Planning a family trip to Ireland can be daunting but Jody from Ireland Family Vacations is an expert. This week she shares her itinerary ideas and top Ireland family travel tips on the podcast. Imagine staying in a Irish castle for Halloween and enjoying a full Harry Potter experience…sign us up!!
ON THE PODCAST
:40 Kim and Tamara’s top international travel tips
9:21 Jody Halsted from Ireland Family Vacation
15:02 How long to stay in Ireland
15:22 Sample Ireland itinerary
22:19 Best way to get around Ireland
23:44 Renting a car in Ireland
24:50 Jody’s favorite castles
29:02 Top Ireland family travel tips
31:49 Must try Irish foods
34:01 Where to take a family photo
36:20 Favorite travel gear for Ireland
41:35 App of the week
45:00 Stay tuned next week when we talk about Family Camping
ABOUT JODY HALSTED
Jody 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.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TIPS
- Get an international driver’s license from AAA if you are renting a car
- Sign up for SMART Travel enrollment program to get alerts when we you are traveling overseas
- Purchase “cancel for any reason” travel insurance
- Alert your bank and credit card companies in advance to let them know about your travel plans
- Get foreign currency from your bank in advance
- If heading to Europe, make sure you have a chip and pin card
- Check with your bank to see if they have partner banks in the country you are traveling
- Get a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees
- Turn off your data and voice roaming and look into either international plans, use WiFi or get a MiFi device
- Press and hold 0 to get the + sign to call internationally
SAMPLE IRELAND ITINERARY
Plan on staying at least 10 to 14 days. If possible, fly into Dublin and out of Shannon so you aren’t backtracking and it is very easy to fly in and out of Shannon. Then plan on doing a loop through the South.
- Spend two days exploring Dublin
- Head down to Kilkenny with a stop enroute in the Wicklow mountains
- Then either go into Cork or go over to Killarney where you can find the Ring of Kerry and Dingle with three days in either
- Then head to the northwest and the Cliffs of Moher and Shannon
IRELAND FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS
- Don’t drive in Dublin, take the bus from the airport into town
- Fly out of Shannon airport if you can
- Stay at least two nights in each location when traveling with kids
- Ireland is the size of Indiana, but you still can’t see and do everything you want to do in 10 days
- Print off a map of Ireland to see how far it is from place to place and to help you plan your route
- Rent the smallest car you can because the roads are very narrow
- In Ireland you will need to purchase a collision damage waiver on your car rental
- The Office of Public Works has a family pass that will get you into many sights across Ireland
- The Dublin Pass includes transportation into the city and places like the Guinness storehouse, the Dublin Zoo, as well as museums and castles
- If you plan on visiting the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle in the same day, you can get a dual ticket on the Shannon Heritage website
- Be sure to try the Irish Breakfast, black pudding (blood sausage), and some of their hyper-local, naturally-grown foods
- Visit the Cliffs of Moher and major sites in the afternoon after the tour buses have left
BEST PLACE TO TAKE FAMILY PHOTO
Jody recommends Cliffs of Moher, O’Brien’s tower, Bunratty Castle, or Malahide Castle as they all offer beautiful backdrops. For the Cliffs of Moher, the best time to visit would be is the afternoon after the tour buses have come and gone and the sunset is gorgeous.
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Jody does a lot of hiking in Ireland so she recommends Keen hiking boots and Keen sandals for water sports. She also likes the Molly ScotteVest jacket, which is great for layering with lots of pockets. She also uses convertible pants because they dry so fast. Also bring layers like a light wool shirt and raingear, but it generally doesn’t get colder than 50 and higher than 72 degrees.
APP OF THE WEEK
If you are traveling overseas, we recommend using Google Translate. You may also want to download a phrasebook app that works offline and if you want to learn some language before you go, check out Duolingo.
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
FOLLOW US AND SPREAD THE WORD!
If you liked this show, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play and leave us a review! Have a question or comment? Send us an email or leave us a voicemail at +1.641.715.3900, ext. 926035#
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission.