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Scared 1st time traveler


Hi Guys! My mom and I will be traveling to Ireland from Florida (USA) in mid August to return my Gram's ashes. We will be staying with our cousin in Glenbeigh, who does not drive!!! I want to get the most out of this once in a lifetime trip. This will be my moms 1st time flying so I'm scared on how she will do... she is scared to death!!!!

Where is it best to fly in to? Shannon or Kerry (Cork?)? If I fly into Shannon should we stay a day or 2 and explore then taxi to Glenbeigh (quote I got was $237) We have no plans other then return ashes to nana's farm and attend Glenbeigh races (Aug 26th).

Can this American handle driving in Ireland? Is it that different, other then oppsite side of road?

Thanks!!!

Updated.. forgot to add dates... I have not bought tickets yet cause I'm unsure where to fly into... travel dates we are looking at is Aug 20- Sept 1. (we are flexible on dates)

My idea trip would be fly into Shannon or Kerry (Cork?) and depart from Dublin. Is this doable?



-- Edited by ttdelellis on Wednesday 29th of March 2017 11:32:47 AM

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Sorry for your loss, and Welcome to Michele's Forum.

Glenbeigh is a delightful area along the Ring of Kerry and has a gorgeous beach overlooking the bay.  While there is Public Bus transport available, hiring a rental car would be the ideal way to visit the area.  If you are a reasonably competent driver in the USA, you should NOT have any major difficulty driving in Ireland. 

Kerry airport doesn't have any direct connections to the US, so flying there might require a bit more than would appeal to a nervous flier.  Shannon is physically closer to Kerry than Dublin, but Dublin has excellent Public Transit options, via both bus a train to either Tralee or Killarney.

Bus transport from Shannon to Glenbeigh:  http://www.buseireann.ie/

It would look like this:  From Shannon Airport, take Bus 51 to Limerick city (also goes to Cork ), change to Bus 14 that will take you to Killarney and then Bus 279A to Glenbeigh ( also goes to Waterville ).

 

The first bus from Shannon airport to Limerick ( 51 ) departs at 8.45 AM

Driving would really be quicker and less stressful, in my opinion.

 

 



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Bob

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Thanks Bob!

I noticed that all flights into Kerry have at least 3 layovers...

My idea trip would be fly into Shannon or Kerry (Cork?) and depart from Dublin. Is this doable? Once we arrive we are on our own, my cousin will only have one day to spend with us, then meet up with us in the evenings after work. She seems to be worried I won't find enough to do in Glenbeigh area.





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Is it better to fly out of Boston or JFK?

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  My wife is a nervous traveler and takes medication to ease her anxiety, when we fly.  Even so, we usually opt for minimal connections.  My wife and I live in Florida too, so we are generally faced with a minimum of one layover, each way.

You don't mention a budget, or an originating airport, so it's hard to advise on flights.

A couple of discount airlines offer flights into Cork from the Boston and New York City areas (WOW and Norwegian Airlines) and Aer Lingus also offer some (seasonal) flights, non-stop from Orlando to Dublin.  Delta has wide-body jets that fly non-stop from Atlanta -- but, only into Dublin.  From Florida, most flights into Shannon go via Boston or NYC -- and United bases from Newark.  American services Ireland from Miami, Charlotte and Philadelphia. 

Glenbeigh is a VERY small place -- I actually have a friend that leaves near there! biggrin biggrin  -- but there are a LOT of terrific sites nearby, if you have access to a car.  It's part way along the Ring of Kerry and a short drive from Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula, so it's surrounded by glorious scenery and sights of interest -- castles, Round Towers and ancient Monastic sites. 

I really can't recommend NOT renting a car.  I live in Venice, Florida and I find driving here, during the 'Season', MUCH more stressful than driving in Ireland -- excluding Dublin city center (but, I've done that successfully, a few times! aww ).  If you fly into Dublin, you could bus or train into Killarney and then rent a car.  If you fly into Shannon, you could rent there and spend the night in either Ennis, or Bunratty and then make the relatively easy drive to Glenbeigh and enjoy a brief stop in Adare (very picturesque) along the way.  The roads along that route are quite decent and the route is fairly straight-forward.  It's a bit much for a 'fresh off an over-night flight', though.

 Flying 'Open Jaw' (also called 'Multi-City') is very common.  You may find In/Out Dublin to be the cheapest option, though -- as it is the most common destination and offers more flights. 



