What does Brexit mean for my holiday?
There have recently been a number of reassurances around the likes of flights and visas, and we recommend viewing ABTA's recent article on Brexit advice for travellers. You can read it here.
When you book a holiday with Sicilian Places you will benefit from ATOL protection. This ensures that you won’t lose your money or become stranded abroad in the unlikely event of financial failure
Q. What are the passport and visa requirements for Sicily?
For travel to Sicily, you will need a valid passport for all members of your family. If you are a non-EU citizen, we advise you to contact the Italian Embassy for details.
Q. What does Brexit mean for my holiday?
There have recently been a number of reassurances around the likes of flights and visas, and we recommend viewing ABTA's recent article on Brexit advice for travellers, you can read it here.
Q. Are there age restrictions on car hire in Sicily?
To hire a car in Sicily with Avis you need to be at least 21 years of age and have held a full driving licence for at least one year. You will also need a valid credit card. Drivers between 21 and 25 years of age will be charged an additional €22 per day plus tax locally.
If you are over 75 years, you are not restricted in driving in Sicily however our Car Hire Excess Insurance will not automatically cover you, please contact us for further information.
Q. I have transfers to and from my accommodation in Sicily, what do I need to know?
If you have pre-booked transfers, these will be provided by the hotels or a 3rd party. Your driver will be waiting in arrivals or just outside with your name displayed. These transfers are sometimes payable locally to the driver or added onto your room bill at the hotel, we will advise you if this is the case. For your return journey, it is best to double check with reception the day before as to what time you will be collected. If there are any issues with your driver please telephone your hotel or our representative to check.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
- Account number: 06019129
- Sort code: 60-18-46
Please quote your booking reference number on all bank transfer transactions
Credit and Debit cards (no handling charge, unless a busniness credit card is used when a 1.6% charge will apply)
- Visa Electron
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept Solo cards
Please make payable to Sicilian Places and add your holiday reference to the reverse of the cheque along with your name and address.
Q. What currency is used in Sicily?
The currency in Sicily is the Euro as is the rest of Italy.
Q. Are hotel facilities, including pool, open all year round?
Hotel facilities can sometimes be limited outside of high season. Due to weather conditions, outdoor pools are generally open from 1st May to 30th September as they are, in the main, unheated. Hotel restaurants may also be restricted during early and late season. For further information please ask at the time of booking.
Q. What is Advance Passenger Information (API)?
All airlines are required to collect Advance Passenger Information from all customers (including infants) travelling to and from the UK by air in advance of issuing tickets.
What information is needed per passenger?
- Full name, as per your passport including any middle names.
- Your date of birth.
- The travel document 'type' e.g. passport.
- Your nationality.
- Passport Country of Issue.
- Passport number, issue date and expiry date.
When is the information required by?
- If we require this before issuing your tickets, this will be requested at the time of booking or at least 7 days before travel in order for your tickets to be processed in time.
Failure to do so will prevent tickets from being issued.
Any API details received within 7 days of departure may result in additional charges if a Ticket on Departure or Special Delivery is required to issue your tickets.
- If your ticket is issued as an e-ticket by the airline, you will be invited to enter this information directly into the airline website in order to complete online check-in and generate boarding passes. Information on this will be included with your travel documents.
How can I provide this information?
- You can enter these securely online under Manage My Booking or call our Admin Team with your passport details.
Q. What time can I gain access to my accommodation?
Unfortunately access to self-catering properties is not permitted before 4pm. All villas must be vacated no later than 10am irrespective of flight departure times. This also applies to clients arriving earlier and waiting and departing clients who may pack but wish to stay at the property. Owners and cleaners need access to the property without guests being present to ensure it is cleaned and ready for the start of the holiday.
If you believe that you may arrive early than 4pm, it may be possible to leave your luggage at the property by prior arrangement.
Q. What linen is included?
Bed linen, bath and hand towels are provided on a weekly basis. In most properties, guests can expect beds to be made up on arrival. Please note that for multiple week stays, clean linen for each week will be delivered at the weekend, however the beds will not be made up. Cot linen is not provided.
Q. Will I get directions to my property?
Arrival instructions, which include directions to the property and GPS coordinates, are sent out with your travel documentation two weeks prior to your travel date. Our self-catering properties also have a number to call ahead in order for the key holder to meet you. Please check these instructions before you leave the airport.
Q. How do I collect the key to my property?
Key information is normally included within your arrival instructions sent out with your travel documents. Our self-catering properties also have a number to call ahead in order for the key holder to meet you. Please check these instructions before you leave the airport.
Q. I have booked accommodation only with you, so why do you need my travel details?
Your travel details are important so we are aware of your arrival time for key or property arrangements. Also if you have booked car hire with us, we require your flight details to ensure that the car hire desk remains open in the event of a delay.
