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gemjab Sep 18th, 2003 05:48 AM

1st Trip to Ireland - ?s about vouchers
Hi Everyone -

I'm arriving Shannon w/my boyfriend on Sat morning Oct 11 and we will be flying out of Dublin Sat morning Oct 18.

We booked the last 2 nights at Stephens Green in Dublin - recommendation from friends.

We need to book the first 5 nights somewhere and our AAA travel agent suggested vouchers.

What are they and how reliable? Are they trustworthy?

Thanks for your advice.

Debbie Sep 18th, 2003 06:45 AM

You have the same question listed twice , with different titles.

here is the answer I posted on your other post:
do your homework before buying the vouchers.
A lot of people don't like them, because they limit the places you can stay. You don't say when you are travelling, but if it is a peak time, or bank holiday, you may find it very difficult to find a room with vouchers.

Cleanliness is not so much of an issue as availability.

IF you get the B&B book and all the places you want to stay accept vouchers AND you can book ahead , AND the price of the voucher plus any cash supplement for ensuite is still LESS than the price of the voucher, go ahead and get them.

Otherwise - I would just skip the vouchers and pay cash.

LN Sep 18th, 2003 07:28 AM

I totally agree with Debbie. there are many nice B & B's that don't accept vouchers. However, Irish B & b's are really not expensive.

We tried vouchers once! We now pay with cash and actually some accept credit cards. Many have internet sites and e-mail address and will take reservations.

Debbie Sep 18th, 2003 07:31 AM

yep - I am one of those people who likes my B&B's booked ahead of time - I find places with good web sites, in the price range and location I want and book them myself.
I also confirm before I leave whether they take CC, and get specific directions to their door.

No vouchers for me - I want the freedom to choose whichever B&B I want.

doc_ Sep 18th, 2003 07:37 AM

We booked ahead with vouchers and ended up not using aby of the reservations due to plan changes. However,we had no problem using them when we arrived in a town. We went to the tourism quarters in town and they were very helpful in finding us a B&B that took them. This was offseason so it may not be as easy as in October.

We were also very satisfied with the B&B's that took the vouchers.

gemjab Sep 18th, 2003 07:57 AM

thanks for your responses.

Are vouchers usually obtained by 1st timers to Ireland? Is that the draw?

Is it better to choose the town inwhich to stay, look up places online and book that way and avoid vouchers?


Debbie Sep 18th, 2003 08:06 AM

I think that a lot of the people who use vouchers are buying a package deal.
I always book my air, car & B&Bs independently - for me it is the most cost effective ( I go when the Aer Lingus deals are lowest).

A lot of the places that take vouchers are very nice, I am sure. It just isn't worth the extra work for me to use them.

Louise Sep 18th, 2003 08:44 AM

I would not use vouchers again although I am speaking from an England point of view. We found we were very restricted in every place we went. The B&B's in the book with vacancies were somewhat incoveniently located. To call ahead, we had instructions we had to first indicate we were traveling with vouchers. This gave the B&B the opportunity to refuse you or to tell you they only had rooms available with an "en suite" bath which cost approximately $6 per person more a night. I had the distinct feeling that the B&B's were in the book at a lesser price than they would normally charge and if they didn't need your business you would be turned down. On the other hand, although we took a bus tour in Ireland and didn't have to worry about accomodations, I noticed there were very many lovely looking B&B's in Ireland with vacancy signs.

janis Sep 18th, 2003 09:01 AM

Vouchers really don't help you much - unless paying for your accomodations before the trip is important to you. Vouchers do not guarantee rooms only that IF a room is available they will accept the voucher. B&Bs that take the vouchers also accept "non-voucher" visitors.

Also - those accepting vouchers often are full since their number in some areas is limited - maing it difficult to use the vouchers in really popular areas.

Ann41 Sep 18th, 2003 09:18 AM

I have no idea why anyone would use vouchers. They limit your options, and from what others have said on this site, they don't save you any money.

gemjab Sep 18th, 2003 10:05 AM

Thank you for the replys and I will not use vouchers. I don't like my options limited.

Can I now ask for recommendations:

Sat Oct 11th we arrive at Shannon Airport at 8AM -

We thought we would drive straight to Galway and stay over one night.

Then drive to Limirick and stay Sunday night.

Then drive to Killarney for 2 nights -Monday and Tuesday.

