England tours & Ireland tours.
Small group, leisurely guided tours. Lots of history & fun!
BUNRATTY CASTLE, SHANNON.
INCLUDED banquet in this authentic 15c MacNamara castle.
Enjoy an INCLUDED trip along Dublin Bay.
DURTY NELLY'S PUB, SHANNON.
Enjoy INCLUDED drinks in this historic tavern opened in 1620.
INTER-CITY EXPRESS TRAIN.
Enjoy INCLUDED train trips in Scotland & England.
DEVON CREAM TEA.
Enjoy an INCLUDED yummy Devon cream tea in Dartmoor.
BAKER STREET STATION.
Enjoy FREE travel on London Underground trains.
Enjoy INCLUDED dinners in ancient pubs like 800 years old Turf Tavern, Oxford.
THE MERRY PLOUGHBOY PUB, DUBLIN.
Enjoy INCLUDED music nights with dinner in Irish pubs.
IRISH SEA FAST-FERRY.
The Club Class Lounge is INCLUDED on certain routes.
Enjoy INCLUDED porterage at hotels.
THE ROCK OF CASHEL.
Enjoy an INCLUDED guided tour of St. Patrick's spectacular Rock of Cashel.
Enjoy an INCLUDED pint or two or three of Guinness in Ireland.
Enjoy your INCLUDED River Thames cruise.
England tours & Ireland tours : No extra side trips selling.
WE DO NOT SELL EXTRA SIDE TRIPS ON OUR TOURS.
Yes that is correct! On our England tours & Ireland tours we don’t sell extra side trips. (Optionals.) To the left is an actual quote that we overheard, just by chance, in early September 2011 in our local coffee shop in Loveland, Colorado. A very nice lady had just returned from a coach tour of Wales, Scotland & England that included the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which she loved. She was telling her friends about the tour which we are glad she enjoyed overall but complained about the all the optional extra trips she ‘had’ to pay for. This is a common feature of England tours, Ireland tours & European coach tours generally.
This is our number 1 priority! Our philosophy is that if something is worth doing we include it in the tour price then everybody gets to go and enjoy it.
What is an optional extra trip/excursion? It is simply an event or feature that is not included in the original tour price but is sold as an extra either during the tour or maybe through your travel agent before the tour starts.
Let’s make one thing absolutely clear, we do believe that highly selective optional extra trips in some cases are ideal. For example, The Moulin Rouge in Paris with its topless dancers is a perfect optional extra trip as it would not be to everybody’s taste so to include it in the tour price would waste some people’s money – fair enough. I have checked this 32 times and can confirm that it is ideal as an optional extra trip. Optional extra trips in port during a cruise are also very sensible giving you a genuine choice to mosey around Marseille or to canter around the Camargue.
Highly selective is the key. However more and more European coach tours nowadays have become almost a ‘tour of optional extra trips’! We acknowledge that they are ‘optional’ so you do not have to buy them but in reality very few people do not buy at least some. The point is, it is your vacation. When you are at home you are constantly bombarded by sales calls, political polling calls, charity collection calls & junk mail by the truck load. Your vacation is a chance to get away from that. We don’t want it on our vacation so we figure you don’t either.
- With some tour operators the number of optional extra trips has grown to almost 1 per day! This can add 25% + to the original tour cost.
- THIS IS THE MOST CRUCIAL POINT! Many optional extra trips take place in the evening with dinner. To fit these optional extra trips in, the day’s itinerary is often hurried through reducing your valuable time at included highlight visits that you have paid for in the tour price. For an example see the Bath caption to the right >>>>>>
- It takes Tour Guides several hours to sell & arrange these trips, take your money for them or process credit cards during the tour. We believe a Tour Guide’s time is better spent entertaining you rather than spending valuable time taking your money. To prove it we have an evening we call ‘Stash-the-cash-night!’ Our Tour Director sets aside an impromptu couple of hours for buying you drinks in a tavern instead of taking your money!
- Are we making a mountain out of a molehill? Go to the European coach/bus tour reviews at www.epinions.com or www.tripadvisor.com. Check out the reviews of tours & you will find that a high percentage of the negative comments relate to the poor value of these optional extra trips & time spent at visits during the day. Both are inter-related.
- Whilst using your credit card to pay for optional extra trips with tour operators during a tour is as secure as any other transaction you make it is obvious that the more times you use your credit card the more chance there is of losing it etc..
- If you pay cash for the trips in local currency then that means you spend more time in towns looking for foreign exchange bureaux rather than enjoying the history.
- If you travel in a small group of friends some may be able to afford all the extra trips whilst some may not be able to afford any which may cause embarrassment.
- Some optional extra trips sold by tour operators are actually great value and should not be missed but many are not. A bad experience early on in the tour can lead to you missing a really good excursion later if you are put off.
- As many of these optional trips include dinner in the evening what do you do if you don’t buy the excursion? If your hotel is downtown then no problem but many hotels on tours are out of town so you are confined to the hotel restaurant. Nothing wrong with that until you discover that the restaurant is so heavily booked you can’t get a table until 9pm. This is not uncommon on Fridays, Saturdays & public holidays.
We INCLUDE in the tour price many of the optional extra trips that other tour operators charge big bucks for like the castle banquets in Shannon which cost around $80 extra or the dinner theater night in London which costs over $135. We try to keep things simple & as cost effective for you as possible after all it isn’t just a tour it is a vacation as well.