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Struggling with itinerary for a 14 night family trip!!


Struggling with itinerary for a 14 night family trip!!

Old Dec 29th, 2019, 02:25 PM
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Struggling with itinerary for a 14 night family trip!!

We are 4 adults (Mom and Dad and 2 adult children) travelling to Ireland in June. The following is our original itinerary (covering our “wish lists”, and visiting a family grave site in Kilkenny):

Day 1 - Arrive at Dublin airport at 11:30 a.m. from Canada and depart for Belfast (but concerned about driving immediately due to jet lag). Overnight in Belfast.
Day 2 - Overnight in Belfast.
Day 3 - Overnight in Portrush
Day 4 - Overnight in Donegal
Day 5 - Overnight in Donegal
Day 6 - Overnight in Galway
Day 7 - Overnight in Galway
Day 8 - Overnight in Dingle
Day 9 - Overnight in Dingle
Day 10 - Overnight in Kilkenny
Day 11 - Overnight in Kilkenny
Day 12 - Overnight in Dublin
Day 13 - Overnight in Dublin
Day 14 - Overnight in Dublin
Day 15 - Fly Home from Dublin

1. If it is not advisable to drive immediately from Dublin to Belfast due to jet lag, and we stay overnight in Dublin instead of Belfast on Day 1, what other stop should we deduct a day from to make up the lost day?

2. Another option - instead of renting a car immediately upon arrival in Dublin, I have found a short 3 day tour of Northern Ireland that departs from Dublin on our Day 2, which overnights in Belfast and Letterkenny, and passes through Galway on the way back to Dublin. We could leave the tour in Galway, as long as their itinerary is not reversed ((which it sometimes is, according to their website). This tour checks off most of our boxes for Northern Ireland.

3. If the direction of this tour works out for us, with the last stop being Galway, we would get off there, and would be in Galway on Day 4, and could stay there for 3 nights instead of 2. We would then rent a car to drive to Dingle. Similarly, we would then be in Dingle for 3 nights, on our Days 7, 8 and 9, instead of just 2 nights. The remainder of the trip would remain the same.

We be most appreciative of all thoughts and comments regarding what would be the best plan.

Thank you so much!!!!

kc1 is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2020, 02:02 PM
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I don't think driving to Belfast on your arrival day will be a big deal. It is less than a 2 hr drive. If you wanted to drive first to Trim Castle ( less than 1 hr from the airport ) - you could get some fresh air and see where Braveheart was filmed. Then drive to Belfast after ( less than 2 hours ).. Whoever the driver is - hopefully they will try hard to get some sleep on the plane. I would recommend renting a car and driving. You will see so much more and you will have the option to stop at any place you see. Also when renting a car, do get the maximum insurance with zero deductible and tyre and glass coverage. This I know from my experience. I can't advise on any tours - I have always rented a car. The night you return from Kilkenny to Dublin you would return the car to the airport and take the bus to Dublin. There is a bus that just goes from the airport to Dublin and return.
There is so much to see in the Portrush area too. Galway is a wonderful town too. When driving Dingle - drive the coast first and then end in Dingle. Reason being is that you are hugging the mountain side not the ocean side. Also, Northern Ireland is on the British Pound, Ireland is on the Euro - just an FYI. But, your trip looks feasible and your kids will have a great time. Rick Steves gives some great advice on Ireland and renting cars.
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 09:06 PM
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Sorry, but driving after crossing a bunch of times zones IS a big deal. It is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Also, you will be driving on the other side of the road. Please don't do it!

Ireland has trains, if you really want to get to Belfast the first day look into drop off fees for renting a car in Belfast and returning it in Dublin, and take the train to Belfast. https://www.seat61.com/Ireland-train...0by_Enterprise

Even better, according to Rome2Rio, there are direct buses from Dublin airport to Belfast.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Jan 1st, 2020 at 09:09 PM.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 02:55 AM
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The buses from Dublin airport are often and good. You could base in Belfast and do McCombs day tours or train and bus to different places. A Black cab tour is very interesting and loved the McCombs small bus GOT tou It all depends on where you are flying from imo. It Toronto, not a big deal to drive to Belfast. If Vancouver then no. Stop and see something along the way and have lunch and coffee. I am good going, horrible coming back. You could check drop off fees if you rented in Belfast and dropped off in Dublin. I think the drive from Donegal to Galway is so beautiful. You won't make great time. You will be pulling over often to look. I love Galway. The O'Connells pub is very nice. It has a huge beer garden in the back that is great fun. Dough brothers pizza. Sitting in Dublin airport right now waiting for our gate announcement.
Macross is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 03:45 AM
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The drive is on major roads and less than two hours.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 03:53 PM
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thursdaysd is absolutely correct about driving after a flight from ANY where in North America to ANY where in Europe -- it's as bad as driving drunk, and is just as dangerous to yourselves and anyone else on the roads. It doesn't matter if it's "just" two hour or on major roads. Please don't!!!

I don't know anyone who would be irresponsible enough to suggest that it's OK to drive after drinking because the drive isn't long, and don't understand why anyone would suggest that it's OK to drive with jet lag. At least after drinking, someone might try to stop you. The problem with microsleeps -- the apparent culprit after crossing time zones -- is that you might not even know you are having them. And there is nothing -- NOTHING -- you can do to prevent them other than getting used to the new time zone. Caffeine won't help, sleeping on the plane won't help, listening to loud music won't help, nothing will help.
kja is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 05:26 PM
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Why not just reverse the order of the trip - easy peasy. Stay in Dublin first (I'd only stay in Dublin 3 nights - enough to recover from jet lag and do some sightseeing- but Dublin isn't my favorite), then Kilkenny, Dingle, Galway, Donegal, Portrush, Belfast (2 nights) then drive down to DUB, turn in the car and fly home.

If your flight is say 11AM or later you could drive down the same morning. If it is earlier, drive down the evening before, and sleep in DUB area hotel.
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Old Jan 8th, 2020, 04:36 AM
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Honestly you have too many stops. A few of your days are spent with 4 hours in the car driving from Donegal - Galway, Galway - Dingle, Dingle - Kilkenny. That really only gives you one full day in each place. I would concentrate on either the northern half of Ireland (not necessarily just northern Ireland). or the southern half. Draw a line from Dublin to Galway and stay either north or south of that line. Try to have 3 nights in the places you are going so you at least get 2 full days there.
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