Then drive to Cashel and stay Wednesday night.

And we will be finishing up our last 2 nights and we confirmed the Stephens Green Hotel for Thursday and Friday Night.

We leave Saturday afternoon out of Dublin.

I can't wait to hear your responses. Thank you ahead of time!!

Debbie Sep 18th, 2003 11:08 AM

Sounds fine - I don't know that I would stay in Limerick - I would rather have 2 nights in Galway. Gives you a good chance to get over jet lag and still get out and see a bit of the countryside....

gemjab Sep 18th, 2003 11:48 AM

Thanks Debbie. Can you recommend some hotels to stay?

waffle18 Sep 18th, 2003 12:02 PM

I agree totally with Debbie about staying 2 nights in Galway. I know that Debbie knows of a few B&Bs in the area she can (and I hope she does!) recommend. But since you asked specifically for hotels I'll give you my thoughts.

Jury's in Galway is centrally located, offers parking (it's a tight squeeze in underground parking so I hope you didn't rent an SUV :D) and is decent in price. It has a non-smoking floor (1!) and you can walk to the main part of the city (read:pubs and shopping) very easily. The rooms are on the smaller side but I suspect you will only be there for sleeping anyway...

The Forrester Court (sp?) Hotel near Eyre Square is also a nice place to stay that is central and have good prices. They have no parking lot but will point you in the direction of one. If you are a light sleeper then ask for a room that's not facing the street.

For a lovely place to stay go to Glenlo Abbey just outside Galway on the main Galway-Clifden road. You can probably get a really good deal during this time of the year and the rooms, service and silver service breakfast buffet (not included in the room rate) are worth the inflated price.

My humble opinions...

Enjoy your trip!


Debbie Sep 18th, 2003 12:19 PM

Happy to give you what I can:

We stayed at Brennans Yard in Galway - it was a decent 2 night package,and an easy walk (5 min or less) to Eyre Sq, etc. BUT - room was kind of small, and we had to pay a discounted rate at the parking structure, a block or so away. It was nice to park the car and be able to walk to dinner ( there is a bar & restaruant attached as well) but loading / unloading the car was a bit of a pain.

In Killarney , I love Crystal Springs. (they have a website) They are right on the river flesk, so the rushing water lulls you to sleep at night. They have plenty of parking , and Eileen makes a great breakfast.

In Cashel we stayed at Dualla House - and I have to say - it is either #1 or #2 in my list of favorite B&Bs. It is a few miles outside of Cashel , and is a working Sheep farm. The rooms are large and lovely, and Mairdread (sp?) was a gratious hostess. She also gives GREAT directions to your next destination.

Hope this helps.

gerig Sep 19th, 2003 07:06 PM

Sure wish I had checked this site before we booked our 7 day trip this afternoon. We did buy vouchers, darn. We arrive in Dublin on on the morning of 10/12 for 2 nights and then will travel the southern portion of Ireland and end up in County Clare for Oct. 17-18 staying at Dromoland Castle. I'd love any suggestions about where to visit and stay between Dublin and Shannon. Would we miss much if we took the train from Dublin to Cork? Is the Waterford Factory a must (I'm not looking to buy crystal). Any other must-sees or places to shop, especially for sweaters. Help. I went with the vouchers because I didnt have time to plan and now it looks like I'll need to anyway. Thanks for your help.

Debbie Sep 20th, 2003 01:10 PM

Yep , even with the vouchers there is still a lot of planning you need to do. The vouchers can actually mean a tiny bit more planning, because you have to make sure the B&B's you go to accept them.

Waterford is not a must if you are not into Crystal. (I am, and have done the tour twice).

To give you suggestions on where to go, we would need an idea of what you like:
Hiking - Glendalough & Wicklow mtn area
Arts and Crafts - the area around Kilkenny has glass, leather, pottery etc.
Golf : everywhere :)
Castles - full access - Bunratty, Kilkenny, Cahir
Ruins - Jerpoint, Rock of Cashel, Glendalough
Seashore - Kinsale, Cobh, Waterford/Tramore
Overall scenery - Ring of Kerry, Dingle
Music - Galway, Killarney, etc.

As you can see, there is so much to choose from, so you need to make some decisions. I would pick up a book on Ireland to get some ideas of what you want to see (And what is still open when you are there. )
Then come back and post your own entry ( be sure to list Ireland in your post title ;) )


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