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Should I stay or should I go? 21 days in August with no plans yet.

Last spring my wife and I took our first trip to Europe. We spent three weeks visiting Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, London and Edinburgh. We loved it. I want to go back the Mrs, can't at this time. So I am thinking going solo.
I found a flight on Iceland Air for $600 on August 7th through the 28th. I'm thinking that is a heck of a deal for a flight to Europe in the summer. This also gives me a two night layover in Iceland also. So it is kind of like two trips in one.
Here is my dilemma, I love to golf, I love driving and i love spur of the moment moves.
I am a retired 65 year old that caught the travel bug.
So far I'm thinking staying in the Dublin area for a week. Play some golf in the area and take a day trip tour? Then getting a car and travel the Rick Steves tour route the next ten days.
How hard do you think it would be for a single traveler to find accommodations. Without the Mrs I can stay in a $ or * room where with her that wouldn't fly. I could even try a hostel if it had it's own room.
I don't want to be tied to one place on a certain day.
I also noticed that one can take a ferry from Dublin to Wales and it looks fairly cheap. So do I visit Ireland for a week, take the ferry to England. Go to the Lake District that we didn't visit last spring?
Or take the Ferry to Wales and then go to York then pop up to Edinburgh for Fringe for a day or two, then back to Dublin via ferry from Scotland to Belfast. With three weeks that should work I think.
Am I crazy to try this without much time and no plan? Or should I just try it and see what happens?

Posted by
111 posts

Definitely do the trip! It sounds so much fun! Will this be your first solo travel experience?

The only thing I am not sure about is not booking accommodations ahead of time during the busy summer months. Perhaps book a few days ahead instead of day-of??

Have a lovely trip!

Posted by
3062 posts

You can fly nonstop from Reykjavik to Dublin. Design your itinerary now and purchase your plane tickets. You then need to decide where you are going to sleep and make reservations. If you don’t, you’ll waste a lot of time trying to find a place to stay and it won’t be cheap either.

Posted by
119 posts

You'll have a much harder time booking accommodation if you follow a RS itinerary. Maybe save Dublin and the marquee sites for when the Mrs is able to join you. A better approach may be to research golf courses you'd like to play and stay near those. The internet is full of information and reviews of all types of accommodation. You don't have to rely on RS anymore to find places to stay. I wouldn't plan to take a rented car on a ferry crossing the Irish Sea. Cost is one factor, but I think the rental companies don't like you doing that. Sounds like a great time. Enjoy!

Posted by
55 posts

Thanks for the replies.
Yes, I am planning on doing this solo. Really a first time for me this far away from home. So that is kind of exciting for me.
The comment on doing the Rick Steves tour on my own. I was thinking more of picking out pieces of it between golf rounds or finding a nice course and a Rick favorite in the same areas.
I was thinking of a ferry ride without a car over to England or Scotland then renting a car over there or do the trains like we did last spring.
I need to start looking at some golf course's and then decide where to stay.
Returning with the Mrs might not work with her. She said if I was going to Greece for three weeks she would reconsider.

Posted by
2073 posts

August is peak holiday time and much of the accommodation will have been fully booked for ages, especially in places like the Lake District. The days of winging it are long gone. You will probably be able to find somewhere but may waste a lot of time hunting somewhere down. It may not where you want to be and could well be the accommodation no-one else wants to book... Edinburgh during the Fringe- if you can find accommodation it will be horrendously expensive.

Posted by
55 posts

Bit the bullet and booked the flight. Now the planning starts. In some of the research I have done so far I need to get some rooms booked for sure.
Going to Edinburgh or the Lake District is out. Too few places available or too expensive for my taste.
I may be posting more in other categories as I get to them.
But as far as stay or go, it is a go.

Posted by
4355 posts

Good for you! I just finished nearly 3 weeks solo in Ireland (still here but with friends). If you have a car, don’t be afraid to book some places NOT on the RS tour. There are interesting little towns all over.

Posted by
6766 posts

Three weeks in Ireland I think would work very well.

There are regular issues reported with hiring a car in the Republic and driving over to Northern Ireland, so I can't see a hire car company being unduly happy with hiring a car in Ireland then going over on the ferry to the UK (a totally different country) and back through Northern Ireland.

However I do not agree that you can't find anywhere in the English Lake District 2 months out, and with Wasley's statement that

August is peak holiday time and much of the accommodation will have been fully booked for ages, especially in places like the Lake District. The days of winging it are long gone.

It is peak holiday time, but I live here and a lot of our trade in the Lake District even/especially in high summer comes from spur of the moment domestic trips. We are not short of accommodation.

Also, if you have a car and are just blindly following the RS guides, then his concentration on Keswick as the be all and end all of the Lake District is just plain wrong.

A lot of the places in the Lake District hate booking.com and it's rapacious commission structure. Many will use it as a 'necessary evil' but not put the whole of their inventory on there. The place to look for Keswick (if we reluctantly accept that as the only place people on this forum are going to stay) is Visit Keswick. I am finding no problem on that site with identifying affordable lodgings for August.
Certainly as and probably more affordable than Ireland.

Then the small businesses are not losing up to 20% to booking.com but rather keeping all their profits in the town and the local economy.

But surely the point of having a car is to NOT be in the same honeypot locations as everyone else, to explore the area. For Edinburgh why not stay in Glasgow or Dundee- easy to reach from Edinburgh with 24/7 bus service and far more affordable. And you totally don't want the burden of a car in York or Edinburgh.

Posted by
653 posts

If you're interested in Scottish golf, you might consider flying from Dublin to Aberdeen as we did last summer. Aer Lingus had very good fares.

Some great Highlands golf courses are accessible by auto or train from the city. Aberdeen itself is a bit depressing, though. Cabot Highlands, Royal Aberdeen and Trump Aberdeen may have availability, and Nairn is also highly regarded.

As for Irish courses, many of the best will be fully booked now, though it never hurts to check. As I recall, Lahinch may be closed to visitors in August, but Ballybunion, Old Head, Waterville and Doonbeg should have some availability for a single golfer (though at eye-watering prices). I've only played Ballybunion among these, but it's truly special.