(Updated July 1, 2013)
Every day I get emails like this one:
I want to go to Ireland. I need to know how much money to save up for the trip. How much is a round trip plane ticket? How much will the whole the trip cost?
Let me consult my crystal ball!
Pricing for a trip to Ireland depends on many different factors.
TOUR or SELF-DRIVE:
- Will you travel with an organized tour, which includes most things such as airfare, coach travel, lodgings & meals?
- Will you use public transportation such as trains and buses?
- Will you travel independently and drive yourself around?
- Will you hire a chauffeur-driven car?
Michele’s Advice: If you opt for an organized tour start your research online for tour companies and check with your favorite travel agent. Many times booking well in advance will get you a discount.
Those taking public transportation around Ireland should check on passes at the bus and train sites:
Iarnrod Eireann National Rail Service
Bus Eireann National Bus Service
- Where are you flying from?
- Will you use frequent flyer miles?
- Will you travel coach, business or first class?
- Will you buy a fly/drive/voucher package?
- What time of year are you traveling?
Michele’s Advice: Once you know which airlines you will fly check their websites. This will give you ballpark figures for your airfare. Sign up for email newsletters so you are advised of sales. Check with travel agents to see if they can do better. Use online booking services to comparison shop. Purchase your airfare at least 21 days in advance. If you find a fabulous low-priced offer get it immediately before it disappears.
- Will you rent a Ford or a Mercedes?
- How long will you rent a car for?
- Will you require a manual or automatic?
- Will you pay for CDW insurance or Super CDW or let your credit card cover the insurance for free?
- Will you travel with others and be able to split the car cost?
- Gasoline (petrol) is an added expense and how much you use depends on the type car you rent and how far you travel.
Michele’s Advice: This is the most difficult portion of your trip. You can do your homework and get prepared with knowledge of the car rental companies and their myriad arcane rules and fine print. Or you can go without knowledge and be unhappily surprised fresh off your overnight flight with jet-lag. In this case a little advance work will save you money and aggravation. Since this topic is so complicated I suggest you look at my Car Rental page where I discuss it thoroughly. For those declining CDW insurance there is an up to date warning topic on my Ireland Travel Forum. Once you know what type of car and insurance you require you can do price comparisons at the various car rental companies online.
- How long is your trip and how many days’ accommodations are required?
- Will you be staying at hostels, B&Bs, guesthouses, hotels or castles?
- Will you be using self-catering rentals?
- How many people are traveling together and what type rooms are needed?
- Will you be using vouchers?
- Will you stay in Dublin?
Michele’s Advice: The longer your trip, the more it will cost. Ballpark figures for accommodation per night are:
Hostels: €15 per person and up
B&Bs: €30 – 45 per person, sharing (single supplement usually applies)
Guesthouses: €40 – 100 per person, sharing (single supplement usually applies)
Hotel: €50 per person, sharing and up (single supplement usually applies)
Castle: €150 and up
Self-catering: €350 per week and up
If you want to comparison shop I have a list of some very nice accommodations in most price ranges on my website’s Lodging page.
FOOD & DRINK:
- Will you require a full gourmet dinner each night with accompanying wine and drinks?
- Are you planning on budgeting in this area?
- Is dining in pubs to keep costs down acceptable?
- Are picnics and supermarket food purchases okay?
- Are you planning on pub visits each night with associated drink costs?
- What types of lunches are required?
- Breakfast is included with many accommodations but not all.
Michele’s Advice: Food in Ireland is more expensive than in the USA and Canada. How much your per day costs are will depend on how you eat, where you eat and how often. Breakfast is usually included at B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels. For lunch you can usually get a bowl of soup and a roll for about €5 –7. For dinner at a nice restaurant it is easy to spend €150 on a meal for two with drinks. Below are estimates of meals per person:
Full Irish Breakfast: €8 and up
Lunch: €5 and up
Pub Dinner: €10 and up
Dinner: €20 and up
Pint of Guinness: €4.50 and up
Glass of Wine: €5 and up
Bottle of Wine: €15 and up
- Do you plan on visiting many attractions that require paid admissions?
- Will you purchase a discount coupon book/package or card?
Michele’s Advice: Google is a great tool for your research. Just input the attractions you are interested in plus “admission price” and you will get a good feel for the prices you will pay for sightseeing. There are discount cards, books and coupons you can purchase and/or get for free that can cut down the cost of admissions by 50% or more. I will tell you more about discounts in another article.
Additional Trip Costs:
- Exchange rate fluctuations
- Dynamic Currency Conversion
- International surcharge on credit cards
- Trip insurance
Whether you are traveling to Ireland from NY or Fiji, my crystal ball tells me that a tremendous amount of information is required to know how much a trip to Ireland will cost you. There are many variables when planning a trip. Each trip will cost a different amount depending on what I have outlined above. Only you and/or your travel agent can add up those costs.
My website www.IrelandYes.com will fill you in on many of the details you need to get started planning. I suggest that you take the time to go through the various pages that I have designed to help visitors to Ireland. Just click on Getting Started to jump-start your trip!
And don’t forget all the free advice on my Ireland Travel Forum. Any questions you have are answered promptly there.
© 2009 Michele Erdvig
“Ireland Travel Expert”
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