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Post Info TOPIC: Where do we start???? by arkitkat


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Where do we start???? by arkitkat
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arkitkat
Unregistered User
(3/15/04 5:49 pm)

Where do we start????


Hi to all,

My husband and I just decided to start planning a trip to Ireland next year. I have bought Frommer's and have been constantly looking at B&Bs, self-catering, etc. on line. First I think traveling and sleeping each day in new locations is the thing to do, then having a home base for a week with outings from there seems the way to go. We are all over the map, literally! Of course, we are budget minded also and want to keep that in mind. After reading these posts I want to go tomorrow! Any tips on what we should do? We are planning on probably 2 weeks. Where do we start??? Thanks for any tips!

Janie



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2295
(3/16/04 12:55 am)

Re: Where do we start????


Hi Janie,

Any time you are planning a trip to a place you have never been before the task at first seems daunting. However, doing research, reading, looking at photo books will all help you decide on what you want to do and see in Ireland. Start making a list of your "must sees".

I suggest going to my "Planning" page for some tips to get started. Also, you are not alone here. You have found just the right place to ask any questions you have and get quick and friendly answers from all the forum members.

Generally, I recommend having home bases set up from which to do day trips. Staying at B&Bs or other accommodations for two or three days can be much more relaxing than packing up and moving on every day. That gets tiring fast. You can intersperse those stays with one night stays in certain areas.

But these are the basic steps you need to start with.

1. Decide when you want to go.
2. Get your passports
3. Once you have firm dates, make an itinerary.
4. Get all your travel arrangements in order: flights, car rental, accommodations.

Let me know if I can help in any other way.

Michele




Anita
Unregistered User
(3/16/04 6:31 pm)

Library


Go to the library and sign out copies of guide books like Let's Go, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, Frodors, Michelin Green Guide. All have different ways to approach travel. The best ones for in-depth descriptions of every possible site you could imagine are the Lonely Planet and Let's Go books. They tend to cater to backpackers, but have a lot more information than the others. Once you decide how you want to travel (car, train, bus) then look up the websites for the Irish tourist board, Duchas, and others, and start looking at maps of where the things you want to see are and from that you should be able to get a better idea of how long you need in each area. Then, come back here and ask Michele because she gives the best advice. There are other sites that have bulletin boards where you might find useful information, but often Ireland is bunched in with Great Britain and you have to sort through all the questions about London to find anything about Ireland.



arkitkat
Unregistered User
(3/16/04 8:56 pm)

Re: Where do we start???


Thanks so much to both of you! I feel like I am so scattered trying to absorb it all. I guess I need to settle down and begin! Lol.

I was wondering about going in May or September. We would like to take advantage of lower prices but I would like to go when the flowers are still in bloom. Any suggestions there?

I really appreciate this message board! I have been reading the posts and everyone seems so helpful!

Thanks!

Janie



MarthaA
Unregistered User
(3/16/04 9:50 pm)

Re: Where do we start


Janie,
I know the feeling. When I planned our first trip in 2001 I was all over the map and thought we could see the whole country in a week! My main advice for traveling in Ireland is "Don't try to do too much." Even with two weeks you'll be left wanting more because there is just so much to see and do and driving from place to place takes a lot longer than you'd expect.

One way you might could economize is to do a week of self-catering. Houses/cottages/apartments rent from Saturday to Saturday and you can do day trips returning to your own "home" each evening. You can even shop and cook if you'd like. Your other week could be spent touring and staying in B&B's. It takes some internet surfing to find cottages suitable for a couple but we've had really good luck the last two years in Co. Kerry and Co. Donegal and have great hopes for the cottage we have reserved for this year in County Cork.

Good luck with your planning! Michele is wonderful with her practical advice and the rest of us will chime in when we think we can help.
Martha



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2307
(3/17/04 12:33 am)

Springtime!


Hi Janie,

Good advice from Anita and Martha. May is great if you want blooming flowers. Muckross Gardens in Killarney has azaleas and rhododendrons that are as big as houses. So if you can, go and enjoy springtime in Ireland. Plus, if you hang around my forum for a year you will know more about Ireland than you ever thought you would!

Michele



arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 1
(3/17/04 1:28 pm)

Re: Springtime!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My corned beef is simmering and I am about to start on the soda bread!

May sounds perfect to me! I have read confusing info on what season it is in. High or low? And what about April? Is is green and blooming?

