Discover All of Ireland with IrelandYes

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

As many of you know, we're headed to Ireland and Scotland this fall. As part of compiling resources for our trip, we've been searching for the best sites on traveling to Ireland! Well, I've got an incredible site to share with you today. Michele Erdvig created IrelandYes.com and it's SUCH an extraordinary resource. Michele has spent LOTS of time in Ireland and you can sure tell on her site - it's packed full of resources, from travel tips to discounts to places to stay and things to see. I DARE you to spend time on IrelandYes and NOT start planning a trip to Ireland - it's that inspiring!

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Dingle Rainbow

 

Michele also has a free travel forum where you can ask questions and get inspired by others. It's a great deal of fun and always gets me to dreaming. Michele also has a fantastic book, Ireland Dream Trip!  As you can see from the photos she's shared with us here, she has an innate feel  and love for the Emerald Isle.

We were lucky enough to snag a chat with Michele, about her site, travel background, top travel tips, giving back, and more. Here's what she had to say...

 

 

WE: Please tell us about your site, IrelandYes.com...

ME: My website is all Ireland all the time! It was created not only to help first time visitors but also for armchair travelers and Ireland addicts. I chose the name IrelandYes because the word “yes” evokes a positive spirit. I wanted to share my knowledge of Ireland with others without overwhelming people with info overload. I decided to distill important facts into easily digestible bites with a separate page for each subject. Just a sampling of the pages includes Discounts, Money, Tips & Tricks, Packing, Weather and Castle Hotels.

I’ve tried to make my site user friendly. For instance, first time visitors should click on Getting Started for easy steps to jump-start their trip. Not only will that one page send them off on the right path, it will save them money by showing how to get free books, maps, brochures and info about Ireland.

The most important feature of my site is that there is a real human behind it who knows and loves Ireland. Unlike huge, impersonal tourism websites, visitors to my site can get all the personal attention they need from me. If they have questions they simply go to my Free Ireland Travel Forum. Everyone is welcome and no question is too small or too big. My forum has become a well-respected online community and gathering place. Tourism Ireland rated it among the top Ireland forums. For those who need more intensive one-on-one help I offer an itinerary planning service.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Torr Head

 

 

WE: What was the genesis of your site?

ME: My first website in 1999 was very basic. It was a way to share my knowledge of Ireland with others on the Internet. As a complete computer novice I eagerly explored the Internet to see what was out there about Ireland and found a Q&A forum at GoIreland.com where I became a regular contributor. Because of my knowledge of Ireland I was asked to become a moderator there, answering questions about anything and everything related to Ireland travel. That was a very good introduction to the power of the Internet and social networking. When they shut down their forum, I immediately opened up my own. Many of the pages on my website were the result of questions asked on my forum or suggestions from forum members. A few pages that provide unique info are Car Rentals, How to Pronounce Irish Place Names and B&B Etiquette.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Sleeping Giant

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

 

 

WE: What is your travel background?

ME: I have traveled to many countries around the world but my heart is in Ireland. The magnetic pull of Ireland has been a siren song to me since my first visit in 1973. Since then I have visited the Emerald Isle 50 times. I am always searching for what’s new, what’s changed, the best accommodations, the finest economical restaurants. One of my readers called me the Goldilocks of Ireland because I go, test out everything and then report back only the best.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Powerscourt

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Portbradden

 

 

WE: What are the some of the challenges in planning a trip to Ireland?

ME: The biggest challenge is time. No matter if you have three days or three weeks you will only scratch the surface. Although it is a small island Ireland is dense in history, sightseeing, castles, scenery, monasteries, gardens, ancient wonders and so much more. It would take a lifetime to see it all properly.

Most first time visitors think they can zip around Ireland in a few days and see virtually everything. But because of Ireland’s road structure driving is much slower than most people realize. Some of Ireland’s most scenic spots are down little winding roads that you share with sheep. It is charming but not quick!

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Muckross House

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Gougane Barra Path

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

 

 

WE:  What are some of your top travel tips for Ireland?

ME:
•    Plan ahead – it can save you headaches and money.
•    Realize that you can’t and won’t see it all. Instead choose carefully what fits into your timeframe and concentrate on enjoying that.
•    Knowledge is power. Become an informed consumer about all aspects of your trip. Money, packing, car rentals, credit cards, ATMs, passports, currency and exchange rates are essentials covered on my website.
•    Accommodations can make or break a trip. Choose carefully according to your requirements. My website’s Lodging Page lists lots of great choices and my book Ireland Dream Trip thoroughly reviews my favorites.
•    Pack light. Ireland is a casual country and unless you are attending a special event you won’t need fancy clothes.
•    Discount cards and coupon brochures can save you money.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Doolin Castle

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Dog's Bay

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Slea Head Drive

 

 

WE:  How can travelers best prepare for their journey?

