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Ireland - Insight into group tours/budget

Ireland - Insight into group tours/budget

Sep 1st, 2015, 12:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 20
Ireland - Insight into group tours/budget

Wanted to see if anyone had any insight into how the pricing is done for group tours to Ireland such as those run by CIE or Brendan. I've been to Ireland before, but it's been a few years and the last trip I did was a group bus tour. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages of traveling this way, but it was definitely convenient and stress free. My husband and I would like to take an 8 day trip to Ireland since he's never been. I'm looking at pricing for the group tours and it's looking like $2,000 and up per person not including flight for a one week trip. For the two of us to travel, would we be better off just doing a self tour by car on our own? For the shoulder season round trip flights from NYC look fairly reasonable and we could pick and choose our own hotels or B&B's.

I wanted to see if anyone had any prior experience with traveling either way and had an opinion on what would be more budget friendly, but still enjoyable.

Bronwyn72 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2015, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
Depends if you like polishing a bus seat for the best part of the day along with a couple of dozen others. Some folk like tours. You dont need to self drive to see the places tours take you, you can get AtoB on public transport and pick local tours to the main sites.

Self drive and self plan you can fit in what you want, be aware though that Ireland is bigger on the ground than it looks on a map and 8 days really isn't a long time,
Tony2phones is offline  
Sep 1st, 2015, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
Public transportation is really good in Ireland imo.
http://www.gobus.ie/ is excellent for rt from Dublin airport or in the city to Galway City. The bus station is in town and has great day tours to the cliffs and burren or to Connemara or take a look at
http://www.fahertytours.com/ We did the aran island tour with them and it included the ride to the ferry, the ferry ticket and a small bus for our tour of the island. Wonderful day. Galway bus tours are excellent also. You can take a train to Cork, day tours from Dublin to Wicklow. I think making hotel reservations are easy and each city has a great tourist office to help you out. Trip advisor has many helpful people and list things to do and places to stay in each city. If your husband felt he can drive and still enjoy looking then rent a car. We just find it relaxing to not and have never not seen anything we wanted to see by not having an auto.
Aer Lingus has some great flights in shoulder season.
flpab is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2015, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
In considering pricing of tours, also consider that you will have to pay tips for driver and guides, meals on your own that are not provided, activities during the "free time to explore on your own", personal bits, etc.

Also consider carefully the itinerary.

"Visit"=stop, go inside.

"See"= catch sight of as the bus passes by and may or may not slow down.
irishface is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2015, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
I think you can do this on your own and with public transportation you still don't have to drive. You can base yourself in Dublin and Galway and see some a lot in eight days.
We did this tour recently and it was packed but we were not on the bus that much. Norman showed us things that day that I had never thought about seeing. Great tour and then we were back in Dublin enjoying the city at night.
Just pick your hotels or apartments in the city and do day tours and then have the evening to enjoy music, drink and food.
From Galway you can see Clare and County Mayo. From Dublin you can take the dart train to Howth and enjoy the sea and this beautiful harbor village. I know everyone wants to see Dingle but with only eight days you are limited. Another trip.
flpab is offline  
Sep 7th, 2015, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 120
I'll be interested in hearing what you decide. I am thinking about short (10 days?) trip to Ireland next summer and am debating looking at Globus trips or trying to plan it on my own. Not interested in the stress of renting car so it would all have to be public transportation or day tours.
CLBtravel is offline  
Sep 7th, 2015, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
There are lots of trip reports on this and other forums giving details of both options so plenty of reading. Be aware though that most trip reports on coach tours are aimed at praising the Driver/Guide and not much else. get a bad one and forget it, it's a week looking through a bus window.
Tony2phones is offline  

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