The US has a lot of roots in Ireland and this is reflected in the amount of tourists it sends over every year, with 21.6% more US tourists visiting Ireland in 2017. However, for many travelers, it can be an expensive trip – airfares start at around $650, and daily costs at $95, according to Lonely Planet. Don’t be deterred. Between enjoying the great and absolutely free outdoors of Ireland, to drinking in the affordable and vibrant nightlife, it is absolutely possible to get to Ireland – and enjoy your experience – on a tight budget.
Making your cash stretch
Before you look at how to save money on the actual affairs of booking and enjoying your vacation to Ireland, it’s worthwhile taking a look at your budget and asking yourself: can I find any extra cash here? Many travelers will use credit to make their bookings due to the inbuilt insurance many companies offer – if you’re one of them, check to see if you have any appropriate travel reward schemes, or if you could switch to a card that does, such as an air miles offer. There, after all, over 3,000 miles between the US and the Emerald Isle. You can also look at your day to day budget – US News experts suggest that many Americans could save money with ease.
Picking your time to fly
Many countries require careful planning to achieve the ideal weather for that trip, whether it be guaranteed snow or sun. Ireland has much more unpredictable weather, and as a result you can be flexible with when you visit. Winter is often the cheapest time to visit Ireland. Obviously, temperatures will fluctuate, but, according to USA Today Ireland’s temperatures rarely drop below freezing and thick snow is uncommon. Rural attractions and accommodation may be closed, but the cities will be thriving. The early nights and prospect of snowfall also create wonderful scenes in the likes of Dublin, Cork and Kilkenny.
The same goes for the accommodation you’ll be staying in. Whilst some areas will be closed for the winter season, many urban areas will have discounted rates. Just don’t consider March if you’re looking to save money – St Patrick’s Day is one of the most expensive times to visit.
Find deals, and haggle
Some nations do not enjoy haggling, and it is considered a lost art in the US according to Forbes. Ireland is not one of those countries – 75% of Irish have haggled to get the best price. So don’t be afraid to challenge retailers on their prices, or see if they could throw something in to sweeten the deal. This goes for deals, too. There are a wealth of travel agents and related websites out there that will offer you reduced rates on deals, ranging from cut price outdoors experiences, to brewery tours and fine dining. This can also help to provide some structure to your vacation.
Ireland can be pricey for visitors over the other side of the Atlantic – but it really doesn’t have to be. If you approach your visit like you would any other big purchase, and look to shave dollars off at every turn, it can be a very affordable vacation. Book shrewdly and you’ll have plenty of cash left over to make the most of your Irish experience.