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Should we book bed & breakfast before we go or just wing it?

Should we book bed & breakfast before we go or just wing it?

Aug 25th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8
Should we book bed & breakfast before we go or just wing it?

We will be traveling to Ireland Sept 24-Oct 6th and have looked into using AuthenticIreland.com for tickets to use bed and breakfasts at over 1,000 different ones in Ireland. We haven't figured out our itinerary yet and with over a thousand to choose from we could be flexible while there.

They quoted me $657 per person just for the bed and breakfasts. That comes out to almost $60 per person per night. That does include one night in a castle in any of these locations:

Abbeyglen Castle, Clifden, Connemara
Ballyseede Castle, Tralee, County Kerry
Cabra Castle, Kingscourt, County Cavan
Markree Castle, Sligo
Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Donegal Town, County Donegal
Clontarf Castle, Dublin
Castle Leslie, Monaghan
Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara

Do you think we could go to B&B's on our own for cheaper?

There will be three of us. My husband and myself and our 16 year old daughter. We've been promising this trip to her for her 16th bday since she was 7!

Thanks for you help,

clearlyirish is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
Book lodging on your own. The time when you are going is not too busy, should be OK. That said, can you elaborate on your itinerary? Lodging usually is an afterthought to route. Where are going and how are you planning to get there?
Viajero2 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,650
I'm not an expert on Irish B&Bs, hopefully someone else knows more. But I seem to remember reading about these vouchers, and they weren't always positives. I think there are drawbacks. What is the possible purpose of doing that, to begin with? If there is no possible advantage, why do it.

I don't remember the details, but I think those vouchers limit you to certain places, and they don't guarantee you any rooms, so if a place has a paying customer, they will have priority over people with vouchers. Meaning you may not have as good a choice of rooms as if you just paid yourself. Also, I think sometimes there are surcharges by the B&B on top of the vouchers.

I thought those vouchers were only 38 euro a night per person which isn't $60, it's only $55.

I just fail to see what the purpose of these vouchers are.
Christina is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
If you want to keep your itinerary loose you can find a town you want to stay in and check with the local Tourist Info office. They often have a list of B&Bs and will book for you for a small sum.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
As Adrienne says, the tourist office will book you in with lots of choices. You can also book ahead. Say you are in town A in the afternoon, but are aiming for town B and know you will get there after the TI closes, you can go to the TI and ask them to call ahead for you.

As someone else mentioned, The vouchers limit you choice of rooms. Many B&B owners do not jon the voucher scheme as quite a bit gets skimmed off by the company and it takes them a month or more to get their pay.

Also, since you are traveling with three people, many places don't have triple rooms, in which case your daughter would have her own room but you would pay a surcharge.

When I was in my fifties and traveled with my parents, we did once or twice share a room, but the space was limited. Usually we just got a single and double. sometimes we shared a bath between the two, but often had our own. We did not pay anything near what the voucher rate was at that time.

In summary, I would skip the vouchers and book as you go.
irishface is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
No need to buy that package as I think it is pretty easy to go day by day. Your B&B hostess may be able to recommend one in another town, or stop in a Tourist Office and find a B&B either right there or in the place you expect to be in a few hours. Both methods worked fine for us on a September trip.
kayd is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
Oh, yes, book yourself. If you don't want to wing it, once your itinerary is more firm you can begin to find B&Bs online (most have websites of their own, and there are many sites that list B&Bs in an area). If you can't tell from the website, drop them an e-mail and ask about a triple room, unless you want to have a double or twin and a single and pay the difference. We found that many either have a triple or a family or will put in a third bed for the occasion.

You will find many very nice B&Bs for much less than $60 per person and without the vouchers your choices will expand tremendously.

What a nice treat for your daughter for this special birthday!
Once your itinerary is firmed up (not set in cement just yet) come on back and we will help you with it, and help you find just the right lodgings.
jaja is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
Should add that two of my recent trips were triples, once with two of my sisters and once with two grandsons, and we had no problem finding accommodations with triple rooms. Just so you know I know whereof I speak!
jaja is offline  
Aug 25th, 2011, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,989
Hi Clearlyirish,

I don’t have the answer, but looking at your choice of hotels with authenticireland, I would say that to stay at the Abbeyglen in Cliften or the Ballynahinch Castle, in Connemara for $60 per night would be a terrific bargain.

I stayed at Abbeyglen twice with my cousin who knows the west of Ireland well – upscale restaurant and great bar with music. We only dropped in for a beverage at Ballynahinch in the afternoon but I was very impressed – enormous grounds, catering to sportsmen, very upscale.

Have a great trip…
latedaytraveler is offline  
Aug 26th, 2011, 03:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8
Thanks for your responses! They have been very helpful! We have to brace for Irene today as she makes landfall tonight in my area. Once we get rid of her I will be back to post more. I

plan on making an itinerary before we go but have not been able to be obvious about anything yet because my daughter doesn't know yet. She finds out on her birthday on Sept 1st. =)

We are flying into Shannon and have our list of sites we would like to see while there. My daughter wants to spend at least one night in Dingle. Other than that, we have to start plotting and planning.

Thanks again for the help!

clearlyirish is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 15
We just returned from 11 day trip to Ireland..and I made many inquiries on the web..and found B&B's and travel lodges to charge quite the same..approx. $39 euro EACH person per night..(which in dollars amts to approx $1.48 per euro..So you are correct..about $60 per person) I did book ahead on the web..Also...It will not be crowded when you will be there..there will be vacancies all over. (BTW..it will be cold.)
MaryDee4649 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
It likely will be chilly, but you could also have some warm (as in sweater only) sunny days. This was my experience when I lived there. Of course, being a New Englander colors my idea of cold!

I swam in the Irish Sea at the end of September one year, though I must admit I didn't stay in long--maybe fifty strokes.
irishface is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,320
Hey C,

>That comes out to almost $60 per person per night...<

83E/nite for B&B for two is pretty good if it is a full breakfast and tax is included.

And you get to stay in a castle.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 04:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Is that price for 2 rooms - or for all 3 people in one room. If yo are looking for triples you will be significantly more limited,

Frankly I would want the freedom to pick the places I want - rather than be stuck with those B&Bs that have to sign up for this type of program to get business.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
Ditto most of the above. I used city tourist offices as I traveled to find B&Bs on a spring trip. You don't need to pre-book, unless there is a big soccer match colliding with your stay. Then you probably don't want to stay in that city anyway.
spaarne is offline  
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