I married a real life leprechaun from Croom, Co., Limerick (Brogue and all, which causes him to say things like 33 1/3 as “turty tree and a turd.”) so I know a litle about traveling to Ireland. Shoot, I even got married there.
A few tips I’ve picked up along the way:
1. Have a “real” pint of Guinness in Ireland, which according to the hubs, tastes creamier and fresher. Make sure someone is capturing a photo of you taking that first sip and frame it. Much better than a mass-produced Guinness poster.
2. Buy tickets from January to March, when Aer Lingus drops its fares. We scored ours for a little more than $400 apiece for mid-January. My tickets home to Virginia were $100 less.
3. Skip the city, see the country. Dublin is lovely and all (fabulous shopping), but if you want postcard-perfect Ireland, head to counties Kerry, Clare, Wicklow, Donegal, Galway, Offaly, etc. One of my best memories was seeing sheep on the side of the road as a rainbow arched above us.
4. Book an Emerald Isle rental like this Banagher cottage. The 300-year-old farmhouse called Chestnut Cottage oozes Old World appeal and is close to pubs, restaurants and the River Shannon.
5. Eat some Cadbury’s Chocolate, a snack box (fried chicken and chips available at all the chippers) or Irish breakfast. Or all of the above. When I go, that’s pretty much my diet.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.