I don't want to rush through Ireland!
Reader Question : I want my time to be my own but, I don't want to feel like I'm rushing from place to place just to fill the “must see” tourist squares. Any suggestions on how to spend two weeks, slowly?
This is a great question- and one I still struggle with personally. There is just so very much to see, do, and experience in Ireland! The plan I follow can be found in this post about how to ruin your Ireland itinerary.
Before you begin with step one, you need to know just a few things:
- Where are you arriving and departing from? This is hugely important if you are arriving in Ireland early in the morning after an overseas flight. You don't want to drive a long distance that first day, but you do want to be active to combat your jet lag. On your final evening you will want to be within easy driving distance of the airport – especially if your flight leaves in the morning.
- What's on your personal ‘must see' list? I work with so many people that tell me, “A friend told me we must go here,” or “I heard this was something I should really see.” Really think about these suggestions – do they interest you? Or are you only adding them because someone told you to? Each place you visit should be because you want to- and you should know why it's on your list.
- What are your interests? Keep these in mind as you plan your vacation. If something doesn't interest you, don't do it!
After you know these things, then begin with the 10 steps at the bottom of this post. As you begin marking your map you'll be able to see what works in your time frame- and what doesn't.
Sometimes you will need to drop one ‘must see' site for another that is more important to you. It's ok to do this! This is your vacation and you can make it exactly how you want it!
My final advice : be flexible! If an area really resonates with you, stay an extra day or two. Don't tie yourself to a rigid schedule. You won't miss the places you didn't see, but you may always regret not staying longer at a place that really touched your soul.
Do you have a question about Ireland travel? View the Ireland Travel FAQs page or email your question to Jody(at)IrelandFamilyVacations(dot)com. I will reply directly to you as well as add your question to this page- because if you need an answer, it’s likely someone else does, too!
Hi Daniel – and thanks for your question!
Your itinerary, as laid out is ‘doable’ but very busy. The end, in Northern Ireland, is a bit back and forth. Why stay in Belfast to drive to Derry and then back? Also, the drive from the North back to Galway is a solid day.
Personally, I think you are pushing a bit too much in to a 10 day trip. You don’t mention family in Waterford, so maybe skip that? It would still be busy but give you a little more time to breathe…
Another thing to realize is that Shannon Airport has been closed for 2 years and all routes into the airport have not yet reopened. So flying into Shannon is about $400 more per person than flying into Dublin right now. For 6 people that’s $2400…
Hope that gives you a bit of direction.