Frequently Asked Questions

About Your Bookings

What are my payment options?

You may pay by card or bank draft in our offices in Dublin and Belfast.

You may also call our accounts team on 01 4331090 (ROI) or 02890511800 (NI) Mon – Fri 9:15am – 5:30pm to pay by card over the phone.

You can do a Electronic Funds Transfer by calling the above number or by e-mailing ar@shgi.ie for details.

Important information about paying your balance – From 5th May 2023

Card Payments accepted using a credit or debit card

Electronic Funds Transfer straight to our bank account from your bank account

American Holidays Gift Card* to redeem off your holiday

One 4 All Gift Card* to redeem off your holiday.

*American Holidays Gift Cards and One 4 All Gift Cards must be redeemed in-store. If you are unable to come in-store please call our accounts team on 01 4331090 (ROI) or 02890511800 (NI) Mon – Fri 9:15am – 5:30pm. T&Cs apply.

When will I receive my travel documents?

Your documents will be emailed to the address in your booking between 14 and 21 days prior to your departure date. If you booked through a Travel Agent your package will be emailed to your travel agent to forward to you personally.  If you wish to collect documents or require a hard copy please email packaging@americanholidays.com with your request.

It may be necessary in some instances to send documents by post, if this is the case they will be sent 14-21 days prior to travel.

Please note with most cruise companies, luggage labels for the cruise need to be picked up at the pier prior to embarkation.

Note: We endeavor to have your holiday tickets and itinerary to you a minimum of 14 days prior to departure. During peak season however, some delays may be inevitable due to the large volume of bookings which have to be processed.

Do Age Restrictions apply to my holiday?

Yes age restrictions can apply to some aspects of your holiday.

Carhire:  If you are hiring a car, to avoid an additional charge the primary renter of the vehicle must be at least 25 years of age; however the minimum age to rent a vehicle is 21. People under 25 years of age will incur additional daily charges.

Hotels: Most hotels, particularly in Las Vegas and Orlando require one of the occupants to be over 21 years.

Insurance: Insurance policies do contain various age restrictions.  We recommend you make specific enquiries in this regard before purchasing it.

Cruising: Cruising companies can have minimum child age restrictions. These age restrictions can apply to particular cruises where infants must be of a certain age to travel on a cruise. Minimum age restrictions also apply where families are sharing multiple cabins as children cannot be left unattended.

Infants sailing on a cruise must be at least 6 months old as of the first day of the cruise. However for transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, select South American and other selected cruises the infant must be at least 12 months old as of the first day of the cruise. For voyages that have 3 or more consecutive days at sea, the infant must be at least 12 months old at time of sailing. Guests travelling with a young infant that does not meet the infant policy will be denied boarding. No refunds or other compensation shall be due from the cruise line to anyone as a result of the denial of boarding to an underage infant or other accompanying guests.

Note on child ages: A minor is defined as an individual less than 18 years of age at the time of embarkation. A young adult is defined as an individual between the ages of 18 and 20. A cruise passenger under 21 years of age must be accompanied in the same or connecting stateroom by a passenger 21 years of age or older at the time of embarkation.

For passengers under the age of 18 traveling with an accompanying adult, who is not the minor’s parent or legal guardian, a Parent/Guardian Consent & Release Form  that authorises the minor’s travel and further authorises medical treatment in case of an emergency must be delivered to the Cruise Line representative at the pier during check-in.  Failure to produce this letter at embarkation may result in boarding being denied, with no refund of cruise fare provided.

Note: Two people under the age of 21 may travel together in the same stateroom if they are a married couple and provide proof of marriage to the Cruise Line representative at the pier before embarkation.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

All clients travelling on a package holiday must have travel insurance. We recommend purchasing you policy at the time of booking. Alternatively we require you to provide details if you have an existing policy. We recommend you read a sample policy before purchasing it as various restrictions, such as age can apply.

What is Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD)?

Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) is a requirement to enter the US, Canada and Caribbean and must be advised at time of booking or immediately afterwards. We require your date of birth and your name as it appears on your passport including middle name or initial if applicable.

Note:(Failure to provide us with this information may incur a fine or passengers could be refused entry to the US. The airline may also reserve the right to cancel any reservations without these details)

What is an Eta (For travelling to Canada)

Electronic Travel Authorization.

