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Family trip to Ireland

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1. Posted by JMK2 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

== I am looking to plan a trip for my family of 5 adults to Ireland. We have app. 7 days and would like to make the most of our trip. I am looking for help planning our itinerary. I was hoping to fly into Dublin and out of Shannon but found it to be double the price. SO, I think we are looking for advice on which city to fly in and out of.and I need guidance as to how to see much of the west coast and still spend a day or so in Dublin. Any and all help is happily welcomed. :)
Jill

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Apr-2018, at 14:00 by JMK2 ]

2. Posted by ToddP (Budding Member 23 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Hi Jill

1. If you do fly the same airline please try what’s called open-jaw ticket (to one airport and back from other airport) as part of the same ticket. This way is cheaper than two one way tickets
2. There are domestic flights from DUB to Kerry (which is more south than west) and also Donegal. Check AerLingus.ie
3. There is always an option driving to and back to DUB for couple days as the roads are good and on the motorway will be no issue doing so

Give me more details and I’ll try to help with more explanation where I can

Todd

3. Posted by AndyLADC (Budding Member 16 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

There is quite a bit to see in Dublin, so I would plan on spending at least two days there. Trinity College and the Book of Kells are a must, as are the Georgian Doors, the River Liffey embankment, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral (Church of Ireland), and and Phoenix Park. There are other museums and the Guinness Storehouse, too. Near to Dublin is the Wicklow Mountains National Park and the Glendalough monastic ruins within it. Glendalough is not often on many itineraries but is well worthwhile.

The west coast has the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney and Muckross House among others. Try an Irish Jaunting Car ride at Killarney.

The south has a lot to offer, too, Blarney Castle as one example.

Renting a car could be your best option, but it will be a tight fit for five and space for luggage is needed. I'd check on the availability of minivans. Don't forget Ireland drives on the left and you will need time to adjust. There is passenger rail service (which I have not used). Lines appear to radiate out from Dublin.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Apr-2018, at 06:46 by AndyLADC ]

4. Posted by zzlangerhans (Respected Member 56 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

We haven't been to Ireland yet but in general we find it next to impossible to fly and rent cars economically with an arrival in one city and a departure from another in Europe. We have always found interesting ways to complete round trips, which is what I'd recommend you do.

You haven't stated if renting a car is an option for you. I won't drive on the left, so we will have to use some kind of private tour company when we go. Also, getting an automatic vehicle, especially a minivan, is a significant issue in much of Europe. Very different from the US.

Best of luck! I'm bookmarking this thread for when we go one day.

5. Posted by NiamhC (Budding Member 24 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hi JMK2,

What type of activities do you hope to do with your family? That will dictate your itinerary a lot.
To really explore the west coast, your best option is to rent some kind of car/van.

I would allow a couple of days to see Dublin at least .

It's about a 3-4 h drive from Dublin to get to the west coast, depending on where you go. You could head to Galway from Dublin (~3hr drive). Galway is a lovely small city, and is close to Connemara and the Burren/Cliffs of Moher. I think that would all be doable in 7 days, and even give time to get back to Dublin to fly out. You can also get a train from Galway to Dublin, but then you would need to rent a car or find a tour to see Connemara and the Burren.

As others have said, we drive on the left and the roads can be narrow and windy once you leave the main roads (which you will want to on the west coast!).

If you want to stay near Dublin, you will have plenty to do - see the city and some places close to Dublin - Howth, Glenadlough, Newgrange. There are day-long bus tours from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, but personally I wouldn't recommend that. You are on a bus all day, just getting out to briefly to see the spots.

Hope you enjoy your trip, and remember if you don't like the weather..just wait 10 minutes!
Niamh

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 543 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

We rented a car and took our daughter with us. She needed to return to work (ha ha) mid-trip so we left Galway, drove her to Dublin to catch her flight and drove back to Galway the next morning. We did spend the night at the airport but had time to do some local sightseeing. It's not that bad a drive . . . at least if you're from California or some place that requires very long drives for anything. Depending on how you drive, it's about 2.5 hours. If you're driving on the "wrong" side, rent an automatic and do it ahead of time if you want an automatic. They are not common in Europe so they must be ordered ahead but we have never had trouble getting one.

We spent 3 days in Dublin but 2 would be fine if you don't have much time. Drive from Dublin to Killarney via the Rock of Cashel. In Killarney you can visit Muckross House and try an Irish Jaunting Car ride at Killarney National Park there. You can also book a tour of the Ring of Kerry so you can all enjoy the scenery and not worry about driving. Then head north to Galway where you can book bus tours of the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren and Connemarra if you want. That will just about use up your week but you will have seen a lot of Ireland.

Try www.google.com/maps and plot the trip to see the driving times. Type the different places into any search window to get more information. The local tourist offices are usually great sources of information. We stayed at B&Bs most of the time and they were great fun.

Have a fun trip.

Oh yes, we spent our last day near the Dublin Airport and from there visited Howth and Newgrange. That was wonderful and highly recommended.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Apr-2018, at 15:23 by Beausoleil ]