We had a taste of Ireland last year on our Scotland/Ireland trip. We managed to see and experience a lot in our short time, but left with a feeling that we’d only scratched the surface. My husband had traveled to Ireland several times with his father and kept insisting we needed to return.
Our chance came again this spring with another excellent package from Great Value Vacations. It included 6 nights in Ireland (plus one overnight flight), a rental car and hotel/B&B accommodations. We had felt that our last trip with the company had been such a great value (pun intended) that we didn’t hesitate to book with them again. This time, my parents decided to come. It wasn’t too much trouble to combine our rental car dollars for a six-passenger vehicle.
With six people, it can be difficult to plan an itinerary that works for everyone. A friend shared an itinerary and highlights that she’d found helpful on her trip the previous year. I shared it with my family and they also talked to friends familiar with Ireland. We found it easiest to make a list of each person’s “must-do” and try to map out how to fit it in. This was our list:
My husband: surfing somewhere
Me: Murphy’s Ice Cream and a restaurant with duck (I wanted to visit Rathbaun Farm and make scones, but the hours are extremely limited and so the stop didn’t fit in. Maybe next time.)
The girls: They wanted the fun playgrounds they experienced last trip
My mom: A castle and the Cliffs of Moher
My dad: Nothing. He’s just happy to be on vacation with his family
Looking at this list, we set this course:
2 nights in Kilkenny (this was set by the vacation package)
2 nights outside Killarney
1 night in Galway
1 night in Navan (not too far from the airport for our early flight home)
We hit some snags right before the trip when we were slammed with snow storm after snow storm at the end of March. The school systems had to dip into spring break and we weren’t sure I’d have enough days to go. Fortunately, we made it with one day to spare.
Leading up to our departure we were also a little down about the forecast. I know that Ireland is a rainy place, but this seemed rainier than usual. Luck was on our side thanks to Bean and her good luck charm (more on that later). Overall, luck on was on our side the entire trip!