Hi there! Planning a trip to Ireland Aug of 2015 for the first time with 3 of my favorite ladies (sorta like a girls night out, but with a week). We are planning to fly into Dublin on a Thursday and leaving from Dublin the following Saturday (more than 7 days but with jet lag, rest and travel to and from the states, deducting two days). We are not into museums or the large touristy spots, we prefer small, quaint towns, friendly atmosphere, hanging out at the local pub hearing amazing stories told by locals, beaches, hiking and scenery. We much prefer to drive on our own to give ourselves more freedom of coming and going as we please, but making the most out of the trip without spending half of it driving. We know we won't get to visit all of Ireland in the week we'll be there and are planning on making at least two more trips in the future. With that being said, should we plan for a North Ireland visit, Southwest or Southeast as our first trip to Ireland?
Also, should we book this on our own or let AAA handle it for us? Are there really benefits going through a travel agency? (First time traveler with the exception of a few Caribbean cruises)
TIA for any tips and advice you can provide!!