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Post Info TOPIC: Bob's 2017 'Whirlwind Trip'


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Bob's 2017 'Whirlwind Trip'



 After 20+ visits to Ireland since 1999, the experience can definitely make the planning stage MUCH easier, but it can be easy to become a bit, 'Jaded'.  Still, I thought my entire trip cost and chronology might be informative -- and possibly, interesting ? ? ?  confuse   confuse   confuse

 We had a short Family 'Get Together' that included two of my wife's Irish cousins in June, in Hartford, CT, but beyond brief mention of a possible trip, no plans were actually made.  Sometime around 25 August, with no Ireland Trip planned, it became apparent that our 'Window of Opportunity' for a visit in 2017 was rapidly slipping away.  My wife expressed concerns that we would merely re-visit past sites Surely, after so many trips, we MUST have already Seen It All.

 I took that as a challenge and ASSURED her that we would see PLENTY of new and interesting sites.  All I needed to do was figure out what and where.  No pressure!  hmm   hmm  hmm  hmm  We determined to fly in and out of SNN, even though shorter (and cheaper) flights were available via Dublin.  Trip length was to be 12 days / nights On the Ground, plus two travel days, beginning on 25 September and ending on 8 October.

 On 30 August, I purchased two airline tickets through Jet Blue and Aer Lingus:  SRQ to JFK to SNN and returning SNN to BOS to RSW.  We live ½ way between Sarasota and Fort Meyers, Florida and routing such reduced lay over times.  Our daughter dropped us at SRQ and I booked a one-way rental car from Budget (#71.79 + $6.25 for fuel) for our late-night return from Fort Meyers.   Tickets were $892.63 each, or $1785.26, Total.

Basic Route and Plan:  Arrive SNN at 6 AM and drive to Spiddal, Galway to overnight.  Fly to Inishmore and overnight away from the 'Touristy' end of the island.  Fly back to Inverin and drive to Kilkee to stage for ferry to Scattery Island.  After Scattery, drive to Banna Strand for three nights' Self-Catering.  While there, visit previously missed spots on Dingle and visit family and friends in the general vicinity.  Drive to Drimoleague to spend two nights visiting the area and family.  Drive to East Cork for an overnight to visit family.  Drive to Nenagh, via Holycross Abbey.  Circumnavigate Lough Derg and enjoy the sites.  Stay at Headly Court for two nights and visit Limerick before flying home from SNN.

Of course, the Devil is in the Details -- and, NO Battle Plan Survives First Contact with the Enemy (Reality)!!!!   




All-In, our total, final expenses for the trip worked out to less than $4,500 ($4,497.87, to be EXACT!) -- all paid either by Credit card, or cash drawn from ATM machines while in Ireland.  I started the trip with roughly 150 Euro Seed Money (left over from our last trip) and ended up with 288 Euro (+135) so our TRUE cost for THIS trip was right around $4,333.  The following is a partial breakdown.  All other expenditures were for food, gifts and mementos.


Car Hire was from Dan Dooley, through Fox Car Rentals.  (Thanks, Michele! biggrin  biggrin  )  A manual transmission, compact sedan (Ford Focus class), declining ALL offered insurances at a quoted price of $123.07, plus the obligatory Initial Fuel and 25 Euro Fee for declining the CDW.  On arrival, I was given a lightly damaged (but fully documented!) Skoda Octavia, 5 door hatch, diesel, 5 speed, which is slightly larger (and roomier) than the Focus.  I was billed $265.44 (plus a 3,000 Euro Hold as a damage deposit) and received a $93.89 refund after returning the car with a full tank, on 8 October.  Thats a NET cost of $168.74, including foreign transaction fees.

I drove 1,672.4 Kilometers (1,040 Miles) and added 77.88 Liters of Diesel at an average cost of 1 Euro 22 per liter, for a total fuel expense of 94.48 Euro ($112).  Math challenged though I can be I think that works out to 1,040 miles using 20.57 US gallons at $5.45 per US Gallon   for somewhere around 41.63 MPG.  The Budget car cost me $71.79 and a fill up of $6.25.  I paid 1 Euro 90 for the Limerick Tunnel Toll, 2 Euro for Parking, 19 Euro for a one way passage on the Killimer to Tarbert Shannon Ferry and 49 Euro each (98 Euro, or $115.97) for our Aer Arran flights from Inverin to Inishmore.  There was also a 5 Euro (total) cost for the airport shuttle on the island.  Total transport costs therefore, came to $2,894.87.


I purchased a 30 day, 7GB Data Package for 25 Euro from the 3 Mobile store in the Galway Shopping Center for the Mobile WiFi device that I bought back in 2012.  I also purchased a SIM card offering All You Can Eat Data for my unlocked Nokia Smart Phone for an additional 20 Euro.  Total cost for THIS trip 45 Euro ($54)


Since we arrived around 6 AM on 26 September and departed around Noon on 8 October, we stayed 12 nights in Ireland.  However, we only paid for 9 nights lodgings as we spent three nights (without charge) with family in two separate locations.  Total lodging expenses were roughly $960, or an average of approximately $107 per night.

Breakdown:  ($ figure paid by CC Including Fees  --  Cash paid when Euros displayed, but I have indicated approximate $ equivilent)

Day1:  An Cruiscin Lan, Spiddal, Galway --      $129.75                                                       

Day 2: Tigh Fitz, Killeavy, Inishmore, Galway     90 Euro  ($108)                                          

Day 3:  Bayview, Kilkee, Clare --                     $118.34                                                       

Day 4-6:  Banna Beach Resort, Kerry  ---          $319.37   (Self-catering, cost includes electricity)

 Day 7-8  Family residence, Drimoleague, Cork   $0

 Day 9:   Family Residence Leamlara, Cork         $0

 Day 10:  GN Abbey Court, Nenagh, Tipperary    $116.24                                                      

Day 11-12: Headley Court, Bunratty, Clare          140 Euro  ($164)                                        


There were a number of surprises, disappointments and modifications once the journey began!  Details WILL follow!   




Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!


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Thanks for getting started. Looking forward to more details. Will look at your photos when I have more time.


"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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As promised, I've begun my traditionally LONG, overly detailed report.  You can find it here:



Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!

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