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I love Venice, actually looking to retire there when the time comes, according to hubs I still have 16 years! Blah!

We live in Trinity, 30 mins from Tampa so I'm use to busy roads, its the narrow and hights that I'm nervous of. My cousin says I will be fine. She comes and stays 2 months with us every 2 years so she knows my driving!

As of right now I'm looking at departing from Tampa, but have passed around the idea of Orlando and doing a straight flight to Dublin staying a day to sight see then catching a small plane to Cork (RT for $86) Mom already spoke to her DR about getting somethng to ease her nerves, and dr said np!

I had originally planned this trip with my Grams 15 years ago, but then we adopted 2 kids and by the time everything was settled and I was ready to leave them Grams wasn't able to go. So I'm going into this blind.... I have no clue what to do where to go or what to see... I want to see it all, I want to fall in love with the land she loved so much. I know a few of my days will be spent seeing where she was raised and doing the things she loved. My cousin doesn't really leave Glenbeigh much she spends most of her free time walking the beach. (Same thing she does when she is here) and she reminds me she isn't a tour guide.

As far as budget goes we have budgeted $3000 each. I'm finding airfare anywhere from $750-$900

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Unless you have champagne tastes, that budget should suit fine for a Kerry-centric trip.  What interests you (other than family heritage)?  Scenery?  Architecture?  Ancient History?  Shopping?   . . .

If you flew into Dublin and spent a day seeing the sites, the train from Heuston Station takes you directly into Killarney, or continues on -- to the Kerry Airport.   A lot of the SNN flights from JFK, BOS or EWK are on 757 planes, that have a single, center isle, with three seats to each side.  Many Dublin flights are on A330 or 767 / 777 planes -- which feature 2-4-2 seating divided by two aisles.  Another important consideration is Travel Time (including length of lay-overs).  That can make flying to / from certain airports Less appealing over others.

For example, using your dates from Orlando, I found this $716 American Airlines deal: Departs MCO at 5:14 PM and stops in PHL at 7:45 and then, leaves PHL at 9:20 ( a 1 hour 35 minute lay over) and arrives SNN at 8:50 AM (Ireland time -- to you, it will seem like 4 AM -- only, in daylight!).  The return flight departs DUB at 9:55 AM (You'll need to be AT the airport about 7 AM) and arrives in CLT at 1:20 PM (Eastern Time).  After a 3 hour 5 minute layover, you depart CLT at 4:25 PM and land in Orlando at 6:06 PM.  That's a travel time of 10 hours 36 minutes GOING and 13 hours 11 minutes RETURNING -- which is pretty good.  Down side, for ME, is that planes used to SNN is a 757 (3 and 3 seating), but, the DUB to CLT flight is on an A330 (2-4-2) -- so you get a 'New, Best Friend' seatmate to SNN, hmm hmm   but NOT from DUB.  biggrin

A similar search to / from Tampa showed travel times in the 16 - 20 hour range . . .  BUT, there are LOTS of permutations and options that you could explore that could impact your choices, so the above is NOT a recommendation, per se -- merely an illustration.  aww  aww

 

We retired to Venice a year ago -- moving South, from Gainesville, FL!  biggrin  Needed to be close to the grand-children, don't you know . . .   biggrin  biggrin

My wife's grandfather hails from a town about the same distance East of Killarney as Glenbeigh is, to the West, so I've come to know the general area rather well. 

 



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Welcome & don't be intimidated about planning your trip. We are here to help and Bob has already set you on the right path.

If I can drive in Ireland anyone can! I think you will be just fine. It takes a few hours to accustom yourself to driving on the left but if you were to start from Shannon (very rural as compared to Dublin) I think you could ease into the process. Since you will be on an overnight flight I suggest not driving far on the first day.

Because you are staying with your cousin you don't have to worry about accommodations during the races. However, if you decide to see more of the country it will be good to plan an itinerary and book accommodations. August is high season and good places fill first.

May I ask how old your mother is? That might impact the pace of your trip.

Sorry about your grandmother. I know it will be a bittersweet trip taking her home.





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No problems self driving if you are reasonably confident at home it only takes a short while to adjust and you will be fine here. You should have no problem filling a couple of days or more from the north coast of Iveragh. A couple of days based around Shannon in Ennis would give you options around Clare especially if you do opt to drive.

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Bob, no champagne tastes here! I'm very low key and simple (just like Grams!) I want to take in as much as I can... not interested in any shopping, mainly the scenery and history. I'd like to do some walking/hiking mom wants to go horseback riding on the beach and I'm thinking maybe a boat tour or something like that...

