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Transportation for tour of Barcelona, Dublin & Rom

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I am looking for tips/advice in regards to my trip next March to Europe. 2 other ladies and myself plan to go to Rome, Barcelona & Dublin.
I went a year ago to Paris, Rome & Munich- we went for 12 days, spending about 3 days in each city. We would like to maintain the same idea here.
Last time I was able to get round trip airfare, flights from each country to the next, and hotel (not the best is OK with us) for a total of $1300 each, split between 3 people- and I think that was a great deal. I know Dublin is kind of out of the way, but one of the girls I'm going with really wants to go there.
The first time around, we decided to take planes vs trains because they were quite inexpensive (about 60-80 euros per person one way), and would waste the least amount of our time- or so I thought. I was advised by a friend who is more experienced in European travel that it may be wiser to travel by train at night so we wouldnt be wasting time or money, as this would replace the cost of one night in a hotel.
So my questions for you are:
1) Any predictions on cost for one way train travel between these countries?
2) Would you recommend traveling by train or plane to save money & time?

I suppose thats it, but I am willing to hear any other advice provided.
Thanks!

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