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overwhelmed newbie traveler- going to ireland

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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:28 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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overwhelmed newbie traveler- going to ireland

Help! My husband and I are traveling out of the country for the first time. We are planning a trip to Ireland for summer 2012. We have gotten some guide books from the library and have started some online research, but are very overwhelmed. We would like our trip to be 10-14 days. We want to take in as much of Ireland as we can, stay at some B&B's and hang out at pubs. What should we expect to spend, where should we go and how should we start planning? Thanks for any help you can give!
slippypenguin is offline  
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Jan 17th, 2011, 09:47 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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We went last year and work with My guide ireland. They were very helpful. Flew into Dublin, and drove around the south of island and flew out of Shannon. We were there 9 days in all. It was great - too much driving, but then again, there wasn't anything I would have wanted to skip. But, we didn't get to spend as much time in each of the places as we would have liked to. We went in the off season so it wasn't necessary to plan as far in advance. It was fab!
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Jan 18th, 2011, 09:29 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Myguide Ireland is very helpful - we have not traveled with them, nor are planning to (we are very independent) but, even knowing that, they've helped me a lot with suggestions and advice.

www.irelandyes.com is an excellent page and forum - Michele has been over 40 times, and is generous with her advice, too.

I wrote an article on planning a trip to the British Isles, if some of this helps:

http://www.greendragonartist.com/Art...clesEurope.htm

For a 10-14 trip, you don't want to cover too much ground. I recommend breaking it up into 3-4 bases, and use those as daytrips, unless you really want to take it easy, and find 1-2 places!

Planning the trip itself would require listing what you like doing, your relative activity level, how much you are willing to spend, etc.

B&Bs run from 30 Euros per person per night to as much as E80 pppn. You can usually find decent ones around E35pppn.

Hostels are cheaper, castles are more expensive

Hotels usually come out about the same as they are per room, but lack the charm, personal touch - and breakfasts

Car rental for two weeks will likely be around $600 with all costs in - check Dan Dooley, they give you ALL the charges up front, guaranteed. Others add on all sorts of things - check irelandyes.com for a great thread on that subject, as the rules can be confusing.

Airfare and lodging are your biggest expenses. Kayak.com is the tool I use most for the former. Summer sales should be coming out in the next month or two - Aer Lingus just started one today.

Good luck! Check out my article, and come back - that may answer LOTS of questions, and start many more
GreenDragon is offline  
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:08 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 24
AS a newbie who already sounds a little overwhelmed, here's my suggestion:list all of your interests and the things you enjoy first.
So, first question: Why Ireland? What appeals to you? The people? the scenery? Do you have Irish heritage? Once you really explore and talk about that then it will be a little easier to start planning. For example, are you avid outdoors people who love to rough it? or are you more like my husband and me who love to hike and climb but want a soft bed and hot shower at the end of the day? Are you a shopaholic? won't be a problem anywhere you go! Love the urban city life, don't really care for pastoral scenes? those kind of things. Then get several different travel books. Fodors has a good one, and i'll probably get thrown off here but so does Rick Steves Ireland. look through them and pick out the things that really appeal to you.

Ireland is a fantastic place and there is no way in the world you will be able to see and do everything so don't try, you'll just make yourself crazy. I lived in Dublin for 2 months and didn't even see everything I wanted to there. Of course I was going to school too but still, you get my point. Last summer my extended family rented 2 self-catering cottages next to each other on the Dingle peninsula and used that as a base. We'd decide based a lot on the weather (and how hung over everyone was from the night before) where we were going and what we wanted to do. we had a fantastic time, spent 2.5 weeks there and still didn't do everything we wanted to on Dingle! But, we really got a feel for that part of the country which is what my husband and i were looking for. My sons are avid hikers and fisherman, and they got to do those things. We all loved the pubs. And Dingle is a great place for traditional music too. Plus the southwest is the Gaeltech area, they all speak Irish there, which is a real treat to hear.

That's my suggestion to start: baby steps. Why do I want to go, what do I like to do. figure that out then start looking at places and itineraries. I have never known anyone who went who said they didn't enjoy it and want to go back. Part of that I think is the Irish people.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:14 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Oh, forgot, the spending part. Ireland right now (and 10 years ago when I was there as well)is very expensive, food, petrol, car rentals etc. We got lucky and the exchange rate went down to 1.35 (from 1.56 earlier in 2010) so we saved a little. But the self-catering cottages that slept 8 for 2 weeks was $800.00. can't beat that. Any hotel in Dublin is probably going to be at least 85 euros (that's what I found anyway)although if you stay in the burbs it's cheaper. after you make out your budget, plan on spending about half again as much for unanticipated things and that will help you get an idea.
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