Q. When will I receive my travel documents?
These can be expected 2 weeks prior to your date of travel and will include elements such as an information booklet, arrival instructions and tickets. If you have only booked your accommodation with us, you will receive all relevant travel information via email unless otherwise requested.
Q. Does my property have a barbecue?
If we have been advised that your property has a barbecue we will note this in the accommodation facilities.
Q. What level of cleaning is involved for self -catering properties?
Our properties are thoroughly cleaned and checked before your arrival. We provide each of our properties with washing and dishwasher tablets, general cleaning products and bin liners. We kindly ask our guests to leave their accommodation clean and tidy. Should guests not undertake a minimal clean before departure or in the event of extra cleaning being required, a charge will be made.
Q. I need a cot and high chair, how do I request one?
If you require a cot or a highchair, please request it at the time of booking. Foldable highchairs and travel cots are provided free of charge in most of our self-catering properties. For hygiene reasons, cots are supplied without linen. Cots and highchairs can also be requested for hotel bookings – a small supplement may apply.
Q. Will my property have internet access?
If we have been advised that your property has internet access, we note this in the accommodation facilities.
Q. Can I make requests on my booking?
If you have any special requests regarding your holiday accommodation or flights, please ensure they are requested at the time of booking. Your requests will be passed on to our suppliers but cannot be guaranteed. Please contact Administration if you wish to add a request after the booking has been made. Unfortunately, we are unable to inspect requested items or services that are not advertised.
Q. What items are included in the welcome packs?
Our self-catering properties are asked to include a welcome pack that includes some basic provisions. Should you wish to shop on arrival, larger supermarkets are open all day until 8pm on Saturday, whilst other shops and services might close for lunch. Most shops close on Sunday except in high season when some supermarkets open in the morning.
Q. Do I need to take beach towels?
Beach towels are not provided, so you are required to take beach towels for all other villas or apartments. Bath towels are not permitted for beach or pool use.
Q. When can I check in to my hotel?
The standard international practice is to let rooms from midday to midday, however times do vary. Check in times are usually between 2pm and 3pm and check out times between 10am and 12 noon on the day of departure.
Q. Do I need a credit card to collect the car?
You will need a valid credit card in the name of the lead named driver as a security deposit. Please note: debit cards are not valid as a security deposit.
Q. How many drivers are included in my car hire?
Your car hire package for 2018 includes 2 named drivers per car. All drivers must be over the age of 21 and have held a driving licence for at least 1 year. There is a young driver surcharge (if you are aged between 21- 25) of €22 per day, payable locally. It is a legal requirement to carry your photo-card licence at all times. Please ensure that your choice of car can accommodate all of your luggage.
Q. How do I go about finding my hire car on arrival at the airport?
These are normally well signposted, head for the Avis desk and you will be given the keys for your car and advised where it can be located. Please take the time to inspect the condition of the vehicle as, although the cars have been checked, sometimes things can be overlooked. The car will have a full tank of fuel and you must return it full otherwise additional charges will apply.
Q. How do I arrange a car seat for my child/baby?
Car seats can be added to your booking by calling Administration on 01489 866992, however you will need to pay Hertz directly. Baby, child and booster seats are at a €132 supplement although many take their own as they are allowed on most flights.
Q. Is Car Hire Excess Insurance included?
For all holiday packages that include car hire, we now provide Car Hire Excess Insurance as standard. This added protection enables you to claim back the cost of any excess charges that may be imposed should your hire car become damaged or stolen. This means that it is not essential to pay for Super CDW locally, saving at least €34 per day or €238 per week.
Q. Is air conditioning included in the price of my accommodation?
Electricity in Sicily is very expensive and most of our self-catering properties are metered for its use. In order to limit excessive usage, some of our property owners charge locally for the use of air-conditioning and according to the guests’ exact consumption during their stay. As part of sustainable tourism we ask that air-conditioning is used sensibly: the windows and doors should be kept closed when the air-conditioning is on. The units should be turned off when guests leave their property and shutters and windows should be closed during the hottest part of the day to increase efficiency.
Q. What is the smoking policy in Sicily?
Out of respect for our owners and their properties, we ask our guests not to smoke inside our self-catering accommodation. This also applies to hired cars. Like the UK, a smoking ban is in place in all public areas across Italy.
Q. Can you drink tap water in Sicily?
As in most Mediterranean islands, water is in short supply in Sicily, so please use it sparingly. At times, water can be temporarily cut off as a result of high demand in the peak summer months. Tap water may be perfectly safe to drink, but many of our properties have a private water supply, so we would recommend that you drink bottled water.
Q. How can I provide feedback on my holiday?
To assist us to improve our service and ensure standards are maintained, we will be most grateful if you would take the time to complete our questionnaire and post it back to us after your return.
Q. What about insurance?
Travel insurance is a vital aspect to booking a holiday, giving you protection against unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday.
