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> Best Way To Travel To Ireland
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j Padraig moore 
Posted: 21-Sep-2007, 07:22 AM
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If I wanted to travel to Ireland (and believe me, I really, really want to!), what would be the best way to go?
Would booking a tour with a travel agent be best? Or maybe just fly over, rent a car and take off over the countryside?

How have some of you done your traveling to Ireland? I know my in-laws, who have traveled the world over, go exclusively on tours, with itineraries, etc. They say it is the only way to go. I am thinking I'd like a little more latitude and flexibility.

What are your thoughts?
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 21-Sep-2007, 05:23 PM
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When I went to Ireland, it was a pre-arranged tour. I had quite a bit of fun, but then I was also traveling with Emerald Rose at the time too, which was a huge plus. When I've travelled here in the States, there's almost never been a solid plan. I prefer a more flexible schedule, but at the same time the logistics of it on an International trip is something I'm trying to work out right now too. My vote is, have some idea of where you want to go, but don't nail anything down that you don't have to.


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j Padraig moore 
Posted: 21-Sep-2007, 11:09 PM
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The wife & I were watching "Rick Steves Europe" last night on PBS and he was doing a trip thru southern Ireland. He had a plan on where and what he was going to do. It just seemd to me to be very interesting, to sort of take off to wherever your desire led you. I guess I am not sure that taking a planned tour is for me. I would certainly plan my trip, but I would also want to have some room for "ad-libbing".
Thanks Aaedwin!
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 22-Sep-2007, 05:32 PM
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We've been in Ireland in 2001 and it still feels like yesterday for me.What a great country to explore. In my opinion when travelling it's always best to prepare your itinerary with the help of a map of the country and a guide book.

The best one that comes to mind is "The Green Guide" from Michelin. This little green book is complete and a must for your travels and you must plan where you'll sleep too, again with the help of two books that you can order on line or buy at the bookstore they are " Hotels & Guesthouses" and "Bed & Breakfast "which includes Northern Ireland.

Of course,try to set a date where it is not too crowded with tourist everywhere,the best time for us that we found very nice is October.We've been Portugal, Scotland, and recently Wales and England and it is always in that month. But again it is your choice. And finally rent a car not too small but not big because in cities like Dublin there is absolutly no place to park on the street you have to go in parking spaces which are very expensive.

For us by travelling that way even with an itinerary it gave us more freedom to do and see what we wanted. We always book our first night near the airport because that is not a very good idea to take a car in a foreign land tired.Don't forget they drive on the left side overthere.But as we travel around we usually book our nights the same day.That's when these little books that I mentionned earlier becomes handy.

You are mostly free to take any pictures from outside ans inside of ruins castles but don't be disappointed because there are some castles and mansions where it is strictly forbidden to film or take inside pictures.In Scotland and Wales they were less strict, but for some reason and I think it has to do with "copyright" in Ireland you're not allowed to take any.

Allow yourselves at least three weeks if you really want to see and have the time to relax too. And of course, you must prepare a budget for us in 2001 it was around 10K CAD everything included, because at the time it was the irish pound today I think with the Euro it would be a little less.If you plan on going to Northern Ireland don't forget that it is not the same currency even if it's part of Ireland they are under the english pound.(very expensive) but worth exploring especially "The Giant's Causeway".

Hope that my experiences in travelling is helping you a bit.LOA


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AShruleEgan 
Posted: 25-Sep-2007, 08:25 PM
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First off, don't even think that you will see all of Ireland in your short visit. Ireland has way to much to see in each region. Best to pick a region that interests you the most. Let's use Co.'s Clare, Galway, Mayo and Sligo as an example. These four counties are on the west coast of Ireland. In a two week vacation, you might be able to cover some of the better known sites but you will still be cheating yourself. I say, cheating yourself because, the locals know where all the real interesting sites are, that the tourist never get to see. Stop in the local pubs and have a pint and ask the locals what's of interest in the area.

By the way, if you plan to take the ferry out to the Aran Islands, do yourself a favor and spend two days out there. There are many B&B' on the islands and one day just simply is not enough. If you need a listing of B&B's on Inishmore, I can give that to you. I can also give you the phone number and address of one of the jaunting cart drivers. He will meet you at the dock and take you for a tour of the island and also drop you off at the B&B that you choose.

