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Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

Illinois
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265 posts
20 reviews
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Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

We are planning a 12 day drive trip thru Ireland and have just about narrowed things down, but I have a question about prebooking B&B's. We will be there from Approximately May 24-June 4. I was thinking we would just book day by day. I have a list of 2-3 places in all the areas we'd like to stay. We fly into Dublin and head to county Meath/Newgrange area, then to county Galway/Connemara area, then to county Clare/Cliffs of Moher area, next is county Kerry/Dingle area and ending up in Killarney/Kenmare area before heading to Shannon and flying out. My husband is concerned about having a place to head to at the end of the day to rest his head on a pillow. Is this time of year an issue? Even in popular tourist spots? I would love to have the flexibility to go as we please, but need to make sure my honey is happy too. HELP! btw...it's just the 2 of us and we are fairly easy to please.

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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1. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

Winging it the t2p way. or how we did Ireland before we moved over.

Book the 1st and last nights. Pin a Michelin 712 map on an empty wall. Decide any must see places and pin them. work out some stepping stones(towns) on a rough route. get a list of 3 guest houses and 1 hotel for these potential places. email the hotels and ask if there are (1) any events or festivals locally on your possible dates. (2) if the hotel is doing any special offers on your possible dates. Talk to your host and ask in the local pub what's worth seeing. Phone ahead at breakfast for the evening accommodation. Only book one night at once, if the place is good or there's things to do and see within a 30mile radius book an extra night.

Tourist Information Bureau are great and will always find you a bed for the night. Provided there is one available and of course provided they are open! not much fun knocking on doors at 6pm.

Illinois
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265 posts
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2. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

So you think this time of year wouldn't be too bad? we will be able to find something? The map by the way is a great suggestion. Thanks again...your very kind and helpful on this forum.

england
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3. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

If there are just the two of you and you're not extra fussy, you will be fine.

We went to Dingle on race day a few years back and still got a BandB for Friday night. If youre stuck after Tourist Info closes, go in a pub and ask, someone always knows someone with a room. Often pubs themselves have them.

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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4. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

The 31st May to the 3rd June 2013 is the June Bank Holiday Weekend and may be busy. I'd certainly consider booking for those days.

County Dublin...
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5. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

I'm with t2p on this one. Book your first and last night, then wing it.

Be assured, you won't end up in the local YM.

Charlotte, NC
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6. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

Agree with tony2. We did exactly that last year almost the same dates you are planning. There was just myself and my wife. We were gone a bit longer than you will be and only once was our first choice B&B not available. No problems at all getting very nice B&Bs.

We'll be back in Ireland again next year for almost the entire month of May and plan to do the same again. Enjoy!!

Illinois
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265 posts
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7. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

Thanks for all the advice. I have at least convinced him to read what everyone has posted. We'll see where it goes from there. This forum is great.

Illinois
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265 posts
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8. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

My husband would like to know....If we prebook B&B's, generally speaking can you cancel, change dates easily without penalty? I understand it's probably different for each B&B, but has any had any experience doing this? Encounter any problems. Just wondering for him if that would be possible and then just change them in route if needed. Thanks!

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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9. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

B&Bs are usually small family run establishments. It may be very difficult to let out a room if it is cancelled at short notice. Things are very tight here financially for everyone and a small B&B will find it hard to absorb any loss. You also have issues of scheduling staff, buying in food etc.

Just my personal opinion but I think it would be more ethical to play it by ear rather than book and then cancel on whims.

Grayslake, Illinois
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10. Re: Help needed....prebook or play it by ear??

Hi, I agree with Bean A - if you wish to be able to cancel on whim, it would be better if you did not prebook at all.