Tips for Travelling to Britain and Ireland!

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Travelling to Britain and Ireland has become an attractive option for many people since Brexit.

The low British Pound and Euro has made the exchange rates very favourable indeed for those travelling from abroad.

Some may not be quite sure what to expect so see some handy tips below for when visiting Britain and Ireland:

 

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Coach Tours

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Depending on what coach tour company you travel with, on average, most British and Irish tours have around 40 passengers but can hold a maximum of 50 passengers.

Most tours travel during the daytime only. Departures can be early and are often very early on the first day if leaving from London.

 There is rarely any travel longer than 3 hours without a stop for sightseeing or a break. Tours are all planned and well paced to maximize sightseeing.

Most coaches have restrooms and make frequent rest/bathroom stops, usually at 2-hour intervals or less, for the comfort of all passengers.

The majority of coaches are not accessible for the physically disabled so travellers should be able to get on and off the coach unaided. However, most tour operators allow you may bring a light-weight foldable wheelchair if needed.

Again, depending on the Tour Company, children over a certain age are permitted to travel on coach tours and usually get a discount on non budget holidays.

Hotels on Tour

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British and Irish hotels usually come in 3 classes – first class (3 star), superior first class (4 star) or deluxe (5 star).

First class tours use these 3 options while budget tours often use hotels away from the centre of towns.

Bedding options are usually a choice of single, twin, double or triple rooms.

You will usually pay a single room supplement for a single room or you can opt for a twin share with another guest of the same gender to save money.

For a twin room you get 2 separate single beds. For a double you get a double bed which is king size or bigger.

If there are three people sharing a room then a triple room will usually have a double and one twin bed.

Most rooms should have TVs and hairdryers plus a shaver outlet in the bathroom.

Check-in times vary between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm depending on the individual hotel.

 

 Documents Needed

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To enter Britain, a passport valid for the duration of your stay is required, except for EU Nationals holding a valid national ID card.

Visas for the United Kingdom are required by many outside of Europe.

Exceptions include Australian, New Zealand, Malaysian, Singapore, Canadian and US citizens.

 If you are not a citizen of the UK or Ireland, then you will require a passport and possibly a separate visa to visit Ireland.

 

 Currency & Credit cards

Different currency is used in Britain and Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland uses the euro, while in Britain and Northern Ireland the pound sterling is used.

In Ireland there are seven euro notes in denominations of €5 to €500 and eight euro coins used.

In Britain and Northern Ireland pound sterling comes in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50 and eight coins including £1 and £2.

High denomination bills are not readily accepted for exchange, even in banks, so it is better to carry smaller denominations.

Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Britain and Ireland.

American Express and Diners Club cards are less commonly accepted.

It’s always a good idea to use credit cards to avoid carrying large sums of cash.

Advise your bank that you are traveling overseas to ensure that they don’t block your credit cards as this can sometimes happen.

 

 

5 Reasons to Travel to the UK and Europe in 2016/2017!

 

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the pound has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years against the dollar, and the euro is not far behind

If you are from the UK, when you travel abroad, your pounds will now buy you fewer euros or dollars, the cost of accommodation and food will rise and your spending money won’t go as far as it did before Brexit.

However, if you are from abroad and want to travel to and tour the UK, things have never been better.

 

1. Exchange Rates.

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The immediate effect after the Brexit vote is that it’s a good time for American travellers to tour Britain and Europe.

This is of course due the the exchange rates and the falling pound and Euro.

 

2. Price Cuts.

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The American dollar is about 20% stronger compared to the British pound at the moment, your dollar will also stretch much further in Europe.

That means that nearly everything purchased by Americans visiting the UK will be cheaper. This includes alcohol, food, museums and many tourist attraction and guided tours.

 

 

3. Hotel Rates.

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The Brexit vote may have an effect on European visitors to the UK which will mean hotels will probably charge less due to lower demand.

Book your hotel now if you are thinking of visiting the UK and pay in full to make sure you get the favourable exchange rate as prices may go up later.

