Ireland Travel Question: I don’t want to rush through Ireland!

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?

You don't want to rush through Ireland! The best travel advice for your Ireland vacation
Wisdom for your Ireland vacation

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!

Jody Halsted
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  1. Jody, I am planning a trip for about June I8-28, 2022 for 6 adults and 2 children ages 6 and 5. I am thinking about staying in AIRBnBs at each stop. We will be meeting some new “cousins” in Athenry, Galway and we have some friends we want to meet up with who live in N. Ireland. So my rough itinerary is to fly in and out of Shannon, stop in Athenry, Galway for 2+days, then drive to an ancestoral home near Cork/Limerick (2days), stop in Waterford area, then Dublin (2days) stop at an ancestoral home in Rathangan, Co Kildare, then drive to Belfast area (2 Days), visiting an ancestoral home in Randalstown and friends in Newry and Derry and then drive back around the west coast to Galway and fly home. All in 10 days with about 2 days at each stop. I am anticipating that our visits with cousins and friends will include the sightseeing places together. We will also be looking for places for the kids to just have fun. I have a list of AirBnBs that look good for 6 people and a list of sightseeing places that we might want to see. Do you think this is doable on our own?

    1. 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.

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