Make your trip as simple as you can. Figure out what region you want to be in, pick out just a few tourist things that you want to see and spend the rest of the time just driving around. There are castles and abbey's everywhere in Ireland. You won't have any problem finding one. Go explore the countryside and by all means, explore the pubs and the people. They are the most entertaining.

Renting a house in a central area of where you wish to explore, can be reasonable or pick a B&B and stay a few days and move 40 miles and stay at another B&B. You won't have a problem finding B&B's in Ireland, they are everywhere also. Knock on a door and ask for a room.

Have to agree, rent the smallest car that the two of you and your luggage will fit in. The roads are narrow and the Irish love to drive fast, so, keep that in mind.

If you go into the picture gallery section of CR, the Ireland and Castle sections, should give you some ideas of places you might want to visit.

HAVE FUN!!!
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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 26-Sep-2007, 11:39 PM
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I'll 2nd that, Egan! The smaller the car the better. LOL! wink.gif I would also recommend getting full coverage on that car! The first 4 hours I was in Ireland, I got into a fender bender, and then later blew out a tire because I got too close to the edge of the road. That road had no shoulder. It went from pavement to big ole' stones that had fallen off of the stone wall that was 5 inches from your side view mirror. What an adventure! I was ready to turn around and go straight home... rolleyes.gif We only stayed a week and didn't see nearly everything we wanted to. Next time, I'll be trying for 2 weeks and probably taking my kids along with me.

The Aran Islands were gorgeous! It's truly a place you could lose yourself in. cool.gif


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AShruleEgan 
Posted: 27-Sep-2007, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE (Irish Stepper @ 26-Sep-2007, 11:39 PM)
The first 4 hours I was in Ireland, I got into a fender bender, and then later blew out a tire because I got too close to the edge of the road.

biggrin.gif And don't trust that the jack will work that they provide in the car, to change your tire. Right Shell? laugh.gif
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Irish Stepper 
Posted: 27-Sep-2007, 10:10 PM
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No Kidding! Good thing we had another one to use! laugh.gif
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AShruleEgan 
Posted: 29-Sep-2007, 02:16 PM
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If you haven't made your flight reservations yet, FlyGlobeSpan, http://www.flyglobespan.com/US/index.asp?lan=US flies to either Belfast or Knock, depending on what U.S. airport you leave from. Just remember, if you plan to have a meal on FlyGlobeSpan, you have to purchase the upgraded ticket in order to have a meal.

Most of the other U.S. airlines fly into either Shannon or Dublin. Since you have never been to Ireland before, I would suggest you fly into either Shannon, Knock or Belfast. They are more in the rural areas and it will be easier to learn to drive. Dublin is much more congested and could be dangerous for a first time driver..

Here's a few pages that may help you out in finding some things.
http://www.iwhh.com/index.asp
http://www.lookaroundireland.com/mapofaranislands.htm
http://www.hibernia.info/index.asp?item=0&locID=12
http://www.carhire.ie/
http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/default.aspx
http://www.irelandwide.com/acom/kilmurveyh...house/index.htm
http://www.beb.ie/index.cgi?pg=2
http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk//partners/...s/SHC/index.asp
http://www.daltoninn.com/
http://www.galwaycrystal.ie/Heritage_centr...tage_centre.htm
http://www.irelandseye.com/welcome.shtm
http://www.irishaccommodation.com/
http://www.irelandofthewelcomes.com/default.asp?issue=
http://www.ballycastle.free-online.co.uk/p...usewaytrain.htm
http://www.lookintoireland.com/mapirl1.htm
http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/
http://www.discoverireland.com/us/
http://homepage.eircom.net/~bunrattywinery/
http://www.tullamoredew.com/


That should keep you busy for a while. biggrin.gif
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 29-Sep-2007, 07:43 PM
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Hi A Shrule Egan, I'm just curious.

When were you in Ireland and did you enjoy your trip as much as we did? Did you visit the whole country or just stayed at relatives and visit around the area?

And I have to agree that Dublin is very congested and that's why we stayed near the city the first night. Although it wasn't our first time driving on the left side. But it was fun though.
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AShruleEgan 
Posted: 29-Sep-2007, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (Lady of Avalon @ 29-Sep-2007, 07:43 PM)
Hi A Shrule Egan, I'm just curious.

