how well they were catered for. Do passengers always eat together in the evenings or can they do their own thing? That varies from tour to tour depending on what the group wishes to do. Usually the guide will discuss this with the group and should they all want to dine together, group reservations can be made. Is there an option of where to eat each night or do passenger have to eat in the place where they are staying? Yes, passengers will usually have a choice of places to eat at each overnight stop, apart from the night spent in Gougane Barra due to its remote, yet stunning, location. Are there any laundry facilities along the way for the longer tours? Laundry facilities can be accessed during the two night stay in Dingle. Currency/Credit Cards/ Cash: How much cash should passengers bring with them?Which credit cards are accepted in Ireland? We would advise not bringing too much cash or Travelers cheques. Bring maybe a couple of hundred Euro (and some GB Pound Sterling will be required for Northern Ireland) but there are plenty of ATM’s along the way where passengers can withdraw cash. Both MasterCard and VISA are widely accepted here however American Express is not always. If in doubt about acceptance of cards in Ireland, it may be best for passengers to check with their credit card company before travelling. We also advise that passengers let their bank know they are traveling, so that the bank can expect the payments abroad. What currency is required on the tours? Euros will be required for all southern tours and British Pound Sterling will be required on all tours visiting Northern Ireland (5 day Northern Island tours, 7 day North by Northwest, 11 day Driftwood and 12 day Vagabond tours). Contact Queries: Is internet access available on the tours? Most of the overnight stops now have free wi-fi internet available. Some have it in the rooms, in some places its just in public areas. There are also lots of stops along the way (pubs, café’s etc) which also offer wifi access. So if you have an iphone, ipad type device you can use them there. If you bring a laptop they can also buy a pay-as-you-go internet ‘dongle’ which provide internet access through the cell phone network here. We use them a lot on tour and they work very well. How can passengers get in contact with families etc? Passengers can buy cards to phone home but it tends to be expensive from hotel rooms. If passengers are bringing a laptop or iphone then they can always Skype home when in a wireless internet hotspot. Also some people buy pay-as you go cell phones or sim cards when they are here and that also gives people back home a way to contact you. How can passengers be reached on tour (in case of emergency for example)? Our office hours are 10am-5pm GMT and we can be contacted on the numbers below. Also Rob can be contacted at any time on +353 876 494 262. In case of emergency we can then contact the guide immediately.
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