Frequently Asked Questions
We have orchestrated hundreds of wonderful tours of Ireland over the years and there are many questions pertaining to our tours and Ireland in general. We like to answer these questions in person either on the telephone, by e-mail or while you are in Ireland.
This page is to assist you with some commonly asked questions regarding our tours and service as well as some general questions about Ireland and links to helpful pages and website’s that may be of more assistance to you for more detailed understanding of Ireland as a travel destination.
Q – How does the booking process work?
Answer – Our booking process is very seamless. We create as many sample proposals as necessary for you until you are happy with the tour layout, hotels and pricing. Once you decide to book we send reservation requests to all our suppliers and once we have a confirmed itinerary we forward you the invoice for 25% deposit. The deposit can be paid online using our secure payment portal. We then hold all reservations and finalize your arrangements. Final payment is due in advance of travel date. Your touring driver / guide will greet you at your hotel or airport with your information pack for your tour which includes vouchers, maps, itinerary and related information on Ireland. If you having pre nights in Dublin we arrange for your transfers from airports and can arrange your accommodation. The finalized itinerary will be forwarded to you by e-mail and our driver guide will have the touring pack the day you start touring with us.
Q – Is Our Private Chauffeur Driver in Ireland also a Guide?
Answer – All of our drivers are driver guides and have considerable expertise in Ireland from many different perspectives. These include history, current affairs, restaurants, and the best driving routes, best time of day to visit attractions as well as a host of other topics such as activities, local events and festivals. Your driver guide acts as a liaison with you and the local people and can make your experience much richer and deeper than if you were touring alone or on a bus or coach tour. We have driver guides with specialist areas of interest so please let us know what your areas of preference are for and we will match the most suitable driver guide to make yours the perfect guided tour of Ireland.
Q – What is the best time of the year to visit Ireland?
Answer – Every season has its charms and advantages as well as disadvantages for visiting Ireland. Spring is a nice time to come as it is not too busy and the weather is generally very mild and lots of flowers coming into bloom. Summer is peak tourist season and the hotels are more expensive but the weather is better and there are more people around which can be fun. Autumn is also popular as the weather can be nice and its less expensive, this is a good time to golf in Ireland as it is very mild and settled. Winter is often cold and wet but this can be a lovely time to come as there is a cozy atmosphere in the pubs and restaurants so its very welcoming. Also you will have all the countryside to yourself. For more information on weather and seasons in Ireland check out our dedicated weather page ( weather is our favorite topic) – IRISH WEATHER
Q – What type of clothes do we need to bring to Ireland?
Answer – We usually recommend smart casual clothing with a mixture of light ands warmer clothes and in particular bring some clothing for rain which you can expect at least once on your tour even in summer time. Light shoes and sneakers are great for walking and if you plan on visiting a Five Star Castle please bring some formal jackets for the dining rooms. This applies primarily to Five Star Estates such as Dromoland and Ashford Castle.
Q – What is included / excluded on our Tour?
Answer – Depending on your list of inclusions and requested tour we will include all of your transportation requirements in Ireland including transfers to and from your airport of choice. Our accommodation always includes a full Irish breakfast. Lunch and evening meals are not included unless requested. Entrance to attractions is also extra but you can purchase a Heritage Card which gives discounts to most public owned attractions in Ireland. Drivers expenses, fuel and parking tolls etc as well as all related touring expenses are covered in your tour. Driver guide gratuity is not included in the tour price. Guideline for driver gratuity is €50 – €100 per day, but this in entirely at your own discretion and depends on level of service received.
Q – Can you give us a budget for extras such as meals and attractions while we are in Ireland?
Answer – This is a rough guide to the cost of items in Ireland
Lunch 10.00 – 15.00 Euros for a light meal in a pub or cafe.
Dinner 20.00 – 50.00 Euros depending on choice or restaurant.
Entrance to Attractions Usually around 4.00 – 6.00 Euros per person but a heritage card allows access to most major attractions for a once off fee of 16.00 – 21.00 Euros for the card. This card can be purchased on Day One of your tour.
For more information on this card please view the following website. HERITAGE IRELAND
The quickest, cheapest and most convenient way to purchase an OPW Heritage Card is to buy it at the first OPW fee-paying site you visit. OPW Heritage Cards and information leaflets are also available at Dublin Tourism, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2 and at Tourist Offices at Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport, Limerick, Ennis and Adare.)
