As you begin planning your perfect Ireland itinerary you're going to receive a lot of well-meaning advice of ‘must see' sites to visit.
And while this is often good advice it may not really fit your ideal Ireland vacation.
Or maybe you read a few ‘Best Things in Ireland' lists and are struggling to figure out how to fit them all into your trip.
Sad fact: you probably can't.
Creating Your Perfect Ireland Itinerary
Step 1: Choose What to See & Do
Let's begin with those ‘must see' lists.
In podcast episode 56 I covered Ireland's most popular tourist sites, based on numbers from 2017.
Thise tops sites don't change much from year to year, and it gives you a very good idea of where most tourists visit.
- Dublin for the Book of Kells & Trinity College, Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, and the lively Temple Bar area.
- The Wicklow Mountains or Rock of Cashel as they make their way to County Cork to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone.
- Then on to neighboring Kerry to explore Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry, and the Dingle Peninsula.
- Then up the southwestern part of the Wild Atlantic Way to County Clare and the Cliffs of Moher, with a possible side trip to the Aran Islands from Doolin or Galway.
- Then they cross back to Dublin to catch their flight home.
Also in episode 56 I offered alternates to those popular sites; spots where you could have a similar experience but with a smaller crowd, so if you want to get off the main tourist trail, check that out.
Step 2: Learn From My Mistakes
I have made every mistake that can be made in my 20+ years of visiting Ireland.
I went through these in podcast episode 104.
From too much driving and too many accommodations to rental car blunders and madness at Dublin Airport.
When you have a chance just give that a listen. It also includes advice for 3 experiences to have in Ireland that you can find all over the country.
Step 3: How to Plan Your Itinerary
In podcast episode 114 I shared 10 steps to plan your itinerary (and not ruin your vacation).
I begin with a map of Ireland and mark every location on my ‘must see' list.
After checking groupings (as mentioned in those top spots above) and drive times, I begin to narrow down the list based on how often I want to change accommodation, how much I really want to drive each day, and my vacation goals (relaxing, exploring, or ‘see it all').
Then I redo my map.
It usually takes a couple of map updates before I have an itinerary that I am happy with.
Click through to the full podcast article to get all 10 steps.
Step 4: Plan Ahead to Save Money
Ireland can be an expensive place to visit but you can find a deal if you know where to look.
In podcast episode 117 I shared tips to help you save money on your Ireland vacation.
I cover everything from saving money on flights, car rental and accommodations to attractions, dining, and even shopping.
Once you have your itinerary outlined – or before you make your final decisions- be sure to visit that podcast article to find savings for your trip.
3 More Handy Ways to Plan Your Ireland Vacation
- Download one of my free Ireland itineraries! Whether you use it for inspiration or follow it exactly, you'll have a terrific vacation.
- Purchase the ‘My Ireland Vacation Planner & Journal'. It features an entire section – 11 pages – devoted to itinerary planning, including worksheets and maps.
remove– Visit irelandfamilyvacations.com/Irelandplanner to purchase. Use code PODCAST10 to save 10%
- Let my experience guide you! Have a look at my vacation coaching and custom itinerary creation options to see which is the best fit for your needs and let's arrange a time to chat!