Michele, mom is young! Only 62!!! We are use to parking and walking when we vacation. Have you ever been to the races? We had not planned on going our timing was just right for it! I've never been to any kind of race so this should be something different for me.. Mom however loves going to the horse races, so she is very excited. As for Grams I feel very honnored that I was the one chosen to do this for her. Mom wasn't even suppose to come, and right at the end she told Grams she would travel with me, and Grams got so excited cause she always wanted mom to see her home. So now mom is stuck, she isn't wanting to come but I know once she arrives she will be fine.

Tony, thanks! I just keep hearing horror stories! My grandpa says I can do it with ease.

I have a lot to figure out! I was kind of think of a long lay over in JFK so mom can get her barrings and we can grab a snack walk a little and not be stressed or rushed. I'm not sure how much time we need to add for bringing the ashes. I do have all the paper work together and she is in the proper urn. (She will be a carry on)

Thank you all for your help! Sometimes its all overwhelming due to high emotions!

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I would agree with Bob about driving in Ireland, it would be quicker and less stressful than relying on bus transportation from Shannon to Glenbeigh. Also, you will be happy to have a car while staying in Glenbeigh. Looking at your travel dates Aug. 20 to Sept. 1st, that will get you into Shannon on the 21st, with about 7 days in Glenbeigh to include the races on the 26st. I also agree with your cousin that you wont find enough to do in Glenbeigh, however you are so close to Killarney (about a 20 minutes drive), when she is at work you could drive into Killarney and do day bus tours from there. Also, on the road between Glenbeigh and Killorglin be sure to visit the Kerry Bog Village.

 

Flying out of Tampa I would recommend booking with Aer Lingus with connections out of Boston/Logan airport. Aer Lingus is a partner airline with Jet Blue so all reservation can be made with Aer Lingus for both airlines. Jet Blue to Boston and Aer Lingus to Shannon. Also at Boston/Logan airport Jet Blue and Aer Lingus use the same terminal. Again less stress for you and mom.

 

Another option once you leave Kerry you could return the car at the Kerry airport and take a bus or train to Dublin since you DO NOT want to drive in Dublin. In Dublin you will be able to once again do day bus trip tours around the Dublin area.

 



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Judy,
Thanks so much. I wasn't sure which airport to use JFK or Logan... I will diff go Logan sounds less stressful!

After speaking to mom this weekend we are going to rent a car and do a little more exploring... I just explained how this is a once in a life time trip for her and she needs to get the most out of it. Then I pulled out Grams book and showed her where she had marked everything and left me little notes!

My passport arrived Friday so plan on booking airfare thie week!!!

Thank you all for the advise so far!!!



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When you are ready to rent a car get an automatic. Costs a bit more but will make things much easier.

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Well folks airfare is booked.... We leave Tampa 8/20 to Boston with a long lay over 10 hours then Boston to Shannon arriving at 6am. We are going to stay the 21st in Shannon. Can you suggest where to stay and what to do that day?
Thanks again!!!
Teresa

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If you consider a couple of nights in Ennis then there are options in town but the 20th/21st are the last nights of the Fledh. lots will be leaving Saturday night/Sunday morning so there could be available accommodation. I know the Temple Gate hotel has accommodation as I type but that could change.

Using Ennis as a base you can tour County Clare south to Loop Head, north up into Galway the West with the Cliffs and Burren and even east over here to the Loughderg Lakelands.



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Great to hear your flights are booked. You can now cross that off your "to do" list. As Tony suggested Ennis is not too far from Shannon. Maybe 30 minutes. However, that is quite a long layover in Boston. If you feel you and your mother will be exhausted then I will recommend Headley Court in Bunratty (about 10 minutes drive from the airport). It is a lovely B&B but if you prefer a hotel I have a couple of recs in Bunratty and Shannon also.

Flights tend to get into Shannon very early. You might want to get breakfast before you start sightseeing as things won't be opening for a few hours after your early arrival. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park are well worth seeing and open at 9  am. 

Generally you won't check into your accommodations till the afternoon. If you feel you will be exhausted and need a nap I often suggest to my clients that they book 2 nights - the night before they arrive (while they are flying over the Atlantic) and arrival night. That way they can check into the B&B immediately on arrival, freshen up, have breakfast and a nap before sightseeing. But that is purely a personal choice. 

 

 



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