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Now I'm nervous!

Saint Louis...
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Now I'm nervous!

Hello TA!

Our airline tickets are officially bought and rooms are mostly booked for our trip in August...but now that the money is down I'm feeling a little nervous about our first international trip! Here are the details that are currently planned - any suggestions on my next step or what to do in these last few months?

Day 1

Flying through JFK with a 8 hour layover to Shannon, landing at 9:00 am. We have an automatic rental car reserved with Hertz and I am planning on getting the CDW and SCDW insurance as I do not have a world mastercard (from reading several previous posts it seems like I should get both). Our plan is to make our way to Galway and depending on the weather stop at the CoM and the Burren. In the evening we will probably wander around Galway and then turn in early

Day 2

Day trip to Connemara driving the sky road to Clifden, stopping at Kylemore Abby and then coming back on Bogs head. Staying again in Galway.

I was thinking we would buy a heritage card at the first heritage site we come across and try to use them as much as possible throughout the trip. I havent really looked yet to see what heritage sites fall along our path that would be worth stopping at...

Day 3

Wake up in Galway. Back up day for CoM and Burren if the weather did not permit on day 1...In case this day is free we were considering a day trip to Aran Islands - havent really looked into this yet though. Still debating if we should spend a third night in Galway or somewhere along the route to Killarney.

Day 4

Drive to Killarney stopping possibly at Bunratty Castle (is there another heritage site on the way that is worth seeing?) on the way. Dinner and night in Killarney

Day 5

Drive the RoK, or as much as we can see with some nice suggestions from the DEs and head back to Killarney for the night

Day 6

Drive to Kilkenny stopping at Cahir and the rock of cashel on the way. If we can get to Kilkenny before 4 we will try to see Kilkenny Castle, if not then it wasnt meant to be. Stay the night in Kilkenny.

Day 7

Drive to Newgrange early in the morning - hoping to arrive when they open at 9:30 to see the tour. After Newgrange we will drop the rental car and take a cab into Dublin. Dinner in Dublin

Day 8

See the sights in Dublin on foot - hoping to see Trinity, Kilmanhaim gaol, Dublin Castle, Grafton St.

Day 9

Get up and head to the airport for our 11:30 am flight

I'm looking for suggestions on things that I should be focusing on as we get closer to the date or if there is anything that I may have overlooked in my planning. I really appreciate your help and we are very excited for our trip!

thank you!

Tampa, FL
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1. Re: Now I'm nervous!

I would certainly make that stop in the Aran Islands. One of my favorite parts of Ireland!

Newton, MA
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2. Re: Now I'm nervous!

This looks like a very nice itinerary! We went to many of these places on one of our trips. We did buy a Heritage card during a similar itinerary, and it was worth it for sure. At your first Heritage stop you can ask to see the map/brochure that lists all the sites and then you can decide it makes sense. I think just with Rock of Cashel (which is amazing) and Newgrange (and I think Kilmainham Jail) you'll have it covered!

Do look into getting a Mastercard. We use Capital One for all of our international travel because they do not charge a foreign transaction fee. They will also provide you with an insurance letter stating that they do cover the auto.

Tralee, Ireland
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for Tralee
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3. Re: Now I'm nervous!

Relax, you'll be grand!

Moosup, Connecticut
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4. Re: Now I'm nervous!

I would suggest 1 less night in Galway; stay nearer Killarney. For Dublin: http://www.dublinsightseeing.ie/ for information re city tours. HoHo is great way to see the city. Agree with oldhousegirl re creditcard and especially Cashel. Sounds like a great trip

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5. Re: Now I'm nervous!

Here is the link for heritage card. http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/

It lists which sites accept card. Bunratty does not accept it.

Saint Louis...
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6. Re: Now I'm nervous!

Thank you for the advice and reassurances :)

Regarding the third night in Galway...my husband and I have been debating back and forth on this one. If we did do Aran Islands, where is a good place to stay for one night that would be somewhat along the route to Killarney?

Thanks for the info on the heritage pass. We had assumed that we would buy one, and ater pricing out our planned heritage stops alone it will indeed save us about 5 euros a person - every little bit helps, right?

I had also been planning on taking the hoho, but a good friend of mine just did ireland solo a few weeks ago and said that she had no problem walking around the city in one day...I thought we might walk as well, but if we're exhausted at that point we may consider it to save our legs some walking!

and thanks for the tip on the Aran Islands...I'll start doing my research on that as well.

As far as the credit card...im still a little sketchy on this. We dont have either a world mastercard or a capital one card, so we might just be eating the cost of the insurance on the car. Right now Hertz is quoting me $650 for seven days, which includes all possible coverage they offer. Is that enough coverage?

Any other suggestions for things we should prepare for? Im going to do a little research regarding a good road atlas, what electronics to bring, what clothes to pack for august....from what ive read it looks like jeans and rain jackets work all year round! I also read the ireland driving manual....lol!

Arlington, Virginia
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7. Re: Now I'm nervous!

If you can arrange to stay overnight on Inishmore, I can highly recommend it. We did this a couple years ago, taking the last ferry of the day from Rossaveel (around 6pm), spending the next day on Inishmore and then taking the 5pm ferry from Inishmore back to Rossaveel. By spending the night on Inishmore, you get an evening without the day-trippers and you can get a headstart on your sightseeing the next day before the daytrippers arrive. (We had a nice pub dinner in Ti Watty Pub with just some locals on the night we arrived and the next day there were hardly any tourists at Dun Aengus and no tourists at the Seven Churches when we were there because we were able to start before the first ferry arrived.) You can arrange the ferry and accommodations on your own, but we booked using the Aran Island Ferries B&B special and saved a little money too. (In your itinerary, I'd recommend spending the night of Day 2 on Inishmore and sightsee there on Day 3. It will be light until late at night, so you should have no problem driving a bit after you get off the ferry. We drove to Kinvara for the night and enjoyed that town very much.)

As for a road atlas, we used the Rough Guide map that I purchased from Amazon and it worked great for us. (In fact, it was so well made that we were able to use it for two driving trips in Ireland!) However, the consensus on the Ireland forum is that the OSI maps are THE driving map to use and they certainly sound like a winner.

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8. Re: Now I'm nervous!

Re SCDW. Call all your current credit card providers and ask. Maybe one of yours already covers Irish rental insurance. Maybe you can "upgrade" an existing card that will arrive before you leave. While at it, ask about 'no exchange fees'.

Westchester County...
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9. Re: Now I'm nervous!

Re your title, Dr, Scrubs' quote comes to mind: "Nothing worthwhile comes easy". If we weren't all similarly a bit tingly about travel, would it be worth the time and expense.?

Other than that, the classic bromide comes to mind: Just be careful about trying to hit too many marks over too wide a berth in too confined a period of time. A good vacation strikes a healthy balance between places and people when it comes to memorable experiences. So armed, all should work out "ever so swimmingly". (Now there's a turn of phrase we don't hear every day anymore.)

Edited: 07 June 2013, 20:26
Saint Louis...
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10. Re: Now I'm nervous!

Hi! Wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or continue this one. I really love longhorns idea of staying on inishmore but not really sure how to make it work. We have the first two nights in Galway reserved at the Prague house- ( I was trying to avoid doing many one night stays if possible).

If we wanted to stay on inishmore on the second night, I guess we would need to cancel our second night reservation in Galway so we could stay on the island. But from what I've read the ferry isn't a car ferry so what do people normally do with their cars if they stay a night?

Should we stay on inishmore on the third night?

Should we just do a day trip on the third day?

Not sure how to make this work best so we can be on our way to Killarney on day four. Any advice would be appreciated!

Thank you!