Frequently Asked Questions
Things to know about your
‘Patrick’s Custom Tours Vacation'
When will I get my documents?
Most of our tours are paperless. All you need is your passport and flight information. If you are on a tour that needs documents, we will ship your documents by U.P.S. ground service approximately 7 days prior to your tour departure date provided we have received full payment.
Do you sell optional tours?
Optional tours are additional activities that you have an option to attend for an additional fee. So no, in Ireland our tour directors spend their time looking after you rather than being salespeople. Patrick’s tours are designed to give you the best Irish experience for the geological locations you visit. Each tour lists the itinerary so you can enjoy a pleasant and interesting travel experience.
Are prices guaranteed?
Patrick’s Custom Tours guarantees that no increase in land costs will occur, once you have paid the deposit for your tour. This is your protection against international currency fluctuations. Once you pay airfare in full and we issue your e-ticket, there is no change in the cost of the e-ticket, even if airfares rise later.
What if a Tour is Cancellation by Patrick's? We are reluctant to interrupt your vacation and will make every effort not to cancel a tour once it is booked. It is our intention to provide you with a quality, memorable escorted tour to Ireland. In the event that a situation beyond our control occurs that disrupts our plans, we will make every effort to reschedule the tour or offer you options of other Patrick’s tours as a substitute. When in our opinion, reasons beyond our control affect an otherwise successful event Patrick's Custom Tours, reserves the right to reschedule or substitute a tour.
Are we guaranteed everything on the itinerary? Patrick's Custom Tours reserves the right to substitute visits, entertainment, hotels and other features when they cannot be visited for reasons beyond our control.
How much luggage can I take?
On coach tours, Patrick’s Custom Tours permits one piece of luggage per person. Airlines have their own regulations and some carriers charge for any checked baggage. Checked luggage maximum size is (length + width + height) = 158 cm (62"). No individual piece can weigh more than 32kg / 70lb.
What travel documents do I need to visit Ireland?
If you are, a U.S. or Canadian citizen, the only travel document you need is a valid passport.
How do I book a Patrick’s Custom Tours vacation?
You can book a tour online directly with Patrick’s Custom Tours or you may call our reservations department directly at 1-443-742-9021 and speak to one of our helpful travel consultants.
We accept Visa, Master Card, and American Express as well as debit cards. Your online transactions are SOMEWHAT secure. As an additional security measure, we require CVV2/CVC2 verification on all credit card and debit card transactions. BUT the most secure way to use your CC is to call Patrick’s Custom Tours and read the information on the card to them.
All prices are displayed and quoted in USD.
What are the hotel bedding options?
For your hotel room, you can choose to have a Twin (2 separate single beds) or a Double (usually Queen size)
Please note that bedding is subject to each hotel's discretion and availability.
If there are three people sharing a room then a triple room will usually have a double and one twin bed (total 2 beds). 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. No more than three people can share a hotel room on our escorted tours.
A solo traveler must pay a single room supplement. However, we have tours where this supplement is reduced.
For the comfort and well-being of all our travelers, we do not arrange room shares.
Why should I purchase travel protection?
To protect you, your loved ones, your possessions, and your travel investment. If you experience health problems, flight delays or stolen possessions, you will receive reimbursement.
How early do we check in the hotel on the day of arrival day?
Usually, we have a check-in time between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, depending on the hotel policy. As transatlantic flights generally arrive in Ireland early in the day, Patrick’s Custom Tours plans activities so you don’t wait in the hotel lobby for rooms to be ready. We avoid the problem associated with the hotel being heavily booked the night before. Other tour companies suggest, “you can wait in the lobby or, use this time to take a walk, have a snack or do a little exploring”.
What about travel times on a coach tour?
We statically choose our hotels by location and amenities. We do ‘Day Trips’ to reduce the time on the coach. All of our hotels are located near shopping, golf, horseback riding, pubs or other interesting sights! You are told of the following day’s itinerary. We give you the option to stay at the hotel and relax or go on the day trip.
Other tour companies say, “Morning departure time depends on the itinerary to be covered on any particular day. In Britain departures are 8:00 am to 8:30 am, while in Ireland the coach usually leaves at 8:30 am to 9:00 am. Arrival at the next hotel is usually between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.” That can be as long as 8 hours on the couch! We will not do that to our travelers.