Canada has introduced a new entry requirement for visa exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. This regulation becomes mandatory from 15 March 2016. This requirement is applicable to all Irish and British passport holders entering Canada by Air. Applying for an Eta is a simple process and just takes a few minutes. You will need your passport a credit card (Via or Mastercard), and an email address. The cost is $7 Canadian Dollars. It will be valid for up to 5 years.

For more information please click the following link http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/

To apply for an Eta please click the following link http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

What is an ESTA?

Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.

All eligible travellers seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for under 90 days must hold a valid visa 72 hours before you travel. The ESTA is now subject to enhanced security requirements and some countries you may have previously visited may also affect you receiving an ESTA. Further details, the application form and fee can be found here https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.

What are my passport requirements for travelling to the USA, Canada, Mexico and Cruising?

You must hold a “Machine Readable Passports” (MRP):

Irish/ UK citizens transiting through or entering the United States of American require an individual Machine readable passport, this includes Children and infants.   If any person who is a citizen of a VWP (i.e. Irish/ UK citizen holder of passports) and do not have a MRP, then they will need to obtain a U.S. non-immigrant visa prior to departure.

The United States has an agreement with Ireland and the UK that allows you to enter on a current Irish/British passport up to the actual date of expiration. An Irish/British passport need only be valid for the duration of the holders stay in the United States.

For all other passengers traveling outside of the United States and Cruising, it is strongly recommend that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your expected return date.


How much of deposit do I need to pay to secure my booking?

Our standard deposit is €190.00/ £190.00 per person. If we can get you a special flight/sale fare/instant purchase offer you we may need you to pay for that portion in full at the time of booking. Bookings made within 10 weeks of departure must be paid in full at time of booking.

Important Information About Change in Balance Due Date – Booking Made From 11th March 2019
Bookings made within 16 weeks of departure must be paid in full at time of booking.

Resort fees

Resort Fees: You should be aware that certain properties levy clients directly in resort with fees for the use of various facilities at those properties. We do endeavour to note where these resort fees apply and the appropriate charge, however these resort fees can be introduced or rates changed at any time without prior notice

Check-in and Check-out times?

Check-in times are usually between 2.00pm and 3.00pm, check-out times between 11.00am and 12 noon on the day of departure, however times do vary. Therefore, if your flight arrives early in the morning, you may not be able to check in to your hotel room right away. Similarly, if your return flight is at night, you will normally be required to vacate your room at 12 noon. Day rooms are subject to availability and cost and can usually be arranged locally.

Where can I find directions to my accommodation?

For private villa holidays, we will provide you with driving directions to the pick up location in your package.

Can I make a special request for my hotel booking?

Yes, special requests such as low floor, non-smoking rooms, King bed in room etc can be made and should be requested at the time of booking.  Requests such as Pool view, sea view, kitchenette, rollaway beds, fridge, pool heating, extra beds in room and upgraded room types may incur additional charges and need to be submitted in writing by email to amendments@americanholidays.com.

It is important to remember free special requests will never be guaranteed by the hotel and are not part of your contract.

What’s included in the hotel price?

Our prices include standard room only accommodation, unless otherwise stated.

In rare cases hotels are fully inclusive (i.e. food and beverage included) this will be clearly listed in the hotel description.

None of our packages include attraction tickets or resort facilities such as kiddies clubs, massage therapy or spa treatments.

Although we list the facilities of a property in our hotel descriptions this does not necessarily mean that the use of these facilities is included in your price or free of charge, if you are in any doubt please inquire from our reservation staff at the time of booking.

Resort Fees: You should be aware that certain properties levy clients directly in resort with fees for the use of various facilities at those properties. We have, where possible, in this brochure, detailed such fees in the hotel descriptions applicable.

What room types do you offer?

What room types do you offer?

Most hotel rooms in the US consist of 2 double beds and can sleep up to 4 people. Hotels in City destinations like Las Vegas and New York usually accommodate 2 travelers to a room (one bed) and may apply a supplement for a 3rd/4th person.

Note: The size of rooms in New York is exceptionally smaller in comparison to rooms in Florida.

All prices in the brochure are based on “Standard Rooms”. It is important to know we can in most cases give you a quotation for an upgraded room type i.e. poolside, beach view, suite etc, and the price will be adjusted accordingly.

Low rise properties do not in some instances have lift facilities. If it is imperative to your requirements that your accommodation provides a lift facility please ensure that you bring this matter to our attention at the time of booking.


