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Plan a trip to the Emerald Isle with these easy tips

Date posted:  4/22/16 09:00:00 AM

Everyone loves taking a little time off from work to enjoy a vacation with family or friends. Fortunately, by planning ahead and doing some research, you can save money and still have a fantastic vacation. 

This year, head to the beautiful rolling hills of Ireland and experience its rich history by following these tips: 

Head out during the off-season 
The great thing about traveling to Ireland is the weather is relatively mild throughout the year. According to The Irish Meteorological Service, because the Atlantic Ocean is responsible for the country's climate, it does not experience extreme temperatures. This makes traveling during the off-season especially appealing as the cost will be lower and the weather will remain relatively similar. 

USA Today indicated there are a few off-seasons throughout the year in Ireland. The fall is a great time to head to the Emerald Isle as temperatures have cooled, but the green landscapes typical of this region remain. Spring is also a great time to travel as the price for airfare and lodging mimic winter lows. 

Winter tends to bring the coolest temperatures, most robust winds and most rainfall, which makes it the cheapest time to travel to Ireland. However, keep in mind temperatures likely won't drop below freezing. 

Save, save, save 
If you know you want to take a vacation you should open a savings account and begin automatically depositing money into it every time you receive a paycheck. Stashing a little bit of money at a time can add up quickly. 

Forbes contributor Alexandra Talty indicated a substantial part of ensuring you can afford traveling to another location is setting and sticking to a budget. There are many different ways you can monitor your spending to increase the funds available for your vacation. Keep in mind that each method will work differently.

It might be plausible for some individuals to take on a second job, while others may not be able to allocate the time necessary to an additional position. It might make more sense for other individuals to cut out extra expenses like eating out or heading to the movies every weekend. Sit down and determine what sacrifices you are willing and capable of making. From there, you can develop an appropriate plan for growing your vacation funds. 

Figure out transportation 
According to Irish Central, one of the most substantial expenses when vacationing in Ireland is the cost of transportation. Typically individuals will rent a car and pay for gas throughout their journey. However, keep in mind that public transportation can be more affordable option depending on your travel plans. 

Do a little research on the various options available. By becoming more familiar you can take advantage of this cost-saving travel technique. 

Travel in packs 
Group travel is typically less expensive than single rates, so consider increasing the size of the group you have decided to travel with. 

If you are going with your family already, ask another family or group of friends to join you. Not only does it provide an opportunity for savings, it also makes the trip more memorable and fun. 

Keep your stay more affordable 
The place you lay your head at night can be quite expensive, but if you put the time into research, you can find very affordable options. Depending on where you stay, the cost of lodging varies greatly. Some options that may be more cost effective include: 

  • Self-catering cottage 
  • Campgrounds 
  • Hostels 
  • Bed and Breakfasts 

Plan your meals in advance 
Food can be a substantial expense when traveling abroad. Cut down on costs associated with your vacation by planning your meals ahead and ensuring you stick to a food budget throughout the trip. 

Of course you will want to splurge here and there on a fancy dinner, but you can also keep costs low by preparing some of your own meals during the trip. Another cost effective approach to dining in Ireland is taking advantage of continental breakfasts, B&Bs and early-bird dining specials. 

Get a Heritage Card 
Frommers suggested signing up for a Heritage Card when in Ireland. It gives you access to more than 65 tourist attractions across the country. The cost for adults is only $28.50, $15 for seniors and $11.50 for children and students. 

You can easily purchase the card at one of the participating attractions, or order it online. 

Take advantage of any discounts 
Is one of your children also a student? Are Grandma and Grandpa joining? Make sure you ask about student and senior specials whenever you head to any local attractions. Many times there are discounts by as much as 50 percent. Make sure everyone brings their student ID or photo ID in case they are asked to present it to access a discount. 

If traveling to Ireland has been your dream, but you're on a budget, get started on a savings account and research options to reduce travel expenses. With preparation, you can see the Emerald Isle without breaking the bank.