On a ‘Patrick’s Custom Tour’ most hotel stays are 2 nights. Giving you a chance to unpack! Laundry service is available at most of our hotels. The turnaround time on laundry is usually 8 hours. having this information allows you to better plan what you need to pack in your suitcase. You don’t feel like you are living out of your suitcase with ‘Patrick’s Custom Tour’.
With ‘Patrick’s Custom Tour’s’ we don’t give you the ‘Bums Rush’. We don’t treat you like cattle! And you never feel like you’re on a ‘Forced March’. Relax we don't leave our hotels before 9 am! It’s your vacation.
What should I pack?
Packing for the weather is always a challenge. Although Ireland being an island country experiences its fair share of rain, it is most often just a light mist. Heavy downpours are few and far between. The Irish refer to a rainy day as ‘a Soft Day’. The temperature seldom moves far away from 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A light windbreaker is useful during the day and a sweater is usually enough for evenings.
Will I be able to take walks or exercise?
Many of our tours incorporate walking tours in interesting places such as Derry and Cobh. These are leisurely-paced guided walks. You will have free time when you arrive at a hotel in the afternoon so you may like to take a walk on your own or use the hotel’s leisure or spa facilities. Pack comfortable shoes with non-slip soles as many historic places have uneven paving.
What is table d’hote dinner?
It’s a 3 - or 4 - course meal with a choice of appetizers, soups, entrees, and desserts. Most hotels feature a good assortment of red and white meats, fish and vegetarian foods. If you have certain tastes or dietary restrictions, ask the restaurant for what you need. On some of our tours, you can just order off their menu without limits. In most cases, alcoholic drinks are not included.
How much money do I need to carry?
As most components of your tour have been prepaid, you will need money for lunch each day and dinners when you have an evening at leisure. Many of our tours include an evening meal EVERY night! Are you an avid shopper? Do you like a cocktail or a pint or two? These costs are up to you. Also, it is customary to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour. Use credit cards and ATMs to avoid carrying a lot of cash.
Would a coach tour be suitable for a honeymoon trip?
After arranging a wedding, many newly-married couples choose our tours. They are happy to have their honeymoon planned for them. One of our tours makes a Great Wedding Gift. We are happy to supply a beautiful gift certificate for the occasion. Early notification is required we need time to produce the certificate and ship it. There is no extra charge for this service.
Are there any free days for activities?
All of our tours are carefully planned with attractive sightseeing every day. However, on tours with 2 or 3 night stays, you may choose not to travel on a 'day tour' and pursue your own interests.
Can children travel on coach tours?
Children over the age of 6 years are permitted to travel on coach tours. Children under 6 are not allowed. Those aged 6 to 18 are charged 90% of the full adult rate.
What are 3 Tips for flying with children
These 3 Tips are from the United Air Lines website.
We recommend that you bring a selection of items, such as small toys, coloring books, storybooks, or a tablet with downloaded videos or age-appropriate apps, to help keep your child entertained during the flight.
Giving your child something to eat or drink when the plane is taking off and landing may help alleviate ear pain caused by the cabin pressure adjusting to the altitude.
Make sure to bring enough food, diapers and other supplies to last through your time at the airport and in flight, and you may want to have extras on hand in case of any potential delays or travel disruptions.
Are Senior citizens welcome?
Seniors are not only welcome but encouraged! Patrick has had his Mother and Mother in Law on tours at the ages of 89 and 93! Call the tour office 443-742-9021 with any special needs and suggested tours.
How many people would we need, If we wanted to have a ‘Patrick’s Custom Tour’ for our Group?
We do tours for, Churches, Schools, Families, and Friends. The minimum number of travelers to be cost-effective is 20. That’s just 10 couples.
”Our Grandmother is from Belfast and our Grandfather is from County Mayo.”
Is there an additional cost if we just want to tour those areas?
Normally there is no extra cost as long as you have 20 or more in your group.
Patrick’s tour is usually 20 or more travelers.
Are there options for groups smaller than 20?
There are 3 options;
1st You can join a group that has open registration. Click ‘join a tour’ on our home page.
2nd You can start your own tour by introducing, ‘Patrick’s Custom Tours’ to your organization.
3rd You can elect to have a PEG (Personal Escorted Guided) tour. For groups of 2 to 7 travelers, we will supply a professional driver/guide and a Mercedes or a large van. There is a premium for PEG Tours and they are not for everyone.