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Q: Do I have to travel with a group?
A: No! You can travel independently (just you and your traveling partners, or even alone!). Or, you can join one of the group tours we offer. The choice is entirely yours! Your vacation is unique to you and we understand that. We want to make it the best, most memorable vacation you’ll ever experience.
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Q: Will a tour guide be accompanying me wherever I go?
A: On the pre-planned independent tours, no, unless you specifically request a driver/guide (additional charges will apply). If, however, you choose to take a group tour, these are escorted tours and a guide will accompany you.
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Q: What’s different about Across the Pond Vacations and why should I book with you?
A: Across the Pond Vacations is the only company that specializes in UK and Ireland travel, and offers both independent and group travel packages! We take all of the work of planning a vacation off your hands, saving you hours and hours of your valuable time – time you would have otherwise spent planning, arranging, and booking your travel. We do this all for less than (or equal to) the cost of planning a vacation, yourself. We are specialists in this fascinating destination, we know it, understand it, and absolutely love it! We want to share that passion with you in the travel packages that we offer.
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Q: Why shouldn���t I just book my vacation online?
A: In a nutshell… because we save you time and money, whilst offering you our expertise. We’ve found that the average amount of time a person can plan and book their own vacation is anywhere from 15 – 40 hours, on average. With us… it’s just a matter of one e-mail or one phone call to get started. Tell us what you want… we’ll do the rest. And, at about the same price you’ll get by shopping online, yourself! It’s a win-win!
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Q: When is the best time of year to visit the UK and Ireland?
A: The best time to visit is January through December. In other words… it’s always a good time to visit the UK! There are benefits to traveling any time of the year – it just depends upon where you wish to go and what you want to do. Ask one of our expert Tour Managers to help you decide when is the best time for you to go.
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Q: I like one of the theme tours, but wish to make a few changes. Can I do that?
A: Absolutely! It is this idea upon which we have based our business philosophy - to give our clients exactly what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. We understand how important it is to tailor your vacation precisely to your specifications and that is what we aim to do. Therefore, if you like a certain tour but wish to change part(s) of it, no problem! (Deposit required prior to custom-designing a tour.)
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Q: I don’t really see anything on your list of travel packages offered that’s exactly what I want. What do I do?
A: What you dream about seeing and doing in the UK and/or Ireland is unique to you… and we understand and appreciate that. If nothing on our list of tours suits you – it’s not a problem! Give us a call and tell us exactly what type of experience you are seeking. We will custom design an itinerary that’s exactly suited to your wishes. (Small deposit required prior to custom-designing tours, which will be applied to the cost of your tour once you book.)
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Q: Do you welcome same-sex couples?
A: Definitely! We welcome all, regardless of their sexual orientation, religious preference, ethnicity, etc. If you are a gay or lesbian couple, please do let us know upon inquiring so that we may book you into same-sex-friendly accommodations and ensure your bedding preferences are met.
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Q: Are these tours appropriate for children?
A: Most of ATP Vacations’ itineraries are not only appropriate for children, but educational, as well. There are a few attractions which may not be suitable for children of a younger age, such as those with a “haunted” emphasis (i.e., York Dungeon or the Jack the Ripper Walk). Just let us know if you plan on traveling with children and their ages.
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Q: Can I travel alone?
A: Absolutely! We recognize that one of the most self-enriching things a person can do is to travel on his or her own. However, please keep in mind that the prices quoted in printed materials or online are per person, and are based on double occupancy. If you choose to travel alone, supplemental charges will apply.
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Q: Are meals included?
A: Breakfasts are always included (unless otherwise specified). We find that most people wish to enjoy the local cuisine and prefer to have the freedom to do so when they're out and about, i.e., lunch and dinner. (Some lunches and dinners are included on group tours.)
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Q: I see that your prices indicate “land only”. What about my flight to the UK or Ireland?
A: Across the Pond Vacations will be happy to act as a One-Stop-Shop for your travel. We work with a partner travel agency that will secure the best flight for you to the U.K. on the airline of your choice. Alternately, you may wish to book your flight directly online yourself, since internet fares seem to be the way to get the best rate these days. Either way, we’re happy to help!
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Q: Can I earn “points” with the hotels booked on my stay?
A: We will be happy to further discuss this option upon booking.
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Q: Can I add an ATP Vacations tour to an existing trip I’ve already planned?
A: Absolutely! We do this all the time and think it’s a great idea! Just let us know upon booking so that we can make the appropriate arrangements for you.
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Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: ATP Vacations accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Cashier’s Check, Money Order, or personal checks if your tour is more than 60 days in advance. (Although we will accept cash, we do not recommend it as a form of payment.)

