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Two moms, two daughters--planning our trip!


May 31st, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Two moms, two daughters--planning our trip!

A recent chance meeting between a dear friend (who also has a daughter who is the same age that is infatuated with history) has determined a great change of course for my daughter and I. My girl and I now are planning on having traveling companions! We are looking at next May 2016 after each of the girls finish their spring semesters in college. We are trying to determine a rough outline for now, with much more discussion this summer. One daughter really wants to see Ireland and Scotland, the other England (York is a must see) and Scotland although they both realize that with two weeks, many compromises will need to be made and that we cannot see it all in one trip.

Our initial plan is: Fly into Shannon Airport, rent car, drive and see such sights as the Ring of Kerry, etc. drive to Dublin: 4 full days in Ireland

Fly to Manchester from Dublin Airport: train to York: 2 days

Drive up the coast and/or inland to see Northern England: 2 days

Head to Edinburgh: 4 days in Scotland
Fly out of Edinburgh

I have read so many talk about not trying to cram too much into your vacation/holiday, and I was hoping this plan does not do that. What do you all think?
KandKsmom is offline  
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May 31st, 2015, 12:14 PM
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>>I have read so many talk about not trying to cram too much into your vacation/holiday, and I was hoping this plan does not do that.<<

Well -- it does in parts, that's for sure.

You can't see very much of Ireland in 4 days. And especially not if you want things on the west/SW coast and Dublin too. They are on opposite sides of the country.

And 4 days in Scotland is nothing, assuming you want at least 2 full days in Edinburgh.

W/ just 2 weeks I'd maybe try to get the girls to decide which are most important to them. It looks like Scotland is absolutely a MUST since both want to go there. A week in Ireland and a week in Scotland could be a good compromise -- still hectic but a decent taste of both countries.

Or 9 or 10 days in Scotland and the rest in York and northern England. Or 9 or 10 days in Ireland and the rest in Edinburgh (just Edinburgh) w/ a day trip somewhere.

How much time will you have all together? To help you decide -- to get 4 full days in Ireland would require 5 nights since your arrival day will be half a jet lagged day. 4 full days in Scotland - again 5 nights. (two FULL days in York = 3 nights. But you can see most of York itself in 1.5 days so 2 nights would probably be OK there)
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May 31st, 2015, 12:42 PM
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Hi janis,

We are thinking 14 days total, so 12 on the ground. The other thing we considered was maybe each of us doing our thing separately for the first part--She and her daughter including Ireland first and us including England, then meeting together and finishing off the trip in Scotland together. I wonder if that would be a better choice.
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May 31st, 2015, 12:47 PM
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12 days Ireland and Scotland is a push but possible.. Throwing 4 days out to see England from York up is the straw that breaks the camels back.

Dublin to York kills a day itself getting to and through DUB fly to and clear MAN, train to Piccadilly change for York. Day in York covers the city so that's your 2 days. What are the other 2 for? just get the train to Edinburgh from York..

So 5 days Ireland, 3 for Ireland, 2 for Dublin. 2 for York, 2 for Edinburgh, 3 for Scotland (Rabbies Tour?).
Tony2phones is offline  
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May 31st, 2015, 12:47 PM
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Actually, I think dividing your time sounds great. That way, you will all be glad to see one another for your Scottish adventure and each group will have previously seen exactly what they wanted to.
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May 31st, 2015, 01:09 PM
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The plan is a bit tight. You are looking at Google maps as if the areas make sense on Google's projection (they use Mercator which is less affective as you go north). Scotland is big and away from Glasgow/Edinburgh line the place goes on a long way and is generally full of great country and less impressive towns. Other Fodorites know I go on about Orkney but you should consider looking at the Highlands, the Western Isles and the Eastern Isles (Orkney&Shetland) as three very seperate places to visit. Flights from Glasgow or Edinburgh are relativly cheap.

The Ireland / England split makes a lot of sense, but it is up to you guys.
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May 31st, 2015, 01:45 PM
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Hi, one good tip is to think in nights rather than days. Work out where you would be sleeping each night and how long it will take to get from the place you slept in the night before. Use aarouteplanner to work out travel times and add in extra time.

You can do your initial plan but as to which of your options works best will depend on what your priorities are - if time in England is more important than time in Ireland then meeting up in Scotland is a great idea. It's a good idea to list and rank priorities and map them out, work out travel times between them and start out from there.

There is nothing wrong with trying to fit lots in, your initial plans are not crazy or undoable and many of the experts on here have travelled extensively and probably have the luxury of not needing or desiring to see too much. In my own view it would be excellent to see some of England, Ireland and Scotland.

And remember four days in Scotland is not nothing - it's four days in Scotland. Have fun, happy planning.
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May 31st, 2015, 03:18 PM
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I like you idea of splitting up your trip with each family prioritizing their "must sees" and meeting up together in Scotland. Both families can have more leisurely trips and do the things you each really want to do. Think of the fun you'll have getting together and talking about all of your earlier adventures!
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May 31st, 2015, 04:38 PM
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You might have better luck thinking in terms of flying into Shannnon and then out of Cork....I am told better flight opportunities between Cork and England/Scotland.
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Jun 1st, 2015, 12:25 PM
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I think there is a need for the two girls to work out just what their expectations of the trip are and what they hope to achieve in the time possible. You say both are infatuated with history and presumably will want to include quite a bit of history in the trip. UK history spans several thousand years. What are they particularly interested in/want to see? Having established this, build the itinerary around it.

The timetable you have drafted out is doable but is very much a whistle stop tour. The danger of this is that you end up seeing not very much of a lot. The suggestion of splitting up and doing England and Ireland separately and then doing Scotland together does have its merits.

Don't underestimate the amount of time it will take to get between places. The UK may not look very big on a map but on the ground, travel times can be a lot longer than you expect.
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Jun 1st, 2015, 12:49 PM
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I don't think it's so bad. I only spent about 4 days in Scotland, and enjoyed it very much. Of course you can't see entire countries in that time, but you can see something enjoyable and get a taste of different countries. I was in Edinburgh for 3-4 days and did a day bus tour of the countryside to see some castles, the scenery etc. That was very pleasant.

Actually, I thought your itinerary was pretty good. I also spent only 4 days in Ireland but just around Dublin.
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