Planning a Trip to Ireland

Planning a vacation can be very exciting, yet for me it can also be a daunting task.  As you may have noticed, I love to get away, I love to explore new places and meet new people.  What becomes overwhelming at times is trying to work out our schedules. With six kids coming and going, two dogs and a cat, careers and a house to maintain, sometime just finding the time to plan is hard.

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Photo from Northern Ireland Tourist Guide Association
My husband and I have been dreaming of going to Ireland for a long time. It has been on both our lists for many years. We both have family roots in Ireland, and we are drawn to explore the Emerald Isle. Over the past month or so, we have been pouring over tour books (Rick Steve’s books are always a favorite of mine), we have gathered first-hand advise from friends who have visited the pale, and in a quest to immerse myself in Irish history, I am reading The Hard Life by Flann O’Brien. Last month when I was in Boston, I picked up a couple of novels from a wonderful used bookstore on Newbury  by various Irish writers.

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Photo from ytravel.com
Last night we finally sat down and started the booking process. Step-by-step we are booking hotels and rooms in the cities we plan on visiting. Pouring through the tour book, re-reading emails from friends, trying to put it all together is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. My husband and I have different ideas of travel  He is a much more by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda traveler. I like to have my rooms reserved ahead of time.I have traveled where only part of my vacation is booked, but then I find myself worrying about will I really find a room that is affordable?  So against his wishes, we are fully booking our hotel rooms. This does tie us to a travel schedule which can put a damper on spontaneity.  However, the rooms are cancellable within one day of our arrival, so with that if we want to veer off our planned itinerary, we will have some flexibility.

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Photo from BusinessInsider.com

We will start our tour in Dublin and stay there for three nights.  After that we will venture to Kinsale for two nights followed by three nights in Dingle. So far that is as far as we have planned. We will travel up the Western Coast and perhaps make it to Northern Ireland and visit Derry and Belfast. But time and money play a factor.As with any visit to a foreign country there’s is so much to do and see. I am more of the mindset, that I know I cannot do it all, so do what I can, do it well, and enjoy the process of exploration and meeting new people.I would love to hear of your travel experiences to Ireland.  We plan on biking, trekking, explore a castle or two, and of course pub crawling. A visit to Trinity College and viewing the Book of Kells is a must, as is a trip to Abby Theater to see a show. We are also hoping to do a little ancestry investigation with a visit to the Genealogy Workstations in Glasnevin Museum. I have found http://www.visitdublin.com/ to be helpful in planning our visit to the city. All the photos that I have chosen to include in this blog post are linked back to their source. I chose these photos in part because the sites they come from offer great information about traveling to Ireland. Just click on the photos to visit additional sites for more particulars.

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Photo from Trinity College Library Dublin
We are looking forward to making our dream of visiting Ireland a reality!
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