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Summer Travel In Ireland, Need Help!  
User currently offlinetbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1772 times:

Hey everyone. The lady and I want to travel in Ireland this summer and do the whole backpacking / hostel experience. Our budget is limited but we are aiming to save up $5000 for a month's worth of travel in Ireland. This will be the price we're going to pay for flights, lodging, and food for the entire month.

(1) Flights - When is the best time to get flights? Looking now for flights in the summer and they are $1000 roundtrip! Is there any chance these will go down or should we look at a later time?

(2) Lodging - We are trying to keep it affordable by staying in hostels, cheap inns / hotels, etc. Maybe even couch surfing? The lady isn't too comfortable with couch surfing but I LOVE the idea. Any other suggestions?

(3) Work - We both want to take part in WWOOF Ireland and that should cover a significant part of our costs. Thoughts on that? Will we miss out on sightseeing if we are working?

(4) Places to Visit - We know little about Ireland but want to hit some of the nice places. These include the big cities and common tourist locations but especially the lesser known, "gems" in the country.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. We're over halfway to our monetary goal and we have about three more months to save up for it. Is $5000 enough for two people for a month (including flights)? Thanks.


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16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
(3) Work - We both want to take part in WWOOF Ireland and that should cover a significant part of our costs. Thoughts on that? Will we miss out on sightseeing if we are working?

What you may miss in sights will be more than made up for in experience I should imagine. This scheme is something I'd like to take part in too.

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
Is $5000 enough for two people for a month (including flights)?

Take away $2000 for flights, that leaves a decent whack for travel and accommodation. You don't find hostels everywhere which is one problem, but these sites should help you budget more accurately if you've not already heard of/used them:

http://www.hostelbookers.com/
http://www.hostelworld.com/

The latter is generally not as good as the former, and more expensive, but occasionally they have places the other one doesn't.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1145 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1695 times:

For lodging, consider bed-and-breakfasts in addition to hostels etc. Irish B&B's tend to be relatively inexpensive and good value. They are usually (but not always!) much less expensive than traditional hotels.

As to places to visit, you can hardly go wrong. Do NOT miss Glendalough or Clonmacnoise. There's lots of great scenery all over, but the Wicklow Mountains just south of Dublin is a good place to start. In the southwest, the Ring of Kerry is overrun by tour buses in summer, try the Beara peninsula instead. I understand that DIngle is good too, that's one area I've missed. Blarney Castle will also be overrun, by Americans in green trousers, but it's probably worth it anyway. In Clare, you have the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, the latter especially is fascinating. Further north, the road past Tawnyard Lough (a bit north of Leenane) is spectacular, and you can hardly set foot in County Donegal without some fine scenery. As far as city life, central Dublin of course, and Cork is nice. I also liked Waterford and Galway City. (I never had a chance to see much of Wexford.)

Limerick is best passed through quickly -- it will be raining hard anyway   -- and try to avoid the jaunting-cart drivers in Killarney. (You probably can't, but try.) The parts of Sligo I saw were pretty bleak, but I didn't spend much time there and may well have missed the nice parts, assuming there are some. Except for Phoenix Park, most of Dublin north of the Liffey holds little for the tourist. I can't really think of any other places that I'd actively avoid.

Edited to add: the WWOOF thing sounds like a great idea to me. If you can find a host offering a couple weeks, you can use the other two for sightseeing. You might have to plan a little more carefully, but I think that with the right host, the farm experience would be very much worth it.

[Edited 2011-03-15 06:50:40]


Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6741 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1667 times:

Looking at B+B here

http://www.bandbireland.com/

the typical price is around $80-100 for a couple.

Hostels here have beds at around $15-$20 per person per night

http://www.hostelireland.com/hostels.php

A quick search has many towns with no hostels, apparently. There are some in, for eg, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Shannon.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

When do you travel exactly? The best chance to have the best weather in Ireland is end of May/beginning of June. I would highly recommend to travel around those dates.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 2):
Do NOT miss Glendalough or Clonmacnoise. There's lots of great scenery all over, but the Wicklow Mountains just south of Dublin is a good place to start.

Indeed.

Quoting PITingres (Reply 2):
I understand that DIngle is good too

It is. The Conor Pass is very nice. I highly recommend!

Quoting PITingres (Reply 2):
Cliffs of Moher

A must-see.

I would say that in general, the whole West coast of Ireland is incredible. Best would take the car and drive along the coast line from Donegal to Cork. There is nothing to throw away in this part of the country.

I'd advise the Giant's Causeway as well, North of Northen Ireland.



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1145 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1638 times:

Quoting oly720man (Reply 3):
Looking at B+B here

http://www.bandbireland.com/

the typical price is around $80-100 for a couple.

Hmm. I guess prices have crept up since I was last there (it's been a few years, alas), and the strong euro against the dollar isn't helping.

I would still advise considering a B&B for at least a few nights of the trip, and you may not have a lot of choice in some areas (e.g. the Beara, or some of the remoter regions of Donegal).



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1635 times:

When the GF and I went to Ireland 2 years ago we had stupid cheap plane tickets. ~$300 RT EWR-DUB. This was in late May of 2009.

We were only in Ireland for 4-5 days and stayed in Dublin. While Dublin is a nice city and there is plenty to do and see, a few days is about the most you'd want to spend there. Probably the nicest part of our visit was riding the commuter train out to Howth to spend the afternoon. After that afternoon it really solidified that you need to get out of Dublin to the countryside to really experience Ireland. If we had a few more days I think we would have tried to do that.