I think you are right, Martha, about the self catering. A week from one as a home base and then moving to B&Bs the rest of the time sounds really good.

Once again, thanks!

Janie



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2310
(3/18/04 12:40 am)

Re: Springtime!


Hi Janie,

I hope you enjoyed your corned beef and soda bread. You will have to try bacon and cabbage when you are in Ireland. April and May are considered the "shoulder season". Not off season or high season but the time between them. Those months get more tourists than off-season but a lot less than the season. Ireland is green year-round. That's why it is called the Emerald Isle. More is blooming in May than April and in early April the trees will probably be bare (except evergreens).

As for self-catering, if it is just the two of you sometimes renting a place for a week is not cost effective. Most self-catering units are meant for four or more people. Go to my "Links" page and you will find self-catering sites there that you can look at. Compare what the cost of self-catering for a week and staying at B&Bs for a week will total. And remember, at B&Bs you get breakfast included. When self-catering you buy and prepare your own.

Michele




arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 2
(3/18/04 7:32 pm)

Fees Quoted


Thanks, Michele!

The more I think about it, May is sounding perfect. I have one more question.

I know this will sound really dumb to all the seasoned Ireland travelers here. Fee quoting under the B&b's, for example, 35.00 pps. I understand the Euro vs. the dollar, but is the pps, per person? So the stay would be 75.00 for my husband and me? As for the self catering, the fee quoted is in total for the week, generally, correct?



Allison
Unregistered User
(3/18/04 8:05 pm)

Fees


Hi Janie,

Yes, the pps means per person for b&bs. I have never self-catered, but I have always assumed the price was for the week. So the more people involved, the less expensive the self-catered location would be.

When we travel these days, it's usually just my husband and self. It's easy to find only one room for a night or two. I have thought about trying self-catering, but always come back to deciding to stay in B&Bs, just because it can be so much fun meeting the people. Usually the hosts are very friendly and informative, and it's nice to meet other travelers in the lounge or over breakfast. I would miss that too much! (Of course, we have stayed at places where the hosts could barely give us the time of day, but I hope that's the exception rather than the rule!:D )

Allison



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2314
(3/19/04 2:05 am)

Re: Fees


Hi Janie,

There are no dumb questions here. We were all rookies once and if you need answers this is the place to get them. As Allison has said pps means per person sharing. That means if the price is 25 euro pps, it is 50 euro for the two of you for B&B. Most rates you see quoted in Ireland are per person with the exception of a few hotels that have a "room rate", which is the price for a room. Many times a room rate does not include breakfast.

Self-catering is generally quoted by the week. However, some places do long weekends and in that case it should say that and what the charge would be for three days as opposed to a whole week. At self-catering units you also must pay an extra charge for electricity and/or fuel for heating.

Michele



stannseniors
Registered User
Posts: 87
(3/19/04 6:00 pm)

trip planning


arkitkat,
I felt much like you and was SO happy to find this site (and believe me, there are no others like it for traveling anywhere - i've been looking)
My first thing to do was get every book available about Ireland. That was SO much info but it was so interesting finding out about another place. I started making lists of things i was interested in. Still, too much info. I thought it was a good idea to get travel brochures and copy their itineraries (gave me an idea of the most popular places to see)- it also gave really good descriptions of what the places were and what there was to see. I got a map and started marking out a route. Then, I found this site and could ask about the itinerary i had chosen and it helped SO much to tweek it. Everyone is so helpful and Michelle is great. My next trip i am skipping some of that and looking through the itineraries of people on this site - it makes it much easier. If it's too overwhelming - Michelle does itineraries for you for a small fee....so, i hope this helps.;)

Edited by: stannseniors at: 3/21/04 3:57 pm


arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 3
(3/19/04 7:08 pm)

Re:Fees Quoted


First of all, let me just say I was horrified when I went back today and read my post of yesterday. Let me just say, I DO know that 35 +35 is 70, and not 75!



arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 4
(3/19/04 7:29 pm)

Thanks!


Thank you to all who have responded so kindly!

This trip will be a 35th anniversary celebration for my husband and me, so it will be just the two of us also. Although my grandson and I were looking at websites for b&b's and castles and I would love to take him with us! I told my daughter that after this first trip, I am hoping we can take one grandchild, we have 3, with us on each return trip, because I know we won't get enough of Ireland. This has been a long time dream for us!

