B&B & cars

Jan 8th, 2004, 04:43 PM
  #1  
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B&B & cars

Will be in Irleand in April, my husband and I. 12-14 days. Travel agent will sell us a B&B voucher book with car rental included for $108 USD/day ($54/pp). We can buy as many days as we want. Don't know the average prices of B&Bs in early April or the price of renting a car. Is his offer a good deal? Can we do better on our own just winging it with a rented car? We are seniors but in good health and used to traveling independently but if this is a good deal it would make it easier. Would appreciate any feedback on those with experience in Ireland. Our first trip. Thanks
Dorhill is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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When we were there last summer, our B&B costs averaged 32E per person per night. If you do some comparison shopping for rental cars, you should have your answer. Keep in mind that not all B&Bs accept vouchers, so using them can limit your choice of where to stay.
MaryZ is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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I can't imagine traveling somewhere without knowing where I'm staying. I have more important things to do and see than spending the afternoon checking out B&B's. But even if I were traveling that way, why would I ever buy vouchers that limit the choices even further? Can you imagine passing a wonderful looking little B&B and finding out you can't stay there even though they have a vacancy because you've already bought vouchers and this place won't accept them?
Patrick is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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I would not bother with vouchers. They do not guarantee you a room - merely that if you do find a covered B&B that has a room, it will be paid for.

I would concentrate on finding the best rental car deal and just arrange my own B&Bs. You can find great B&Bs all over Ireland from about 20-24 euro pp. If you go up to 30-35euro pp you will be staying in pretty posh places.

During Easter week in the countryside and any time in Dublin you should book ahead. Otherwise you can freelance and go where your interests and the weather takes you.

It is not time consuming to find B&Bs - simply go into the local tourist office and tell them what you are looking for. Then go off and do your sightseeing for an hour or 2 and when you come back they will have booked a place for you. You can do this for same day bookings - or if you want to plan a little farther ahead, you can get the tourist office to find you lodging in the areas you will be visiting in the next few days.
janis is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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i was in ierland last march...we stayed exclusively in B&B's...we stayed in the top tier...most were 54Euro per nite per room or 27E each...some as much as 32E each....i did hear some people complain that they had trouble using the vouchers at some places so i asked one or two of the hostesses...they both said they don't bother with them bacause they do not get as much money for lodging and because they are excellent quality houses, they do not need to accept them...

i think what you have quoted is overpriced....

i got my good car deal through auto europe who in turn had me placed with hertz...perfect

do you have the official B&B book from the tourist authority?? get it...it is available from the irish tourist authority at 345 madison avenue nyc
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 03:54 AM
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If you decide to use the vouchers, your TA will give you a book of B&Bs and you can check ahead for places that accept them in the areas where you plan to be. You can get the same book (Town and Country Homes) from the Irish tourist board for free, call them as soon as possible.
We have been to Ireland several times, with and without vouchers. Next time we will price out our own car and pay for the B&Bs as we go, WITHOUT vouchers. As has been said, they do limit your choice of places to say, but on the other hand, you don't have to worry about having the cash on hand. (Many B&Bs do not accept credit cards.)
You could purchase some vouchers and leave some nights open for pay-as-you-go.
Patrick, I understand your feelings about knowing where you will be staying. We usually have an itinerary of sorts and have some places booked in advance (always the first and last nights at a minimum) and will call ahead in the morning to make that night's reservation. The only time we got to a city and didn't have a reservation, I had visions of sleeping in the car with hubby and teenage son. We ended up in a penthouse suite in Cork for 30 Irish pounds per person. We stayed an extra night, it was great
allisonm is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 04:26 AM
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With the Euro currently worth about $1.25 that comes out to about 43 Euro per person; and you're not going to do much better than that. Most B&B's will charge about Euro 35/pps.

The downside (as just about everyone has mentioned) is the B&B Vouchers. But, armed with a phone card and a list of B&B's that you can print out before you leave home, you shouldn't have any problem finding a B&B at your next destination that accepts B&B vouchers (i.e., a manageable situation).
BTW
I have never used B&B vouchers; I know that most B&B's don't have credit card facilities so I always pay cash.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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as you can see - most folks don't recommend the vouchers - or give a luke warm rec. But I don't want you to be scared that B&Bs in Ireland are expensive. A couple of posters have said the typical B&B will be about 35 euro pp. Well I did pay 35 euro - ONCE. That was in fact the most I have ever paid. It was a very special place and worth every penny. But you can find hundreds of nice B&Bs in the euro20 - euro25 pp range.

