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A quandary--one week in Ireland, family of five

A quandary--one week in Ireland, family of five

Old Apr 15th, 2003, 06:42 AM
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A quandary--one week in Ireland, family of five

Hello, all --

Here's the situation: self, wife and 3 daughters are considering going to Ireland in May or June next year ('04) Having already read a lot on this board about trips others have made there, I see two potential problems, and any suggestions you can make will be much appreciated.

First, size of the rental car necessary to transport the 5 of us and a minimum of luggage (we're not the type to overpack, but with this many people...) I want the smallest thing we can get by with, due to narrowness of roads etc. and fuel economy. So what do you suggest? FYI, by the time we take this trip, the girls will be 14, 12, and 6. Any tips on what size vehicle would best suit us?

The next issue is one that is familiar to many of you and to most readers of this forum: should we rent a cottage/house and plunk down in one place for the week, or go the B&B/hotel route, staying 2 nights somewhere, then moving to the next 2night stay, etc.? If we were going to visit another country, this wouldn't be as much of a concern, but I've read so much about how long it takes to go even short (to an American) distances in Ireland... We are, at present, thinking of seeing the southwest, usual stuff.

This will be our first trip to Ireland and the childrens first rip to Europe, so we want to have a stress-free visit, yet see as mu;ch as is reasonable. Would love to hear from those of you who have "been there, done that"!
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 07:29 AM
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I would go the cottage route and concentrate around the Killarney/Dingle area and take day trips. Fly in/out of Shannon, and spend your last night in Bunratty, do the castle and dinner.

We rented a vehicle from Dan Dooley that fit 4 adults w/luggage (and my wife can take lots of stuff).

We are going back in late May ourselves. Hope to see you over there. The Guinness is the best!!
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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I'd probably go for something like a Ford Mondeo. It's a sedan, a little smaller than a Taurus. It's about as small as you can go with 5 people+luggage.

As for one spot vs. B&B hopping, I'd choose one spot, but then I also get back there frequently, and understand how people might want to cover a lot of ground. But with 3 kids, I still think renting a cottage is your best option.
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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B&Bs (as long as you don't stay in a different one every night) or a self catering cottage for a week are both good options.

But for a family of five I highly recommend the cottage. Just having a kitchen and a WASHER/DRYER makes this the best option. It allows you to pack much lighter - which also helps with the car size problem. If everyone packs as if they were on a 2 or 3 day trip instead of a week you can cut way back on the luggage. Doing laundry on the road is a real time waster - but having your own machine at home lets you wash/dry at night or early in the morning.

A cottage anywhere in the SW would be close enough for easy day trips to everywhere in the triangle from Shannon to Waterford to the SW penninsulas.
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 08:38 AM
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Hi Rob:

Sounds like a nice adventure. I agree, with three kids, self catering is probably best. I can't imagine having to pack them up and move them frequently. You will mis the B&B experience, which I really enjoy because of the people you meet. You could possibly do a three days here and three days there sort of thing. To see the west, fly in and out of Shannon. Spend your last night near the Shannon airport.

I am a big fan of the areas less traveled, but for a first trip, and with kids, I would lean towrds more familiar spots. Though not a big fan of the town of Killarney, it's location is ideal for day trips and you will never be at a loss for things to do. I wouldn't want to stay in town, but that's me. You could probably find something outside of Killarney that would be nice.

On the car rental, try calling O'Scannlain Travel. 1-800-828-0826. Since you don't have your dates yet, you won't have ask for a price quote, but they could probably give you some good options for cars. They are very helpful. Then shop some of the sites. This year, they gave me the lowest price. They had a 20% off Hertz and then sent me another 5% off coupon if I acted quick. You have to pay in advance though, so you need to have your plans nailed down.

As to when to travel, the earlier the better where May and June are concerned. Ireland sees a steady rise in tourism from mid May thru June and peaks for most of July and August.

Bill
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