Ireland: The Gathering 2013

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If you have plans to visit Ireland in 2013, it's likely you've seen mentions of The Gathering.  The thing that's really difficult to pin down is…

What is The Gathering?

It's easy enough to understand that The Gathering is a initiative to bring travelers to Ireland in 2013.  But what is The Gathering, exactly?

According to a note on The Gathering Facebook page,

The Gathering Ireland is not one single event. It’s an exciting year-long celebration of Ireland, its people and all that is great about its connections, both at home and abroad.

The Gathering invites anyone who has a link to Ireland or just a love of the country, to come to Ireland for a series of events throughout 2013.

The Gathering is the largest tourism initiative ever attempted by Ireland and is supported by Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority.  Events will be taking place across the country, and  many will be planned, carried out and supported by individuals and businesses, not the tourist board.

Which, at the heart of it, means that 2013 is the year to visit Ireland and really meet the locals! 

Keep Up With The Gathering Events

Live Music in Clifden, Ireland
Fergal Scahill and David Howley, two thirds of the trad band Freewheel performing at J Conneely's Pub in Clifden.

No matter your online tool of choice, you'll be able to keep up with The Gathering across the internet:

 Now that you know what The Gathering is and how to keep up with what's on in Ireland in 2013, I have a few tips that will come in handy for your visit during what could be the busiest Irish tourism year ever.

Tips for Visiting Ireland During The Gathering

  1. Start watching for deals NOW.  Sign up for airfare alerts, join sites like TravelZoo  and Aer Lingus Vacation club, get deals from Sceptre Tours  and Brendan Vacations.  You'll be able to compare deals and see when a really good one pops up.
  2. Book your car IMMEDIATELY.  If you plan to drive, book your rental immediately after you book your trip (if your trip doesn't include a car).  And expect to pay dearly for it.  Car rental in Ireland is never cheap, but supply and demand in 2013 may drive it up.  And, know about the CDW before you go!
  3. Book your lodging.  Once you know where you want to be, I would recommend booking your lodgings at least 2 months in advance; 4 months if you are planning to visit June thru August.  And get your confirmations via email.
  4. Get Involved!  Once you have your itinerary somewhat set, get involved online before you arrive!  The, not only will you be enjoying craic with the Irish, you'll be among friends, as well!

Do you plan to visit Ireland during The Gathering?  Share your thoughts, tips and event plans in the comments!


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