Of course, you will pay more in Dublin and in Castle hotels.
janis is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Just to offer an alternative opinion; we used vouchers on our recent trip in November and had no problems with them. The list of B&B's that accepts them is very extensive. I also found some places that were not mentioned in the book, but when asked, said they would accept them as they were or with a supplement of 5 Euro. That said, I would do just as MaryZ said. Since you didn't mention what size car and if it is an automatic or manual, I can't guess if your rate is competitive. To see if you are getting a good rate, ask your TA or do this yourself; price the same car with AutoEurope and anyone else that interests you. Include taxes and CDW (if that is included in your earlier quote of $108 per day). Then compare that to the averages you are seeing here.
FYI.... the tourism offices will also find you accommodations using the vouchers. Either way you go, good luck!
sjbisanz1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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I would say that E35 is the higher end on B&B prices, though not uncommon. I didn't see that many under E25, though I know there are some. I've usually chosen my B&B by location, not price and I've never paid over E35, though I've paid that price a few times. I'm sort of the looking out over the ocean type as opposed to the middle of town type, so the prices I see may be a bit higher. Also, the older, non-purpose built (and thus not still being paid for by the owner) B&Bs tend to run a little less.

I differ from Patrick in the notion of not having every room set when I arrive. I will do that with some rooms or if I'm traveling in a larger group or high season. I also book rooms in advance for places that I really want to stay. But off season is very nice for driving around and saying, "hey, that looks nice".

I'm not a fan of drive and stay deals because they are usually more expensive than going on your own (and this does not sound like an exception) and the vouchers take a huge cut out of the owners profits. Also remember after you factor out the price of the room that you are still paying for the car per person. I also agree with sjbisanz that there are all sorts of options that they can add on before or after you arrive and the CDW is a big one. The price sounds like a compact or smaller (which is BTW, a good thing) manual (which for some people is a bad thing).

If you have a gold or platinum MC you can probably cover the CDW on that, but make sure that your TA checks it out. Not all companies in Ireland allow you to use the CDW benefit of your MC.

Have fun.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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I'm not an Ireland expert like some of these others, but I believe there are special fees and limitation on car rentals to seniors in Ireland--you don't say your age, but just thought I'd mention that just in case it's an issue. I think there are large extra insurance deposits age 70+ that are mandatory and no rentals over a certain age.
Christina is online now  
Jan 9th, 2004, 02:08 PM
  #12  
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Thanks for feedback. Yes, we are both in our 70s and that makes an increase of $15/pp/day for each of us, and $8 per day extra for 2nd driver. That almost doubles the price of car rental and TA booking does not necessitate those extra fees. The Euro today costs $1.28 which makes a 30E/pp rate come to$76. We have the Town & Country guide book on BBs and as we will be there over Easter have already booked BB for that weekend indicating we would be using vouchers (haven't purchased yet.) It was easy (USA Datanet call is 8.9 cents/min to Ireland.) We can cancel with no penalty. We don't plan on booking ahead any other time and will just wing it and if we purchase vouchers will just use them as we go. The book has 100s of BBs. Given the additional cost due to age "penalty," do you still think BB voucher plus car is a bad idea? We will be in Ireland about 15-16 days before going to Scotland.
Dorhill is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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Spent 10 days driving the northwest and west of Ireland in May, 2003. Rented car from Dan Dooley and paid $543.00 including all the insurance. We are in early 60s. That also included $5.00 day for 2nd driver, although we never switched, one always drove, one always navigated and it worked out well for both of us. B&Bs ran 26-32 euros per person, and all were quite nice. Only reserved for three nights in Donegal town as it was over the early May Bank Holiday weekend. Absolutely no problems getting in the B&Bs we wanted except in Ennis where we arrived late from London on a Saturday night. I would book that first night for any future trips.

Have fun--it is a great time.
gmin is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Given the costs of the 'age penalty' and the extra driver charge, maybe you do want to consider the $108/day package. Do check, though, to see if the CDW for your car is included in that.
MaryZ is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 08:22 AM
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I'm 72. And my wife (age-68) and I are going to Ireland late Feb to early Mar

I haven't rented a car in Ireland; but a friend here in Phila. told me that if I bought a fly & drive 'package' here, there woudn't be any 'over 70' add-on. He also said that after age-75 it would be difficult to rent a car in Ireland unless it were part of a 'package.'

I don't know about the Rental car / B&B voucher 'package' your T/A is selling. I was under the impression that the "over-70 add-on exclusion" was just for Fly/Drive 'packages.' You might want to check (or have your T/A check) with OConnors.com. They sell AerLingus Fly/Drive 'packages.'
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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I think the car pricw is a bit high. What type of car do you get with this? As for vouchers I do think it limits you and you can get the same deals by researching and bookng yourself.

As for pricing I have rrely stayed anywhere in the last year for less than 35 euro even in more rural areas. You get what you pay for and can end up with a crummy B&B. If I go to a wedding in the country we usually stay over in a B&B and it is usually 35pps for a double B&B.

Vouchers are a pain for the B&B owners and if they have too many people in one night with vouchers they will turn you away. They do not paid until much later and they prefer cash customers.
SiobhanP is offline  
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