20 Nights in Ireland - Budget! Help! Are B&B's possible?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 30, 2012 9:57 AM Last Post By: hilaryannem
Oct 19, 2012 1:12 PM
20 Nights in Ireland - Budget! Help! Are B&B's possible?Hello!
I'm new to this site but have been guided by Lonely Planet for years. Could anyone who's traveled in Ireland on a shoestring help me out?
We're spending 20 nights in the Republic in November and I'm wondering: are there any B&B's out there that cost less than 80 USD/61 Euro per night for a couple? It seems a bit steep to me, but I've not found a single listing online for less.
We're planning on spending the first 7 nights or so in a self-catered cottage, for which there are many options under 55 USD/42 Euro per night. We were hoping to travel wherever the whim took us after the cottage (we're renting a car), but if it's going to be impossible to find any cheap accommodations at B&B's on the spur of the moment we may need to go with pre-booking self-catered accommodation instead.
So - what are your experiences? Will our trip be cheapest if we stick solely with self-catering? We're not looking to stay in any touristy areas; we're country people and will be avoiding the cities as much as we can.
Thanks very much!
Oct 19, 2012 3:32 PM
Oct 20, 2012 3:13 AM
The fact is that a good B&B can be found almost anywhere for €30 or €35 each per night and includes a breakfast that would cost at least €5 in a café. What is your rough itinerary as far as locations go? have you looked at Shamrock Cottages and Imagine Ireland for the self catering (two companies used and trusted by us)
Oct 20, 2012 3:55 PM
3November is the off season so you might get much better rates just by calling to the door. For example I currently stay in a gorgeous b and b in Carlow in the south-east of the country one night a week for work reasons. It's advertised on online for €40 a night but they're only charging me €20. Now I know I'm probably getting a discount because it's a long term stay but it's still worth asking. To keep the price down I would always skip the breakfast.
Maybe give a few of the places a call before you leave home to see what kind of prices they quote and don't be afraid to bargain.
Oct 21, 2012 12:00 PM
4Poster #2 alluding to Euro 30-35 is per person, which is in the range you are finding and noting in your original post if you are 2 people.
In my experience, that's pretty normal, although off season you might well be able to negotiate for a bit less. If you are not comfortable with haggling about cost, self-catering will be cheaper. Private rooms in hostels can also be very good, and off season there's a good chance you'd find a room available. Hostels tend to be in more touristed areas though.
If you're really concerned about cost, another area where self-catering is much less expensive is in cooking your own food. Irish restaurants tend to be on the expensive side, even in pubs, at least compared to what I'm used to in the USA.
I never heard of a B&B lowering the price by skipping breakfast. I often had to skip breakfast because of an early start, and a price break was not part of the deal! Usually they will put out cereal, or make some accommodation for early risers.
Oct 22, 2012 1:17 AM
It would be worth looking at http://www.bandbireland.com They list only Tourist Board Approved B&B's in Ireland and you can check out the prices on the website.
Enjoy your trip!
Edited by: bandbireland
Oct 22, 2012 2:37 AM
6You price range is fine. Do ring ahead as quite a few BnBs close from Sept/Oct onwards. I'd normally opt for the breakfast as it will often be a cooked breakfast which is a good start to the day. Restaurants can be expensive, and certainly more expensive than the US, but if you keep an eye out for early birds which can get you a starter, main and a glass of wine for EUR20 (and remember you are not required to tip) it can be good value. And you can get a lunch on the run (a filled roll, a drink) for less than EUR3 at places like Centra.
Oct 22, 2012 2:48 AM
7Yes the price Each means per Person. So Seven nights including Breakfast for two people comes in somewhere under €500.
Along with the above self promotion there are other sources of finding B&B's we use http://www.goireland.com and http://www.ireland-bnb.com/ Generally I ask for recommendations from people on the Forums who I trust rather than TA type reviews.
With 20 days you could have two self catering touring bases and use the other 6 days traveling between.
Oct 23, 2012 11:19 AM
8My husband and I are budget travelers, while by no means experts, we've been to Ireland/Scotland a few times. $80 for a room sounds about right. Maybe a little cheaper since it's the low season. We usually budget about $100/a night for accommodation. Sometimes it's a little cheaper, sometimes it's a little higher. The first year we went we stayed in mostly private rooms in hostels. The second time we went we found with a little searching we found B & B's for nearly the same price plus a large breakfast. This same large breakfast in a cafe would be around 15 euro/pounds. If you can find B & B's that are a little further from city center they are usually a bit cheaper. Transportation in the UK is fantastic (compared with the US) so it's not usually a problem being a little further from the center of town and we are not opposed to walking 1 or 1.5 miles. Sometimes if you book for multiple nights you can get a bit of a discount.
Also, to help offset the price of B & B's, we usually go to a local grocery and pick up fruit, pre-packaged sandwiches, cheese, meat, crackers, and water to carry with us. So breakfast is covered by the B&B, we munch during the day, and really only have to buy dinner. Self catering places are nice, but unless you will be in the same place a few days you end up wasting a lot that you did not use and have to leave behind.
Also, if you can stay in more rural cities, B&B's are cheaper. For example, instead of staying in Dublin for 5 nights, divide it up and stay a few nights in Drogheda (30 min away), or a close city. I recommend getting on here or tripadvisor and reading lots of reviews. A few places I probably wouldn't have stayed based on photos ended up being quite nice and quaint, and perfect for our purposes and budget. As long as it's clean and has hot water, that's about all we need.
Lastly, we actually have yet to rent a car there. If you plan in advance you can find amazing deals on public transportation. This takes away the price of renting a car, petrol, insurance, and the hassle of parking and driving on the left. Places like Inverness had a 3 GBP day ticket on the city bus. We've bought rail tickets from Belfast to Dublin for 8 GBP. Not a bad price and we can catch up on sleep. We also don't have to worry about getting lost out in the country. Country rounds in Ireland can be confusing, narrow, winding, and easy to miss. We are outdoorsy people ourselves and rent bikes as often as we can as well. Then again you are going in November.
We would love to go and not have an itinerary, but we've found we will save so much more money booking everything ahead. Especially with public transport and accommodation. One year we didn't do any planning for a 3 day stay in Dublin and ended up in hostel dorm rooms because that was all that was available in our budget. It just so happened Obama was in Dublin and everything was booked up.
Anyway, I hope it all gets worked out and you have a great time. And hopefully the weather cooperates!
Oct 24, 2012 11:54 AM
If you are travelling in the west of Ireland i would recommend Clare Manor Bed and Breakfast (reasonably priced and excellent breakfast that would set you right for a days travelling)... Its located in the west of Ireland in Ennis, County Clare .... Close to Shannon international airport. Its about the half hours drive away from the coast line and the famous Cliffs of Moher... You should give them a call +353 656820701.
At this time of year you should get a good rate!!!
Oct 24, 2012 12:53 PM
10Anywhere on the west coast would be relatively cheap in comparison to the Dublin area, or any area surrounding any of the other cities in Ireland. We flew over to Shannon two years ago and opted to drive to Ennis as opposed to Limerick; it's a very nice town with an excellent night life. So, maybe you could consider where TaraSull suggested.
Oct 30, 2012 9:57 AM
11Hello everyone - thanks so much for all of your detailed replies! We're still torn about our options, and time is running very short!
Our itinerary is:
arrive in Dublin November 13
depart Dublin December 3.
That's all we've planned so far!
We've opted to rent a car because we absolutely love driving small country roads, so we are willing to take a chunk of our budget for that purpose.
We're still on the fence, but we have very little time left to hem and haw...
Edited by: hilaryannem
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