Your best resource for planning your trip and getting around in general has to be Rick Steeve's Ireland travel guide. His style of travel and advice really seem to fit what you are trying to do. He is very big on getting off of the beaten path, not looking like a tourist and being economical.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineEISHN From Ireland, joined Feb 2007, 1509 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1635 times:

Try and make it out to the Arann Islands as well.
Clare has plenty on offer. From the Cliffs to the Burren, plenty of places to go see some traditional Irish music performed (Clare has a quite a reputation for it). Bunratty Castle and folk park is also worth a look.
The nightlife in Galway is is quite good, but I don't think there's much to do for tourists (other than take the boat to the Islands). You could go see Kilkenny as well. A lovely city on the east coast.



St. Flannan/ Fhlanain- She took off to find the footlights, And I took off for the sky
User currently offlineussherd From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1594 times:

You should also visit Northern Ireland. Belfast is an interesting city with lots to see and do. Northern Ireland's coastline is spectacular and includes highlights like the Giant's Causway and Dunluce Castle, to name a few. The area around Lough Erne/Eniskillen is worth visiting, particularly Devonish Island. The Area around Strangford Lough is also beautiful.


Cada loco con su tema...
User currently offlinetbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1546 times:

Thanks for all the help so far! I am struggling with air fare, it is so high! It will take a significant chunk out of our budget, but so be it. I really like the idea of WWoofing for two weeks and touring for two weeks. That seems to be a nice balance.

B&B's are a great experience, even though I've only done them in the states. But I love staying in them and they are pretty affordable, so I don't know why I didn't think of that. Will definitely look that up in Ireland.



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User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1542 times:
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Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
(1) Flights - When is the best time to get flights?

Tuesday afternoon after 3pm is when you can book the cheapest seat.

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):

(4) Places to Visit -

Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate and Leo Burdock's.


User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6741 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

Quoting tbar220 (Reply 9):
Thanks for all the help so far! I am struggling with air fare, it is so high!

And strangely consistent at around $1100-$1300 for July/Aug (Jul20-Aug18)

EI $1085
AC $1116
US $1126
AA $1216
KL $1300



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offline330guy From Ireland, joined Nov 2010, 453 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1447 times:

Considering your not from Ireland and looking to come over for the first time, I would say fly with Aer Lingus, Its a great experiance and while not much different to any other airline flying across the atlantic there is a little hint of Irishness from them that will add a little bit to your all round experiance.

With regards to places to visit, it all depends on what your interested in, theres a gazillion castles and fields and bogs ect and Dublin has a lot to offer and a lot to do so im sure you'll find plenty to keep you happy

Moneywise 5K would be plenty... you may not even need to work if you budget your accomidation right



Aircraft flown: a300/10/20/21/30/40, b727/37/47/57/67/, DC9, MD80-90, l1011, f50, atr42/72, shorts360, pc12
User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1439 times:

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
(4) Places to Visit - We know little about Ireland but want to hit some of the nice places. These include the big cities and common tourist locations but especially the lesser known, "gems" in the country.

I've been in the mid 1990s in Ireland, and of the things I remember these are recommendable:
1) Cliffs of Moher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliffs_of_Moher
2) Giant's Causeway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant%27s_Causeway
3) Blarney Castle + Stone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blarney_Castle & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blarney_Stone



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlineAmricanShamrok From Ireland, joined May 2008, 2904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

Quoting tbar220 (Reply 9):
Thanks for all the help so far! I am struggling with air fare, it is so high!
Quoting oly720man (Reply 11):
And strangely consistent at around $1100-$1300 for July/Aug (Jul20-Aug18)

Try British Airways; they seem to be the best on USA-Ireland fares at the moment.



Shannon-Chicago
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1399 times:

Quoting EISHN (Reply 7):
Bunratty Castle and folk park is also worth a look.

I would advise against Bunratty. The place is too touristy. IOf you want to meet crowds of Americans discovering their Irish roots with all the stereotypes go there, but else better pass it by (it is on the road between Shannon and Limerick).
I agree with going to western Ireland, Co. Clare and Connemara are still quite unspoiled and Galway is a nice town as well.
The Ring of Kerry and the Dingle peninsula, while the places are beautiful, they are, at least in summer, overrun with tourists.

(I used to live in Co. Clare for several years and I´m also familiar with Dublin, since my fiancee lives there. In fact, I´ll fly there tomorrow again).

Jan


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5649 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1390 times:

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
Is there any chance these will go down or should we look at a later time?

Sign up for alerts from the different travel sites. At 1000 bucks a pop, they won't get much worse.

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):


(2) Lodging - We are trying to keep it affordable by staying in hostels, cheap inns / hotels, etc. Maybe even couch surfing? The lady isn't too comfortable with couch surfing but I LOVE the idea. Any other suggestions?

Hostels (do your research first!) and B&Bs are the best bet.

I believe hostelbookers and hostelworld are linked above. You can also try a Google search for B&Bs that might not be listed elsewhere.

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
$5000 for a month's worth of travel in Ireland.

You mean $3000 dollars (airfare's a bitch, ain't it?). Totally doable. Your biggest expenses are going to be airfare, lodging, transport, and food (in that order). Always keep a few hundred saved up for any nights out on the town.

Quoting tbar220 (Thread starter):
(3) Work - We both want to take part in WWOOF Ireland and that should cover a significant part of our costs. Thoughts on that? Will we miss out on sightseeing if we are working?

Not at all. You'll find that once you've seen one of something, you've seen them all. Not to mention you'll hear about some things to do that tourists generally don't know about or ignore. Plus you'll be meeting more people.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
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