Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Ireland is a magical place and was my first place out of the country. Ever since I was a little girl, the magic of Ireland enticed me. Once I found the right person, some deals, and with a little bippity boppity boo, I was on my way.
How we got our tickets
Unless you have been living under a rock like Patrick Star, You've heard of Groupon. I can vouch that Groupon has some amazing deals, especially for traveling. However, have you ever just randomly looked at their deals and were like, "OMG! Look at the deal for this trip to Ireland!" and then realized you can't just shovel out money at that time and there is only three days left until the deal expires? Yeah, it's happened to me a few times.
However, if you click on who the Groupon is working through, you'll more likely see the main party. I decided to search them on Google and was brought to their site. They had all of the previous deals Groupon did and then some.
Save money by finding packages. There are more than you think.
How to decide what package
Before we chose which package we wanted, we looked into each one that included the country we desired to visit. I wanted to explore all of Ireland, so we decided to stick to ones that were only Ireland. We found one that was at our own pace, selective of the bed and breakfasts, included a rental car, and all flights & a hotel. For an extra $100 we were given breakfast everyday, access to castles, Guinness Store House, Cliffs of Moher, Giants Causeway, and Waterford Crystal Factory. This package can be found here!
If you were interested in a different package that say has a tour or a stay at a castle, but wanted to still explore Ireland, then go ahead and check out either Ireland's Top Sights, Ireland's Wonderful West, Four City Getaway, Classic Ireland, Northern Ireland, or Ashford Castle. Either are wonderful as you get immersed in the culture, experience the irish hospitality, and indulge in the history of the country.
What You'll Need
Let's not forget that almost every country has a different kind of outlet. So be sure to purchase a universal power adapter. This has everything you need, multiple outlets, and USB drives. I was able to use anything from blow driers to an i-Pad charger.
For this trip, I packed rather heavily, but that being said, our plane tickets included a carry on, checked bag, and personal item. Ireland during the month of May isn't cold (however the locals will tell you it's hot). But the temperatures are in the low seventies. An occasional morning would be high fifties, but it would warm up. It's safe to pack a few pair of jeans, walking shoes, and a hoodie or two.
Most important for traveling is your passport. My passport came in about five weeks, but Tyler's arrived in three. If you already have a passport card (allows the individual to travel by sea or land into Canada and Mexico), then it wont take as long to receive a passport. However, I don't suggest waiting until the last minute to get one. Expediting is costly.
A few extra dollars can be a few extra memories. Spend money on the experience; pay no mind to the cost.
To keep costs down, we flew from JFK in New York. Now we are a few states away, didn't want to rent a car or pay for airport parking, because we all know that's too much. So we had my little brother drive us to the pick up for the China bus. $30 each way, and we got a ride to China Town, a few blocks from the subway, our gateway to the airport. It was about $8 to get from China town to the airport- there was an extra fee for the airport tram. The flights through Great Value all left at night, so the time we flew we spent sleeping. The airline was Aerlingus and it was wonderful. A meal was included in the flight, the attendants were all sweet, and the seating was spacious. Another bonus, each person was allowed a checked bag, carry on, and personal item. Of course I used all three. Gotta make room for souvenirs.
Upon arrival, airport signs are very helpful for direction, as most are. Finding the car rental, Dan Dooley, was simple. They offer the chance to get insurance for an additional fee. It is 100% WORTH it! on the LAST day, Tyler and I had a car hit us and damage the side mirror. Like that thing was goonnee. Because we had the insurance, it was 100% covered. Little things like that make life worth living. You are able to request an automatic, thank you America, but it's an additional fee and cars are limited. Tyler drives a manual, so we were fine. Also, in the manuals, the clutch is still the left foot and the gas is still the right. Only thing that is different is they drive on the opposite side of the road, so the driver seat is on the left. Why America gotta be so different?
Dan Dooley also gave us a brand new car. Like this was a top of the line car. It had I believe fifteen miles driven on it. By the end of our trek cross country, around the faerie lands, and through the witches woods, we drove a total of some 900+ miles. I kid you not, we filled up one and a half times. Get yourself a Dan Dooley car.
For more details on specific places, visit here and I'll share all the dirty details.