Ireland: Best Deals & Top Ways to Save
With some planning, Ireland can be done -- and be properly enjoyed -- on a budget. Here's how:
- Do-it-yourself booking vs. vacation packagers: Like many other top destinations, it can pay to book through a vacation provider as they are able to negotiate further discounted rates at hotels, inns and B&Bs and work with designated airlines to buy in bulk to bring down the price. Because Ireland is a destination that has so much appeal from older travelers and less experienced travelers, dozens of companies provide comprehensive tour packages departing from North America.
- Stays: For those willing to do their research, hotel pricing can be more expensive than smaller independently owned inns and bed & breakfasts dotted across the country. Plus many of these stays include a meal or two, bringing down the price of the trip and adding twofold in charm. Yes, this is a country of hundreds of castles, but you don’t have to be to royalty to stay here: you just have to do your homework ahead of time.
- Destinations: Outside of popular Dublin, there are great lodging deals along the Ring of Kerry, which is equally beautiful and even more rural.
- Dining: One way to cut down on costs is planning casual picnics to enjoy the scenery people are flocking there for. Dinners of simple pub food don’t add much more onto a bar tab.
- Sightseeing: Many visitors opt to purchase a Heritage Card, which gives free entry to most of the historic sites owned by the government. As of 2015, it costs €25 per adult. Seniors 60 and older are €20.
- Getting around: Taking a taxi from Dublin Airport can be very costly: about a third of the cost, however, is taking the bus into the city center and can be a more efficient means of transportation than a cab.