Suites: Suites are usually a different room configuration in the hotels discussed above. “Suite” is a room that offers more space than a standard hotel room and may have a kitchenette.  Suites are open plan and the sleeping area will not be separate to the sitting area.


Apartment: The word “Apartment” suggests that bedrooms are separate to the sitting area. You will need to refer to the specific accommodation for details on what the apartment is equipped with.


What does American Holidays Star Rating mean?

In the U.S. there is no uniform grading system for hotels. So American Holidays has created its own grading system. This system is based on a broad spectrum of factors ranging from location to facilities, from value for money to general standards of service and design. What is an important factor in choosing your accommodation in Orlando may not even be considered when picking a hotel in New York. In some cases prices can be an indication of the standard of the property but inevitably there are differences from place to place. Do remember when choosing your hotel that if you pay the lowest price you cannot expect the highest standard of accommodation – very often by paying a little extra, you can make a good holiday a truly memorable one.

* Budget Basic accommodation

** Comfortable, basic accommodation offering value for money

*** Good medium standard accommodation offering a range of facilities

**** First class property, good facilities, location and popular with regular visitors

***** Excellent accommodation with a large range of restaurants and amenities.

What are the charges for cancelling?

All cancellations need to be received in writing to amendments@shgi.ie. Your deposit paid is always non refundable, this includes where you are required to pay 50% of your holidays price to cover your non refundable airline tickets.


Additional charges increase the closer you cancel to your departure date.

70+ days before departure Loss of Deposit.

70-57 days is 30%, 37-56 days is 50%, 23-26 days is 70%, 12-22 days is 90%, 0-11 days is 100%

Please refer to full details of our cancellation charges in our booking terms and conditions.

Are names changes allowed?

Name changes are not permitted by the airlines on our contracted rates. At the time of booking you will be asked to give your name as it appears on your passport. Names must be as per your passport and change fees are applicable for any spelling errors along with the American Holidays administration fee.

No substitutions can be made due to the strict name change policies enforced by the airlines.

Can I change my travel dates?

Any change would very much depend on the supplier/airline rules. Most instant purchase/sale fares are non refundable and non changeable. Some airline rules do allow changes however all revised travel must be completed within 1 year of the original booking date. You will be asked to pay an administration fee of €75/£60 per person plus any further cost that may be levied by the supplier/airline based on the new departure date.  Please be advised that any changes to travel dates shall in no way vary the application of the cancelation charges which you accepted at the time of your original booking. The relevant date of departure for the purposes of calculating the applicable cancelation charges  shall be original date of departure booked by you.

Can I make a change to my holiday?

If, after our confirmation invoice has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, this is possible only on some bookings. No changes are permitted within 30 days before departure date.   You will be asked to pay an administration fee of €75/£60 per person plus any further cost that may be levied by our supplier for processing this alteration.  Any request for changes to be made must be submitted by e-mail to amendments@shgi.ie by the ‘lead name’ on the booking or your Travel Agent.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Full booking terms and conditions can be found HERE.

Gift Cards

SHGI Gift Cards (“Gift Cards”) can be redeemed, in full or part payment against flights, hotels, cruises or package holidays (“Travel Services”) offered for sale by Specialist Holidays Group Ireland Limited (“SHGI”), which are booked directly with SHGI.

Gift Cards may be exchanged for any of our Travel Services of a higher price than the face the Gift Card value of the card, on payment of the difference.

Any residual balance on a Gift Card following purchase of Travel Services will remain on the Gift Card, while the Gift Card is valid, and can be applied to further purchases, subject to these terms and conditions.

Any refunds due in respect of Travel Services which have been purchased with the Gift Card will be added back to the balance on the card.

A Gift Card is not a cheque guarantee, credit or charge card.

Gift Cards are non-transferable and cannot be used for the purchase of further Gift Cards or used to pay for foreign currency or exchanged for cash.

SHGI reserves the right to decline any gift card which has been identified as fraudulent.

Gift Cards will be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue.

SHGI will not accept liability for lost, stolen or damaged cards.

Please treat this card as cash. SHGI Gift Cards cannot be used as a deposit.

SHGI reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time and to take appropriate action, including the cancellation of the card if, in its discretion, it deems such action necessary. This does not affect your legal rights.

