Stretching Your Dollar

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Stretching Your Dollar

At this writing, the dollar is struggling against the euro—($1.32 to €1)—but the situation is pretty fluid. While nobody wants to penny-pinch on vacation, a few changes can yield savings without upsetting your holiday.

For starters, take a bus from the airport—it'll be one-quarter the cost of a cab and will get you into town twice as fast on dedicated bus corridors now operating in all cities.

Stay at B&Bs. They're well located and they'll have comfy bedrooms, good food, and an all-knowing landlady to answer all your questions. Listen carefully to her advice on bargain shopping, as she's got an inside line you'll not find on any website. In restaurants, opt for the house wine—the Irish have become serious wine-drinkers in recent years and the house stuff is no longer just "plonk" for unsophisticated palates.

At lunchtime, why not try a picnic? After all, you're here to see scenery, and given that the changeable weather does allow for some dazzling sunshine most days, why not pack a few sandwiches and some drinks or coffee? Ireland is full of wonderful road pull-ins where you can park, walk a few minutes, and dine in glorious isolation to the sound of gurgling streams, lowing cows, or wind echoing across an open plain.

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