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7 Days Dublin to Shannon with a 1 year old

Help please! My husband and I are traveling to Ireland for the first time this September with our son, who will turn 1 on the trip. We have historically packed a lot into a day, but recognize we can't do that with a 1 year old. We're trying to plan an itinerary that hits the highlights of Ireland while building in some flexibility. We also thought ideally we'd pick a few home base locations where we can then do day trips from as I think changing locations every night would be difficult for our son. We arrive in Dublin on a Saturday morning and then depart for the US from Shannon the following Saturday. Our thought was to spend day 1 and 2 in Dublin. From Dublin we wanted to rent a car and head west. Any long drives we'd need to break up to give my son some time to crawl around (or run around if he's walking by then). Some of the ideal sites we'd like to see would include the Dingle peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Aran Islands. I doubt all of that is doable so would appreciate any guidance and prioritization.

Also, for those who have traveled with little ones are we better off at hotels or B&Bs or does it not matter?

We have used the RS books many times in the past for trips but this is my first time posting. Thank you so much for your help!!

Posted by
3580 posts

Whichever you choose, I think you would want your own bathroom and not shared. With a baby in tow, you may want full access whenever you need it.

Posted by
1165 posts

What about something like
Sat-Sun: Dublin
Monday: Kilkenny
Tuesday-Wednesday: Dingle
Thursday-Friday: Galway/Aran Islands
Saturday: back home

When travelling with our kids when they were younger, we tried to time our driving time with their naps.

You definitely have to be more flexible with little ones. Some things work, some things get cancelled.

I am not sure on the hotel vs b&b decision. I would however bring something from home that he is familiar with when it comes to sleeping ( blanket , stuffed toy etc) and if he is not used to sleeping in a pack and play, I would start practicing that now as well and we always brought our own sheets. Also, bring any and all medication that you may use at home ( teething tables, advil, tylenol etc)

Most of all, have fun!

Brittany,

Hi, my wife and I have traveled through Europe with our little one since he was a couple of months old. What has worked the best for us is to rent an apartment or similar accommodation right in the middle of where we want to be. It's also nice to be able to 'go home' to deal with a meltdown and be able to go back out later in the day.

The key for us has been the ability to close the door and let him sleep so we can have some adult time in the adjacent room at nights. That's not easy to do in a hotel or B&B. The cost is about the same. We've typically used Booking.com to find our lodging.

We've found it best to have flexible travel plans and to limit the logistical complexity of our trips. We've gotten better at slowing down and enjoying one place as opposed to trying to see as many sights and places as possible.

You know your little one best. We've tried our best to respect his sleep schedule (it's a better trip for everyone). Luckily he often falls asleep in his stroller or carrier when we walk the old cobblestone streets or trails, so on most occasions he can get at least one nap in without having to go back to the apartment.

We also tend to eat a nice lunch out and a relaxed home-cooked dinner with local ingredients or a well-reviewed takeout place.

Best of luck.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you so much for the advice. We will check out booking.com. I can certainly see the advantage of an apartment and such a smart idea to bring something familiar from home for him. We will try to work around his naps and be flexible.

So here is what I am thinking for two potential itineraries. Thoughts?

Option 1:
Saturday - Dublin;
Sunday - Dublin;
Monday - Powerscourt, Glendalough stay in Kilkenny (are these worth it or would we be better off trying to see the Rock of Cashel and leave earlier for Dingle the next morning?);
Tuesday - Rock of Cashel en route to Dingle;
Wednesday - Dingle;
Thursday - Dingle to Galway via Cliffs of Moher;
Friday - Aran Islands (weather permitting) or Galway;
Saturday - Depart from Shannon - 11:30AM flight

Option 2:
Saturday - Dublin;
Sunday - Dublin;
Monday - Train to Galway (rent car there instead of Dublin);
Tuesday - Aran Islands;
Wednesday - Cliffs of Moher to Dingle;
Thursday - Dingle;
Friday - Dingle to maybe Ennis(?) or some place else close to Shannon airport;
Saturday - Depart from Shannon - 11:30AM flight

I'm open to any other suggested itineraries as well. Thanks again!