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Vouchers? by Diane2000
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Diane2000
10/21/00 6:28 PM

Vouchers?


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Hi Michele, Will buying vouchers for bed and breakfasts save me money? or should I just pay as I go?


IrelandExpert
(Community Owner)
10/23/00 1:07 AM

RE: Vouchers?

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Hi Diane,

It depends on many factors: when you will be in Ireland, how much the vouchers cost, whether you want to make reservations or not, the accommodations they are good for, etc.

I have known people who have gotten good bargains on vouchers and others who have overpaid and would have been better off just paying cash at the B&Bs. So get back to me with a few more details and I'll give you my opinion.

Michele


Diane2000
11/12/00 1:22 AM

RE: Vouchers?

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Michele, I'm just about to wrap up my travel arrangements with my travel agent and she strongly suggests that I buy the vouchers. I'm going to be in Ireland in April with my husband and the cost of the vouchers is $40 per person for B&Bs. What do you think? is this a good deal? Thanks...Diane


DarrenA

11/12/00 7:50 AM

RE: Vouchers?

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I'm no expert, but I would say no, particularly in April. $40 sounds kinda steep to me. I would suggest you could find better bargains just by hunting on the Net. And in April, I would imagine your chances of being able to just turn up somewhere and get a room would be pretty high (particularly up North - but then they're always high up here ).

Michele? What do you think?


IrelandExpert
(Community Owner)
11/12/00 5:33 PM

RE: Vouchers?

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Darren, I agree with you completely. As usual, you've given Diane excellent advice.

Diane, B&Bs generally cost around £19-£23 per person for 2001. Today the Irish pound costs $1.09. So that means that if you don't get the vouchers and do the trip on your own you will pay a lot less--ALMOST HALF!! By paying as you go you will pay only around $20-$25 per person for B&B. In Northern Ireland it would be a little more because the exchange rate today is $1.42.

Also keep in mind that many vouchers have you pay an extra amount for an en suite room (which most are nowadays). So buying vouchers could add even more than $40 per person to what you are REALLY paying.

You may ask why the vouchers will cost you more than doing it yourself. In a word: travel agents must make a living. Some do provide you with very good deals, but not in this particular case concerning your vouchers.

My best advice for you: do not get the vouchers no matter how much your travel agent pressures you. Do it yourself and save lots of money. Think of all the wonderful things you can buy in Ireland with what you save: crystal, woolens, lace, crafts, china, pottery, souvenirs of all kinds. Maybe you can even afford a splurge and stay at a castle or eat at some really good restaurants.

Have a great time and enjoy your trip!

Michele


Diane2000
11/18/00 5:48 PM

RE: Vouchers?

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Michele, Thank you so much!!!! I turned down the vouchers and when my travel agent asked why I showed her a print-out of this page!! All she could do is shake her head and sigh. When I asked if what you had told me was really the truth she just said...afriad so...and left it at that. Now I'm looking forward to some high powered shopping in Ireland (i will drive my husband crazy!!) I want to get your book...should i get it now or wait for the next eddition? THANKS A MILLION!!! Diane


IrelandExpert
(Community Owner)
11/19/00 5:35 PM

RE: Vouchers?

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Dear Diane,

I'm very glad to have saved you some money--though with your shopping plans it sounds like the Irish economy will be booming!

As for when to order my book--it probably depends on where in Ireland you're planning to go. I'm going to be adding greatly to the No. Ireland section and will also be adding B&Bs and guesthouses in Wexford, Ballybunion, Killarney, Killybegs and Swords. The 2001 edition should be available at the end of Feb or beginning of March. I will leave it up to you as to when to order, but if you're not going to No. Ireland you might want to order soon so that you can start on the next phase of planning your trip. If you do get the 2000 edition of Best Little Guide to Ireland and then decide you would like to have the recommendation for let's say Killybegs, all you have to do is send me an e-mail and I'll be happy to give you the contact info for whatever new lodging you would like. You'll also save a dollar because the price for 2001 is (unfortunately) going to $15.99--which is still a bargain!

I hope that helps you make a decision.

Michele


Diane2000
12/03/00 2:17 AM

RE: Vouchers?

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Michele, Your book is a godsend!! I've read it three times already and each time I find something else that is of great help to me. With all the post-its and different color highlighters it looks like a rainbow! Very approprite for Ireland. I do have one question...On our last night in Ireland we are planning on attending one of the banquets. Which one is better Bunratty or Knapogue? Do you suggest reservations? Thanks a million! Diane


IrelandExpert
(Community Owner)
12/04/00 7:01 PM

RE: Vouchers?

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Dear Diane,

Thanks so much for for your very nice comments about my book. That's exactly why I wrote it: to share what I've learned from traveling to Ireland 33 times over the years. If it in any way helps to make your trip easier, I've fulfilled my mission.

Now to answer your question about Bunratty vs Knappogue: you are traveling to Ireland in April so Knappogue will not be open yet (it opens for banquets in May). That makes the decision for you!

Even though you are traveling during the off-season you still need reservations for the Bunratty banquet as it is very popular. You can make your reservations yourself by clicking on "Dining" at the bottom of this page and then on the e-mail address provided on that page or--if you are staying at either of the Bunratty B&Bs listed in my book--they will be happy to make the banquet reservations for you.

I know you will enjoy the banquet and--who knows--you and your husband might even be crowned "lord and lady" of the castle for the evening. Wouldn't that be fun?

Happy travels,

Michele


Fly-High
12/06/00 8:40 AM

RE: Vouchers?

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WOW ! Michele ... you hit the nail right on the head !!! I know of someone who booked their "once-in-a-life-time" trip to Ireland with a travel agent and they booked him and his wife from Atlanta to Brussels to London to Dublin. When asked why the travel agent did this the reply was "to get you the best fare". They ended up spending over 36 hours getting there when they could have flown non-stop on another airline in 7 hours for about the same price. Further investigation found that there was a commission bonus paid to the travel agent for booking the space on the airline that went to Brussels. What makes it even worse is that this travel agent is used exclusively by his business ! He also paid a lot more than $40 for his vouchers. The moral of the story is...like any other business...there are good travel agents and bad travel agents. This is another reason why I like your book as that it is commercial free and "tells it like it is" . I look forward in getting the 2001 edition as my 1999 book is in the hands of some former friend who will not give it back ! Thanks for being there for us. Fly-High !

IrelandExpert
(Community Owner)
12/07/00 2:50 AM

RE: Vouchers?

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Hi Fly High,

Thanks for your comments. You're right, there's good and bad to be found in any business. I suppose that's where research and referrals come in handy.

Michele


__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.

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