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Q: Do you offer discounts for multiple tours?

A: Yes! We do offer discounts when booking more than fifteen people in a tour at a time. Ask us when booking about discounts.

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Q: Do you offer senior discounts?

A: Some discounts may be offered to seniors – this will depend upon the travel package you have selected. Ask about this option when booking.

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Q: What are the weight and size restrictions of luggage?

A: The weight and size restrictions vary from airline to airline. We recommend you contact the airline with whom you are traveling and ask them, directly. We also suggest you utilize a suitcase that rolls and has a handle – they’re just so much easier to maneuver. For additional information about what you can pack, and what is allowed on board planes these days, check the Transportation Security Administration's website at http://www.tsa.dhs.gov/

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Q: Will I need an electricity converter?

A: Usually just a plug adapter is all you'll need. A three square pronged adapter plug for most appliances are required to utilize your American (or Canadian) electrical appliances in the U.K. Check each appliance you intend to bring for voltage information.

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Q: Do they use the British Pound or the Euro in the UK?

A: In the U.K. (England, Scotland and Wales), the Great British Pound is the currency. In Ireland, it is the Euro. (If you wish to check today’s exchange rate, please check http://www.xe.com/ucc.)

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Q: Can you exchange my dollars for pounds and vice versa at ATP Vacations?

A: No. We recommend you exchange a small amount of money into Pounds or Euros (depending on where you're traveling) prior to leaving your home country. (Usually $50 - $100 exchanged is enough.) Then, once you're at your destination, you can use an ATM (check with your local bank to see what system they partner with, such as Star or Interlink or Plus). Otherwise, we recommend using your credit or debit card. These methods seems to cost the least amount in foreign exchange fees. Check with your bank prior to leaving. (Travelers Checks are a thing of the past and not really recommended anymore.)

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Q: What about tipping in the UK?

A: Tipping is different in the UK. ATP Vacations has a Tipping Guide that we will supply you with upon booking your tour. This guide should answer all your questions pertaining to tips.

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Q: What kind of hotel accommodations can I expect?

A: We book 3-½ to 5 star properties! We love really great hotels! (If you are looking for a more economical property, we can do that, too - just ask!) You should feel comfortable and relaxed when you’re away from home. Whether that means you lounge in a pair of jeans and a sweater, or your ‘dressed to the nines’ for an evening out, we want you to feel comfortable and have every amenity you could possibly desire at your disposal. We also book B&B's, but only book 4 to 5 star B&B's and your room will always be "en suite."

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Q: Can I book my trip online?

A: We can certainly get you started online with planning your trip. We want to ensure that you are getting exactly what you expect. Once we understand exactly what you’re looking for, we’ll send out a proposal, and then a contract. Once that contract has been signed by you and we receive the necessary deposit, your tour will be considered “booked”.

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Q: I’m nervous about driving on the other side of the road? What can I expect?

A: Driving on the left side of the road may be a bit daunting at first. But ATP Vacations will supply you with a Rules of the Road guide, and any additional information you will require (such as the London Congestion Charge, etc.) Additionally, we’ll always ask if you prefer a manual or automatic shift. But don’t worry, after a while, you’ll certainly get the hang of it.

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Q: What kind of clothing should I pack?

A: That depends. The season, itinerary and location of your tour will determine what clothing is appropriate to pack. We will point out, however, that in general, the British tend to dress slightly more formally than you may be accustomed to (although we’re not suggesting it’s all white ties and tiaras). Just use your common sense. Or, ask us – we’ll be more than happy to help! The general rule of thumb is to play for layers, should the weather become unpredictable, and make sure you pack rain gear. Chances are - it will rain during your trip. (It's how they keep the grass so green!)

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Don't see your question here? Give us a call at 310-791-6101. We'd be happy to answer any questions you have.