I am still in the dizzying stage in looking at all the info! We think we will be staying for 2 weeks and at first I had thought in the south, but the more I read I am thinking most of our time might be traveling from N. Ireland down the western coast. Any ideas, anyone?

Thanks again!
Janie



stannseniors
Registered User
Posts: 91
(3/19/04 10:59 pm)

Re: Thanks!


i say it depends on what you like to do/see. We wanted to see Kilkenny because my family is from there (one key spot you definetly want to see) then work from there. We love the scenery and castles so the south shores seemed best for us. What do you guys like to do/see?? What's one spot you don't want to miss?



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2317
(3/21/04 1:06 am)

Make a List


Hi Janie,

I suggest that you start making a list of what you want to do and see in Ireland. Put the most important things at the top and the less interesting ones at the bottom. You will start to see a pattern developing. Then cross out the things on the bottom of the list and keep the most important for your itinerary.

Michele

P.S. stannseniors, Thanks so much for your lovely comments about my forum. It's nice to hear it is appreciated!



arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 5
(3/22/04 8:48 pm)

Fun things!


Thanks again for the info and suggestions!

I guess we are leaning toward the west and south.I want to see the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Conemara, Kinsale, and Kilkenny and we had talked about Cong, to mention just a few things. Not in that order of course! But... then I would like to see the Giant Causeway, too. My husband really wants to play golf (if he can get in!) at St. Andrews in Scotland, which boggles my mind:o . I don't know if we have time to all of our touring in Ireland and then go to Scotland, all in 2 weeks. I guess we could fly and make it a 2 day trip, perhaps. I would really just love to stay in Ireland the whole time. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Janie



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2339
(3/23/04 3:10 am)

Re: Fun things!


Hi Janie,

There are some wonderful golf courses in Ireland. Order free info about them from Tourism Ireland: 1-800-223-6470. Maybe your husband will do that instead of St. Andrews.

Michele



arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 6
(3/24/04 11:26 am)

Thanks!


Thanks for all your help! I am going to sit down with pen and paper and write down all the places we want to see and go from there! Thanks so much for your guidence! I really appreciate this wonderful message board!

Janie



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2353
(3/25/04 1:27 am)

Re: Thanks!


Hi Janie,

You are most welcome. I'm sure that as the planning process proceeds you will become a regular here. I'm looking forward to helping with your trip.

Michele



TxDevil
Posts: 27
(3/25/04 7:24 pm)

Ireland/Scotland


Im back now, and my boyfriend and I have already started trying to plan a trip next year. AND trying to fit Scotland into the mix. Flying from Dublin to Edinburgh looked to cost around 200EU for both. Then I thought about taking the ferry (a 2 hour trip PLUS you have your rental car) and that was about 200EU. So, which ever you chose, they seem around the same price. I just hope we can get our $$ in order to go next year.




Dude
Unregistered User
(3/25/04 11:09 pm)

Rental cars


Do the rental agencies allow you to take rental cars to other countries? I have always thought I would like to combine Ireland and Wales but wasn't sure how to go about that.



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 2360
(3/26/04 2:32 am)

Re: Rental cars


Dude,

I know of no Irish car rental company that will allow you to take the car on the ferry out of the country. I believe that insurance costs are too high to allow it. You could, of course, turn your car in and take the ferry as a passenger. But then you would have to rent a car in Wales. It is probably best to see about a cheap fare on RyanAir.

Michele



Dude
Unregistered User
(3/27/04 12:14 am)

Rental car/ferry


That's what I had suspected was the case. Perhaps I should just go to Wales, although to be so close to Ireland and not go...



stannseniors
Registered User
Posts: 94
(3/28/04 2:31 pm)

artitkat


i saw you were saying your husband wants to play golf. I would have loved to play but we didn't brin gour clubs and we didn't schedule it in. I will tell you, the golf courses are HILLY!!! and beautiful - very different from Missouri i'll tell you! I wanted to tell you a funny thing that happened when we were there in October.

You meet so many people over there and one couple we talked to had a group that played golf. We all had a good laugh when we talked about how windy it had been and the man told us his golf cart blew over twice while on the course.:eek Only in Ireland....:rollin



arkitkat
Registered User
Posts: 7
(3/28/04 3:25 pm)

Re: Cart



Can you imagine??? Lol. That must have been some sight! :lol And some wind! Arkansas is having a pretty windy day today, but I don't think it is cart tipping strong. ;) Lol!



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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