Ireland can be an expensive destination to visit as a budget traveler. The good news is that there are ways to bring costs down significantly and still have a fantastic time. The trick is to follow the example of the locals and learn from the experience of other recent visitors to Ireland. It is usually those who arrive on the Emerald Isle without any advance plans who find themselves struggling on a tight holiday budget.
How to Leave Dublin Airport on a Budget :
The majority of visitors to Ireland arrive at Dublin International Airport. This is the first hurdle in a budget traveler’s itinerary. The mistake that many people make is to just hop in a taxi, and they end up paying as much as €26 (mid-2012 price) just to get into the city center. Those tourists who are serious about traveling frugally are better off choosing a bus. One of the best options for fast travel into the city center is the Airlink Express Coach (routes 747 & 748). These leave from outside the airport building every 10 minutes for most of the day. They cost €6 and will be able to take people to the main bus terminal (Busáras) right in the heart of the city. Visitors extend their savings by purchasing a return ticket for the Airlink Express Coach for €10 if they know that they will be returning to the airport this way.
How to Travel Ireland on a Budget :
Here are some more tips for travelers who hope to experience Ireland on a budget:
• If you’re planning to spend a few days in the capital, consider purchasing the Dublin Pass. This provides free entry into 34 of Dublin’s main attractions as well as a free airport transfer. This pass costs €35 for an adult for one day and €19 for a child.
• A common mistake that people make when they come to Ireland is that they try to see everything. It is a relatively small country but trying to travel everywhere is going to eat into a budget. It is best to just choose two or three counties and stick to these.
• The DART is the local train network, and it’s a cheap way to visit the areas surrounding the capital. The route goes along the coast from Howth (or Malahide) out to Greystones in County Wicklow.
• Some of the best sightseeing in Ireland is in the countryside, and taking time to soak in the scenery is half the pleasure. While not as affordable as taking buses, cheap car hire in Ireland is obtainable. If you do rent a car, consider driving the Ring of Kerry.
• The accommodation on the main tourist route tends to be the most expensive. It is usually better to look for places to stay in less touristy towns and then visit the main attractions from this base.
• Hotels in Ireland are expensive, but bed and breakfasts are more reasonably priced. If you’re willing, sharing a room with a fellow traveler can make for added savings. The breakfast at B&B’s is usually filling, and budget travelers can make the most of this.
• It is usually cheaper to eat pub food than restaurant meals. The Heritage Card costs €21 and provides free entry to many of the main tourist attractions in Ireland. It is valid for one year.