ME:
•    Make sure your passport is in order. 
•    Apply for credit cards that give perks and favorable rates in Ireland.
•    Check your ATM card rules for foreign travel charges. If necessary open a new account at a different bank.
•    Determine if your cell phone will work in Ireland and pricing. 
•    Be sure your driver’s license is current if you plan to rent a car.  
•    Visit my website as a great starting point & my forum with any questions. 
•    Have a little fun and learn about Ireland at the same time. Watch Irish TV and listen to Irish radio online: www.rte.ie I also recommend Irish Fireside’s podcasts.
•    Educate yourself about Ireland by reading books, exploring online, signing up for newsletters and asking questions. The more you know about Ireland, its history and culture, the more you will enjoy your trip.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Cashel Cross

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Bunratty Castle & Durty Nelly's Pub

 

 

WE:  How do you suggest travelers give back, while traveling?

ME:
•    Spread the word that Ireland is a wonderful, friendly place to visit.
•    Don’t pick the flowers or annoy the sheep.
•    Treat the Irish the way you want to be treated.
•    Obey the laws.
•    Monuments, historic cemeteries, castles, monasteries and scenic spots – no matter how photogenic – are places that should be respected.
•    Drop spare change into the “donation boxes” at churches and small, unattended attractions.
•    Buy local products…be it sweaters, lace, jams, candy or artwork.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Cliffs of Moher

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Cashel Rock

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

 

 

WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

ME: Yes!

Northern Ireland

Many people are still concerned about visiting Northern Ireland because of problems and bad press in the past. But that is the past! The recent peace accord has utterly changed Northern Ireland’s present and future. I encourage everyone to leave their worries at home and venture into one of the most tranquil, beautiful areas of Ireland. The people are friendly and welcoming, accommodation is lovely, the cities are vibrant and bustling, the countryside is spectacular. Visit Northern Ireland as well as the Republic. You will not be disappointed.

Misconceptions

Many who have never visited Ireland before have a concept of the country that is very different from reality. Their views have been colored by movies such as The Quiet Man, Ryan’s Daughter, Far and Away or Darby O’Gill and the Little People. They expect to find people living in thatched cottages, red-haired colleens tending flocks of sheep, dancing at the crossroads and pubs where everyone suddenly breaks into song.

The reality is that Ireland is a modern country that exists in the 21st century. The majority of people live in contemporary homes with everything we have: computers, wireless Internet, cell phones, and satellite TV. However, you can still find glimpses of Ireland’s rich history if you know where to look. There are a couple of villages with thatched houses, although they are becoming few and far between. Pubs still do trad nights if you seek them out. Castles and fine country manors have been turned into posh hotels, while countless others can be toured for a glimpse of yesteryear. Ireland’s past is alive and woven into the fabric of the present. But you have to search for it. You won’t find it around every bend in the road. The old Ireland is elusive but much easier to find than that pot of gold at the rainbow’s end.

 Céad Míle Fáilte

That is Irish for one hundred thousand welcomes. The people of Ireland are famous worldwide for their friendliness and helpfulness to strangers. It is an age-old tradition that continues today. So talk to the Irish – ask a question, chat about the weather, exchange a few pleasantries – and before you know it you might have a new friend. Meet the Irish at pubs, by staying in B&Bs, at horse races, a soccer game or local Bingo night. If you look for opportunities to interact with Irish people it will enrich the way you experience Ireland.

 

Michele Erdvig - IrelandYes - Ireland Travel Photo

Kylemore Abbey

 

 

WE: Thanks so very much, Michele. I love your site and highly recommend it to our readers!

 


For more information, please see:

http://www.irelandyes.com/

 

 

Feature photo: Rock of Dunamase

All photos courtesy and copyright Michele Erdvig, IrelandYes

Comments (2)

  • Michele Erdvig

    11 years 5 months ago

    Jessie,

    Many thanks for highlighting my website about travel to Ireland. I hope that it will be of help in your travels and for readers of Wandering Educators.

    Sorry about the watermarked photos but since I sell my images of Ireland it was highly suggested that I add my copyright so they cannot be used without my permission. Unfortunately a few bad apples makes such marring of photos necessary on the Internet. I hope you can look through it to the beauty of Ireland. For those who would rather see a slideshow I have one on this page: http://www.irelanddreamtrip.com/about.html

    Michele

  • Kerry Dexter

    11 years 5 months ago

    Michele always has something interesting to say about Ireland, and her website is well worth checking out. nice interview.

     

    Kerry Dexter

    Music Editor, WanderingEducators.com

    http://musicroad.blogspot.com/

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