When we have traveled in Europe we found that many of the towns had kiosks in them where local B&B's were listed and a phone at the kiosk would connect you with any of them. Do they have the same setup in Ireland?
Been to Ireland five times...have never seen anything like this. Interesting idea, though. Last time we were there our first night airbnb fell through, so we just googled "B&Bs near us" on our phone and found a place in no time. Luckily they had a room available.
Ditto. No kiosks in Ireland.
If you like serendipity and are flexible, just knock on doors when you arrive in town. If you see an ITB (Irish Tourist Board) sign with a shamrock out front, it's a B&B. Yes, there are that many in the country, some 2,000 or more. Even in the high season, we've had a problem finding a place within a few minutes only once in nine trips (on a Saturday in popular Westport).
Aside from that: 1) Pop into the tourist office when you arrive. Staff will call and make a reservation for a small fee. And, 2) Ask your current host to recommend one in your next destination. He or she may even call ahead for you.
Save a few pics of searches to your phone from the areas you plan on from https://www.bandbireland.com/ ,for example.
Thanks for the insights, we will be there from May 1-14.
Good to hear people have had luck traveling sans reservations. That's how I'm planning to go this trip, I've had good luck traveling without reservations in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and Austria, so I'm optimistic I won't be homeless. My first trip to Ireland I went with my mom on a tour (my first, and last, tour) so all the hotels were decided by the company.
I did see a kiosk in Galway, so there must be more elsewhere. If I am traveling off season, no worries about finding accommodations, but otherwise, I would plan by reserving ahead.
We're hoping May 1-15 is off season enough. On the online booking it appears there are many vacant BnB and AirBnB's...