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Am I nuts? by KellyDee
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KellyDee
Unregistered User
(8/1/05 5:43 am)

Am I nuts?


Recently I posted about finding car rental in Ireland that will allow a 20 year old driver on the policy. Haven't had any luck, but I have accepted the fact that I will be doing all the driving on our vacation and am(nervous) actually(nervous) getting(nervous) excited(nervous) about this in my own(nervous) way. It will be our first trip to Ireland and being as though everything is opposite, I think i have a sort of "healthy" anxiety about it. Anyways, I have a question about our itinerary. We are flying into Shannon Airport and flying out Dublin Airport. We are staying a full nine days and have our first day planned to a "T". We also have our last night stay planned and that full day planned as well. The in between days however, are not as detailed as other itineraries I've seen on this website. We have an idea of where we will go, what routes we want to take, and where we want to end up for each day, but we haven't written any of this in stone. We know the weather will be unpredictable, so we don't want a demanding itinerary that we "have" to stick to, and not be able to see the things we want to see if and when it does rain. We also aren't booking B&Bs until we get there for the in between days because we don't know where we will end up each day. We are going to get a thorough B&B book at the info center once we arrive. My question is, is this a totally ridiculous idea--not planning as much as we maybe should? I feel somewhat confident in doing this, but not so much after i read the detailed itineraries of first time Ireland vacationers on this website...and half of them aren't even going until 2006! By the way, we leave in exactly two weeks.
Thanks for any input! Let me know if our laidback planning of our trip is not such a good idea.
Thank you kindly,
KellyDee



Robin
Unregistered User
(8/1/05 8:12 am)

You're not nuts!


We traveled to Ireland September or 2002 and we're going back in September of this year. The first time we went, we were taking my in-laws so I planned every detail to a "T". This time, we aren't planning anything except the places that are "must sees". There are B & B's everywhere and we want to discover the unusual this time. I would say if you are adventurous and flexible you will be fine. If you have to have everything perfect, like everything organized, and aren't flexible...you will be miserable unless you have everything "in a box". The only way to go the way you are thinking is to PACK LIGHT and take a compass. We used our compass all the time since the Irish do not mark their roads like we do. To me, the fun is the 'journey' so as long as we are headed in the right direction, I am having fun and love finding the next surprise around the bend. Make sure you have cash for the B & Bs and get enough money at the ATMs to last you. There aren't ATMs everywhere. You will fall in love with the country. I am counting the days until September 6!!



sealeopard
Unregistered User
(8/1/05 5:23 pm)

Am I nuts?


August is a busy time for tourism in Ireland. I think you are headed in the right direction by picking up a B&B guide. I would also suggest to call a day or two in advance to make a reservation. You don't want to wait until the day of and then have to spend time searching for vacancy when you can use that time to explore.



stannseniors
Registered User
Posts: 157
(8/1/05 9:13 pm)

nuts?


Honestly, i felt the same way you did before our trip. Nervous about the driving and a little unsure about not having everything planned (since i plan trips as part of my job). After reading all the stuff on this site i just "went with it", even though my parents (who had gone before on a tour) were very opposed to us not having everything planned out. We had the basics of what we wanted to see and the areas they were in. We had the first and last night planned and that was it. September will be a little more difficult but not as bad as summer. The B&B will call ahead to a nice place for you if you know where you are headed. As long as you have a basic route - and you have a day or two to play with....
The key to doing the maps is to always know the towns name that's just ahead - you'll see signs for those....
"stay left, look right"



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3288
(8/2/05 1:22 am)

Re: Am I nuts?


KellyDee,

What excellent advice from everyone already! In two weeks it will be mid-August, which although the tourist season, is starting to wind down. As long as you are not particular about where you stay you will always find something. If you do stay at a good B&B and know approximately where you will end the day you can ask them for another B&B suggestion. The B&Bs in Ireland have their own little circle of friends that have proved reliable in the past. They will be happy to pass you along to their friends.

