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Things you need to know

While you are there

Hotel gradings

The dictat from Brussels demands that we give categories for our hotels.

In the USA, there are no standard grading systems. Indeed some of the grading awards require the hotels to pay subscriptions! One factor to take into account is the way that Americans actually describe their hotels. They call them 'Inns', 'Lodges', 'Resorts', 'Motels' and even 'Hotels'. 'Motels' can include some of the nicest possible properties.

Please note that facilities and standards can vary between hotels of the same rating throughout the world. For example city hotels can have higher overall standards than a beach resort. If you compare the single-supplement charges shown on the individual hotel price panels, you can get a general idea of how hotels, of the same rating or country, compare.

We have decided to award 'v' to our hotels. We range from our Value Collection to 5 Virgin 'v's'.

Weather

Some of our featured destinations are occasionally affected by adverse weather conditions, eg. hurricanes. Due to their unpredictability, they are a force majeure event and we shall not be liable for any changes to your holiday arrangements, either before departure, or during the holiday, which in our judgement are necessary to protect your interest and/or safety.

WiFi

Please note where free WiFi is advertised, it doesn't necessarily mean this will be available in your hotel room. It could be available in a specific public area and there may also be time constraints on the service.

Special requests

We will consider special requests such as high floor, pool view, vegetarian meals, seating requests etc, if we are advised at the time of booking. Whilst we will do our best to meet any requests, no guarantee is given as this does not form part of your holiday contract.

Private Villas/Apartments

We will book your accommodation for you with the number of bedrooms requested. However, accommodation can vary in the amount of equipment and bedding provided and this will be allocated in accordance with the number of people shown on your invoice. If additional people join you while utilising the accommodation booked, we accept no responsibility or liability for any shortfall in equipment or facilities.

Credit cards

It is standard practice worldwide for a hotel to ask for a credit card imprint to cover incidentals like room service, telephone calls or other hotel services being charged to your room. Most hotels will obtain authorisation on the required amount, which can range from $50 to $350 per room per night, subject to the range of chargeable activities offered. If you do not have a card, and wish to use the charging facility, a cash deposit will be required.

Tipping

Tipping is essential to most American restaurants and hotels and is a more important part of US culture than in Europe. It is usual to leave a 15% tip at most bars and restaurants and with taxis, while airport porters expect $1 per bag and hotel chambermaids $1 per person per day. Some restaurants do add an automatic service charge for groups of 6 or more, so check your bill carefully before tipping.

Cruises

Cruise Line gratuities and service charges are not included in the advertised prices. They are an additional on board charge, and will vary by cruise line.

Excursions

Please note that height, weight and health restrictions may apply for some excursions.

Additional room charges

Please be aware that some hotels may charge a small fee per room per day for some services, where available, e.g. daily phone charge or safety deposit box. You should be given these details at check in.

Important note about beds in American Hotels

Most rooms in American hotels have two double beds and can therefore sleep 4. Ideal for a family with 2 children but not so ideal for four adults who don't know each other that well! 

Rooms can also come with one large double bed - ideal for a couple. Rollaway beds can usually be supplied by the hotel but this rather depends on the room size. Some hotels charge locally for these. Most hotel descriptions detail the bedding arrangements.

Alcohol in the USA

Liquor Laws are strict in the USA. If you are under 21 or even look under 21 (lucky you)! you'll not be able to buy alcohol unless you provide some identity with you to prove your age!

You're also not allowed to carry booze in your car unless it is safely locked up in the trunk (boot). 

Need we say - Do not drink and drive - you know it makes sense!

Disney Dining Plan

You'll need your Disney confirmation number, which will be released once you're within 180 days of travel. Advance dining reservations are strongly suggested as some of the more popular restaurants and events can be booked up quickly. All Dinner Shows require advance dining reservations.

The conditions of the Dining Plan are as follows: 

The Dining Plan must be booked a minimum of 21 days before departure, is only available on single-centre holidays and is not valid for wedding packages. Bookings MUST include at least a 5-night stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and Disney tickets, for all people on the booking, both booked through Virgin Holidays. The Disney Dining Plan must be booked for everyone on the booking, for the full duration of their stay. 
The Disney Dining Plan is only available at selected restaurants; full details can be provided on request. Children 3-9 years must order from the childrens menu, where available. Children age 2 years and under are not eligible for the Dining Plan and must pay locally for any food/drink consumed.

The Dining Plan will not be valid if the above conditions are not complied with. In these circumstances, we reserve the right to alter your booking accordingly.

Safety

We take the safety and security of our clients extremely seriously. Sadly, crimes against both people and their property are a fact of life the world over and when in a foreign country it is very important to be extra vigilant and avoid drawing attention to yourself. 
We recommend that you seek advice from the Foreign Office regarding your holiday destination(s) before you book your holiday. You can easily contact them:

Alternatively, you can contact the ABTA Information Department on 0901 2015050 (calls are charged at 50p/minute).

Travellers have the same responsibility for their own safety and that of their possessions as they do at home. 
Virgin Holidays send customer to many parts of the world, some of which dont conform to British health and safety standards. We request that all hotels/operators comply with the local regulations but we cannot guarantee that these meet British standards and therefore urge you to undertake reasonable precaution whilst on holiday.

Building work

Sometimes redecoration work or building work can commence at or near a hotel. These circumstances are beyond our control and we do not always receive advance notification. We will notify you as soon as possible, if we consider that building work will have a significant effect on the enjoyment of your holiday. See the Booking Conditions for more details.

Camouflage print material

Some islands in the Caribbean prohibit camouflage print material, this can be extended to items of clothing and baggage. To avoid any inconvenience we would advise all passengers to refrain from packing/carrying such items.

Check-in/Check-out information

The standard international practice is to let rooms from 12 noon to 12 noon, 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.

Unused services

Please note that we do NOT refund unused services. Any voluntary changes made by you while on holiday will incur additional charges.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK have advised against all but essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel in the next 14 days. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel in the next 14 days. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you still need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel in the next 14 days, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us.  You are our immediate priority.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. 

You can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. 

If you’re struggling to pay, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


Currently, your holiday will be going ahead as planned.

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by travel restrictions or cancellations.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


We’re sorry to say that it’s taking much longer than usual to process your refund. It’s taking longer than we’d like as well. This is due to the number of requests being sent to us and our teams working from home.

We’re doing our best to help every customer, but we’re not able to always meet the 15, 45 or 90-day timeframes we originally stated for every customer. As always, we’re grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding. It means the world to us.

We'll be in touch soon


We’re keen to help you rearrange your holiday plans and our team are currently working through requests in order of departure. We’re helping those customers in June at the moment so please bear with us, someone will call you back.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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