Please take a moment to review the following and be sure to let us know any special requirements you have for your vacation.
KEY INFORMATION BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
Passports and Visas: Travellers to the USA and Canada must have a biometric "e–passport" which contains an integrated chip. Travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) requires pre-authorisation known as ESTA which is via an online application at: www.esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The fee is $21 per person and applications can be done at any time, but no less than 72hours prior to travel. Once granted authorisation is valid for 2 years. If you do not hold a VWP passport or are denied an ESTA go to uk.usembassy.gov/visas for more information. For travel by air into Canada, Visa-exempt foreign nationals require an eTA via: https//www.canada.ca. The fee is $7 per person, should be done prior to booking and once approved, eTA's are valid for 5 years.
Travel Insurance: At the time of booking your holiday it is essential to effect your travel insurance immediately so that you are covered in case you have to cancel your holiday for reasons beyond your control. All travellers should be covered by personal travel insurance, which includes medical expenses as there is no reciprocal arrangement for national health care and medical treatment is generally very expensive. Please click here to visit the website of our recommended travel insurance providers or call them on 0330 880 3625 to discuss a quote. Please contact us directly should you have any queries.
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.
Special Meals: Individual food allergies, preferences or restrictions can usually be arranged in advance for you.
Airport Lounges and Overnight Stay: For a more relaxing start, we offer pre–bookable lounge passes at your UK airport. If you are staying overnight, we can book an airport hotel and these generally include parking. We can also book airport hotels in the USA.
Airport Transfers: Taxis are readily available at US and Canadian airports and are a convenient and cost effective way to transfer to your hotel.
Upgraded Rooms: Our accommodation is of a high standard and most rooms feature a queen bed (UK king) and ensuite bathroom. At some locations, suites or other deluxe style rooms may be available. Please ask for a quote.
Resort Fees and Additional Charges Payable Locally: Many hotels charge a Resort Fee (estimate $15–$40 per day) that can only be paid locally. Car parking is often at additional cost. Other charges such as Internet access will also be payable, and you will be required to leave a credit card deposit to cover any additional charges incurred.
Travelling with Children: 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 require one adult over 18–21 years to occupy a room. If you are travelling with small children or infants and require a cot or high chair, we can upon request, arrange this in advance at many properties.
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.
Maid Service: Most accommodation has daily or periodic maid service except self–catering.
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.
Telephone, TV and Internet: 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.
Private Pool Heating: If you have booked a villa with a private pool, it may be possible to arrange in advance, for the pool to be heated between October and April, at additional cost.
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.
Hotel Layout and Views: Many properties comprise more than one building and your room may be located in an annex or detached building. Unless otherwise stated, the room allocated for you will have no particular view and may overlook a car park, for example.
Activities: 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. Activities referred to in Road Trip descriptions are suggestions and are not included in the prices shown.
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 endeavour to include gratuity in the rate. For all others although discretionary, we would suggest $5–$10 per room per day. Tips of 15%-20% are also expected for taxi drivers, restaurant and bar staff and local tour guides.
Travel Documents: Your travel documents will be sent to you or your Travel Agent approximately 14–21 days prior to departure. To assist with your drives, road maps and local directions are provided.
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 Tourism guidelines, 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 sideto 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.com or call 020 8744 9280.