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First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

Powell, Wyoming...
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First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

My husband and I did take a trip to New Zealand and it was great, but we were on a tour bus of about 50 and everything was arranged for us and we did not have to worry about airport transfers or meals. I have looked at Driftwood and Backroads Touring because of the smaller group size. But we are not experienced taking taxis and getting around on our own. In the states we can book a hotel and then call for a shuttle. That may work if Ireland if there is such a thing. Also the down side of Driftwood is that they do not cover lunch and dinner and on the web they say 35 euros per person per day and that would be about $100.00 US a day for the two of us, is that correct? We are thinking June of 2015. We are young seniors but my husband does have artificial knees and I have to do most of the lifting.

County Dublin...
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1. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

You're welcome to come and look after me.

www.cietours.com/

Whitney, Texas
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for Ireland
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2. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

most tours don't cover lunch and dinner but some do cover an occasional dinner, not all of them though...

E35 a day may be cutting it close but if you have enough free time in the afternoon and evenings you can find early bird specials in pubs.....the food will be very good and plentiful too......

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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3. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

As oma has said, few - if any - coach tours of Ireland seem to be fully inclusive of meals.

I see this company - Gate 1 Travel - mentioned regularly by the Washington Post's Travel Chat people, in connection with escorted tours to Ireland. (The company's mailing address is in Pennsylvania).

Take a look at their 11 Day Irish Culture Tour (Small Group) or the 10 Day Classic Ireland which involve most meals and, in addition, a couple of nights at the majority of their hotel bases.

There is the option of dining in your hotel on the night's that dinner is not included, as far as I can see.

http://www.gate1travel.com/ireland-travel/

By the way, a quick look at their schedule for this year shows June is an extremely popular month for travel to Ireland.

Another thought:

Have you considered a Rail Tour of Ireland? More accurately, a combination of mostly rail plus coach to places not served by the train service.

They're not exactly cheap, and the one fully inclusive one this year in September, is definitely at the top end of the market:

railtoursireland.com/train-tour/…

Or, you could try one of the other less expensive options:

http://www.railtoursireland.com

In terms of your husband's mobility challenges and using the rail service, in general:

irishrail.ie/travel-information/disabled-acc…

And, at Dublin Airport:

dublinairport.com/gns/…reduced-mobility.aspx

Powell, Wyoming...
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4. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

Thank you everyone for your help. I did find this hotel with a shuttle. dublinskylonhotel.com/airport_shuttle.html

I am not sure if it is too far from Driftwood Tours for them to pick us up but I will e mail them. I am looking into other tours as well but thinking a small group is something we would like to try. CIE is the best bargain though so they are tempting.

Western Ireland...
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5. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

There might be a reason why something is so cheap?? all CIE get as reviews are how good the guide is..lots of one post wonders giving that statement might indicate enticement?

Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

I've never used CIE's guided tours because we travel with someone under 8, and they're not allowed on bus tours. However, I have booked several trips using CIE (self-drive, or the 'as you go' tour). I have found the booking agents to be knowledgeable, efficient, and thorough. Using TA and CIE there is no reason to fear, and I would guess the same could be said of using TA along with other tour companies. Family members (who were young seniors at the time, one of them a wounded veteran who had trouble with his knees) took a CIE guided tour (more than once, actually), and simply raved about how fantastic it was. I might also note that said family members are very experienced travelers and are a bit on the demanding side (I'm trying to be nice here). :)

As for not including lunch and dinner - no, that's not common, however, most accommodations will include an Irish breakfast, and that's always easily lasted me until I drop into dinner...and I don't often pay €35 per person on dinner...good whiskey, on the other hand....

Just feel free to ask questions here until you decide what your best plan is, but don't fret too much - half the fun is in wondering what the journey will hold. :)

7. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

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8. Re: First trip to Ireland for inexperienced travelers.

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