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Best Ireland Travel Tips – When to Go, What to Pack, What to See

Ahh, Ireland. Just saying it to myself has me thinking of the melodious singing of the Celtic Woman group, and the sexy brogue of Matthew Goode in Leap Year. I’ll also make sure to wear green tomorrow on St Paddy’s Day. My sister-in-law has been lucky enough to visit the fairy isle, and I definitely want to plan our own family vacation. Often times I think families don’t even know where to start, so today Jody from Ireland Family Vacations is going to get us ready to plan our own trips!

Ireland family travel is growing in popularity. No longer seen as a country exclusively for the tour bus crowd and pub hoppers, Ireland’s magic, culture, and minimal language barrier (that lyrical brogue may give you pause at first, but soon it will be easy to understand) is drawing families eager for their first taste of Europe.

Planning your first European vacation, or just your first trip to Ireland, can be a little overwhelming. Who knew there was so very much to see and do?

Three key Ireland travel questions pop up time and again; let’s get these answers out of the way so you can begin scheduling your family’s Ireland vacation!

Birr Castle Suspension Bridge | photo courtesy of Ireland Family Vacations

Birr Castle Suspension Bridge | photo courtesy of Ireland Family Vacations

3 Most Asked Ireland Travel Questions & The Answers You Seek

When is the best time to visit Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland is when you can arrange it! There really is no bad time for an Ireland vacation.

That said, there are times that are less busy or the weather may be a bit less wet.

  • Shoulder season – after Easter to early June and September to mid-October – sees fewer visitors so prices on everything from airfare to car rental to lodging are less.
  • Summer, when most people take their ‘big’ vacation and kids are out of school, is the busiest. Thus, higher prices due to higher demand.
  • Late August thru early September is nearly ideal. There is a saying in Ireland that the weather gets nice just as the kids go back to school.
  • November can be a wonderful time to visit. Yes, the weather is a bit cooler and the days shorter, but crowds are thin and attractions are still open.

Check hotel rates for Ireland to find the best time to travel.

What do I need to pack for an Ireland vacation?

This is entirely dependent on the type of vacation you plan, but this basic list works for 95% of visitors.

  • Plan to dress in layers. Jeans or travel pants, a light shirt, a heavier shirt, and a jacket are a good daily outfit. Plan to re-wear pieces; mix & match.
  • Most Ireland vacations involve a fair amount of walking. Bring sturdy shoes or boots that have a bit of water resistance.
  • Pack extra pairs of warm socks. Alternately, wool socks make wonderful souvenirs.
  • A good water resistant jacket. It doesn’t have to be a trench coat, just able to repel water for a reasonable amount of time.
  • A roomy, comfortable bag to carry all day. It needs to carry your necessities (camera, wallet, umbrella, layers you remove).
  • If you have a castle stay planned be sure to check the dress code for the on-site restaurants.
  • For city breaks add a pair of comfy and attractive walking shoes that go with anything.

What should we see in Ireland?

Ah, now that’s the big question, isn’t it? For such a small country Ireland is bursting with activities and attractions!

  • Decide what to see based on your interests. Foodie? History geek? Love castles? Sporty & adventurous? Ireland has all this – and more!- covered.
  • Place your ‘must see’ attractions on a map – and build your trip around those using the interactive map at Ireland family vacations to find family friendly lodging and other local attractions to fill your itinerary.
  • When visiting very popular sites opt for later in the day. The majority of tour buses visit these attractions in the morning before moving on across the country. While you won’t miss all the buses, you will be happy to have avoided most of them.
  • If you want to check peak times for visitors send a tweet or Facebook message to the attraction – they are happy to answer that question for you!
  • Remember that though Ireland be small, she is not a quick country to explore. Less is more. Take your time.

Get more ideas for things to do in Ireland from TripAdvisor!

The answers to these 3 Ireland travel questions should help you get your Ireland vacation plans in motion. Then use the step-by-step Ireland vacation planning tips to make those Ireland dreams a reality!

Plan a visit to a beautiful island with these Ireland travel tips featuring when to go, what to pack for your Ireland vacation, and travel tips for what to see | Ireland Family Vacations for Stuffed Suitcase

photos courtesy of Ireland Family Vacations

jody-halsted-ireland-family-vacationsJody Halsted has been traveling across Ireland for over a decade with her own children, discovering the most family friendly sites and activities on the tourist trail and off. Dedicated to Ireland family travel, her website Ireland Family Vacations, provides exceptional advice for a magical Ireland vacation. For families looking for a perfectly tailored Ireland vacation, Jody offers Ireland vacation coaching, working with your family to help you choose the perfect lodging, destinations, and activities to fit your budget, interests, and expectations.

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  1. Tabitha says

    Looks so beautiful! I know Ireland is top on my husbands travel list, so I will definitely pin this on pinterest and be sure to show him!!

  2. Lauren says

    Thanks for your tips! We are visiting Ireland for a few days this May. Staying at Ashford Castle, taking it easy! Can’t wait to see the beauty of Ireland.

  3. Tonya S. says

    Thanks so much for all the tips! My sister and I are planning an Ireland vacation. I have been doing alot of research. Thanks again!

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