Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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Ireland - there's a reason why this small island nation is on everyone's travel list. It's gorgeously green, full of history and art and culture, and boasts world-renowned drink (Guinness, looking at you!) and delicious food. There's also the Irish people, known for their hospitality and kindness.

But as with any travel planning, it's hard to know where to start. The internet is full of conflicting (and outdated) advice. Enter Planning the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams, written by Ireland travel guru Jody Halsted, of Ireland Family Vacations. She's the real deal, as you know from her website - and now her book. 

Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

In Planning the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams, Jody offers foolproof tips to plan your magical journey to Ireland (her words, and rightly so!). In it, you'll find when to visit, how much money you'll need for an Ireland vacation, flights, passports, insurance, money, what to see, where to stay, how to get around, clothes and gadgets to bring, discounts, using a smartphone in Ireland, a checklist, travel tips, eating in Ireland (love!), souvenirs and shopping, and Ireland travel inspiration. Yes, she packs a LOT into this ebook, and it should be the very first (and last) thing you read when planning your trip to Ireland. 

Cong Village (Ashford Castle). From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Cong village (Ashford Castle)

My travel philosophy is to learn from the pros so my journeys are easier. With  this guide, it will be. On every page, I thought, "Oh, we could have done THAT when we were there!" Or, "Yes, but we learned the hard way..."

And, on every page, I learned something new - and gathered even more inspiration to head back to the Emerald Isle. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is the alphabetical tips for family travel to Ireland. Here, in 26 lovely inspirational bytes, is the essence of Ireland. I love this book. Highly recommended.

Jaunting cart, Killarney. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Jaunting cart, Killarney

Please tell us about your book, Planning your Ireland Vacation...
Planning the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams is a step-by-step guide to planning the Ireland trip you've been dreaming of! In it I cover every aspect of travel planning you need - and a few you won't read or hear about anywhere else. Everything from planning a budget to navigating the Irish airports, important information on car rental to money saving tips, and, of course, tips on when to go and what to see. Of course, I included plenty of beautiful photos for inspiration.

Burren colt. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Burren colt

What inspired you to write this book?
I actually had the outline, and much of the content for this book, written a couple years ago. I felt like travelers weren't getting the 'whole story' on Ireland travel. During our trip this past year, I had a couple experiences that proved there were gaps in traditional travel books and offices of tourism agents. The first happened upon arrival at Dublin Airport, when a woman didn't understand car rental insurance and had to wait to get her car until the next day due to credit card approval - which could have meant a couple things: she either had to increase her limit or get proof of coverage. The second happened, again, at Dublin Airport where we met quite a few people who had missed their flights the day before because they didn't allow enough time to pass through the security checkpoints. With Ireland tourism rising the past couple years, I decided to finish the book so people would have the information they needed to fully plan a vacation to Ireland with no (bad) surprises.

Fairy doors! Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Fairy Woodlands at BNS

Free Derry. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Free Derry

What might surprise readers to discover, about planning a trip to Ireland?
I think the biggest surprise would be that you can't 'do it all' in a single trip. Though Ireland is a small country- roughly the size and shape of Indiana - you can't visit every site in a 7, 10, or 14 day trip. There is just too much. For a small island nation, the history and culture are rich, and if you rush you will miss much of it.

Birr Castle Great Telescope. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Birr Castle Great Telescope

What are your best tips for learning about Irish culture (and food and music) before you go?
It's not difficult to find Irish culture. Though the heavy partying of St. Patrick's Day is very much an American holiday, you can often find Irish cultural events surrounding it. Look for Irish breakfasts or events where Irish musicians and dancers may be performing. 

Look for Irish Festivals or Fairs in your region. Here you'll find music, food, sport, history, and culture all in one fair-like event. Depending of the size of the festival it will last 1-4 days. And it's loads of fun for the whole family.

Across the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Across the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim

How can travelers choose between all that Ireland has to offer?
Ireland does offer a lot! What is most important to know is how you like to travel and what are your 'not to be missed' sights. Then plan your trip around that. Sometimes you'll have to give up a spot due to its remoteness or lack of time. And that's ok! It's better to remain longer at a place that truly moves you than to leave before you've had your fill. So many people return from an Ireland vacation feeling like all they did was drive. And though they saw a lot of things, they didn't stay any one place to truly experience it. Ireland is about the experience, the place, the people. Don't rush it.

Sheep's Head lighthouse, County Cork. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Sheep's Head lighthouse, County Cork

What's up next for you?
I have been offering custom vacation coaching for a few years, and the demand is only growing. As I do all the coaching, as well as creating all the content on my website, you can imagine that things are getting a little busy. To that end I am creating pre-made itineraries. The first (the Southwest Sampler) has been released and is free of charge. 

I am also beginning the second year of the Traveling in Ireland podcast. In addition to talking with travel experts, I also chat with the people you're likely to meet in Ireland - B&B owners, tour operators, and small 'mom & pop' businesses that will make your Ireland vacation truly special.

SS Nomadic and Titanic Belfast. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

SS Nomadic and Titanic Belfast

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Ireland is a country well suited to every type and age of traveler. No matter your age or interest, you're going to find something that will delight, inspire, and enchant you. If Ireland is your dream vacation, don't wait for someday- begin planning today. Even if your trip is in 5 years, you can begin laying the groundwork today! 

For all those Ireland travel dreamers, Planning the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams is available at the special price of $9.99 through Saturday January 28.

Live music in a Dublin pub. From Here's How to Plan the Ireland Vacation of Your Dreams

Live music in a Dublin pub

Learn more:
http://irelandfamilyvacations.com/

and buy the book! https://store.irelandfamilyvacations.com/shop/books/ireland-vacation-planning-ebook/

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Ireland Family Vacations

 

 

 

 

 

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