Extras such as gifts, drinks etc are entirely at your own discretion.
Q – What is the standard tipping guidelines for Ireland ?
Answer – There are not any absolute tipping guidelines for Ireland and people generally tip based on their perception of service quality and value received. Here are some guidelines.
Meals – Usually 10 – 15% depending on the quality of the food and service received. 20 % for exceptionally good and no tip for exceptionally bad service is not unheard of in Ireland. We will endeavor to ensure that you don’t experience the latter on your tour.
Drinks – It is not normal to tip bar staff. However if the service was exceptional a gratuity would be appreciated.
Driver Guides – Driver guide gratuity is not included in the tour price. Guideline for driver gratuity is €50 – €100 per day, but this in entirely at your own discretion and depends on level of service received.
Hotel Staff – Normally a small tip for porters & chambermaids is appreciated but again depends on quality of service. We suggest a small tip for porters/maids/concierge/breakfast wait staff/ etc. Dollar Bills are an accepted way to tip hotel staff.
Q – How long is a Touring Day on average?
Answer – A full touring day is usually eight hours with breaks for lunch, attractions and anything else that takes your fancy. As a general guideline we recommend starting at approximately 10.00 each morning with one hour for lunch and finishing at approximately 18.00 in the evening. This can change however depending on whether you wish to do an evening activity or perhaps have a long day one day and a short one the next. We are very flexible with time and like to keep the driver fresh so eight hours is recommended but not obligation. Of course part of this eight hours is taken at the attractions or admiring the scenery and taking photographs, talking to locals and enjoying the fine weather !!! We would usually not spend more than three hours per day of actual driving.
Q – Which Guidebooks & Books in General do you recommend we read in preparation for our visit to Ireland?
Answer – A good book will always deliver a sense of place or deepen the pool of knowledge before, during or after a visit. Luckily for our visitors you will have an up to date living guide book in your Ireland Chauffeur Travel Driver Guide. We do recommend bringing one supplementary guide for your own reference. The guide we recommend the Most is the Eyewitness Guide to Ireland as it is very pictorial and can bring attractions to life by viewing the graphic maps and 3d interiors.For a great historical guide to Ireland we recommend Jonathon Bardons “History of Ireland in 250 Episodes”. This amazing guide can also be purchased on iTunes in audio format. For modern day economic and social political information on Ireland we highly recommend the books of David Mc Williams including “The Popes Children”. Mc Williams is a respected economist in Ireland and his books are insightful and entertaining. From a literature perspective there are so many great authors from James Joyce, Wb Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Flann O Brien, GB Shaw, Dean Swift to mention a few that its hard to make recommendations. Modern day authors include John Banville, Colm Tobin and Maeve Binchy.
Q – We are interested in Genealogical research in Ireland, do you have any advice?
Answer – There are a number of sources for genealogical research. There are government public records offices in both the North (P.R.O.N.I) and the South(National Archives of Ireland). There is also local churches and local council records offices. Also there are individual genealogy centre’s in each region of Ireland that specialize in certain areas such as for example The Genealogy Centre in Corofin Co Clare deals with records local to that area. Finally there are experts and professionals who can be hired to manage the entire project for a set fee. It depends on the level of depth and detail you want from your research. We know people who have spend days looking for a cottage that fell down 100 years ago or a gravestone in an overgrown cemetery. others prefer to talk with the locals in the pub and see what they know. Certain information is useful to have before arriving is contact telephone numbers of relatives, addresses and if possible GPS co-ordinates. We usually carry GPS on our genealogy tours as this is very useful.
Q – Can you recommend pubs and restaurants while we are in Dublin?
Answer – There are so many recommendations it hard to begin. Here are my top three in order of expensive to least expensive
- HIGH END – Thorntons Restaurant on St Stephens Green for fine Dining. This is top end gourmet cuisine.
- MIDDLE – The Cliff House Restaurant Dublin – Fresh Seafood and wonderful atmosphere in this beautiful city center setting.
