My husband & I are planning a 6-7day trip to Ireland next year & looking into several different travel agencies-Sceptre,Authentic Ireland, Exploring Ireland-we don't want to get ripped off-what are the advantages of a travel group as opposed to booking our selves & would it be worth it driving our selves(my husbaand is NOT real keen on that idea) or hiring a driver?
Hi, Brenda: Travel agencies have their place, I suppose, but we MUCH enjoy doing the planning and navigating ourselves. Our first two trips overseas were to Ireland and the things we most remember are the little side trips and stops we took with our rental car. The driving requires your full attention but doesn't take that long to get used to. (A GPS unit is paramount.) Would also recommend that you fly into Dublin and fly out of Shannon (or vice versa) so you can make the most of your time. Happy travels!
We used Scepture Tours twice as we got a great deal on air,car and B&B vouchers for one low price. With the ones we used, it was all on our own, no "tour" guide and it was great for us. We flew into Shannon and out of Shannon as they did not at the time offer the open jaw. We found driving to not be a problem after the first hour. Flew Air Lingus there and back and had great service. What they did at the time was give you a voucher for the six nights B&B with a booklet of over 1000 listings which showed which ones accepted a voucher, some we used the voucher and had to pay a minimal extra fee on arrival, only about five dollars per room. Not sure if they still,offer this type of,thing, but it was great. Good luck.
We used Sceptre for our first trip to Ireland several years ago. No problems at all. We booked some B&Bs ahead, and found others on the fly. We flew into Shannon, and out of Dublin. Driving only took a little time to get used to, especially flying into Shannon, which is in the country. It is definitely worth driving yourselves. Our package included airfare, a week of rental car, and vouchers for six mights in B&Bs. We decided our own itinerary, it wasn't a tour.
We too booked through Sceptre. It wasn't a tour, but a package of airfare, three nights in hotels and four nights with B&B vouchers, which we then booked on our own. Oh, and it included a car. It all went great - I think one of the hotels at first didn't have us, but I had our confirmation email with us, gave it to them and they got it fixed quickly. We didn't take any tours, so I can't say anything about that. But Ireland's pretty easy to move around in if you speak English. If you're bad at planning trips at all, maybe a tour would be good. But if you're comfortable making plans for trips in America, I would say just do it yourself in Ireland too.