A small group tour enjoying the sunset at Portstewart

It’s been one hell of a year for us all, nearly 6 months since our world went into lockdown, and travel ground to a halt. But now, as restrictions ease and new measurements are developed, we can’t help but get excited about the future. We’re ready to explore again.

Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, we are all being more careful, after all our health is the most important thing in life. Therefore, with the absolute need to return to travel again, more and more tour operators will offer private tours, for small and closed groups, to minimize travelers concerns and the risk of infection. 

Whether you’re traveling with your friends, family or colleagues, Private trips are a great way to see the world. This has always been the case for multigenerational tours, but now more than ever people will want to go private in a risk-free environment. 

Why? Because since the global pandemic, people are concerned about who they travel with, where they stay, where they travel to, hygiene standards, confined spaces and safety. We all want to get back out there, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of different cities, towns, villages and coastlines. But how can we now do this in a safe and secure environment, without diminishing the tour experience? 

A group of walkers Descending into the Glenealo Valley at Glendalough Co Wicklow

Safe Bubble Private Tours

One way to reduce any risks and at the same time expand the number of people whom you’ll interact with,  is by creating a small network of trusted friends or relatives, known as a social bubble, who agree to abide by a shared set of rules to try to keep everyone safe from COVID-19. Some people call these COVID-inspired social bubbles “social pods” or “quaranteams.”

Forming a social bubble helps you expand the number of people whom you feel comfortable interacting with while keeping the total number of people you see small.

Finally being able to experience adventure travel with people from outside your household or simply dining out in a local Irish Pub, can add some normalcy back to your life. On family vacations, a bubble can also provide playmates for children while keeping their contact with others to a minimum.


On a Safe bubble private tour, you not only get to choose how you want to travel but who you travel with. For example with Private Travel options, you can take one of our scheduled tours and Book Your Bubble to ensure you’re surrounded by friends and family for added confidence and peace of mind. Or you can customize a trip entirely for you! It’s your adventure, make it fit you perfectly — and safely. Plus, enjoy all the added health and safety measures of our Travel with Confidence Policy

Social bubbles are research-proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19 because they limit the number of people whom you meaningfully interact with. 

If you’re thinking about creating a Safe bubble tour with friends or family, have lengthy conversations to see if your households are well-matched. It helps if you live near each other, have similar lifestyle habits and share the same risk tolerance for COVID-19.

You really need to use your judgment when deciding whom to include in a social bubble, since the ultimate goal of a bubble is to avoid getting the virus while having a larger group of people to interact with.

ross castle small group tours ireland

Customized Private Tours with Ultimate Flexibility 

Flexibility will be key going forward on private vacations. Your trip leader will need to have the ability to adapt to forever changing situations, from new local government restrictions to passengers feeling unwell or not wanting to participate in certain activities for their own personal reasons. At Irish Experience Tours, all our private customized trips are about choice: each day you decide which of the various options best fit your pace and style. But we know sometimes you want even more flexibility—to sleep in a little later, or explore a bit further, or check out a sight you’ve always wanted to see. So we will create a way for you and a few companions to have an incredible active vacation while doing just what you’d like to do and still enjoying the guest camaraderie of the core trip.

Our knowledgeable leaders will give you the flexibility and freedom to have the adventures you want. Our carefully designed itineraries set you free to engage on your own terms. There’s nothing better than exploring the island of Ireland at your pace with the people you love the most!

You decide what each day holds. Maybe an extra-long ride or hike. A visit to a less-known museum. A round of golf on a renowned course. Some serious shopping or gallery browsing. A late lunch at the little cafe on the village square. Whatever appeals. Our private customized itineraries make an Irish Experience trip even more personal, adapting activities to suit your tastes and adding more chances to follow your own curiosity.

What are we doing differently on our Safe Bubble Tours?

For any groups of two or more, we offer private tours to enable you to enjoy Ireland within your family or friend bubble. We can pick you up from the airport and drop you off again in your own private vehicle, meaning that you don’t have to worry about using shared transport. You will have your own personal driver/guide for the duration of your escorted tour and your private vehicle will be thoroughly cleansed with a fog machine before your tour. Your vehicle will also be cleansed each day prior to touring, as well as at each stop.


We’ve carefully selected the accommodation on our trips because of their high standards for quality. Irish Experience is asking all our accommodation operators to abide by an enhanced safety protocol for cleaning and physical distancing.  We will make sure you only stay, eat-in, and visit “Standard Approved” properties and attractions throughout your tour.

Transport & Equipment

From handrails inside the bus to kayaking oars—every piece of gear that needs it will get a daily cleaning, as will all common surface areas in our fresh modern fleet. Hand sanitizer will be available on all vehicles

Food & Beverage

Dispersed dining options e.g. alfresco dining where possible. Individual and smaller tables for indoor dining. Availing of grab-n-go style meals, gourmet picnics, and room service options where available.

We’re proud to have achieved the COVID-19 Safety Charter and approved by the World Travel & Tourism Council. 

✅ We agree to follow the best practice cleaning and safety guidelines
✅ All of our staff have completed hygiene and safety control training
✅ To maintain the highest standard, we agree to be subject to regular checks

This provides travellers with the assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so you can experience ‘Safe Travels’. Let us take the hassle out of organising your vacation. Your safety is always, our top priority. 


Book Your Safe Bubble Tour & Save

Choosing to book any of our scheduled tours with Irish Experience Tour, gives you and your hand-picked crew the freedom and safety found on all of our private tours, now with the added bonus of extra savings!

Tailor-Made Irish Tours

Like the look of an Irish Private or Customized Tour, but want to travel with family, your sports team, school group or your best buddies? We can arrange a special departure just for you, or tailor-make an Irish Experience-style itinerary to any one of our Irish destinations. Whatever you’re planning, our team of Tailor-Made specialists can help design your perfect adventure today.

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