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Will Ireland be packed with tourists in June 2022

Hi, I had a trip planned for Spring 2020.... and then moved it to 2021 and cancelled it again. Air Lingus gave us a 5 year voucher. This is not a RS tour - but am using his book for guidance. We will rent a car and spend the month of June driving the whole island.

With so many people not traveling the last 2 years, I'm wondering if 2022 will be overcrowded as people make up for lost time. And if we should try to go in 2023 instead?

On another note, my husband will be 74 and I will be 72 so I think the car rental places will charge us more due to our age. I did read that 75 is the cut-off for renting a car. We may be able to get one of our daughters to go with us and do the driving.

Any ideas/thoughts are appreciated.

We have done RS tours but want to take our time and will be doing some ancestor research.

Posted by
1936 posts

You may want to do a google search and become familiar with the age restrictions for renting in Ireland, but in a nutshell I can tell you that there is no markup for senior drivers in your (our) age group. Up to 75 you can rent a vehicle without restrictions from most of the major companies, and after 75 you just need to present proof that you're healthy and fit to drive - here's a pretty good summary from AutoEurope: https://www.autoeurope.com/travel-tips/rental-car-age-requirements/
Your bigger problem at the moment is that rental car costs are sky high for everyone right now, in some cases about double the historical averages for a vehicle with full insurance coverage and automatic transmission ... both of which you really need.
Some of the popular sites mentioned in most of the guidebooks do get pretty crowded starting in June, but there are workarounds to avoid most of the crush - getting an early start or going later in the afternoon are a couple of strategies that work well for us. Getting off the beaten tourist track helps too. As independent travelers and with a month at your disposal you should be able to craft a very nice itinerary that will satisfy your particular interests.
My wife and I always bring a copy of "Backroads Ireland" on our own trips - it features lots of off-the-beaten-path excursions and attractions where you'll never have to worry about the crowds.
Might add too that since you're there for an extended stay you might be interested in the OPW Heritage Card https://opwheritagecards.com/ which offers discounted admission to scores of heritage sites around Ireland. Believe there's discounted pricing for seniors too. Either way it's a real bargain.

Posted by
4961 posts

I asked a similar Forum question earlier this year, whether folks believed that Europe in general would be mobbed in 2021. The general consensus was that it probably wouldn’t. Countries’ policies and tourists’ ability to travel are varied, so that still remains to be seen, although it doesn’t sound like any place is overwhelmed.

As for Ireland in June 2022, we went in June 2011. Wow - that was ten whole years ago! Anyway, it wasn’t crowded then, and Ireland’s tourism season didn’t really get started until July, based on information in places like Dingle and boat tours to Skellig Michael. In June, even in 2022, you won’t be elbow-to-elbow everywhere. If you’re able to book your lodging in B&B’s (our favorite accommodation type in Ireland) before you leave home, you’ve got a confirmed room for every night. If you plan to see where you get each day, and decide where to spend the night based on where you wind up, you’ll still want to call or e-mail ahead in the middle of the day and get a room for that night, so that you’re not knocking on doors looking for a room in the late afternoon or evening.

If you truly are covering the island, take the short flight to Inishmore, rather than the ferry. We’ve done both, and while the ferry was needed to bring our bicycles with us the first trip, flying on the second trip was easier, and more reliable, since tough seas can cancel the ferry. Also, definitely do the Hawk Walk experience at Ashford Castle! Sign up for the extended walk, which includes their cool Eagle Owl, in addition to your own personal Harris Hawk(s).

Posted by
5 posts

Great info Robert, thank you so much.... maybe waiting until 2023 will be more back to normal and car rental costs will be more appealing.

Posted by
552 posts

Outside of the Dublin tourist attractions like the Guinness Tour or Trinity College’s Book of Kells I doubt you’ll see hordes of tourists. And even for something like the Book of Kells it’s easy to avoid the main crush by going first thing or last thing in the day. And for things like the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry, if you leave the car park and walk maybe 50 yards away you’ll find yourself virtually alone.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for the info Cyn.

Yes, I had lodging booked in advance for 2020 and moved the dates to 2021..... some B&B's RS recommended. But since there were 3 of us, it was actually cheaper and roomier to book AirBnBs, many with great locations and views and do a bit of our own cooking. Also found a couple rustic castles/towers. We were able to get refunds on all due to Covid. Next time, I will check more into booking.com with refundable deposits.
I know RS recommends calling on the way or the day before to verify lodging. Not sure yet how we will work that out with phones - get intl calling or buy a phone over there. Would be nice to have a working phone with gps since we are doing so much driving and I hear you really need to know where you are going as roads not marked as well as we are used to here.
Thanks.

Posted by
4961 posts

joyceabquinn, if you haven’t done so already, another lodging option is Vrbo.com . It’s Vacation Rentals by Owner, and it’s been around longer than airbnb, which started out for couch surfers. We’ve used both now - I spent a good part of this afternoon and early evening, in fact, looking on each for places on Italy - but the Vrbo Website is more user-friendly for me, and the places have, frankly, seemed like a better quality, with more amenable owners. Lots of options, either way. We rented a charming thatch roofed cottage outside of Dingle through Vrbo on that 2011 trip; I don’t believe it’s for rent anymore. Happy hunting, and hope the 3 of you find great places.

As for phones, we switched from Verizon to T-mobile. Our phones now work in Europe, no adjustments, costs, or extra efforts needed. And it was great for driving - I did the navigating while my husband drove. It’s now worked in Ireland and Greece. You might want to check their prices and plans.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Cyn. Yes, some of the places were actually Vrbo that my daughter found. I was looking for places that were in town or walking distance to town so we don't have to drive; especially if coming from a pub. I will be more careful this time and pick only ones that give full refunds instead of 50%. And let's hope that Covid is under control next June.

Posted by
2785 posts

I don't want to be Debbie Downer, but for those of us who are no longer spring chickens, the longer we wait to travel, the greater the chance that something, like a pandemic or our own illness, will prevent us from traveling at all. Carpe Diem.

Posted by
618 posts

June is not typically a busy month in Ireland. Peak summer travel for European travelers is the 6-week summer break starting around mid-July and ending the first few weeks in September. When the European schools break for summer at this time, prices and crowds are higher. However, Ireland is not necessarily a top European destination, many Europeans are heading towards the sunshine and the beaches of Spain, Greece, and Italy, etc. I would say don't wait. If Ireland is open, go next year. You have no way to know what 2023 will bring in terms of world health as well as your own. I would also look for stays in self-catering cottages. Vrbo is a good place to start. Most, but not all, will require a 7-day stay (turn-over usually a Saturday). B&B's are great also. As for the car rental, just get an automatic, take it slow, and don't rush driving on the first day. I think you will be just fine. Have a great trip.

Margaret

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks Debbie and Margaret for the great info. I feel the same way - I have been planning for 2 years, read Rick's book cover to cover a few times and am excited to go. When it gets closer I will do another forum about recs for phones and how people navigate when driving... use an atlas, check direcs the night before when have wi-fi at lodging, or use gps on phone without the play by play directions.