Please take a moment to review the following and do let us know in advance of any particular desires or requirements that you may have.
Airport Transfers: Private or shared transfers at most US airports can be arranged.
Overnight Hotel Stays: At your departure airport or your arrival airport (particularly if you are arriving late).
Special Meals: Individual food allergies, preferences or restrictions can usually be arranged in advance for you.
Special Needs: Please advise us in writing if anyone in your party has any special needs or disabilities. We will make every effort to advise and assist with any special requirements you may have.
Cots and High–Chairs: If you are travelling with small children or infants you may wish to arrange, if available, a rollaway bed, cot and/or high–chair to be placed in your accommodation prior to your arrival.
Travel Insurance: Medical treatment in the US can be extremely expensive so it is essential to take out adequate insurance. If you will be participating in wintersports or other activities on your holiday, you must have additional insurance. We provide full details of how to book your travel insurance with your holiday confirmation.
Road Trips: The cost of suggested activities referred to in tour description is not included in the price.
Activites: Activities referred to in this brochure may be seasonal and therefore not necessarily available during your stay. Brochure references to activities and facilities do not imply that they are inclusive and additional costs will apply locally.
Maid Service: Most accommodation has daily or periodic maid service except self–catering.
Gratuities: Tipping in America is a way of life and will be expected in all Inns and many hotels. For properties where this is not optional we will include gratuity in the rate. For all others,although discretionary, we would suggest $5–$10 per room per day.
Resort Fees and Additional Charges Payable Locally: Many hotels charge a Resort Fee (usually $12–$30 per day) that can only be paid locally in the USA. Car parking may also be at additional cost. Optional incidental charges such as Internet access will also be payable and you will be required to leave a credit card to cover all such charges.
Linens and Towels, etc: All properties include linens and towels and an iron and ironing board. Most provide hair dryers. In self–catering properties soap, detergents and paper products are not provided.
Heating and Air–Conditioning: For your year round comfort all accommodation has central heating. Rooms with fireplaces are available at many inns and resorts and need to be requested at the time of booking. Many properties have air–conditioning for the summer months.
Telephones and Televisions: Most of our properties have either private or shared telephone facilities. Televisions are available in many but not all of our inns. Internet access is generally available. Please check with us if these facilities are required.
Private Bathrooms: Please note private bathrooms may include a bath tub or a shower.
Upgraded Rooms at Inns and Hotels: Our accommodation is of a high standard and most rooms feature a queen bed (UK King) and en–suite bathroom. At some locations suites or other deluxe–style rooms may be available. Please ask for a quote.
Hotel Layout: Many Inns and hotels comprise more than one building and your room may be located in an annex or detached outbuilding.
Diamond Ratings: Represent a combination of the overall quality, range of facilities and level of services offered by the property. The American Automobile Association assigns a rating of 1 to 5 Diamonds — 5 being the highest — to properties that meet and uphold their rigorous approval standards.
Smoking Policy: All of our properties have a No Smoking policy. Pet Friendly: Some properties allow guests to have a dog or cat in their room. Many hotels restrict pets to a limited number of rooms but others will allow pets in any room. Please let us know if pet–friendly accommodation would be unsuitable for you.
Child Policy: Many of our Inns welcome children over a certain age only, usually 8–15 years. We will advise you on which properties are best suited for your family. Hotels typically require one adult over 18 years per room.
Lifts and Luggage: Lifts are generally not found in our Inns and some of our hotels and you may need to carry your own luggage.
Travel Documents: Your travel documents will be sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure. To assist with your drives, a road map and local directions are provided.
Passports and Visas: All passengers wishing to travel into the USA without a Visa must either have a Machine Readable Passport or if your passport was issued on/after 26 October 2006, an “e–Passport” (biometric passport) which contains an integrated chip. All travellers must obtain authorisation — known as ESTA — to ensure you are able to travel into the USA. To complete your application, go to the official website: esta.cbp.dhs.gov. There is a fee of $14 for your ESTA. If you use an unofficial website the charge may be significantly more. Your ESTA application can be done at any time but no less than 72 hours prior to travel. Once granted authorisation is valid for 2 years. For further information regarding ESTA as well as details about Visa requirements go to: www.usembassy.org.uk or contact the American Embassy on 09068 200 290 (60p/min).
The Association of Independent Tour Operators
The AITO Quality Charter: We are members of AITO, the association of Independent Tour Operators, whose participants provide a better quality alternative to the mass market. This is the charter of AITO.
AITO is the Association for independent and specialist holiday companies. Our member companies, usually owner–managed, strive to create overseas holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality and personal service. The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating.
Exclusive Membership: AITO sets criteria regarding ownership, finance and quality which must be satisfied before new companies are admitted to membership. All members are required to adhere to a Code of Business Practice which encourages high operational standards and conduct.
Financial Security: An AITO member is required to protect money paid by customers to the member for any holiday sold under the AITO logo. This protection applies to customers who are in the UK at the time of booking or to overseas customers who have booked directly with the member. Members have to comply
with the UK Government Regulations in this respect. Members submit details of their bonding or guarantee arrangements to the Association on a regular basis.
Accurate Brochures and Websites: All members do their utmost to ensure that all their brochures and other publications, print or electronic, clearly and accurately describe the holidays and services offered.
Professional Service and Continual Improvements: All members are committed to high standards of service and believe in regular and thorough training of employees. Members continually seek to review and improve their holidays. They listen to their customers and always welcome suggestions for improving standards.
Monitoring Standards: AITO endeavours to monitor quality standards regularly. All customers should receive a post–holiday questionnaire, the results of which are scrutinised by the Association.
Sustainable Tourism: All members acknowledge the importance of AITO’s Sustainable Tourismguidelines, which recognise the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of tour operating.Those demonstrating their achievements beyond the pure acceptance of this principle are recognised
by the award of 2 or 3 star status.
Customer Relations: All members endeavour to deal swiftly and fairly with any issues their customers may raise. In the unlikely event that a dispute between an AITO member and a customer cannot be settled amicably, AITO’s low–cost Independent Dispute Settlement Service may be called upon by either side to bring the matter to a speedy and acceptable conclusion.
Vacations to America is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators.
To contact the Association visit www.aito.co.uk or call 020 8744 9280.