Gift Cards are not covered by the bond(s) which SHGI maintains with the Irish Aviation Authority, unless and until such gift cards have been used to pay for a travel service which includes travel outside of Ireland.

SHGI’s Booking Terms and Conditions are applicable to the Travel Services purchased with a Gift Card

Family Deal Terms & Conditions

Get €100 off each child on all family holiday packages booked with American Holidays, applies to children under the age of 16 years at the time of booking. Offer applicable to new package holiday bookings only from 00:01 on April 12 2023 until April 30th 2024, for travel up until June 2025. There must be a minimum of 1 adult on the booking. Standard booking Terms & Conditions apply.

Twin & Multi Destination Holiday Discount Terms & Conditions

Save up to €100 on twin destination and up to €150 on multi destination bookings. The discount is included in the final price and applies to all new bookings made from March 1st to April 30th 2024, for travel up to June 2025.

Offer is subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time. Offer can be combined with the €100 child discount. Excludes Cruise Holidays. Standard booking Terms & Conditions apply

Can I drop the car back to a different location from where I pick it up?

Yes, however there may be a one-way drop off fee to be paid locally.

Are there any hidden costs?

The Alamo staff are sales staff and will always offer upgrades and optional extras. It is at your discretion on whether you would like to avail of these. However please read your rental agreement carefully before signing it. A Roadside Service plan can be purchased locally for $4.99 plus tax.

Can I prebook Sat Nav?

Yes, Sat Nav can be pre-booed for an additional €47 per week.

How much are child seats?

Baby and child seats must be requested at the time of booking. However the charge of $6.99 plus tax per seat per day is payable locally.

Can I add additional drivers?

The ‘Gold’ Packages includes up to 3 additional drivers over 25 years.

Is fuel included?

Fuels is only included in the ‘Gold’ Package. Otherwise you are charged for a tank of fuel on collection of your car. Please be advised that you will not be refunded for any unused fuel.

How old do you need to be to rent a car?

All drivers must be a minimum of 21 years old and carry a full license however drivers under 25 years of age incur an additional charge of $25 per day plus tax.

What is included in the rental?

Our full inclusive car plan includes unlimited Mileage, Collision Damage Waiver, $1million liability protection coverage, taxes, surcharges and airport fees.

What type of car should I book?

It is a good point to remember to book the same size car as the one you travel to the airport in. Allow space for your luggage.

Do I need a credit card?

It is essential that the nominated driver has a credit card. Cash deposit may not be refunded immediately on return of the car rental.

What type of drivers license do I require?

A full valid drivers license which you need to carry with you at all times. Please also remember that the lead name on the booking must correspond with the nominated drier.

No Competitions at this time

Check back soon to participate in any future competitions!

Are the Balconies and Railings safe?

Balconies and railings represent an important safety feature on all ships.

Even though balconies and railings exceed the height requirements of similar shore-side features, it is important that guests do not climb or sit on railings for their own safety. Doing so may result in a guest being injured and is a violation of the onboard  Guest Conduct Policy, possibly resulting in the guest’s removal from the ship. While it is safe to travel in a balcony stateroom with children, we recommend small children not be left on the balcony by themselves.

What are the guidelines for tipping onboard?

For guests in a Junior suite or a Stateroom it is advised to be approx $12.00 per guest per day. For guests in a suites or above it is advised to be approx $14.25 per guest per day.

Tips are voluntary and at the discretion of each guest. These guidelines serve as suggestions to help guests express their gratitude for the outstanding service they experience on their cruise holiday. Tips for other service personnel are at your discretion.

What is a Service Charge / Gratuities and do I need to pay it?

With most Cruise Lines it is customary to offer tips to staff members for their good service and personal attention.

You can pre-pay your service charge as part of your booking and this will be shared among Dining Services Staff, Stateroom Attendants and Other Housekeeping Services Personnel.

Alternatively, you may pay in cash at the end of your cruise directly to the crew members you wish to recognise for their service

Gratuities are discretionary so in the unlikely event that a guest on board being charged the daily automatic gratuity does not receive satisfactory service, guests may request to modify (increase, decrease or remove) the daily amount by visiting Guest Services during their cruise.

The benefits of pre-paying service charges:

When you pre-pay the gratuities as part of your booking, it is normally cheaper than paying once onboard .

Pre-paying service charges gives you peace of mind making the process seamless for when you get on board.

