If you're planning to visit Ireland in 2024 you need these Ireland travel tips before you begin booking!
Get the very best Ireland travel advice from Ireland Family Vacations and the Traveling in Ireland podcast.
Jody Halsted – Ireland Family Vacations and the Traveling in Ireland podcast.
In case you're wondering why you would want to get your Ireland travel advice from me…
My name is Jody Halsted and I am an author, publisher, Ireland vacation coach, tour coordinator, and (obviously) your host on the Traveling in Ireland podcast.
That's a lot! But Ireland travel is my passion; and my goal -100% – is to help you have an amazing Ireland vacation. And I have quite a few ways to do that.
My website, Ireland Family Vacations, is a complete resource for Ireland vacation planning – filled with information on what to do & see as well as handy tips for planning your trip and free itineraries to get your plans in motion quickly. (Don't let the name fool you! I travel through Ireland solo, with my husband, with my family, and hosting small group tours. Whatever your group size or dynamic I am able to assist!)
My vacation coaching and custom itinerary creation services help you maximize your Ireland experience, and my small group guided tours are designed to not only deliver the ‘authentic' Ireland of your dreams but also introduce you to the people and hidden places that make the country so very magical. (There are still a few spots available on my special tour this fall. I promise- it's like nothing else you've seen.)
If you love the process of planning your trip the My Ireland Vacation Planner & Journal walks you step-by-step through my expert process, from when to visit and how long the perfect vacation lasts, to what to see, where to stay, and even what to eat.
On a more personal note, I have 2 teenage daughters who have been traveling through Ireland with me since before they could toddle, one very supportive husband (who loves it when I plan other people's vacations because it means I'm not planning my own), and one large, very fluffy, dog who prefers we stay in the US and travel by RV so she can come along.
Now that you know all about me, let's jump into what you need to know as you consider planning an Ireland vacation in 2024!
Traveling in Ireland podcast episode 190
2024 Ireland Travel Tips You Need
Ireland Travel Rules & Regulations
There are currently no health restrictions in place for North Americans traveling to or from Ireland. But we all know how quickly that can change. Bookmark these sites for trave updates:
- current rules for traveling to Ireland are here
- current rules for returning to the US after international travel are here
- current rules for Canadians returning home can be found here
In Case of Cancellation
Read and understand cancellation policies before booking.
If booking with a credit card be aware of the cancellation coverage you may have with that card.
I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance if you book tickets our tours that don't allow 100% refund if cancelled.
2024 Will Be (another) Busy Year for Tourism
2023 was a terrific year for tourism with numbers increasing from 2022 but not quite meeting the high record of 2019.
2024 is expected to exceed last year in the number of visitors, which will not only mean heavy crowds in popular spots but could also lead to car rental shortages and full accommodations.
Booking Ireland Accommodations
Accommodations for 2024 are already scarce in some areas, especially for more budget friendly options like 3-star hotels and hostels. Ireland is currently hosting nearly 100,000 displaced people across the country, so accommodations are at a premium. Book early – especially if traveling May – September.
If you want to try to ‘wing it' (which I definitely don't recommend during the busy season) be prepared to stay away from town centres in more rural areas.
Any ‘special' accommodations – like castles or manor houses – as well as any popular locations (Dublin, Killarney, Doolin, Dingle) should always be booked in advance.
Just plug in your dates to this handy map to find available accommodations.
Ireland Car Rental
Book your rental car early for the best prices. Car rental shortages may happen in the busier tourism months – especially on larger vehicles – which means higher prices as demand overwhelms the supply. READ Everything You Need to Know About Car Rental in Ireland so you aren't greeted with an expensive surprise.
Use code IFV to save 10% at Irish Car Rentals.
Petrol costs in Ireland are currently over USD$7 per gallon. Train and bus travel was very popular last year along busy tourist routes and I don't see that changing. Book tickets for public transportation in advance, especially if traveling with a group..
Hiring an Ireland Driver Guide
If you have a group of 6 or larger hiring a licensed driver guide may be the best money you spend. Not only will everyone comfortably fit in their touring vehicle (with plenty of room for luggage) but everyone can enjoy the journey.
For groups of 12-16 plan to book early as minibuses and touring coaches are in high demand.
Tips for Booking Tours & Attractions
Book tours and popular ‘must see' attractions (like Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, and Newgrange) in advance to avoid disappointment.
OPW spots like Newgrange and Kilmainham Gaol both offer online booking (30 days in advance for Newgrange; 28 for Kilmainham) prior to your visit. You will want to log on at that 28/30 day mark – at midnight Irish time if possible- to secure your tickets.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is operating on timed tickets for both the bridge and the car park that need to be booked in advance. The booking window is 60 days.
If Blarney Castle is on your itinerary check to see if your planned day to visit corresponds with a day a cruise ship is in Cork or Cobh. If they match you may want to switch your date if possible.
Most books from The Old Library have been removed for a massive deep cleaning and conservation project. But a new experience has just opened (January 3) the includes virtual experiences – The Long Room Reimagined and Book of Kells 360. I'll be visiting in March and can't wait to share more then.
To avoid the worst of the crowds in popular spots like the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, the Rock of Cashel, Kylemore Abbey, and similar spots try to time your visit before 10 am or after 4 pm to miss the majority of large tour buses.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) was set to begin in 2023. Then it was moved to 2024. It was just announced that it will now roll out in October 2024. While Ireland is part of the EU it is not a Schengen Member Country. But if your travel plans include other European countries visit ETIAS.com so you know what is needed if you plan to travel later in the year.
To sum up…
Do your homework. Book early.
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