Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich history and truly unique culture. We believe everyone should come and visit us at least once in their life, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you to do just that!
If you’ve been yearning to see the Emerald Isle for yourself, keep reading to learn how to budget for the perfect trip…
Planning is Key to Budgeting any Trip
It’s tempting to simply buy a ticket and set off, but there is a lot to see and do in Ireland so you’ll want to plan your trip as best as possible to maximise your time. Not only is it important to make a list of things you’d like to do and places you’re longing to see, but it’s also important to set out a budget for your trip as that is what will ultimately determine where you can go and what you can do!
Setting a budget is difficult when you’re not sure what exactly you want to see, so we suggest always starting with the broad strokes. From there, you can whittle down to the finer details.
However, your absolute first step is to set a number that is your maximum budget. Do this before you even begin planning as it will keep you from talking yourself into spending far more than you can afford.
The Broad Strokes
The first place to start is by pricing your plane ticket. Use a site such as priceline.com or kayak.ie to look at different rates for different times of the year. When you find something in your price range, do a quick search to see what is happening around Ireland during those dates of travel. If it seems like a good time of year to travel, go ahead and book the ticket.
Now’s the time to fill in what it is you want to do. Look into major landmarks and cities that fit the experience you want to have and figure out where you want to go while you’re in Ireland. Make a list of “must-see” places as you search through options.
Once you know the broad strokes of where you want to go, you’re ready to begin filling in your travel map. Open up Google maps and head on over to Ireland. Set destinations for all the different locations you want to go, then rearrange them so they mark a logical path across the country. This is your basic guide as you begin filling in the details of what you want to do and what it will cost.
Lodging is the next thing you should figure out as it is an essential expense. You should look into prices wherever you will be purchasing lodging and take note of the cost. Add the costs together for every area you plan to visit. Make sure you are using your specific dates of travel for each location as hotel prices vary by the time of year.
The plane ticket and lodging are the two biggest expenses you will incur up front. The next biggest expenses come from the details of your trip. Food, sightseeing and tourism costs, transportation, shopping, and so on. All of these costs are negotiable. You can spend less on food and still have a good time, but you can’t go without a plane ticket or a place to sleep!
Here’s how to budget for the details so you don’t run out of money before you head home:
Tourism and Sightseeing
You’ve already chosen the places you want to visit. Fill in some more details by figuring out what exactly you want to see and do in each location. Total the cost of visiting these places. For instance, include ticket costs, transportation to and from the area, and any special clothing or items you may need. Add up the costs for each site you want to see.
The next expense to look at is food. Think about how many meals or snacks you need to eat in a day. Then surf the web to get a feel for food prices in the areas you’re visiting. Do the math to find out how much it will cost to eat per day. If that number is too high, consider cutting some of your sightseeing locations.
It’s also good to remember that you don’t always have to eat at restaurants on vacation. You can pick up essentials for your hotel room from a local grocer and limit restaurant meals.
If you’re not in the Euro zone, do not forget to account for exchange rates while budgeting. It is important to understand the current value of your money and how it compares so you will know the actual cost of your travel.
Ireland Awaits You!
Budgeting for your trip isn’t as hard as it looks, and it can be so much fun when you mix it with the planning process. Just think that all those little points on the map are going to be pictures in your scrapbook soon!