Senior couple to tour Ireland

Old Feb 17th, 2000, 12:26 PM
Mel Fields
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Senior couple to tour Ireland

Senior Couple, mid-70's, wants to tour Ireland in about June or September. We want to avoid the crowded tourist time of year but also prefer the weather to be not too bad.Can anyone tell me if June or September would be a (so called) shoulder time of year for tourist purposes?
Also, we are thinking of a self drive tour of all major areas but now in this forum, I have read that there are some interesting tours that combine air fare and lodgings. We don't want to be on a big bus full of tourists. Any small vehicle tour suggestions?
We will have about 2 weeks of travel time out of Los Angeles, Caklifornia. Cost is a consideration. Thinking of B & B's.
Many thanks for your help Mel Fields

mfields 795
Old Feb 17th, 2000, 01:26 PM
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Mel, My daughter had her wedding in Ireland in September of 1991. The weather was lovely, we came back with a tan. I would do a self-drive tour, there are lots of places you'll want to stop and enjoy the view and maybe take a picnic. B&Bs are easy to find, inexpensive and serve a great breakfast(mind the cholestorol). Contact the Irish Tourist Board, they have loads of info, including maps for driving tours. Remember, the Irish drive on the left side of the road.
Old Feb 17th, 2000, 01:29 PM
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I would advise touring in September. The weather is generally good and while it is still a tourist time of the year it tends not to be that crowded (apart from Galway of course). June is the middle of tourist season and is also school holiday time (schools are off from June to August) There tends to be alot of English learning students in Ireland in June and July and they really fill up the popular sites. So choose September. A self-drive tour is very doable - and gives you great freedom otherwise I would recommend CIE tours for a coach tour - they are the national bus and rail company and are years if not centuries in existence.Also contact the irish Tourist Board for brochures. Aer Lingus and Delta do specials into Ireland. Any other questions I will be delighted to help. What do you want to see in particular ?
Old Feb 17th, 2000, 01:47 PM
Mel Fields
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Dear Kathy & Richard. Thank you, Thank you for your response to my post and for the good advice. You are great people to give of your time and knowledge. Thank you again. I am very glad that I found this forum
Warmest regards. Mel Fields
Old Feb 17th, 2000, 04:25 PM
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While Fodors Forums are wonderful, nothing can compare to the AOL Ireland Board. I literally planned our entire 8 day vacation in '98 by reading and posting. There are folks who read this board who have been to Ireland a number of times and are happy to share their wisdom.
We did tour the Southwest and West in August...kept waiting for all those 'crowds'... As I recall, September may be a better value perhaps w/airfare as well as b&b accommodations. The Irish Tourist Board in NY has a toll free number. They send out literature very quickly. Ask for them to mail you all of their literature on Ireland vacations.
Since weather is very unpredictable, I would not consider it to be a factor. We did our own self drive, using the above mentioned travel board advice, Karen Brown's Guide and the BlueGuide which is not an accommodation guide but more a historical guide. A Michelin driving map is essential and remember distances in Ireland will be double the driving time in the US.
This was one of the best vacations ever.
Old Feb 24th, 2000, 02:39 PM
Mel Fields
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thanks to all of you for your kind advice. Mel
Old Feb 24th, 2000, 03:20 PM
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Definitely do the self drive. We spent a month circling the entire island, Ireland and North Ireland and loved it all. By the way, Mr. Fields, I love your wife's cookies.
Old Feb 24th, 2000, 06:54 PM
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We recently met an American couple in their early 70's in a restaurant in France who told us that they were not permitted to rent a car in Ireland because they were over 70. You may want to check this out. If this is true, others should be aware of it.
Old Feb 25th, 2000, 05:52 AM
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Leslie said what I was going to add--you may not be able to rent a car in Ireland due to age. It happened to the husband of a friend of mine but about 10 years ago. Definitely get info from the Irish Tourist Board and Aer Lingus also--they may have a small bus tour option. I haven't heard of one, but then I haven't looked for one either. I took a regular bus tour with my parents, then just around 70 and we had a great time. If you have to do that, look for one that goes where you want and gives you free time to explore on your own.
Old Feb 25th, 2000, 09:35 AM
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I'm a big advocate of self drive---particularly in Ireland. There is definitely something about renting a car if you're over 70, but I think it is that you have to pay higher insurance costs but can still rent. I'm sure one of the major companies could help.

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