Ireland Advice Needed

Jan 11th, 2005, 08:39 AM
  #1  
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Ireland Advice Needed

My husband and I are trying to plan a somewhat last minute trip to Ireland. We have 10-11 nights (a Wednesday to a Sunday) in March, and we have found airfare in the 450-550 ballpark. We are considering flying into Dublin, spending a few days there, and then driving south and then west, spending the majority of our time exploring the west coast, and then flying out of Shannon. Am I correct in assuming that we wouldn't want our rental car during our time in Dublin, but rather we would want to pick up our rental car when we were ready to leave Dublin (say, around Day 3?) I wouldn't want to waste the money if we werent going to use the car in Dublin (I've been told by many not to drive in Dublin). Another thing Ive been wondering is whether or not we should get the bed and breakfast vouchers, or should we just book places on our own? Are the vouchers a good deal, financially? Or would we be likely to get better deals by just going to the bed and breakfasts as we travel through Ireland (note, we're probably only going to spend 1-2 nights per town). I've gotten estimates from both 12travel.com and aerlingus (and for the trip their quoting me, it's about 2500-2700 total, including air, automatic car rental, and bed and breakfast voucheres). This seems fairly reasonable to me for a 10-night stay, although these prices include having the rental car in Dublin and we don't think we want a car then(so I imagine this would bring the cost down slightly). Anyways, basically what I need to know if if Im better off going through a package deal online, or whether I should just book everything on my own. Also, besides aerlingus and 12travel.com, does anyone have any recs for other websites that offer great deals on packages? Thanks in advance!
Lull2005 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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My husband and I went to Ireland four years ago. We flew in and out of Shannon and spent most of our time on the west/southwest coast. We had a package with AerLingus for B&B vouchers and flight. We found that it would have been more convenient not to use the vouchers. Some places would not take them, and some wanted a suppliment in addition to the voucher. I will say that there were a lot that had the little Shamrock (indicating the acceptance of vouchers), but many of them were already booked. A side note: my husband and I are not planners, and would often wait until the morning of or afternoon of our stay to book a B&B. Our biggest problem finding and open B&B that would take vouchers was on the Dingle Peninsula. Because of its beauty it is very popular, and therefore sometimes difficult to find the appropriate lodging.
If I were to do it all over again, I would not get the vouchers. It did not seem to me that it saved us any money, and it was definitely less convenient.
Suggestions on B&B's: The Blue Merle (sp?) near the ring of Kerry.. Kenmare, I think, and Knights Haven about an hour outside Shannon (southwest along the coast between Tarbert and Limerick).
Things not to skip: Dingle Peninsula - a boat trip to the island just off the coast is lovely, and a very nice hike ;-)
amcquiggan is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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I would definitely *not* want a car when in Dublin. Traffic in that city has become awful. You can get around easily enough on the buses, trains and taxis, if need be.
Yawn_boring is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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I have been to Ireland many times, most recently, in November of 2004. Prices are sky high - I mean, a fish and chips in a pub used to cost about $20, now, it's closer to $50.00. I agree with both of the previous posts. Note: Most B&B's are not in the center of town. Irelandhotels.com is a good site for researching hotels. Spend most of your time on the West Coast, and don't try and do too much. Roads have improved greatly, but it is still slow going in most places. Park yourself in either Tralee (you can go to Killarney and the Dingle Penn), or Killarney (and do Tralee and the Dingle Penn). Let me say this, brace yourself for some steep prices. We were just there two years ago, and the difference between then and our trip this November was very different. Drink is still a real bargain both for its cultural and social aspects. Try and get a B&B deal with a hotel (you should have no problem going this time of the year) and possibly a dinner thrown in. We did that in Ennis, and it turned out to be a great deal-at the Queen's Hotel. One problem, however, was they did not have parking (take note when booking a hotel). Have a great time and just take it slow.
ifeet is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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True, prices are higher, but $50.00 for fish 'n chips in a pub?? That must be some pub.
Ann41 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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2005 - I, too, was just in Ireland the end of September, and it is much more expensive than in the past, some places are almost double what they were in '95. I've done 6 trips there since then, one for the Rose of Tralee that my daughter was in, and Tralee is a delightful little town, although fairly Americanized b/c of the Rose of Tralee festival every year in August. We have never done the voucher thing; I like to plan in advance (part of the fun for me), and we wanted to stay at a variety of places w/o the hassle of the vouchers. We have used karenbrown.com quite a bit, also Blue Book of Ireland. I would not recommend a car while you're in Dublin...we've done it, but it's tough, and you can get around fine w/o one until you leave there. Have fun!
tjans is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Thanks to all of you who have responded thus far! I really appreciate the feedback!!
Lull2005 is offline  
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