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Trip Report Road Trip! Two weeks in Ireland with planning advice for you.

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Like many trip report posters, I never asked a question on the Ireland Forum regarding mine. I simply did my homework, which meant reading dozens of trip reports as well as the answers to all of the forum questions that reflected by own. I couldn’t have even begun to plan without this site.

So to those of you just starting your planning and are reading this. Listen up! There are a few things you have to figure out before you even think about writing a vague question such as “Help with 10-day Ireland trip”. The wonderful local posters are very kind and patient, but give them a break for Pete’s (Irish guy?) sake, and read as many trip reports as you can and then consider the following:

Which of the following general trip reports satisfies your travel sweet spot? If there are several, combine them to set your itinerary.

Scenery, pubs, history and people: This is pretty general but probably reflects most of us. You’ll never forget the green beauty, can’t help but be drawn into the Irish people’s history and, even if you’re not a pub-loving beer drinker, will meet wonderful people wherever you go. Some of us are tour-bus avoiders and prefer the road less traveled.

Attraction visitors: Those who couldn’t pass up a museum, castle, abbey, or iconic tourist trap even if they tried. They have a check list and purchase the Heritage Pass. Their progress is slow going as far as seeing the country and some stick close to the tour bus route. They are probably more cultured than the rest of us.

Foodies: These posters will tell you everything they ate from appetizer to dessert. They never miss Kinsale. A subgroup is Trad music followers in Dingle and elsewhere. They both plan their routes around the towns that have the most popular venues for these pursuits.

Adventure seekers: Climb every mountain… Ireland has so many opportunities to walk, climb, golf, cycle and otherwise risk life and limb. Want to make the 2-1/2 hour cliff walk to the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin or hike in a National Park? Does climbing Croagh Patrick or Michael Skellings float your boat? Oh my God, Connemara! Want to golf your way around the Ireland? Include those experiences in your itinerary.

Before I post my trip report, below are some of the things that influenced our itinerary so you can decide if you even want to read it. We chose June 8-22 to avoid the summer crowds. My husband and I are in our early 70’s but fit and healthy. We’ve taken many road trips both in the U.S. and internationally and realize they are not for wimps, that things don’t always go as planned and you need to be flexible and look for the silver lining in your self-made cloud (or in the bad weather you’re presented with for that matter). Did I mention my husband (DH) is an excellent driver?

• A last-minute decision to take the trip meant we had less than two months to plan. Many reliable tourist-website-recommended hotels and B&Bs were already booked. Because of that I mapped out a possible route and immediately booked cancellable lodging on Booking.com and other sites. Trust me, before I finalized, I re-booked, cancelled and re-booked again. It made for good peace of mind and helped start a possible itinerary as I continued researching.
• Aer Lingus just instituted a non-stop from Los Angeles which meant that we’d fly into and out of Dublin instead of the uncertainty of a layover. Otherwise we’d have done Shannon-Dublin.
• Again about DH. He loves to drive and had no problem with the left side and a stick shift. I’ve been a fast Los Angeles driver all my life, but I would definitely not have taken this trip without him being the designated driver. I salute all you women who are fearless enough to take this on.
• That’s it. Back a week now, I’ll be posting my day-my-day report next.

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