Thank you for all the car rental suggestions. I have one more question regarding travel between Edinburgh Scotland and Dublin Ireland, where we will be catching a flight back to the States (we are flying into Amsterdam but out of Dublin after visiting Edinburgh). Can anyone suggest the fastest, most reasonable way to make this trip? I've been researching flights, trains, etc., and am confused about the best way to get between Edinburgh and Dublin. As is true with most vacations, time is of the essence. Any suggestions for this Edinburgh to Dublin route would be most appreciated. Thank you!
Fly non-stop from Edinburgh to Dublin on either Aer Lingus or Ryanair. The flight takes 1hr10min. If you book well in advance, you can get a very cheap fare.
Absolutely fly, there is no problem doing that.
Mari, I agree with the others, a budget flight is absolutely the easiest method. However, if you fly with RyanAir, read their Terms & Conditions VERY carefully, especially related to luggage weights and carry-on rules. In the same situation, I'd start with Aer Lingus and use RyanAir as a "last resort". Another option would be to use an EasyJet flight from Edinburgh to Belfast, and then train to Dublin. They offer several flights per day, with fares currently as low as £33.99 and flight time of 50 minutes. The rail trip from Belfast to Dublin is only a couple of hours and very pleasant. While flying direct to Dublin would be the best idea, if you have time and want to have a brief look at another part of Ireland, it's something to consider. Happy travels!
Mari, FYI, I've used Ryan Air and found it to be fine (cattle-car-like, but fine). Just, as noted above, read/follow the rules carefully, and if you need to check a bag, reserve/pay for that ahead of time; it's really expensive to make that decision when you are at the airport.