When were you in Ireland and did you enjoy your trip as much as we did? Did you visit the whole country or just stayed at relatives and visit around the area?


I love going to Ireland. Been there twice. My first trip was in 2005 and that was meant to be a genealogy trip, for the most part. I learned a lot about my family, walking through the cemetery of the town (Shrule). I also ran into a few relatives, that I never knew I had, just by walking around town and talking to the town folks. I only had contact with 2 known relatives before that trip. I met 5 others just from socializing in town.

My second trip was this past April and a few of the CR members came along for that trip (Annabelle and Irish Stepper). We rented a house on Loch Corrib, just outside the town of Headford. Brought my mother along, so she could meet her first cousin, that I found on my first trip, plus, she got to meet her other cousins from her mothers side in Ballyshannon, that she hasn't seen in 30 years. She had been to Ireland once before.

Ireland has so much to offer, that you will never see it all in a 2 week period. You have to keep going back and explore a different region each time.

I'm trying to alternate each year between Scotland and Ireland. Next year, is supposed to be Scotland and back to Ireland in 2009. Scotland is about double the price of Ireland, so that makes it tough to budget for such a trip but I'm already looking forward to going back to Ireland and hearing all my relatives say those words again, "A Yank Has Come Home". laugh.gif
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 30-Sep-2007, 05:41 PM
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It must of been quite a lot of fun and entertaining for your Mom.

We've met some wonderful people there that we just don't have any connection at all except the fact that the father was a long lost relative of one of my mother's cousin.

When she learned that we were going to Ireland she asked us where we were to travel. And she told us approximately where they were because the only thing she had was a letter written to her mother by her great uncle almost 50 years ago.

He lived in the small village of Portno Co.Donegal and when we showed up at his house and we told him about the letter he said to us:"Wait a minute please" and when he came back outside he had the letter in his hand and he remember quite well when he wrote it at the time. At that time he was about 80 something and unfortunately he died last year. To us he was our special friend because he just opened his door to two travellers without knowing us and offered us cookies and tea by the fire in his living room showing us family pictures. I'll always cherish these pictures that I took that day.
He introduce us to his daughter and son in law and we are still in contact with them every year. That was an amazing day for us.
And us too will go back some day because even three weeks wasn't enough.

Thanks for sharing your story with me A Shrule Egan.LOA
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IrishBeachLassie 
Posted: 09-Mar-2009, 10:16 PM
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I hope any of you are still reading this post; how was the weather in October and the other times any of the other people that went to Ireland; plainning on going in 2010.
darlene


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 10-Mar-2009, 08:27 AM
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IrishBeachLassie,

When there as it was in October we had days with bright sunshine though the weather is very unpredictable as you drive along the coast as well as inside the country... to me it was just perfect weather as I don't like it when too warm.

Some days we would wake up with bright sunshine and in minutes it would become very windy bringing a downpour on us and then bright sunshine minutes after.
But I have to say that they have usually a lot of rain...kindda a little mist but when it's the downpour well let me just say it IS a downpour...

One night in Waterford we were driving downtown in search of a restaurant and when we finally found one we parked the car only a few feets from the restaurant and as we got out there is was the "deluge" both of us had our raincoats on with hats but the 2 or 3 minutes it took us to get to the resto we were all drenched to up to the knees and as I walked in you could hear the squish squish of my wet shoes actually flooded shoes it was if we had jumped into a pool.

But in all we were lucky as we had pretty much nice weather all the time.

You could always check out their website Met Éireann to get the latest weather forecast before leaving and that'll give you an idea on what to expect and bring cloths accordingly.

LOA smile.gif
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dundee 
Posted: 10-Mar-2009, 09:35 AM
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i am hoping to make the trip this year or next. my company gave me a $3k travel voucher for being here so long. Will $3k do it.

i have seen places agencies were you can rent a car, get a driving itinerary of the places you want to see, they will set up lodging so you can stay at different places every night b&b"s to castles if you like. my preferred way of going would be a driving tour... i want to spend the days sight seeing and evenings in a local pub and get to know some people. i do not want to get off a bus go into a pub and be looked at as another tourist... i would really like to experience ireland the people the culture. i do not know if i will be able to get back again.

would dublin be a place i would like to see (really)? i have been to a city! i love the country and country folk.



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