Avoid fluctuating exchange rates onboard

Helps you plan your holiday budget in advance

Gratuities are payable in US dollars (some ships in Euro) on board. If you pre-pay you don’t have to take extra cash on board or any additional foreign currency.

Some Cruise Lines no longer provide the pre-paid gratuity vouchers for guests to give to the appropriate crew member on the last evening of the cruise. Please be assured though that the crew will be aware that you have paid your gratuities.

A 15 % gratuity will automatically be added to your bar bill or wine bill when you are served and for services in the Spa or Salon

Can I prebook shore excursions?

Travel is all about experiences, and the cruise ships have an extensive programme of sightseeing tours around cities and significant sites in each port of call they visit. Excursions are very popular, so to avoid disappointment you can prebook before departure on your cruise company’s website. Alternatively excursions can be booked on board.

Can I prebook drinks packages?

Standard coffee, tea and water are included in the price of your cruise, but we also offer a fantastic range of drinks packages to suit all ages and tastes, and you can book any one of them before your cruise begins. That means a one off pre-payment that allows you to enjoy a selection of delicious beverages onboard, without the hassle of paying for each individual drink. Please visit your relevant cruise company website to pre-book.

What about dining arrangements on board?

Generally ships which offer 2 dining sittings require first sittings to start around 6.30pm and second sittings around 8.30pm. Sittings can be requested at the time of booking.

Many Ships offer anytime dining so you can choose when and where you eat.

If you have requested which dining sitting you would like you can also request the table size, Tables come in sizes of 2, 4, 6 8,10,12.

What should I expect from my Stateroom?

There is nothing better after a wonderfully busy day than coming back to your room to relax. Whatever your budget, we have the perfect room for you. Each room has been tastefully decorated and you’ll find that the linens are cool, the mattresses are heavenly and the ocean views are simply breathtaking. Your stateroom attendants are on hand to take care of your every need 24 hours a day. They’ll turn your bed down at night, refresh your ice bucket and even fold special towel animals to make the kids smile. There are several kinds of stateroom types which can be described as the following:

Interior: By far the most affordable way to sail, interior staterooms provide all the benefits of cruising for less. No Window space provided.

Ocean View: With a window view of the outside world, you’ll take in spectacular sights and wonderful sunrises. Close to all amenities, you’ll have the perfect base to enjoy all the ship has to offer.

Balcony: Open the door to your own private balcony, and enjoy the stunning views as you arrive in port and see the beautiful scenery of each destination.

Suites: All suites and deluxe staterooms contain a bath and most also offer a private balcony, your own bar, and a central place for large groups to relax together. Guests also benefit from priority check in and departure, a complimentary luggage valet service and a concierge service.

Your Stateroom Facilities will usually include the following:

Room service available 24 hours a day / Two Twin beds or one King Size bed / Private bathroom with shower or bath , wash basin and toilet / An international shaver socket, towels, soap and shampoos / Hair-dryer, Telephone, Radio &  TV / Vanity area /

Refrigerator or mini-bar. Suites can include more luxury options such as a Jacuzzi and baby grand piano.

What is Muster Drill?

A muster drill is a mandatory exercise with the objective to familiarise all guests and crew with the location (muster station) where they are to assemble in the unlikely event of an emergency.

During this drill, additional safety information (i.e. how to don a life jacket) is presented.

The International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulatory guidelines require that a muster drill be held within 24 hours of a ship’s departure from its embarkation port.

The muster drill for guests on all ships across the fleet is to be held 30 to 60 minutes prior to departure on the day of turnaround, or embarkation.

What sort of clothes should I take?

Most cruise lines dress code during the day is casual and in the evenings is smart casual. Formal evenings vary depending on the ship, however usually there are at least 2 formal evenings on board a week long cruise. Formal evenings require Suit Jackets for gentlemen and a Cocktail dress or Trouser Suit for the ladies. On Formal Cruises you can usually hire formal attire onboard. Please Note Norwegian Cruise Line offer informal cruises.

When will I find out my stateroom number?

Normally at booking stage so you can see exactly where your stateroom will be. If you do not have your stateroom number then you have booked into a “Guarantee ” This means that you have been booked into a certain category but your are eligible for any complementary stateroom upgrades into a higher category that may become available.

How do I get my cruise tickets?