We have arranged a scheme with specialists Travel & General Insurance Services Limited who are fully authorised and regulated by the FCA (firm reference number 304788), full details of which can be found on the FCA website: www.fca.org.uk.
Please call Travel & Genera directly on 0330 880 3625 for a quote.
Q. Are credit cards and debit cards widely accepted in Sicily?
Both credit and debit cards are accepted in most restaurants, shops and petrol stations, however you may want to check prior to making any purchases in smaller towns or village. Few banks accept travellers cheques or sterling.
Q. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I need to amend/cancel my holiday, how do I go about this?
You will need to let Administration know as soon as possible, preferably by telephone. Fees may apply depending on the nature of the change/cancellation and the time before the date of travel. This is in addition to any carriers' alteration or cancellation fees. We would also advise that you contact your insurance company.
Q. What is a breakage deposit?
Some property owners require a security deposit to be paid in euros to cover any breakages, damage, losses or extra cleaning which may have incurred during your holiday. If a deposit is required to be paid for locally, you will be notified at the time of booking. For other self-catering properties you may be required to pay for a security deposit in the UK.
We ask guests to care for their holiday accommodation as if it were their own and we recommend all clients to purchase our travel insurance, which covers for some material damage, or make similar arrangements.
Q. Is there much building work going on in Sicily?
Whilst tightly controlled and sparse by Mediterranean standards, as part of their development, some resorts can experience local building work. We are unable at times to predict when and where building works will occur, as third parties carry these out over whom we have no control. Whenever we are aware that building works may have an impact on your holiday, we will advise you before departure as we appreciate the inconvenience that such work may cause. Whilst we will endeavour to do our best to find you alternative accommodation, in extreme cases this may not always be possible, especially in high season.
Q. How does health and safety compare to the UK?
The welfare of our customers is our prime consideration and we are committed to raising the standards of health and safety in our properties and to continue to identify areas where safety can be improved. General safety regulations do vary from country to country and are often less stringent than those that we have come to expect in the UK. It is therefore important to be safety conscious and we suggest that on your arrival you familiarise yourself with your surroundings. We hope that by taking these simple steps, this will help to ensure that everybody in your party has a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Q. Can I have a guest staying locally?
Only guests named on your confirmation are entitled to occupy the accommodation. Any people not appearing on the invoice will be charged locally.
Q. Are swimming pools safe in Sicily?
Swimming pool details such as sizes, shape and depth (where known) are given in our facilities section for each accommodation, please refer to each property or call us if you require further information and we will check with the owner. Pools are generally freshwater and unheated though some are sea water and only a few are equipped with pool covers or fencing. Weather permitting, all pools are open from the start of April to the beginning of October. Pools are usually maintained and cleaned by the property owner who will be as discreet as possible when working around the property. In the event of bad weather or thundery conditions, pools can become cloudy quickly and dust and debris can appear. If this occurs please advise the property owner or manager immediately.
Q. Will my property have a telephone?
As mobile phone coverage is very good in Sicily, only a few of our properties have telephones with lines restricted to local or emergency calls only. If you intend to use your mobile phone abroad, please ensure that it is registered for international use.
Q. Will my television have an English speaking channel?
As terrestrial signals in Sicily are generally very poor, most properties have satellite boxes. However, unless the owner has subscribed to a second provider, the only channels available will be in Italian.
Q. What should I expect from the local village life?
When our guests are on holiday, the local population will be going about their daily business. Rural or village properties may have farming activities nearby, hunting and festivals, over which we have no control. Guests are encouraged not to feed cats or dogs as this will attract them to return to the property.
Q. As I am staying longer than a week, can my accommodation have a mid stay clean?
If a mid stay clean is not already included in your holiday package, it is normally possible to arrange this at an extra charge. Please contact us for information and prices.
Q. What can I expect of Sicilian décor?
As properties are generally Sicilian or Italian owned, the décor may reflect the local lifestyle and the owners' taste. A dining table and chairs can be given more priority than comfortable indoor chairs, as this is more in keeping with a Mediterranean lifestyle. Floors are generally not carpeted and curtains are often decorative with shutters used to block out the light. Simpler properties can have basic kitchen facilities, should you have any special requirements please let us know.
Q. What is the time difference between Sicily and the UK?
Sicily is one hour ahead of the U.K.
Q. Is it likely I will see insects or other creatures?
Mosquitoes, ants and other insects are quite common in the warmer climates. We strongly advise our guests not to leave any food uncovered and take household rubbish to the bin on a daily basis, to deter stray rodents and animals. Dogs and cats may wander around your property as other holidaymakers may have fed them before; they are normally docile and very friendly.
Q. What will the bedrooms be like?
Please note that no two bedrooms in any of our properties are the same in terms of décor, style, size and position. Master bedrooms are considered superior to all other bedrooms – when choosing a property for a group of friends make sure you agree who will have the master suite before arrival!
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