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Ireland Trip in Spring

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First of all, I have scoured these forums for info and appreciate everything I have learned and now feel it is now necessary for me to seek advice.

My sister and I and our two teen children are heading to Ireland for 8 days at the end of March. I was in Ireland 15 years ago and escorted my grandmother for a week when I was pregnant with the child who is now returning with me. We rented a manual transmission car then and that was quite an experience for me who did all of the driving. We flew in and out of Shannon and stayed at a very low budget B&B in Killarney the entire time and did a few day trips. I LOVED Ireland so much and am so excited to be returning. This time we are flying in and out of Dublin. I've got a somewhat skeleton of an itinerary and I would appreciate any input. One thing that I know has changed is the rigamarole with renting a car. I had no issues way back then and didn't have to pay extra for insurance. That has freaked me out a bit especially after reading every single thing I can on the forums about car rental experiences. So anyone who has recently been and cares to share their experiences would have my gratitude. We've booked flights and a couple nights of lodging but are holding back on the car rental so far. It's kind of thrown our very limited budget into a tailspin.

Anyway, we are arriving into Dublin and picking up whatever car we decide to rent. I'm torn about what to rent because my sister has never traveled internationally before and is hesitant about packing lightly. My concern with the car is the 4 of us renting a compact and not being able to get our luggage into it. I pack lightly and so does my daughter. Any input on the luggage and care rental please? So, she wants to get a bigger car that can accommodate more luggage because everyone says free upgrade and I am thinking that might not be the best idea. I was even thinking maybe we should rent two really tiny cars for our travel days and then pile into one when we do our day trips. Any input would be great.

We are flying into Dublin and then heading to Bunratty for two nights. I picked Bunratty because it is not a long drive from the airport and there are a few things to do there including the Castle and Folk Park and Cliffs of Mohr.

When we leave there we will head to Dingle Peninsula because the forums seem to suggest this is a better way to spend our Day than the Ring of Kerry. We will spend two nights in Kenmare and perhaps go to Muckross House and explore Killarney.

After our second night there were were going to head to Cork via the coast and take our time. I'm not really sure what to see along the way but I know it is a gorgeous drive. My daughter really wants to see Blarney Castle.

We don't know if we should stay two nights in Cork/Blarney or just one and then spend a night somewhere heading back to Dublin. Our last two nights are in Dublin at a hotel that I was able to book with airline miles. The other six nights are at B&Bs but all are not booked.

So, breakdown of itinerary

Day 1 - Fly into Dublin, drive to Bunratty and maybe visit Limerick? Bunratty Folk Castle?
Day 2 - Bunratty -- Cliffs of Mohr
Day 3 - Head to Dingle Peninsula and stay in Kenmare
Day 4 - Explore around Killarney and stay in Kenmare
Day 5 - Head to Cork and explore countryside? Stay in Blarney/Cork?
Day 6 - Cork? head to Dublin and stay somewhere else? Sleep in what town?
Day 7 - Head to Dublin and go to many attractions recommended on Forums? Overnight in Dublin
Day 8 - More exploring in Dublin and overnight in Dublin and head home on Day 9

I would so appreciate any input.

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