Choosing an Ireland vacation package seems simple enough. You find a deal you like- be it self drive or guided- and make the purchase. Done. Ireland vacation booked and ready.
But it may not be so simple. Airline transfers, car rental, accommodations… they all play a role in the success of your vacation to Ireland.
Choosing an Ireland Vacation Package
I receive multiple emails each day from people who have booked a vacation package for Ireland and then, after receiving the information for their trip, realized that they didn't really know what they purchased.
Use the tips below to help you avoid Ireland vacation package purchase regret.
The first thing you really must look at when booking an Ireland vacation package are the terms.
- Check to see what is included in the package- and what is extra.
- When are the travel dates, and are they flexible. If the dates are flexible how does that change the pricing?
- How is the vacation package priced? Most are based on 2 people, sharing. If you have a larger group how will you be accommodated (transportation, lodging, etc)?
- Be sure to read the terms and conditions! What is the cancellation policy? Might trip insurance be a good idea? (Don't purchase the travel insurance offered with the vacation package without doing your research! Learn more about travel insurance here.)
- Most importantly- who do you contact if you encounter a problem?
The next topic to check is your transportation.
- Where do flights depart? Can that be changed and, if so, how does that affect the cost? Can you get to the departure airport without further significant cost? Also note that many packages do not allow accrual of frequent flyer points and that children do not receive a special fare.
- Is car rental included? If so be aware that you will have to pay for insurance upon arrival in Ireland. Learn about car rental terms here.
- If your tour is guided check all information on pick up, drop off, and how you will be transported.
Lodging is the third point to consult.
- If the Ireland vacation package has set lodging, where is it? Check the drive times to your first night's lodging from the airport and your final night's lodging to the airport. That 2 hour drive may not seem like a lot until you realize your flight from Dublin leaves at 9am and you need to arrive 3 hours prior to boarding to clear all the security points.
- If the vacation package offers B&B stays do your best to check availability for your travel times. Some B&Bs close during the winter months.
- For packages offering hotel stays check hotel ratings (Trip Advisor is a great resource for this). Also check to see if those great activities (like a Hawk Walk, horseback riding, or 5* dinner) are included in your package or if they will carry an additional charge.
And, finally, look at locations.
- If the vacation package includes lodging is it near to places you want to visit?
As you work through these steps you'll be able to easily see if a specific Ireland vacation package is right for you.
Ireland Vacation Package Operators
Note: Some links are affiliate. Please see disclosure at the bottom of this article for more information.
Great Value Vacations – If you purchase a vacation package from Groupon, Living Social, Travel Zoo, Sherman's Travel, or CheapFlights (to name just a few) you'll be directed to the Great Value Vacations site to complete your booking. I recommend this company because their packages are very transparent and all information is laid out plainly on their Terms & Conditions page (the link is the very final line on the vacation promotion page.
Ireland Chauffeur Travel is my #1 go-to chauffeur vacation recommendation. Shane and his staff will work with you to perfectly tailor your Ireland vacation to your interests and ‘must see' destinations. FYI: Flights are not included in their Ireland vacation packages.
Trafalgar offers guided tours with some really fabulous experiences. Experiences are explained very thoroughly and outings that are an extra cost are plainly marked. EU experiences are found here. From the US use this link.
Tenon Tours offer options for self-drive, chauffeur, and guided tours. Their website is very helpful in choosing the best vacation for you, and the handy chat feature and quick response toll-free number are great for getting questions answered.
Brendan Vacations can be booked online or through your travel agent. If you are nervous about possible complications during your travels I highly recommend using a trusted travel agent.
Affiliate disclosure information Thank you for reading Ireland Family Vacations. Please know I partner with companies I use and trust as an affiliate and, when you make a purchase I will (in most cases) receive a referral commission. Your costs will not be higher when you make a purchase through my links, and your purchase helps support the costs of maintaining Ireland Family vacations. Thank you!
American currency is not an accepted form of payment in Ireland. (You may find a few very random places that will accept it, but it’s rare as they have to pay the exchange rate to change it.) You can either get Euro before your trip or use your credit card in Ireland. Visa and MasterCard are accepted universally where credit cards are accepted. American Express less so. And Discover Card not at all.
Refer to this article on How and When to Get Euros for more information.