American Holidays/ Travelmood now provides’ electronic travel documents. Your package will be e-mailed to the e-mail address in the booking, or your travel agent approximately 3 weeks prior to departure. We are happy to post you your travel documents in booklet format if requested.

How do I complete my Online Check in?

By completing the online check in, it will save you time at the pier as you will not have to fill out any boarding documents. This will therefore speed up your boarding experience.

We will provide you with the cruise company website on your confirmation invoice and we advise you to fill in as many sections of the Online Check-In as soon as you have made your booking.

Guests who have not completed their Online Check-In form at least four days before sailing may be subject to an extended check-in procedure at the cruise terminal or may even be denied boarding.

To access Online Check-In for your booking you will need your Cruise Reservation ID, which can be found on your confirmation invoice, the surname of the guest listed first on your booking, the name of your ship and the date that your ship sails (not the date you may leave Ireland/UK on a flight to take your cruise).

Do I need to make a Walt Disney World Reservation?

From January 9th 2024, you are no longer required to make a reservation to visit Disney World parks.


Parking: Most properties offer free parking, however, some establishments do charge a daily/weekly fee. Where possible, we endeavour to advise of these charges.

What taxes are payable on my holiday?

Airline Taxes apply on all holidays. In some destinations, notably Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada, local taxes can apply. These taxes can only be paid for locally by the passenger.

How much time should I allow for check in?

We recommend a check-in time for long-haul routes of 3½ hours, or 2½ hours if you are travelling via the UK or Europe. It is advisable to check which terminal your flight is departing from BEFORE leaving for the airport which you will find on your invoice and travel documents.

Note: Code share flights – A codeshare agreement is an aviation business arrangement where two or more airlines share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by a co-operating airline under a different flight number or code.

What is my Baggage Allowance?

Your free allowance is one piece of luggage not weighing more than 23kg per person. Any extra checked back will incur an additional charge of $50-$75, payable at check-in. If you are breaking your journey within the US, you will be charged for all pieces of luggage on the internal flight. You are also allowed one piece of carry on luggage approx 56cm x36cm x 23 cm

For further baggage queries please check with your relevant airline.

Can I check-in online?

Most airlines offer online check in 24 hours prior to departure. You can check in on line using the airline reference provided in your documents. Online check in allows you confirm your presence and print your bording pass. Once you arrive at the airport you simply need to present your boarding pass and leave your baggage at the Bag Drop Desk. Please visit your relevant airlines website to do your online check in.

Can I Preassign my seats on the aircraft?

Where possible we will pre assign your seats at the time of booking. Some airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Air Transat apply and additional charge to pre-assign seats.

Where do I pre-clear my client for the USA and Canada?

United States: Pre Clearance at Dublin Terminal 2 and Shannon Airport

Dublin Terminal 2 and Shannon Airport now offer the new United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) facility.  This allows passengers traveling to the USA to undertake all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections prior to departure.

Having cleared USCBP, passengers arriving in the US are treated as domestic arrivals, which allows for a faster processing through their arrival airport in the United States including the checking through of any baggage to the final destination. Your arrival in the USA will be effortless and seamless when you use Dublin Airport Terminal 2 or Shannon Airport.

Note: Flight exceptions to the above are as follows: Flights via all UK and European airports and Ethiopian Airlines flight Dublin to LA

Canada: pre clearance – Air Transat and Air Canada check in at Terminal 1 Dublin Airport. Pre Clearance will be cleared at the first point of entry in Canada.


At American Holidays the wellbeing and safety of our customers is a high priority. Therefore we are continually looking to improve safety and hygiene standards in all our overseas destinations. One of the joys of travelling abroad is experiencing the different way of life in other countries. However, it is important to remember that safety and hygiene standards in some destinations differ from those we take for granted at home.

Hotels, apartments, homes and other facilities will be obliged to meet local safety regulations, but these do not always match Irish standards, which are among the highest in the world. We therefore strongly recommend that upon arrival in resort, you and your family should familiarise yourselves with your accommodation and its safety procedures, as a safeguard in the unlikely event of an emergency



Whilst hurricanes or tropical cyclones are irregular and difficult to predict, in areas around the Western North Atlantic, climatic conditions potentially conducive to hurricanes or tropical cyclones are most likely to arise during the months of June through to October.


