Everyone wants to go to Ireland at once time in his or her life. Like any country, you cannot see it all in one trip but have you eve though of spending Christmas in Ireland? If warmer drier weather is more your taste, how about starting a Christmas Club for your trip to Ireland. You remember the kind that banks used to provide a few weeks before Christmas well its really just a form of saving. Below is a list to get you started.
1. Have a plan and immerse yourself in Irish things all year. Read Irish blogs, Irish books, buy an Irish map and get acquainted in the counties, and get yourself the best travel book I can suggest, Frommer’s Travel Ireland. This will give you some idea of what things cost
2. Figure out what things cost. See my post How to Travel Like a Spoiled American. and make a budget. Tip #1 If you have a large sum of money coming, say from a bonus or tax refund, use that for your flights or just add the lump sum to your Ireland fund.
3. Check out flights from the year before to see what costs were and then decide what time you will travel. Begin watching flight prices from as many different airfare sites as possible and a few months before your tip book your flights when you notice the fairs dropping significantly, usually a few months in advance. Too far ahead is not usually a good price, from my experience.
4. Quit Smoking. You hear me right! Quit smoking. Not only does it make sense but the money you spent on cigarettes last year could have paid for two plane tickets!! No kidding.
5. Watch movies set in Ireland and visualize yourself there. Do the same when you get back and you’ll be going for a second trip if you like.
6. Stop eating out at work. Figure out how much money you spend a month, a year, for all those lunches you eat out at work and pop that into your Ireland fund.
7. Share this post and get a friend on board who would like to join you on your trip.
8. Share this on twitter.
10. The best way to see Ireland is in your own car but book your car early and from the country you live in. If you wait until you arrive in the airport they will most likely not be available. Also automatic transmissions are dear so book that in advance and check prices from several sites for the best deal.
11. If one year is just not doable to save for your trip, plan a 2 year or a 3 year Christmas Club and save accordingly. You will only have to save half or one third the money from each paycheck.
12. In Northern Ireland they use the British Pound but in the Republic, (yep, they are 2 different countries) they use the Euro which I personally still find confusing because most of it is in coinage. Go to the bank and order whatever money you will be using, not a lot. Just enough to get a feel for it and become familiar. I found the Irish pennies to be adorable!
13, Just go! No matter what. Tell yourself you are going unless you are on your deathbed. Whatever we tell our brains, we usually make happen.
14. Come back and write me a note about your experience. my email is: celticthoughts.com or better yet, write me ahead of time and I’ll point you toward the right people who can give you advice, if I don’t know the question. Besides my God-daughter lives in Cork and she knows everything.
15. If this helps you with your dreams, please RT. or leave a comment.
My point in all this, is you don’t want to waist a single moment of your trip to Ireland so not only is it important to save for the trip but its doubly important to do your homework have no regrets about what you wish you would have done or visited while you were there. I believe this to be true with every trip I take and I never ever take long generic bus tours, where you only go to the very touristy sites on your tour guides list. Decide what you like to see instead, and be open to those little side tours that are not on your itinerary and have fun!! See you there!