Before I Book
Will I travel with people from other countries?
The beauty of taking a guided vacation with us is you’ll have the opportunity to meet and travel with people from all over the globe.
How many people will be on my trip?
You’ll find an average of 40 to 45 guests on trips throughout Europe.
Will I have free time?
Each itinerary offers the perfect balance of downtime and discoveries. We also give you the opportunity to tailor your trip with Optional Experiences.
What are the coaches like?
We pride ourselves on having the finest fleet of fuel-efficient, fully air-conditioned coaches – all with reclining seats and on-board restrooms. The high vantage point from your coach’s window means you can take in all the glorious scenery, whether it’s a vast rural landscape or an urban city center. We also have on board WiFi.
Are the hotels air conditioned?
Our hotels are personally selected by Managing Director Catherine Reilly and personally known for their quality, impeccable service and comfort, with the majority of them having air-conditioning. A few hotels may not have air conditioning due to the colder climate.
What is a Travel Director?
Our Travel Directors come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all share a passion for travel and their homelands. These experienced professionals show you what the guidebooks can't - a true insider's perspective of Ireland and Scotland. Each Travel Director has been through a bespoke training program, and many have at least five years' experience under their belt.
Can I book a group?
We take the hassle out of booking a group vacation – and we offer some great discounts for five or more people. Groups of five to eight people will receive 5% off the land-only part of their trip, and larger groups will save even more.
Does Brendan Vacations promote sustainable tourism?
Brendan Vacations is an active supporter of the TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in 2008. So far, the charity has donated more than $2 million to help underprivileged communities and support sustainable tourism around the world.
What is the single traveler supplement?
If you prefer the privacy of your own room, you can opt for our single supplement. The cost will depend on your trip and can be found in the pricing section of the itinerary.
What if I have special dietary requirements?
We can accommodate guests who are vegetarian and can assist with diabetic, gluten-free and other medically-recommended diets. Please advise us at time of booking. Unfortunately, we're unable to supply meals in accordance with strict religious requirements.
We cannot provide salt-free, Kosher, Halal, requests for specific dietary supplements such as soy milk, and high protein or low-carb meals.
Before I go
Are airport transfers included?
Transfers will depend on the travel style you choose and vary amongst destinations. In general, if you are joining or departing your guided vacation on the first or last day, return transfers between the airport and hotel are included. You'll find specific information on your itinerary's page. If you are taking a Private Chauffeur, Locally Hosted or Self-Drive vacation, please consult your Brendan Vacations Specialist.
Do I need travel insurance?
For US Residents:
Travel with confidence, especially with current concerns about COVID-19, when you purchase one of our Travel Protection Plans or travel insurance through another provider. Travel insurance is a requirement when you take a trip with us. Learn more about minimum coverages and our rates here.
For Canadian Residents:
We offer a comprehensive travel insurance plan in partnership with Manulife. Details can be found by clicking here. Brendan Vacations cannot be held responsible for denied entry if a guest is unable to provide details to authorities of insurance or denial of entry for any reason. Do remember to bring a copy of your policy, contact phone numbers and details of how to claim.
We also suggest that your policy should cover the following:
- Cancellation or curtailment of your vacation due to medical or other reasons
- Loss or damage to your property and baggage
- Loss of cash, credit cards etc.
- Medical costs and personal accidents
Will I need a passport?
Passports are needed when travelling outside of your home country. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the conclusion of your trip.
Will I need a visa?
You are responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your guided vacation. Depending on your nationality, you may need visas to enter certain countries included on your trip. Please note that obtaining visas can take up to six weeks prior to your departure. It is strongly advised that you consult your Travel Agent and the local Consulate or Embassy of the country you are visiting well in advance to determine which visas they require and how to obtain them.
Visit the VisaCentral website for more information.
Why do I need to register on MyBrendan?
Every travel moment counts and to ensure that your trip runs seamlessly, as well as making sure we can contact you in the unlikely event of an emergency, we require all our guests to register before they travel. This is easily done on our travel portal, MyBrendan.
What are the benefits of registration?
- We will be able to personalize your trip based on your interests, dietary and rooming preferences.
EASE OF TRAVEL
- Your trip will be seamless, from hotel check-ins to passports and security checks.
- We will have your emergency contact details on file in the unlikely case we’ll ever need them.
- View your itinerary and trip map day- by-day and check all the relevant travel and booking details.
- Unlock your e-documentation.
- Connect with fellow-guests and the Travel Director, prior to and during the trip
- Send updates to social networks.
- Receive daily trip news and itinerary updates from your Travel Director.
