With Ireland's tourism numbers increasing annually it's understandable that many travelers are looking outside the busy summer months to plan their vacation. In this episode of the podcast I'm sharing Ireland travel tips for off-season vacations plus my advice on taking your children out of school to visit Ireland.
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Ireland Travel Tips for Off-Season Vacations
A few handy links for podcast listeners who haven't visited the website:
Ireland Family Vacations– filled with Ireland travel tips and destination advice.
Explore Ireland– a clickable county map to help you find attractions and accommodations along your route.
Free Itineraries– if you aren't really sure where you want to go, one of these can help!
Traveling in Ireland Newsletter sign up– free monthly newsletter filled with Ireland travel tips, vacation planning advice, and local spotlights.
(2:30) The Seasons of Ireland Travel
Ireland travel falls into 3 distinct seasons:
High Season: the busiest time for tourism; June thru mid-September
Shoulder Season: not as busy as high season, but still quite a lovely time to visit; mid-March thru the end of May and mid-September thru November
Low Season: the slowest tourism period with shorter days, longer nights, and the possibility of more temperamental weather; November thru mid-March
(3:47) Why Travel in the Off Season?
You'll find great travel deals, fewer crowds, and lively evening in the pubs. Check out Cool Facts About Ireland Winter Vacations.
Halloween is amazing in Ireland!
Christmas markets are a great reason to travel to Ireland!
(10:24) Should You Take Your Children Out of School to Travel to Ireland?
While my answer isn't the right one for everyone, I do believe that it is ok to take your children out of school to travel.
With a few caveats.
I do believe that if you are taking your children out of school for travel it should be educational. And your kids will learn a lot while in Ireland!
And I understand that not all schools are as flexible as ours, or understanding of travel during the academic year.
A few tips to help you plan to take your children out of school for Ireland travel:
- Check with the school administration on their policies for missed school days and travel.
- It's easier for younger children to miss school- it just isn't difficult to ‘make up' work when kids are young.
- Look closely at school schedules: in-service days or short breaks that you can use, extracurricular activities, and testing schedules.
- Speak with your school principal, your child's guidance instructor or their individual teachers. If you can, schedule an in-person meeting to discuss your plans.
- Plan how school work will be done- in advance, while traveling, or after the trip.
- Consider how travel during school will impact your child.
- Leave a day or two after your trip for everyone to readjust to life at home (especially the time change!) before jumping back into school.
(19:05) Three Terrific Places to Visit During the Off Season in Ireland
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In December, January and February visit Dublin. Tourist attractions in Dublin don't close seasonally. And you can easily plan day trips to Glendalough, Kilkenny, even the Cliffs of Moher, on fine days.
In fall plan to explore Connemara. The westernmost region of County Galway is especially enchanting as the days shorten.
In spring head to the ‘sunny southwest'. My personal recommendation is West Cork for it's abundance of outdoor activities and beauty.
(18:36) Final Thoughts
If you have any questions on eating in Ireland, or on Ireland travel in general, please comment below or email [email protected] – I reply to all messages!