Smoking is banned on all flights. Although it is banned on coach tours there are stops during the tour when you may smoke. Almost all US airports are completely non-smoking and many public areas i.e. restaurants and bars in the States are fast becoming non-smoking.

US drinking laws allow no one under 21 on a licensed premises. Photo ID is required in many establishments – your passport would suffice.


Gratuities are expected by most people who provide a service in America and Canada, such as waiters, porters and bus/taxi drivers. Waiters and bartenders generally get tipped 15-20% of the bill, depending on the quality of service. Taxi drivers 10-20 %, chambermaid’s approx $2 per night and baggage tips are normally $1 per bag. On a cruise tipping information is normally given in your orientation.

Do I need a credit card?

We believe it is essential to obtain a credit card prior to your departure. In America credit cards are a way of life. Hotels will require an imprint of your Credit Card on check-in to cover for incidentals and for security reasons. Car hire companies will also require a credit card imprint of the nominated driver.

Can I travel when pregnant?

If you are pregnant you should check with your doctor before you travel. Each airline has its own set of rules and a cutoff point. Generally if you are more than 27 weeks pregnant at the time of your return flight the airline can insist on a medical certificate stating you are fit to fly and confirming your due date. If you are more than 32 weeks pregnant at the time of your return flight they may refuse to carry you.

Cruise Most Cruise lines cannot accept guests who will have entered their 24th week of pregnancy at any time during the cruise.

A doctor’s medical certificate establishing your due date and fitness to travel is required in Advance.

Note: Insurance companies may have additional separate travel restrictions on their policy.

Spring Break/Holidays

Spring break, otherwise known as March Madness, falls from early March to April. During this time, certain destinations like Clearwater, Key West, Cancun and the Bahamas will be visited by many American college students all intent on having fun, which can make for a very lively holiday. If you are looking for something quieter at this time of year we suggest that you advise us at the time of booking.

Other popular Holidays are:

St Patrick’s Day (celebrated on the Saturday closest to the 17th March)

Independence Day on July 4th

Halloween on October 31st

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

Passenger Rights and Legislation

Much of this information can be located in two documents. First is the Montreal Convention. It is a treaty, adopted by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1999 that defines the liability of airlines in cases of accidents, injuries and loss of baggage.


In Europe additional legislation exists in the form of the European Commission Regulation on Denied Boarding, Cancellations and Delays.

Data Protection

Data Protection: Specialist Holiday Group trading as American Holidays, Travelmood and Alfresco Holidays  are committed to protecting your privacy and information. A copy of our privacy policy is available on request from 16 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. The information that we use is for the purpose of fulfilling our contract as a tour operator/holiday provider. Information that you provide us will be held on our computers (and in other ways) for use by us for the following purposes:


(a) booking information;

(b) information about you (and your travelling party) may be passed to holiday providers and others and may include things such as age, religious beliefs, dietary requirements, you (or your travelling party’s) physical or mental health. This information may also be transferred abroad. Outside the ‘EEA’ controls on data protection in such countries may not be as strong as the legal requirements inside the European Economic Area;

(c) If you apply for insurance, then we may process information (including medical information) about you (or your travelling party) and pass it to the insurers;

(d) Information supplied by you may be processed by us for Statistical Analysis and or Market Research and may in certain instances be disclosed to our agents for the purposes of fraud prevention and or debt collection;

(e) To contact you via e-mail, letter or phone with details of American Holidays’ or selected suppliers’ products and services including financial services, which may be of interest to you.

By entering into a contract with us you agree to the use and disclosure of information by Specialist Holiday Group as described.


A copy of your personal information held by Specialist Holiday Group can be provided on request. You have the right to have any inaccurate personal information rectified or erased.


Please note that airlines are required by new laws introduced in the US and other countries to give border control agencies access to passenger data. Accordingly any information we hold about you and your travel arrangements may be disclosed to the customs and immigration authorities of any country in your itinerary.

Suppliers Terms and Conditions

At American Holidays, we strive do deliver the best holiday experience to our customers, and that involves carefully choosing who we work with. Click the links below to learn about our supplier standards.

For our minimum standards for Sustainable and Responsible Travel, click here.

For our Supplier Code of Conduct, click here.


Learn more about our sustainability practices, including our concerns regarding the impact of travel in the environment and communities visited. Read more here.

Travel Advice including Covid-19 Advice

For travel advice including the latest advise on the Corona virus please visit our travel advice page.

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