Lough Eske Castle, Dnegal, Ireland

5 Things to Consider Before You Book an Ireland Vacation Package | Traveling in Ireland Podcast Episode 103

Are Ireland vacation package deals flooding your inbox? Every day I receive enticing offers for a trip to the Emerald Isle! But before you book that ‘too good to be true' bargain take a few minutes to ‘unpack' it and see if it is really as amazing as it looks! {Use these Ireland vacation tips before you make any bookings!}

How to Decide if an Ireland Vacation Package is Right for You

Ireland vacation deals are designed to be attractive – but what looks good at first glance may not be the vacation of your dreams.

Download your free Ireland Vacation Package checklist

Step 1: Determine what attracted you to the deal

Welcome to Ashford Castle. Cong, County Mayo, Ireland.
Welcome to Ashford Castle

Vacation packages are often marketed as ‘all or mostly inclusive' – but there are always additional costs.

Were you attracted by the price? Cheap Ireland vacations may not be the best deal. You will be able to spot this as you break down the package.

Were you attracted by the accommodations? A bit of research into the vacation package will reveal more about your lodging.

Were you attracted by the images or description? Dig into the details and see if those places are included in the package or are just ‘suggestions'.

Keep in mind what appealed to you as you dig into the deal.

Step 2: Check the terms of the vacation package

Budding archaeologist at National Museum of Ireland Archaeology. Dublin with kids. Ireland travel tips.
  • Review what is included in the package- and what is extra.
  • Most vacation package deals show the lowest priced dates. If the dates can be changed how does that afftect the price?
  • 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)? If you are a solo traveler are there extra charges?
  • 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! Read more about travel insurance for your Ireland vacation here.)
  • Most importantly- who do you contact if you encounter a problem?

Step 3: Know where the package will take you

Gaulstown Dolmen, County Waterford, Ireland

Step 4: Review your transportation

car at Durrow Viaduct, County Waterford, Ireland
  • 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 in most cases you will have to pay for insurance upon arrival in Ireland. Read: Everything You Need to Know About Car Rental in Ireland with special attention to step #6 and Car Rental In Ireland Over 70
  • If your tour is guided check all information on pick up, drop off, and how you will be transported. Also be aware that guided tours do not include a gratuity in the package cost.
  • If your tour includes rail be sure to study a rail map and figure out how you will get from the city hubs into the country to visit the sites you want to see. Read more: Traveling Around Ireland: Trains, Buses, and Automobiles

Step 5: Check the accommodations

Lough Eske Castle, Donegal, Ireland
  • Will you be in a single location or will you be switching accommodation during your trip?
  • 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 accommodations are set are they near places you want to see and visit?
  • If the vacation package offers B&B stays do your best to check availability for your travel times. Most B&B packages utilize B&B Ireland accommodations. Use that website to preview the accommodation choices.
  • For packages offering hotel stays check hotel ratings. Be sure to see if there is an ‘alternate' hotel in case the first hotel isn't available. (Trip Advisor is a great resource for this).
  • Also check to see if those great resort activities (like a Hawk Walk, horseback riding, or 5* dinner) are included in your package or if they will carry an additional charge.

As you review the vacation package you'll easily see if it is as great a deal as it first appeared or if the tour is the right fit for you.

Download my free Vacation Package Checklist to easily help you make notes on Ireland vacation deals you find.

If you want to join an Ireland tour unlike any other, be sure to check out my Traveling in Ireland Tours!


My small group guided tours show you some of Ireland's most famous places while taking you off the tourist trail to experience spots most visitors to Ireland will never see.

Because the tours are small we move at a relaxed pace and have the ability to make changes based on guest input.

Check out the unique adventures that are planned for fall 2021 (2 spots remain!) and late spring & fall of 2022.

Thanks for Listening!

Jody Halsted
Follow Along

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