If you have already made a deposit payment, ask the hotel to process your final bill as a new transaction, again, to make sure you get the favourable exchange rate.

 

4. Flight Prices.

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Airfare rates may also be effected and go up or down depending on where you are travelling from.

For example, people may be put off going to America because of the exchange rate, so airlines will have to reduce prices to fill seats.

On the other hand, according to the ‘Association of British Travel Agents (Abta)’, travellers may face higher air fares  between the UK and the European Union because of all the financial uncertainty caused by Brexit.

 

5. Britain and Europe on Sale.

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Last but not least, Britain and Europe is more or less on sale at the moment due to the weak pound and Euro compared against other currencies.

It may not be good news for the British, but for American tourists, Brexit has provided a fantastic opportunity to visit the usually expensive UK and Europe on the cheap.

Whether you book a flight, hotel or full package coach tour, you will grab a bargain – visiting the UK and Europe from the USA has never been so enticing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Coach Tours Useful information!

Global Coach Tours specialize is multi-stop tours of several countries which include coach travel, hotels and sightseeing with experienced guides and tour directors. A fully escorted coach tour vacation is an amazing experience and truly unbeatable value! See below some useful information when booking your tour:

 

1.What’s the difference between a cheaper tour and a more expensive tour that appears to cover the same route?

There are more included excursions and meals on first class tours and the hotels are generally better quality and in the best locations for sightseeing. Budget and CostSaver tours often use hotels away from the centre of towns.
Typical CostSaver hotel used by Expat Expore

Typical CostSaver hotel used by Expat Expore

 

2. Are there any discounts available?

We will calculate the best discount available for you where you are eligible for one. e.g. child, triple share, group or early payment.
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Find the best price for you

 

3. Is there any overnight travel and how long do we spend on the bus?

Most tours travel during the daytime only. Departures can be early and are often very early on the first day when leaving from London. Comfort stops will be made every 2-3 hours or by request. There is rarely any travel longer than 3 hours without a stop for sightseeing or a break. Tours are all planned and well paced to maximize sightseeing.
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Cosmos comfy coaches.

 

4. What are the coaches like?

All tour buses are late model executive coaches with reclining seats, air conditioning (some lower prices tours in the UK and Ireland may just have forced air). The windows are large and panoramic. Seat belts are fitted. All first class and premium touring coaches have on board washrooms. Many UK and European buses have both an entrance at the front and another one in the middle, so everyone can board quicker.
Typical Expat explore coach interior.

Typical Expat explore coach interior.

 

5. How do we book optional excursions?

Optional tours are reserved through the tour director whilst on board and cannot be pre-booked before you leave unless this is specifically stated. However, sightseeing in London before and after your tour can be pre-booked via our partners.
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London at twilight.

 

6.What time do the tours depart?

London Departutures: For Trafalgar and Insight tours leaving London they all depart between 5.30am and 7.30am. You must phone the London reception centre a couple of days before to confirm the time and central London meeting point. Expat Explore Tours leave from Greenwich. Cosmos tours leaving from London and heading for a Dover to Calais ferry crossing, depart from the Novotel London West in Hammersmith at 8.45am and return around 5pm. For all other operators and tours leaving from locations other than London, please ask. We offer some tours with and without flights.

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Ferry crossing

 

7.Where do we use the Euro? €

The 19 countries of the eurozone are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuiania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. They have switched to using euro notes and coins, ending the use of their national currencies in shops and banks. The currency consists of seven notes from five to five hundred euros (careful if you get that one!) and eight coins from 1 cent to 2 euros. A euro is divided into 100 cents. The euro is also being used in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, and French overseas territories including Martinique and Guadalupe in the Caribbean and Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
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Euro money

 

8.Where you might not be able to use the Euro.

Denmark, Sweden and the UK and some recent members of the EU in the east of Europe have not yet adopted the euro – however, they have not ruled out joining in future. The euro may be accepted by major retailers in the UK and Switzerland. So on your tour of Europe it’s now much easier to shop and you won’t have to keep changing money as your travel.
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Denmark do not accept Euros at the moment.