tour bus or self-guided

Nov 11th, 2003, 02:13 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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tour bus or self-guided

My sister and I are taking our 73 year old mother to Ireland, May, 2004. She walks with a cane. Can't make up my mind if a coach bus tour would be better/easier or if the three of us driving ourselves around better/easier. Help.
bmurray61 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 03:33 AM
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If you are willing to drive, then drive. I think it would be much better/easier given your traveling constrains. May can be quite rainy in Ireland and having the freedom to set your own pace given the situation could be a trip-saver. Hope you all have a great trip!!
Nov 11th, 2003, 03:52 AM
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Thanks, Maira. I'm so afraid if we drive we won't see much, we won't stay in the right places, we won't eat at the right places. All of us love to gawk and browse! At least on a bus, we'll have to stay on a schedule albeit commando style. We'll never get another chance to take our mother. I just want it to be perfect (you know what I mean)? I need reassurance that our trip will be great no matter how much we see. In fact, I need to try to not see too much. Thanks for letting me ramble!
bmurray61 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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I think you get to see more if you drive yourself because you can stop when and where you please for as long as you like. And, you can travel at a pace that's comfortable for your mother. A tour will hit the major tourist destinations, but it's the little, out-of-the-way places that can make for a great trip.
MaryZ is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 05:01 AM
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Hi bm,

May I suggest that you plan your motor trip and then post it under this thread and let those familiar with Ireland help you tweak it?

For example, how many days do you plan to spend?
ira is online now  
Nov 11th, 2003, 06:07 AM
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I'm 73 next year and I walk with a walking stick; I wouldn't be caught dead on a bus tour except maybe a 'rubbernecker' (get on; get off) tour of Dublin. They're worse than the Army. They don't allow for a leisurely stop at a place. I stopped by an hotel in Ennis (County Clare) when they were 'herding' prople onto a bus for an 8:00 AM departure and I really felt sorry for those people who had probably paid premium price for a fully escorted bus tour of Ireland.

I use Public Transportation (mostly BusEireann) between cities or even small towns where there's only 1-bus a day each way.

If you or your sister don't mind driving, that's probably the way to go. A car in Dublin can be more a liability than an advantage. Turn it in when you get back to Dublin and take AirLink to the airport.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 06:09 AM
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bm -

My 75 year old mother-in-law has traveled to Ireland at least 25 times in the past 10 years. When going a lone, she usually tours, but when she travels w/us, we usually drive. If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me, [email protected] .

We're going for Christmas & New Years this year w/her for over 2 weeks w/our teenaged daughter. It?s hard to coordinate but it'll work out.

Best of luck!

eyps is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 08:52 AM
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Ned comments were right on. Please don't get wrapped up in the details of creating the "perfect" trip to Ireland in a way that makes it impossible for you to enjoy. What will make it perfect is that you will be traveling with your mother, not whether or not you miss a site here or there.

The resources here and other sites will give you all that you need to put together a great vacation. There are many great hidden gems that the tour buses can't or won't go to. Wonderful sections of Ireland get ignored because they aren't on the main tourist trail. This is a good thing.

Get a few guide books and a basic idea of where you want to go and then start asking questions. Coinsider going to for some answers. Michele does a great job of helping to plan an itinerary and the book she sells is quite good for the casual tourist. Hers is a book with no pictures, but is a great one to take along for the trip. The ones with pictures are good for getting an idea of the general area that you want to visit.

If you wanted to take a tour, you could consider a localized one, with a local guide that could provide some history and information and probably so good laughs.

I took my sister and brother-in-law with me this year and was responsible for being the guide. We went down backroads, dirt roads and everything else and they had a great time. Was it perfect? Sure. They were there.

wojazz3 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 09:01 AM
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bmurray: "we won't stay in the right places, we won't eat at the right places"

Unfortunately a group tour (unless it is a very small exclusive one) almost guarantees you won't stay in the right places or eat at the right places. Tour coaches are often prohibited from stopping at the best country pubs and small B&Bs never have enough room for a coachload.

A tour group is practically forced to stay at larger, impersonal hotels, and eat a large touristy restaurants.

And if your mother has a "down day" when she is just too pooped to tour, or if you all want to spend a quiet day in a small fishing village - well on that tout you will be locked into the schedule.

Drive - it is easy and you will be able to go at your own pace . . . .
janis is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 09:02 AM
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oops - that should be "on that tour" - but maybe tout was appropriate . . . . .
janis is offline  

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