First Ireland Trip

Dec 11th, 2009, 06:26 PM
  #1  
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First Ireland Trip

My husband and I have been dying to go Ireland so we were thinking of going next year either in May or sometime between September-December. We would possibly be traveling with an infant (she will be 1 this February), but we are not positive yet.

I found some tours from Paddy Wagon Tours that sounded interesting as we would like to see as much of the country as possible in 10 days (I wish it could be longer). Is anyone familiar with this company? They have a 10 day All Ireland-Deluxe tour that sounds like it might be perfect for us. I would just rent a car and drive ourselves, but I hear that the roads are slow and my husband isn't exactly a great driver.

Would traveling Ireland with an infant be difficult? Do you have any other suggestions instead of the Paddy Wagon Tour? Any information would be helpful!
nightxsky is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Are you sure a tour would even accept an infant? I personally think that would be a horrible slog. Packed and out by 0800 every morning. Not being able to stop when/where you need. And the other (mostly older) folks - I'm sure they wouldn't be happy about it either.

But re the issue of having a crap driver DH ( ) either 1) do the driving yourself, or 2) visit different towns by train or bus and then hire local driver guides to tour around.

In 10 days you won't see all of Ireland no matter what mode. The tours cover a LOT of territory, but they do it by keeping moving w/ very little free time and many things just viewed as the bus drives past.

So pick 3 areas max and divide your 10 days. W/ a young child you will want some down times so dashing from place to place really isn't a great idea.
janisj is online now  
Dec 12th, 2009, 06:07 AM
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My sister and I drove all around Northern Ireland and Ireland with no problems. With an infant that would be the best way to go. The roads are slower but the scenery is so great you don't mind. Be sure to take the insurance on the rental car in case you have a problem. Most problems are scraping the hubcaps. You would be able to come and go as you please with your own transportation.
Don't drink the locally bottled water or if you do, don't let it set in the car and drink it through the day. It could make you sick. If you like to do that, then buy Evian.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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>>Don't drink the locally bottled water or if you do, don't let it set in the car and drink it through the day. It could make you sick. If you like to do that, then buy Evian.<<

What?????
We bought local water and drank it all day after leaving it in the car (overnight too) and were never sick. Why would local water make you sicker than Evian??
hetismij is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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Why on Earth should one not drink the water? You make a statement like that w/absolutely no explanation -- who says it makes you sick?
janisj is online now  
Dec 12th, 2009, 07:03 AM
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bratsandbeer wrote: "Don't drink the locally bottled water or if you do, don't let it set in the car and drink it through the day. It could make you sick. If you like to do that, then buy Evian."

I'll give you better advice: don't pay attention to that sort of nonsense.
Padraig is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate it! We might not be traveling with the baby, so I just wanted to keep our options open as far as traveling around the country
nightxsky is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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Hmm...it does cause me to ponder, traveling around Ireland with such a young child. Thinking of bustouring, rental car, airlines, and all. There is much attention and also equipment needed...plus the distraction of caring for daily needs. So how about those grandparents or siblings? Might give you a much needed holiday.

As for Ireland, those who have been can testify there is so much to enjoy.

Ozarksbill
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Dec 12th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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I think the grandparents might end up watching her so that we can have an alone holiday
nightxsky is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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OK - if you leave the little one at home (though lots of people manage to travel around Ireland w/ small children) -- if you are young enough to have a 1 yo, IMO a tour still isn't the way to go.

If you were elderly or infirm and didn't want to schlepp bags or couldn't drive - then a tour of Ireland can make a lot of sense. But not usually for 20/30/40 somethings.
janisj is online now  
Dec 12th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Oh - and don't anyone jump on me -- I wasn't implying over 40-something is 'elderly'

Just that I assume w/ a 1 yo the OP/DH are in their 20's to 40's . . . .
janisj is online now  
Dec 12th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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It looks to me like Paddy Wagon markets to a young crowd, and that the overnight accommodation on their multiday tours is in hostels and "hostellos" (new term to me). I would take janisj's initial point seriously: they may well not take infants, and even if they did, you might find it a difficult experience for everybody. (Imagine a baby in a hostel with no place for baths.)

I'd want to ask a lot of questions, even if (and you might consider this) you limited yourself to just taking a day-long tour out of whatever city or town you were staying in. Presuming that you would want the baby's car-carrier along, rather than holding her every minute of a long day, would you have to pay for a full 3rd seat in the bus? Can the car-carrier be strapped in safely?
tahl is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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Paddy Wagon - what a perfect name for a tour bus with an infant on it.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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janisj - Yes, we are in are 20s.

tahl & colduphere - If we ended up taking her, we wouldn't think of taking her on the tour bus, that was simply an idea if it were going to be just the two of us.
nightxsky is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Ah, okay, I think we all had a misunderstanding from your initial post.

So, if your question then is would travelling with an infant via car or when staying just in major towns/cities would be difficult in Ireland, I think the answer would be no, no more difficult than travelling in other developed countries.

As for Paddy Wagon, I think you might find people who've used them on the Thorn Tree web forum run by the Lonely Planet guidebook series; in my experience that's a better resource than this forum for info on backpacker-style travel (which is how P.W. describes itself). Paddy Wagon looks well-established, so good chance someone over on Thorn Tree has taken their tours!
tahl is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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nightxsky, you are going to have a blast. I would highly recommend a couple sites to check out:

www.IrelandYes.com - Michele has traveled over 40 times to Ireland, and has a lot of great info and a forum.
www.irelandexpert.com - Pat Preston is also a great resource on Ireland travel.

I always prefer to go in my own time, without a tour, mostly because I don't like shopping and I do love cemetaries - and normal tours tend to be opposite in both of those areas
GreenDragon is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 05:02 PM
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you'll have a great time -- pick the best time for you to get away-- i went in february in 09 and am going in june of this year - can not wait to get back to ireland! So excited!

have a great trip and let us know how it goes!
Irishgal127A is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 06:22 PM
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FWIW, there used to be a very helpful Ireland poster here by the name of CowboyCraic (she's much missed). She had very good things to say about Paddy Wagon tours which, as others have pointed out, caters to a young clientele.
CAPH52 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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Hi nightxsky,
Favorite places in Ireland to which I'd like to return.
Cork, Kinsale, Dingle, Cliffs or Mohr, and the Connemara. We really wanted to see the ring of Kerry and the Killarney national park, but all we saw was scary isolated tiny mountain top roads viewed in complete darkness. The sun sets so early there in December.
Also some insight into the roads- they can be dreadful. Also the days are terribly short in December. As I remember the sun rises about 8:00 and sets close to 4:30, so I do not really recommend going in the middle of December- as we did.

Not really a fan of herd mentality and bus tours and I cannot give advice on travelling with a 1 year old. What I can suggest is that you limit your distances and do not try to cover all of Ireland in 10 days- it would not be as enjoyable as taking your time.
MiteMsispe is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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Definitely drive yourself - so many interesting side trips and back roads to explore. Driving there is easy. IMO, Ireland was made for auto touring.
ambage is offline  

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