Additional Information About Travel to Ireland
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Ireland will arrive or depart from Dublin or Shannon. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. During free time, you may wish to explore the cities by public transportation, and your tour coordinator and tour guide will have suggestions. Most of the destinations are
walkable, but you may want to spend free time exploring Dublin by using
public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses. If you
wish to venture outside of Dublin on your own, use the very efficient
Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains, which reach most locations on
the coast. Any tour that consists of any strenuous or uneven walking experiences will be noted in the itinerary.
Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
The euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates
of exchange are usually available in your destination countries,
although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use
when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM
cards and credit cards, which can be exchanged for better rates at your local banks, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and
credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse
your international purchases for fraudulent charges and freeze your accounts. Please note: With
the conversion to the euro, it has been increasingly difficult to
exchange travelers checks outside of Europe’s major cities—both at banks
and shops—and they often attract higher fees. Travelers checks should be a last resort.
Round-trip flights arrive in Dublin, and depart from a variety of other Irish international airports, depending on tour. Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are walkable, but you may want to spend free time exploring Dublin by using public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses. If you wish to venture outside of Dublin on your own, use the very efficient Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains, which reach most locations on the coast.
Ireland operates on standard 240 volts.
There are no major health risks when traveling to Ireland. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meat-based dishes. Traditional Irish stew, bacon and boiled cabbage are always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black stout known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting and sometimes unexpected cuisine.
Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it is 6 pm in Ireland, it is 10 am in California (adjust one hour more for Daylights Savings Time).
For Golfing Edventures:
- Pace of play in Ireland- Irish play the game a bit more quickly than most visitors are used to, so be prepared to keep pace with the locals. Match play is the standard in Scotland, so consider playing a hole-by-hole match against your friends rather than counting each shot as in stroke play
- Handicap cards - Your USGA handicap card is your passport to the courses on this tour. If you’re unable to provide your card, please bring a letter from your local pro providing your on-course proficiency.
- Caddies & carts - Motorized golf carts are referred to as “buggies” in Scotland; “carts” refer to pull-carts. Both caddies and pull-carts are available at all courses for an additional fee. Motorized carts are available at some courses for an additional fee and require a note from your healthcare provider. If you need a motorized cart for medical reasons, please call us prior to departure, so we can accommodate your medical needs
- Club transport - The cost of checking your golf bag is additional, and is not included in your final invoice. You should expect to pay an additional fee at the airport. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage and golf bag transport policies. The porterage provided on your tour includes one suitcase and one golf bag per person.
- Dress Code & etiquette - soft spikes (these will be required at all the courses on your itinerary); extra balls (buying these abroad tends to be more expensive); collared golf shirts; tailored pants or Bermuda shorts; sports jacket (Royal Dublin and Royal County Down require jackets in certain clubhouse rooms); raincoat (Ireland’s weather is famously unpredictable and a waterproof jacket, pants and/or shoes may be necessary); certain courses don’t allow clothing featuring logos (shorts and hats aren’t allowed in the clubhouse at Royal Portrush); cargo pants and jeans are not allowed on the courses or in the clubhouses; cellphone use may be prohibited or discouraged at some courses; most dress codes require that ladies wear shirts with modest necklines and collars and/or sleeves