When will I receive my booking documents?
Travel documents are usually sent 21 days prior to your trip's departure.
How much luggage can I bring?
On Guided Vacations, you can bring one suitcase per person with the dimensions of 76cm x 46cm x 25cm (30" x 18" x 10") and weight not exceeding 23kg (50 lbs) due to the limited space on the coach. You can also bring one piece of hand luggage, provided it is small enough to take on the coach and does not have telescopic handles. If traveling on an Independent Vacation, please consult your Brendan Vacations Specialist on luggage allowance.
Is luggage handling provided?
On Guided Vacations and Private Chauffeur Vacations, all luggage handling is provided at no extra charge. One suitcase per person will be brought to your hotel room.
Are tips included?
On Guided Vacations we'll check you in, look after your luggage and take care of all hotel porterage, tips and gratuities -whether it is for restaurant staff, chambermaids or porters.
To prepay gratuities for your Brendan Travel Director and Driver, please contact your Brendan Vacations Specialist or Travel Agent.
Porterage, tips and gratuities are not included on Brendan's Independent vacations. Please contact your Brendan Specialists to discuss standard gratuity guidelines for each Independent vacation style.
Can I bring a wheelchair on my trip?
Yes, in most circumstances you’re able to travel with a wheelchair on your trip, as long as you’re travelling with someone who’s willing to provide personal assistance. Please advise us at the time of booking if you plan to bring a wheelchair to ensure we can meet your requirements.
Will I need to pack formal clothes?
This will depend on not only your personal preference, but the destinations you’re visiting and the time of year you’ll be travelling. We’d recommend bringing at least one smart outfit for special evenings.
Will I need any vaccinations?
This will depend on the destinations you are traveling and your personal health circumstances. Be sure to speak to your Travel Agent or doctor to find out if vaccinations are required. If you are taking medication or suffer from any form of illness, ensure you have an adequate supply of medication before departing for your vacation.
On the road
What are Optional Experiences and when can I book them?
We realize that everyone likes some time to themselves, which is why we've left free time on all of our guided itineraries. If you want to get the most out of your destination, our Optional Experiences let you tailor your trip. Your Travel Director will tell you about all of the Optional Experiences available on the first day of your trip. Payment can be made by credit card or cash.
If traveling on an Independent vacation, sightseeing and attractions can be booked before your trip through your Brendan Specialist or Travel Agent.
Will I need electrical adaptors?
Electrical plugs and outlets differ throughout the world. We recommend bringing a universal travel adaptor that’s suitable for the countries you are travelling to.
Will I be able to get laundry done?
Most hotels do offer a laundry service and in some cities Laundromats are also available. However, it’s sensible to try and pack enough clothing to avoid having to do laundry, as it can sometimes be costly or inconvenient.
Is there seat rotation on the coach?
Yes, your Travel Director will implement a seat rotation system, whereby all guests will rotate their seats on the coach daily. This allows for everyone to experience the spectacular views from different seats, and you’ll have a better opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers.
What if I become ill on my trip and am unable to continue?
Your Travel Director, Private Chauffeur or Local Host will assist you with a doctor's visit or hospitalization should you require. Brendan Vacations has a dedicated Operations Department in Dublin and will contact you to offer assistance and advice, coordinate with your travel insurance company and keep in touch until you are able to re-join the trip or return home. This service is included in the cost of your trip; however it is not a replacement for travel insurance, which we strongly advise you to purchase.
What if I arrive late and miss a part of the trip?
We regret that no refunds can be made for absences from a trip, including experiences such as missed meals or sightseeing.
Can I drink the water in the countries I visit?
In Ireland and Scotland it is fine to drink the water from a fresh-supply tap.
Can I smoke on the coach?
There is a no smoking policy when on board the coach, in your chauffeur vehicle, rental cars and on trains. We do, however, make plenty of comfort stops.
What is the difference between "Visit", "View" and "See" in the itineraries?
Here is a glossary of some common terms used in our itineraries:
Visit - In-depth sightseeing with a Local Specialist or Travel Director, which includes fast-track entry (where applicable).
View - A brief stop to enjoy the sights and take some photos.
See - Observe sights while passing by on your coach, cruise or train.
Sightseeing trip - A local city guide will accompany you on a trip of a city or site.
Orientation trip - Places of interest are pointed out, allowing you to go and explore them on your own.
'Why not see' or 'perhaps enjoy' - These phrases refer to optional excursions not included in the trip package, but are available for an additional fee.
Time to explore and discover - Free time on your own.
A day to relax - No planned activities; time for optional excursions or other independent activities.