- CASUAL – Foley’s Bar and Restaurant on Baggot Street followed by Irish music in O Donaghues Bar (directly across the street)
A few pubs not to miss in the town centre are Kehoes on South Anne Street, McDaids on Harry Street & Grogans on South William Street. Each of these three pubs has a great local atmosphere and are genuine Irish pubs in the city centre. We recommend visiting Temple Bar in the evening but not at night time as it usually gets very loud and boisterous. A better area of town to enjoy the evening is north of Grafton Street on Dame Street, Kildare Street and Baggot Street.
Q – Can you confirm the room / bed sizes and configuration in Ireland ?
- Single is a double bed room for single occupancy, usually a smaller double room.
- Double is room with one queen or standard double bed for two persons sharing.
- Twin is room with two beds, either two single beds, one double and one single bed or two double beds for two persons.
- Triple is room with either three single beds or a single and double bed for three persons.
- Quadruple or Family Room has three beds, a double and two single beds for four persons.
Bed Sizes in Ireland
- Standard Twin Bed -39 x 75 inches (99 x 190 cm)
- Superior Twin Bed 39 x 80 inches (99 x 203 cm)
- Standard Double Bed –54 x 75 inches (137 x 190 cm)
- Superior Double Bed –60 x 80 inches (153 x 203 cm)
- Deluxe Double Bed –76 x 80 inches (198 x 203 cm)
- Suite Double Bed –72 x 84 inches (182 x 213 cm)
Q – Do you book flights to / from Ireland for your clients ?
Answer – We currently do not offer a flight booking service as we are a land only Operator. From the moment you arrive in Ireland to the moment you leave we can take care of all of your bookings from hotels, restaurants, activities, golf, banquets and event entertainment booking. If you require help with selecting the best airline and travel dates we will be happy to research and recommend the best options to you. Our National Airline, Aer Lingus has a great selection of North American Routes. Check out this route map for more information.
Q -Where do you recommend for shopping in Ireland?
Answer – Our driver guides will make excellent shopping recommendations based on your interests and preferences. The best quality items to be purchased in Ireland are through local artisan stores or larger stores that carry local designers and crafts people. We do recommend the following stores and designers.
- Dingle Crystal in Dingle Co Kerry – Quality Hand Blown Crystal.
- Fallers of Galway – Claddagh Rings and Quality Jewellery.
- Kilkenny Shops – Located in Cashel, Dublin, Killarney & Cork
- Blarney Woollen Mills – Quality Aran Sweaters & Irish Goods.
- Louis Mulcahy – Hand Made Pottery on the Dingle Peninsula.
There are hundreds of artisan workshops and stores selling all kinds of handmade products made of leather, wood, ceramic and a host of other natural and local materials. Please ask us or your driver for more details on how we can tailor your unique tour to match your shopping preferences.
Q – Where do we meet our driver guide or transfer at the airport?
Answer – Our driver guide will meet you as you exit customs in the arrival hall of the airport. Each airport in Ireland has a sign that says “Meeting Point” or “chauffeur meeting point”. Below is a map of Dublin Airport with the chauffeur meeting point highlighted. The meeting points are usually as you exit customs on the left had side or straight ahead.
Q – Can you confirm the power supply requirements for our equipment in Ireland.
Answer – Below are the typical power requirements in Ireland based on using US / Canada Equipment.
The electrical supply in Ireland is 230v 50hz. The plugs and sockets are different from the USA involving a three-pronged formation, the same as those used in the United Kingdom. If your appliances operate on a different current (such as those from North America) you will need a power converter and plug adapter.
A plug adaptor does not change the electricity supplied to the appliance, only allows it to be plugged into a different type of wall socket. If the appliance you are using supports dual voltage and dual frequency then a plate/tag will be located on the item stating “120/240v, 50/60Hz”.
Most laptop computer and battery chargers are dual voltage, so all you will need to use them with a different supply is a plug adaptor.
Power converters step down the voltage from 240v to 120v, allowing equipment which is not dual voltage to operate at the voltage for which it was designed. Converters do not alter the frequency at which electicity is delivered and should be used a maximum of 1-2 hours at a time.
Converters can be purchased at travel stores, some discount stores, office supply stores, and electronics stores. Make sure that you select a converter that will accommodate the wattage of the appliances you wish to operate. Some laptop computers, electric razors and hair dryers have built-in power converters. However, an adapter plug will be required.