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4 Friends winging it through Ireland.

After talking it over with my mother (world class traveler) I'm thinking that my friends and I should 'wing' it through Ireland instead of making plans and having to stick to them. What are some of the best places to go in Ireland as teenagers just trying to get the Ireland experience and what are some of the good hostels around Ireland that we can go to for a few nights and then just move on?

Posted by
9363 posts

Whether or not you are successful in winging it will partly depend on what time of year you will be traveling. In some parts of the year you should really consider having reservations ahead of time. You can always change your minds, but it will give you the security of knowing that you have a place to stay if you want it.

Posted by
6 posts

We're going in late May through early June. We're planning on booking a night at a hotel the night we fly in and the night before we fly out. Other than that I'm writing down rail passes, bus routes and fairs, and locations of hostels all around where we are planning on going, southwestern Ireland.

Posted by
6 posts

Larry, how did you and your daughter get around Ireland? Any thing that you can give me on traveling around would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
80 posts

Never been to Ireland so I cannot offer advice on that country, but I did travel throughout Europe, met adolescents (college students)who tried to 'wing it', and I feel nothing but pity for them.

Instead of enjoying their location (Alps, Amalfi Coast), they were constantly worrying about and spending time on researching where they are going to stay in their next destination.

Not only that, due to their lack of research of the neighborhood/town, they do not seem to understand the "must-sees". For them, it is all about "I went to Switzerland.....check." I cringe and feel bad for them.

Please do some research and plan ahead. But do leave some afternoons and even a day or two free so that you can enjoy the unexpected.

Posted by
440 posts

My daughter and I went to Ireland mid-June and only reserved our last night. The schools aren't out yet, I think. Anyway, we had no problems in staying at B&Bs with one night at a hostel. Doolin and Dingle are aimed at the young more so than the other places we went but it really depends on what kinds of things you're interested in. I hope you have a great experience.

Posted by
1357 posts

You may want to stay a night or 2 in a B&B. There won't be much of a price difference between them and the hostels. It's just not a trip to Ireland without experiencing a full Irish breakfast!

Posted by
111 posts

Galway has a big college...my caddy at Lahinch mentioned sometimes they would go up there for the babes...then probably head over to Dublin and see what kind of trouble you can get into- I mean craic ;)

Posted by
45 posts

Winging it during May and June would be fine for accomodations, although I would be a bit more prepared for weekends in June. Everything fills up pretty quickly during the weekends - at least when I was there (take note of any festivals on in the places you are going). You don't have to book far in advance, but even just the day or two before should be fine. Worst case scenario, you end up in a not as ideal or hostel or have to shell out a bit more for a B&B one night.

However, winging it for your actual destinations can prove a little difficult when it comes to public transportation. I got stuck once or twice because the buses didn't run that day, or only ran really late/really early, etc. Again, you don'tn eed to plan far in advance - just know where you want to go a day or two before to figure out if you can actually get there!

I would disagree with prices on hostels vs. B&B's though. Hostels are definitely cheaper, and many include breakfast anyway.

I do have many hostel suggestions but it would depend where exactly you are going and for how long? (I did 7 weeks in Ireland so I went to quite a few places). Hostelworld is the best place to find hostels as they have extensive reviews. If you go with the highest rated ones, they are usually quite good. I only had one sort of sketchy hostel in 7 weeks so you will be fine.

Posted by
6 posts

We want to go from Shannon, where we are flying in and out of, down and along the southern region of Ireland (and maybe up to Dublin as one of my friends has family there). We want to see the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry and any other attractions we can think of along our way. I went to Ireland when I was 12 but really want to go again and make the most of it. Any hostel recommendations or bus and rail suggestions would be really helpful; and any ideas on where we should go would be awesome!

Posted by
319 posts

I recommend that you check out Rick's guide and map out your planned destinations. Even though you're winging it, you'll want to plan in advance so that you don't spend valuable vacation time getting oriented.

For example, Irish public transit is not that extensive or frequent in southwestern Ireland. You'll want to make sure that you can get to and from your destinations at the times that you want to travel.

If you're ending your trip in Dublin, you might also look into flying home from Dublin instead of Shannon. This way, you'll be able to enjoy an extra night in Dublin instead of heading back to Shannon.