Money Saving Tips for Your Ireland Vacation {2022} | Traveling in Ireland Podcast Episode 117

Ireland may not be a ‘budget' destination but with a little bit of planning you can save money on your Ireland vacation.

One of the most powerful tools you can have to save money in Ireland is a plan!

The new ‘My Ireland Vacation Planner & Journal‘ follows the exact steps I use to plan my own Ireland travels and tours. Four sections – planning, itinerary, travel tips & journal – lead you through each step of creating the Ireland trip you've been dreaming about. You'll find easy-to-use worksheets, loads of advice, and fun journaling prompts to remember your magical Ireland vacation.

Click here to save this to your Ireland vacation board on Pinterest!

Here's How to Save Money on Your Ireland Vacation

When You Travel Makes a Difference

Traveling during the busy, or ‘high season' always costs more.

If you are serious about saving money look to the less popular shoulder seasons for your vacation. Remember – Ireland doesn't have huge weather fluctuations so traveling in late May or late September are likely to be just as nice as traveling in mid-July.

Some of my favorite Ireland vacations have taken place in November and January!

More information: read When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland {or listen to podcast episode 87}

Doonagore Castle, County Clare, Ireland
Doonagore Castle in January

Monitor Flights to Find the Best Prices

No offense to travel hackers, but I just don't have the time or patience for the airline or credit card miles game, nor am I willing to put up with multiple layovers to save a few dollars.

Once I know my travel dates I just use a few tools to do very simple flight monitoring.

I check every route and airport that I could conceivably use and set flight alerts. Then I watch those routes to understand what the average price is so that when a deal comes up I am ready to grab my tickets.

Learn my flight monitoring tricks and tools in the article Booking Your Flight to Ireland.

Sunrise Thick Clouds over Ireland
Sunrise over clouds as my flight approaches Ireland

Save Money on Car Rental in Ireland

The current car rental shortage has made prices skyrocket. Add the increase in petrol costs and the outlay can be significant.

If you plan to self-drive in 2022 you need to book your rental car early.

Rent a manual transmission vehicle – but only if you know how to drive one! Ireland is NOT the place to learn to drive a stick shift!

Rent the smallest vehicle you (and your family/ group) will be comfortable in. DO NOT skimp on a car that is too small – you will pay more to upgrade at the rental lot (if there is even availability to do so!).

Don't rent a car for longer than you need. You do not need a car in Dublin – the city is very compact and walkable, and you will just be paying more to park it.

Compare costs for one-way rentals and consider taking the bus or train to Galway, Limerick, or even Killarney and returning to Dublin at the end of your travels.

If your credit card has car rental coverage in Ireland (most do not) you can certainly use that instead of purchasing CDW. Just understand that the rental company will place a large hold on your credit card. If you don't have credit card coverage DO NOT refuse CDW Excess to save a few dollars. In the long run it could cost you thousands.

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Car Rental in Ireland – be sure to pay attention to step 6!

Use a comparison tool like Auto Europe as you begin searching car rentals. And don't forget to check Irish Car Rentals where you can save 10% with code IFV.

car at Durrow Viaduct, County Waterford, Ireland
Follow the road less traveled- you never know what you might discover!

Save Money on Ireland Accommodations

Stay in one place for 3 days or more. Many accommodations offer ‘extended stay' discounts.

Stay outside the city centre. Accommodations close to popular tourist spots cost more; choose a spot further away.

Rent a holiday home or self-catering cottage. No, you won't have the benefit of included breakfast, but it can save a few bucks. (Using AirBnB? Read these tips before booking!)

Mix & match your accommodations. Save money in one area and you may be able to splurge in another.

Lough Eske Castle, Dnegal, Ireland
Lough Eske Castle

Save Money on Food

If breakfast is included in your stay take advantage of it! A full Irish breakfast will power you through until early afternoon. Can't eat that much daily? Order porridge (oatmeal) or yoghurt with granola and some fruit.

Have a picnic or ‘eat in'. Visit a grocery and grab a few bits for your lunch, afternoon snack, or dinner.

Eat dinner early. Many restaurants offer an ‘Early Bird' special before 7pm so be on the lookout for those.

Eat away from tourist spots. A pint of Guinness in Dublin can be double what it is in a rural pub.

Full Irish Breakfast

Find Deals on Ireland Attractions

The OPW Heritage Pass is the best deal in the Republic of Ireland. Available for individuals or families, this card covers entry into dozens of sites managed by the Office of Public Works for a single fee. If 6-8 heritage sites are on your itinerary this card is a must!

Learn more about where to buy your OPW Heritage Card here.

If you plan to spend 2 or more days in Dublin, the Dublin Pass can help you save both time and money. With this card or digital pass you receive entry into over 30 attractions and activities in Dublin for a single price.

You should do a bit of homework before purchasing this pass to be sure the sites you want to visit are included and that it will be a good value for your visit. Learn how to Save Time & Money with the Dublin Pass here.

Book online in advance. Many popular sites offer a discount for online booking so be sure to check these as you're planning your trip!

Blarney Castle. Ireland travel tips | Ireland vacation |IrelandFamilyVacations.com
Blarney Castle

Save Money When Shopping in Ireland

First and foremost – do not use a currency exchange kiosk or shop. Your best exchange rate will be found at an ATM. Be aware of any fees associated with cash withdrawl from your bank.

Number two – do not use Dynamic Currency Conversion when paying with a credit card. Always pay in the local currency as this conversion will end up charging a higher exchange rate + the foreign transaction fee.

Be sure to claim your VAT refund when you leave Ireland. The VAT (value added tax) is included in the purchase price of most goods in Ireland and, as a tourist, you can receive a refund on many souvenirs you buy. Learn more about the VAT and how to get your refund here.

Shop Duty Free for fun trinkets and Irish whiskey. The prices for trinkets is similar to what you will pay in most tourist shops across the country, so just grab those at the airport and save the taxes.

As to whiskey… Unless the spirit is a ‘distillery exclusive' you will likely find it at the airport- and often for a better price if you are traveling outside the EU. Also, many distilleries create blends you can only get at the airport!

Stocked shelves at the Burren Perfumery, County Clare, Ireland
Burren Perfumery
Jody Halsted
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