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11 Day Itinerary Assistance required from a 21 year old student abroad!

Dear all,

I'm a student currently studying abroad in Italy for the semester, which is a country I'm extremely comfortable with. During the first week or so of May, I found a cheap flight for my mom to come and visit Ireland, where her family's from, for what looks like 11 days flying in and out of Dublin. I'm looking for help planning this little vacation on the fly, and making it special since my mom has never left our hometown.

I believe my mom's family is from County Tipperary, so hopefully we can make a stop to wherever town she's from. I'd also love to see Galway, Belfast, the Arun Islands, and the Giant's Causeway. I want to keep this trip on the affordable side, but as a student I'm okay with sleeping in hostels whereas my mom I think would not be okay with. Please send your suggestions and maybe even a good ol' sample itinerary my way if you have any ideas. Anything is really appreciated, since I'm probably the one who's going to plan the whole bit. THANK YOU!!!

***Also, I am used to finding public transportation in other countries, but from what I've read, it really does not exist on the Emerald Isle. So what would be the better option?

Posted by
9361 posts

First, how great that you are trying to do this for your mom! Aside from the places you listed, what are your interests? Scenery, history, shopping? You can easily get to Belfast by train (or bus) from Dublin, and there is train transportation to limited other areas, including Galway. There is plenty of bus transportation everywhere (www.buseireann.ie) but it will take time, so don't worry about that. Of course, you could also rent a car, but that might depend on her willingness to do all the driving, since no one will rent to someone your age, and you have to pay for all drivers. I would be happy to work with you on an itinerary. You would probably be happier staying in B&Bs rather than hostels or hotels. They are not like B&Bs in the US, they are generally a cheaper option than a hotel, especially when you consider that you can load up on the included breakfast and then save by skipping lunch. You can find a list of accommodations by area at www.discoverireland.com.

Posted by
2 posts

Nancy,

You are a saint! Thank you so much for replying to me.

My mom and I are interested in cultural pursuits, especially food and just seeing all the beauty. Most likely she wouldn't be keen on driving on the Emerald Isle, so we'd have to stick to trains and buses. I'm hoping that this will be a gateway experience for her so that she keeps traveling. Please do get in contact with me as I'd love your assistance on planning this whole spectacle. Thank you so much!

Posted by
1827 posts

Wow, good for you and mom. Suggest she at least get ETBD and the Ireland book. His basic book gives great advice. Also if she has access to Internet, let her look up advice on packing light,etc. I know for my first trip, I packed everything but kitchen sink. You need to remember eleven days should not include arrival and departure day unless she is ok with jet lag. I prefer booking.com for reservations. There is a good day trip from dublin to Newgrange. Also from Belfast you can take a day trip to giants causeway. Agree with nancy, a B&B is much better than hostel. My son and I always had good time in a B&B even sharing a room. Also you can look up on where to meet at Dublin airport if that is where you are getting together. You say on your location you are from Philadelphia, if so let me know and I can tell you where someone can meet her on arrival. Also, from Dublin she will pass through immigration there so doesn't have to do it in Pa. Good luck and as you said, hope this is her first and not last trip over the pond.

Posted by
1250 posts

Our family stayed at Camera Guest House in Belfast in 2012(www.cameraguesthouse.com) in 2012. It met out needs quite well. The owners are very knowledgable on the goings on in the area. We had them book us a tour up to the Giants Causeway and we had a great time. The tour company even picked us up and dropped us off at the B&B.
.In galway we stayed at the Amber Hill B&B and used Galway Tour Company(www.galwaytourcompany.com) to book tours to The Cliffs of Moher & Burren and Connemara & Cong.