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Travel Start Date

We booked a RS tour to Ireland beginning July 15. When the tour start date is July 15, is this the date for arrival in Dublin, is is this the fly out date from the States?

Thank you.
Alan

Posted by
3466 posts

Based on our experience taking many RS Tours, July 15 will be the date the group first meets in Dublin -- probably in the late afternoon. You can arrive on the 15th, but we strongly suggest you arrive in Dublin on the 14th which, depending on you flight(s) means leaving on the 13th. That will allow you time to recover from jet lag and also build in some contingency time if the flight(s) is(are) delayed.

Posted by
12397 posts

Echoing TC here: the first day of the tour is the day the tour actually begins. So if your tour is the Best of Ireland, and the dates are July 15 - July 28, July 15 is day 1 on the published itinerary:

https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/ireland/best-ireland-tour

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland
"Meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel at 5 p.m. After a group meeting, we'll enjoy a "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together, followed by an orientation walk through the heart of Dublin.
Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Dublin."

Many people arrange to arrive in the city where their tours start - in this case, Dublin - the day before so they can be rested and ready to go on Day 1. That also provides a cushion should they experience a flight or other transport delay. So, as TC has recommended, you might want to think about arriving in Dublin on July 14 and booking that night in the same hotel the tour will be staying in. Make sense?

Posted by
1261 posts

The tour start date is on the 15th at the first hotel and most likely will start between 3 and 5 PM. Tour members usually meet in a meeting room at the first hotel. The several we have done were held in the breakfast room then we are off for a walking tour and dinner together. As others have said, get there on the 14th at the latest and spend the night at the hotel or nearby.

Posted by
8202 posts

I agree with TC and Kathy and Diane. Since RS does not include air fare Day 1 is your first day on the ground with the group. Remember that from the US or Canada your flight is often overnight so you’ll need to take that into consideration.

I suggest adding at least 2 nights ahead of this tour. There is a lot to see in Dublin!

Posted by
654 posts

Just to be 100% clear, RS does not provide air transportation. It is your responsibility to show up at the first tour hotel (listed in an email they sent you) at the start time of the tour, usually somewhere between 3 and 6 pm.

Posted by
21158 posts

All of the above is accurate. Unlike a lot of US based tours, there is no air transportation included. July 15th is day everyone gathers in Dublin. Personally I would plan on arriving on the 11th or 12th and absolutely no later than the 14th. Arriving on the 11th allows for you to adjust to jet lag on your own time and not falling asleep at the welcoming dinner on the 15th. And that will happen if you arrive on the 15th.

Posted by
238 posts

A little note to reinforce the “arrive a day early”..in 2014 we were booked on the RS Eastern Europe tour. As I had been to Prague, the start city , a couple times before but hubby not, we booked to arrive 2 days before so I could show him around, and dazzle him with my knowledge of the city….NOT, the night before we were to fly out, he went into hospital with post heart surgery concerns. I spent hours in the hospital parking lot trying to cancel/rebook/hedge on our flight plans, but not wanting to cancel. All turned out well, and we were able to fly, with lots of connections, to Prague last minute,, arriving at 4pm, mad dash to the meeting hotel and join our tour. That night was a massive blur, but we made the trip and vowed to never cheap out (time or cash wise) on getting to our tour ahead of the date. Stuff happens..

Posted by
7395 posts

tour start date is July 15

That is the literal start, in Dublin, at 5PM

If you do not sleep the night of July 14 in Dublin, you will wish you had.

Posted by
21158 posts

Judy raises an excellent point. Years ago Denver had two direct flights to Europe in the summer -- BA and Lufthansa. Both 747s. We were booked on Lufthansa for a 7pm departure when a very silly mechanical problem developed that finally grew into a cancelled flight around midnight. While standing in line to re-book I was surprised at the number of surrounding discussions from people who were starting cruises or tours the following day. And the panic that was setting in. You cannot off load a full 747 at midnight in Denver, CO, and expect to get them on another plane to Europe quickly. This was a Wednesday night and we didn't get re-booked till Saturday night connecting via Chicago instead of a direct flight. And we were flexible because we had a ten-day window before we had to meet up with friends. A lot of people missed the start of cruises and tours. Three, four days early is not excessive.