Frequently Asked Questions About Ireland

 When is the best time to visit Ireland?

Whenever you can! Seriously, the best months to visit are May through September. However, my very favorite month in Ireland is May when the trees and flowers are blooming, daylight lasts till 10 pm and little lambs are frolicking on the green hills. My second favorite month is September.

The busy season is June-August, when Ireland is crowded with tourists and reservations are a good idea. Those who can travel in the "shoulder season" of April/May or September/October will find a more relaxed atmosphere with less hustle and bustle. But at any time of year there are wonderful places to visit and things to do and see in the Emerald Isle.

Should I take a tour or travel independently?

It depends. There are two different types of travelers - independent travelers and travelers who would rather leave all the details to the experts. How do you know what type you are?

Independent travelers enjoy traveling around by themselves and don't mind attending to all the details of the trip. They feel competent to choose airfares, car rental companies, a route, sightseeing, lodgings and restaurants. They don't mind driving on the left because they want to see off-the-beaten-path places. They do their research on Irish history and culture, along with budgeting and other preparations for the trip. It's like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It takes time and effort but the results can be extremely rewarding.

Tour-oriented travelers would rather have all the details handled by an expert. They want to see the highlights of Ireland but may not have time for planning. They want the convenience of being chauffeured around and having a set itinerary. They want their hotels, meals and well-being seen to. They want their tour guide to tell them the history and culture of what they are seeing. They want an all-inclusive trip where they know the cost up front.

Only you can determine which way is best for you. And Michele can help with either choice.

What will the weather be like?

It depends on what time of year you visit but the usual forecast is sunshine and showers. Ireland's weather is temperate and mild without extremes of temperature and it rarely snows. However, the weather is often very changeable and you can encounter all four seasons in one day. The philosophical Irish sum up their climate this way: "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes." It's bound to change. My best advice is: hope for sunshine but take an umbrella!

To see the current satellite view of Ireland, along with radar and a temperature chart click here

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Should I stay at hotels, B&Bs or guesthouses?

Whether you stay in B&Bs or hotels depends on the type of accommodation you want. Hotels have many more amenities than B&Bs -- elevators, room service, maybe a swimming pool or spa, restaurants, a bar, etc. But hotels usually cost more than B&Bs. At a hotel you have a professional staff that is available 24 hours a day. B&Bs and guesthouses are usually run by a family so you can't expect to be catered to 24 hours a day.

There is a very fine line between a B&B and a guesthouse. B&Bs usually have six or less rooms and a guesthouse has more rooms and may be (but not always) a little more upscale as to the amenities in your room (a phone, TV, tea & coffee making facilities, bottled water, fruit plate, shower caps, shampoo, etc.).

Bed-and-breakfasts and guesthouses are the economy way to go. For as little as 35 euro per person a night you can stay in a wonderful B&B which includes a room with your own private bathroom and a full Irish breakfast in the morning. In many B&Bs you really get to meet the Irish people when you stay with them and you usually get lots of personalized attention. So it all depends on what you want and need.

If you decide that B&Bs, guesthouses & small hotels are the way to go, you should definitely get the book 
Michele Erdvig's Ireland Dream Trip, which will guide you step-by-step from the planning of your trip to the best B&Bs, restaurants, pubs and sightseeing.

Find Great Places to Stay


Can I stay in a Castle?

There are enchanting castle hotels all over Ireland. You will also find a few that are B&Bs and guesthouses. Or you can rent your own castle and live like royalty. Generally, the prices for castle hotels are very expensive. But if it's just for a night, perhaps you can fit it into your budget. For a complete list of castle accommodations in Ireland CLICK HERE. Don't forget to look at the listings for budget castles.

Should I make reservations for lodgings?

It depends on what time of year you are visiting Ireland and if there are any festivals or events in the places you want to visit. I always suggest making reservations for Dublin, which is very busy year-round. Also it makes sense to reserve your first and last night. On weekends, holidays and during the tourist season (June-August and December) advance reservations are a good idea. At other times you are safe "winging it".

Should I take public transportation or rent a car?

Traveling around Ireland by car or tour bus is absolutely the best way to see the country. Public transportation in Ireland is not as good as the rest of Europe. Train travel is sparse and to go to remote areas you will have to take a bus. Then there is the logistical problem of toting your luggage around. So the best and easiest way to travel around Ireland is to rent a car, especially for those off-the-beaten-path adventures.

Are there things for kids to do in Ireland?

There are plenty of things for children to do in Ireland. Toddlers to teenagers will find a variety of things to keep them busy. From train rides to puppet shows, horse-drawn vehicles to boat trips, dolphin cruises to petting farms, wildlife parks to real medieval castles, zoos to time car rides, wax museums to surfing, quad riding to water parks. There is no shortage of family fun in Ireland. For a sampling of what you can see and do with your kids in Ireland CLICK HERE.

Read an excerpt from Michele Erdvig's Ireland Dream Trip:

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