1. WHY SHOULD I BOOK THROUGH KENNEDY & CARR, RATHER THAN BOOKING THE TRIP MYSELF?
The Kennedy & Carr team has invested a lot of time selecting the very best accommodation, guides, routes, locations and activities around the island of Ireland and have firsthand experience of everything we offer. Apart from saving you huge amounts of research time, we would like to think that our relationships with partners & suppliers are built on solid foundations and provide our clients with the very best possible experiences.
Generally, there are four broad benefits to booking through Kennedy & Carr;
1) Our first hand knowledge of the holiday you plan to book,
2) The leverage we hold with our partners and suppliers on your behalf,
3) Having one point of contact for all arrangements and amendments, and
4) Having 24 hour support on the ground in Ireland should you ever need help or advice.
2. WHEN SHOULD I BOOK?
To receive optimum value, we recommend advance booking of 4-6 months but we have previously arranged exceptional trips with as little as 48 hours notice. Please keep in mind that some small cities like Galway are massively popular at peak times with demand for accommodation far outstripping supply- booking well in advance helps us to secure the best accommodation at reasonable prices, thereby keeping the tour cost as low as possible. For golf enthusiasts, the further out you book also means a greater choice of tee times. If you would like a particular driver guide, advance booking of 6-9 months is strongly advised.
3. WHO SHOULD I TALK TO AT KENNEDY & CARR?
Once we have identified which regions of Ireland you wish to visit and the kind of holiday you are looking for, we will introduce you to the person who has the greatest expertise in that area. We will start the process by asking you about what you like (and what you don’t like) before we make any suggestions. From experience we recommend that our travel advisers speak with you at length, preferably directly and not through a PA or intermediary.
4. HOW MUCH DOES A PRIVATE CUSTOM HOLIDAY COST?
Each holiday is individually designed according to the number of guests and dates requested, as well as to your budget and style preference, so it is difficult for us to offer a definitive figure. One person’s idea of heaven is another person’s idea of hell- so there’s no fixed rule. Accordingly, we will ask about the approximate budget you have in mind. Feel free to call us for an informal chat, and we’ll be happy to provide a guideline price for the holiday you have in mind.
4. a) WHAT DOES THE COST GENERALLY INCLUDE?
All tours can be tailored to your personal requirements, but the cost of an average tour will include breakfasts, accommodations, and excursions as indicated in the itinerary; services of a private driver guide and local guides as appropriate; ground transportation and fuel; most transfers; baggage handling; gratuities; and pre-trip materials.
4. b) ARE MEALS INCLUDED?
Breakfast is generally included each day. Depending on the itinerary, we will occasionally include select lunches and dinners. We believe it is wise to keep lunch and dinner free to allow guests to see how they feel on a particular day and to decide the type of cuisine they desire. We can make advance restaurant reservations when requested, and provide detailed lists of recommended restaurants in each location.
4.c) HOW DO KENNEDY & CARR CREATE VALUE?
We are an important source of revenue to accommodation providers and other suppliers on the ground. We negotiate a trade discount on each tour component and sell them to you at published prices, as a complete holiday package. So we buy at a discount, our clients pay the standard retail price and we make our money on the difference between the two. This means that you get a holiday at approximately the same price you would have received upon booking the components yourself. However, you’ll enjoy the added value of local insight, travelling with the support of Irish born guides who are expertly placed to advise on how to get the most out of every day and to facilitate your wishes as smoothly as possible.
5. CAN WE CUSTOMISE AN ITINERARY?
Of course you can. We specialise in giving you the holiday that you want and allow you as much, or as little, control in the planning as you are looking for. Custom, private travel gives you the opportunity to create a schedule that will suit your holiday ideal, rather than someone else’s. With a variety of options in transport, sightseeing, and accommodations, your holiday will fit your budget, your timeframe, and your own ideas and expectations.
6. HOW MUCH FLEXIBILITY IS THERE IN MY FINAL ITINERARY?
Overnight locations are agreed in advance, and then each itinerary is based around flexible daily sightseeing, cultural experiences and leisure time- we keep itineraries as flexible as possible to take advantage of unexpected opportunities or to adapt to weather conditions or other circumstances. In addition, where possible, we have built in options and free time so that you can experience Ireland in a way that is meaningful to you. Essentially, we offer the independence you want with the structure and expertise that makes for a great tour. We can also assist if you would like to extend your stay at the beginning or end of a trip.
7. WHAT IF I AM NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR INITIAL SUGGESTION?
Because everything is individually designed, we are only as good as the information you give us. We try to get an itinerary right first time – but sometimes we have to make assumptions. So please tell us if you would like any changes at the planning stage, and we will gladly discuss alternatives and make any necessary adjustments.
8. I’D LIKE TO MAKE A BOOKING- WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We will confirm all of the elements in your itinerary and send you an invoice for a 30% non-refundable deposit. Your hotel and transportation will be secured immediately upon receipt of the deposit, and we will send you some background information to help you prepare for the holiday. You will also receive a booking form with full terms & conditions for your records. It is critical for you to put travel insurance in place at this stage to protect your investment. We will issue a balance invoice, which must be paid in full 60 days prior to travel. On receipt of full payment we will issue any relevant tickets and vouchers, together with a final itinerary, including detailed travel notes and contact numbers.
9. CAN YOU BOOK OUR FLIGHTS?
We do not book air travel but are happy to assist with advice on various options. Many of our guests arrive on different airlines. Booking flights directly with the airline via the internet is usually the best solution.
10. WHEN I GET TO IRELAND, AM I ON MY OWN?
You will have a personal driver who stays with the tour from first welcomes to the departure hall of the airport. We also have a network of people on the ground, who are there to ensure that every step runs smoothly – and to sort out the unforeseen as it occurs. In addition, we keep an eye on tour movements behind the scenes from our central Dublin office, so we can respond quickly whenever there’s a need. It always helps to be proactive and flexible and this is all part of the service. Apart from this, you can enjoy as much free time as you wish- so if you’d like to enjoy time alone, you are completely free to do so.
11. HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SORT OF HOLIDAYS YOU CAN ORGANISE?
We display a range of suggested itineraries on this website. These are just samples, put there to give you initial ideas. They are meant as a starting-point rather than a fait accompli. For someone with more specific interests, these are never going to be completely right. If one of the ‘suggested itineraries’ appeals to you that’s fine – but we would still like to talk with you to make sure that it really delivers what you are looking for.
12. DOES IT ALWAYS RAIN IN IRELAND?
Despite the myth that it always rains in Ireland, the island enjoys a moderate climate allowing for touring year round. The high season occures between March and October. The weather changes often. We advise you to bring layers and good outerwear, hats and waterproof shoes. November to April is the shoulder season yet the weather can be pleasantly dry and bright with temperatures of 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. And bear in mind that it never rains in the pub!
13. DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
You must be fully insured for your holiday and must make sure that all of the activities which you will be carrying out are covered by such insurance. This insurance must include emergency evacuation and repatriation costs in respect of all of your activities. We strongly recommend that your insurance covers for cancellation and other situations outlined in our terms and conditions.
With regard to our own insurances, Kennedy & Carr Limited is fully insured for our Public, Product and Professional Liabilities under the Package Holidays & Travel Trade Act 1995 by Lloyd’s of London, the world’s specialist insurance market.