If you are planning to knock on B&B doors looking for a room you should probably start by about 4. You definitely do not want to be looking for a place to stay after dark. If you run into problems the local tourist offices will find you a room for a small fee. As sealeopard has suggested, searching for B&Bs can cut into your sightseeing time. If you are particular it is possible to spend hours finding the right place.

Do buy the Town & Country book on arrival. You can get one at the tourist office right in the airport. Most likely your car rental company will have a free copy of the Family Homes book in your car. They will be a help.

When you say you have your first and last days "planned" does that mean reservations for B&Bs? It is a good idea. You definitely need them for Dublin.

Friday & Saturday nights in popular areas like Dingle, Doolin, Killarney, Kilkenny, Galway, etc. can be difficult. You might book ahead for those when you are in Ireland. Call ahead as soon as you can for weekends.

Everyone has different traveling styles, which is why you see very detailed itineraries listed here that people are working on. Some people like having all the details in place while others enjoy "winging it".

You will have to let us know how it goes when you return. We will be anxious to hear all about your adventures in Ireland. :)

Michele



Melissa2Ireland
Registered User
Posts: 10
(8/2/05 4:17 am)

Re: Am I nuts?


KellyDee, everyone has their own style. We used to wing it, but because my hubby and I have such different interests and very different paces, winging it didn't work for us...one of us would always end up feeling bored and grumbly on vacation, and we would argue about it.

Then the kids came along and we didn't want to add 3 more grumblies to the family on top of hubby and I!

So as the years have gone by I've learned that for us, I need to plan a year in advance and take everyone's interests into account, so that I can produce a trip that everyone will enjoy. To solve the pacing problem, I choose an interesting base, and we plan day-trips from there. I have to make sure there is plenty to do nearby the hotel, for hubby, who needs to be kept constantly busy and intrigued to keep him from getting restless and grumbly. As for me, I need some time to relax and write in my journal, so I pick a cozy hotel with lots to do nearby that hubby will enjoy.

But I can understand that for many people, winging it works just fine and is even preferable.

It turns out that I immensely enjoy researching our trips, so for me it's not a chore at all, it's become my hobby.

I even schedule our "spontaneous times" and "nap time" into the trip! This actually slows down my hubby, who is just an insanely busy man. I schedule "spontaneous time", meaning free time, into the schedule, and everyone does what they want during free time!

So plan the trip however it works for you and have a grand time winging it!



yesiree100
Registered User
Posts: 53
(8/2/05 2:29 pm)

Re: Am I nuts?


All very good advice so far.

Your way of planning for travel is similar to mine. I do homework, so I have a loose plan, but don't let myself get caught up in the details. Ireland is a great way to travel like this.

Although it's been said before, my top tidbits would be:

-have a place to stay reserved for your first and last night

-places like ruins, parks and gardens are often open during sunlight hours, so in the summer you can save those for the evening and spend your "business" hours visiting sites with more rigid hours

-if you don't have a room by 6pm, you really need to stop what you are doing and find a place (it's tempting to say "oh, let's just go another 60 miles" or "let's grab a bite to eat first" but it will save you a headache later)

- since you have a car, stop at the tourist office and ask them if there are any interesting things to see outside of town...like a ruin, holy well or garden

-Lonely Planet and/or Frommers for $80 a Day have good Ireland guides for budget accommodations and give good overviews of the areas you are in




KellyDee
Unregistered User
(8/3/05 9:00 pm)

Nuts?


Thank you all so much for responding and taking the time to help me calm some fears I had regarding my trip! Your suggestions I will definitely take with me and will make sure I contact my B&B early in the day to book. This website is immensely helpful, and everyone so kind in helping relieve some minor anxiety. I will definitely report back when i return home! Thanks a bundle!



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3299
(8/4/05 1:16 am)

Re: Nuts?


KellyDee,

I'm glad you are feeling better about the driving. Don't look at it as hours in the car. Think of it as short hops. After all you will be sightseeing all along the way. So even if you do drive for 4 hours on a certain day you might only drive for an hour and then sightsee. Like one of my favorite movies What About Bob says...baby steps!

Michele


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