If you are keen to visit Ireland one of the best ways to do it is by booking a package trip, a decision which generally means you score better rates on each individual component included compared to booking them all separately, and can relax knowing everything important you need or plan to do is booked and ready for you.
However, there’s no such thing as one size fits all Ireland vacation packages, so finding the best one for you means looking around at what is being offered, and then choosing whichever meets your particular wants and needs.
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What does a package include?
There are many kinds of holiday packages around, so before you start looking it helps if you know what you want and need a package to provide. Some include everything from flights and airport charges to accommodation and transport once in Ireland, others only provide certain elements which makes them more flexible but leaves some of the work to you.
To get you started we have put together this handy guide on places to look for both recommendations and details of various types of holiday packages to Ireland. From budget to luxury, we have all the bases cover.
The DIY holiday package to Ireland option
If you want to see Ireland but only have a limited budget to play with the sensible option is to look around for DIY packages, as by sourcing only part of the ultimate package in one place you have the scope to look around for bargain offers for anything you choose to add on. Using sites like Trip Advisor is one way to do this, as several special comparison sites reward customers who book more than one thing at one time. This means you can search for either cheap flights or cheap hotels from a convenient airport to Dublin, always a good place to start, but other options may be available – and then add on the special price bonus option for the other element.
This is also a good way to put together a bespoke package holiday if you like to choose things like where to stay and where to go yourself. Alternative accommodation options such as AirBnB make sourcing affordable (and often quirky) places to stay quite easy.
Late booking sites such as Last Minute are another route worth considering for a flight-hotel package; prices are competitive as they are trying to sell unbooked seats on planes leaving very soon. If your schedule allows you to take advantage it is a good site to look at. As with any DIY option you need to have a clear destination in mind and be prepared to research, plan and organize everything else yourself.
The traditional holiday package to Ireland option
Although online options are popular it’s always worth taking a look at what traditional travel agents have to offer, whether they work from a physical store in the mall or as independent operators from home. There are some definite advantages of using this system, such as having the chance to communicate directly with an expert about what kind of package trip you want. Travel agents also have a huge number of contacts and can often get great deals, seats on flights which appear to be full when using online systems and so on.
The budget holiday package to Ireland option
If you are prepared to compromise on departure airport and time, and perhaps be flexible with dates too, there are several budget websites like Expedia which offer deals. The flight-hotel-hire car packages are best when you plan to stay in and around your destination city in Ireland, while if you prefer to tour the country a flight-car package option is probably more suitable.
The specialist website holiday package to Ireland option
Great Value Vacations is a good example of a site focused on offering great value package trips, including some to Ireland. They have some excellent deals, although the list of departure airports is a little limited. The packages on offer include airfares and airport taxes and transfers, plus hotel accommodation and breakfast every day. Some include an organized (coach) tour too, while the others offer a hire car in with the fee. Some options to book add-on packages for organized one day tours exist too.
The high-end holiday package to Ireland option
If comfort and luxury are priorities take a look at packages offered by companies such as Virgin Vacations. They have a fully escorted US-Ireland package which departs from several locations, includes all flight costs, airport taxes and fuel surcharges seven nights of hotel accommodation in four different towns and cities, all hotel fees, including porter services, eleven meals (4 being dinners with wine, the rest being breakfast), an English speaking tour manager on hand at all time, sightseeing to various points of attraction- including entrance fees if applicable.
High-end with no flights
This is a good option if you prefer to book your own flights (or have access to discounts/deals) but want the other benefits of a package trip. Authentic Ireland offers this service, with a package including six nights of accommodation, including one night at a castle!, six full authentic breakfasts, a rental vehicle, admission to some great attractions and lots of advice if you need it. These trips can be customized, of course, and they are designed to help visitors get around on a logical route and see some of the top attractions in the country.
Enjoy your trip
Ireland is a magical country which charms every visitor without fail, so there’s no wonder so many want to return over and over. Whether you are planning your first trip or your twentieth, as a lone traveler or as part of a large group, a package holiday is always a great way to see and experience lots of things, in a cost-effective, no drama kind of way.