Ireland with Kids
Longtime readers of Wandering Educators know that we LOVE Ireland. From the beauty of the landscape to the friendliness of the Irish people, it's a destination we can return to again and again. And, we love sharing resources about Ireland, so that our Wandering Educators can read about, learn from, and travel to new places in Ireland. One such excellent resource is Ireland with Kids. It's a great site published by Jody Halsted. Ireland with Kids covers all aspects of travel to Ireland - not just with kids! From tourist attractions to weather to food and everything in between, she's got Ireland covered. We recently shared an Ireland Itinerary: 10 Days on the Ring of Kerry on Ireland with Kids.
We caught up with Jody and got the inside scoop on her site, why Ireland is such a great place to take kids, tips on photography and digging deeply into Irish culture, and of course family travel tips in Ireland. Here's what she had to say...
WE: Please tell us about Ireland with Kids...
JH: Ireland with Kids is really my passion - family travel in Ireland. It always amazes me that people think of Ireland as a place for young adults or older folks, but not families. My goal is to make families think of Ireland as a place for everyone and the first European country your children should visit.
WE: What was the genesis of your site?
JH: Ireland with Kids was really born on my site Family Rambling, where I share tips we have learned and destinations we have visited as a family since 2005. I realized in 2010 that my love of Ireland was begging for a place of its own and Ireland with Kids went live in March, 2011 as the only online site dedicated to family travel in Ireland.
A Cold, Wet Day at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Notice: layers, warm sweaters, hats, boots.
WE: Why is Ireland such a great place to travel with kids?
JH: I could go on for days about this! Ireland has a magic about it, that no other place I have visited has. Maybe it's the tales that continue to be told, maybe it's the beauty and tragedy of the country embroiled together, maybe it's the strength of the Irish people. Ireland invites you in and, for a few days, at least, you are Irish - no matter where you're from.
WE: Do you have any photography tips for documenting a family journey to
JH: I'm not a great photographer - though I am trying to be at least very good. My best tips would be to have extra SD cards or someplace to download your images as you will take a lot of them. And get your kids a cheap digital camera. You'll be surprised at what they take photos of; and their view is about 2 feet lower than yours, so completely different. In fact, get down to their level to take at least half of your pictures.
Brenna at the top of Bunratty Castle
WE: How can travelers best dig deeply into the culture of Ireland?
JH: It's cliche, but go to a pub. Sit at the bar - or as close to it as you can get - and join the conversations. Buy a few drinks for new friends and just listen. And don't miss a live session.
WE: What are your top tips for family travel in Ireland?
JH: Try not to rush. I know you want to "see it all," but that isn't going to happen. Decide on a few "big" things to see, then let the road in between them lead you to other fun things.
Don't forget to entertain the kids. You'll find parks and petting zoos scattered around the country. Take the time to enjoy them. And don't skip a ride in a jaunting cart. It's fun - and the kids will love it!
Jaunting Cart in Killarney National Park
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
JH: Ireland has a reputation of being quite expensive; and it can be. But if you plan your trip carefully it can be on par with a trip to Disney World or an all-inclusive resort...with magic that isn't man made and cultural appeal you won't find in a resort.
Cliffs of Moher
WE: Thanks so much, Jody! We love Ireland with Kids, and highly recommend it to our Wandering Educators.
All photos courtesy and copyright Ireland with Kids