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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm booking my vacation to hawaii on Expedia and I remember my wife saying she has always wanted to go to Ireland. So just for kicks I leave the dates the same and just replace Hawaii with Dublin Ireland. The price is the freaking same! Can you believe that? 3 round trip tickets on british airways and 9 nights in a hotel and it's the same $3200 as hawaii! Wow.

Anybody been to Ireland? Do they drive on the wrong side of the road there? How long does it take to get a passport?
 

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I've been to the emerald isle. They do drive opposite of us here in the States, but after a short while behind the wheel you get used to it quick. Driving around the country (mainly on two lane roads - most of which are narrow) is a blast. Part of the high cost of visiting Ireland now is the weakness of the USD versus the Euro. Check out Air Lingus for flights also. If you do decide on Ireland, fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. That way you can tour the country and not just stay in Dublin for 9 days/nights. Also, you will probably want to stay in B&Bs rather than hotels.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I figured hawaii would be cheaper than flying all the way to ireland. I guess not.
 

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hawaii is outrageous, i went to maui last summer, and wow, freakin expensive, $15 for a 6pack of bud, $6-8 for a gallon of milk, everything is sky high, definately cheaper places to go, but it was an amazing place
 

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not_too_shabby said:
I figured hawaii would be cheaper than flying all the way to ireland. I guess not.
It's due to demand. Everybody (well, nearly ;)) wants to vacation in Hawaii, so flights and hotels and all the touristy sort of things will be very expensive, because people will pay it. (I certainly hope that off in "normal" Hawaii prices are better, if not, that sucks. :sad: )

Everyone should leave the country at least once, so might as well check out Ireland. Never been there, but have been to the other main British Isle a couple of times, and enjoyed it. Need to go back so my wife can go. Was also around 15 years ago that I last went. :D
 

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rtenke said:
Driving around the country (mainly on two lane roads - most of which are narrow) is a blast........ If you do decide on Ireland, fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. That way you can tour the country and not just stay in Dublin for 9 days/nights. Also, you will probably want to stay in B&Bs rather than hotels.
Agree with what he said, the roads are very very very narrow especially if you have a car that needs to fit a family plus luggage in it :shock: ... there were a few instances where we ended up in the bushes next to the road - only briefly though no accidents :roll: . We also flew into Dublin and out of Shannon, that definitley gives you the chance to drive from one to the other and see a LOT of countryside - its all green rolling hills with random sheep and rocks, but yes it is very pretty. Some of the cliffs along the coastline are also amazing. Oh we also stayed in a nice hotel in Dublin, Adare Manor (in the town of Adare), and some other old castle which was really cool, another option besides B&B or a hotel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm afraid to drive on the wrong side of the road. I don't think I could do it. I would probably be one of the crazy american tourists who kills himself on the highway and gets put in the paper.
 

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Both places are excellent places to vacation to, but in very different ways.
What time of year are you planning to go? The seasons in Hawaii doesn't as greatly as Ireland.

Hawaii
PLUSES: beaches, relaxing environment, lots of things to see and do (not hard to find places to eat, drink, party and shop), natural tropical beauty, east meets west culture.
MINUES: very commercialized and touristy (especially in the major cities and towns), expensive.

Ireland
PLUSES: Excellent place to golf, unique local charm and culture, great natural sights, rich in history and architecture (be sure to visit some of the old castles there), excellent pub scene (be sure to go to the local hangouts). You could spend half the time in Dublin on foot (without a car), a great way of discovering the city.
MINUES: driving around could be confusing especially in the country side (many towns are in the middle of nowhere and you'll need good navigation skills, but getting lost could fun as well if you are not on a stict itenerary), some places could be pretty ancient and lacking in many of the modern conveniences.

Personally I would go to Ireland, it's a unique experience and a very charming place to visit, but then again I'm not into the touristy spots.
 

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not_too_shabby said:
I'm afraid to drive on the wrong side of the road. I don't think I could do it. I would probably be one of the crazy american tourists who kills himself on the highway and gets put in the paper.
Well you're in luck, because with the exception of around Dublin, there are no highways.

It's really not that bad driving on the other side, and you get used to it rather quickly. The roads were pretty much empty when I went during the off season. However, you can always take the train if you'd rather not drive.
 

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The only thing that I found confusing about the roads in Ireland, was the roundabouts. They use them a lot, and approaching one I feel like I'm gonna kill someone by turning the wrong way. Other than that (and realizing that 1st gear is still in the upper left even though you are using your left hand) it isn't too bad.

I say do the Ireland trip instead of Hawaii. Passports can take a while generally but they have "rush" delivery available. just get the applications (online, county offices, or i think some post offices) and read them soon. And it's good to have one, they are valid for 10 years and work as a single id (instead of license + ssn card)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info guys. I haven't decided yet. We have a 1 year old which could make such a long plane ride interesting. I think I'll get my passport anyways though.
 

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Driving in Ireland, keep repeating this mantra:

"Keep left, look right."
 

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Ireland was fantastic. I went when I was about 23 years old.

I actually took a ferry from England, that took us to a port right outside of Dublin.

We rented a car, (Opal) and drove cross country, stopping at every little town and interesting places we saw. The landscape is stunning on the west coast...actually the southern coast is not to bad either.

At that time the exchange rate was close to $1.75 US - to 1 Irish Pound, so it was NOT CHEAP.

We stayed af B&B's the whole way, and ate like birds but it saved us a ton of money. The B&B's were all very nice and the people were the friendliest of anywhere I have ever been.


As far as the actual driving goes...the first ten minutes I was crapping my pants. I was trying to concentrate really hard on what side of the road to turn onto, meanwhile there were scooters and folks on bikes seemingly hanging out around all four of my quarter panels. But once I got comfortable being on the left side of the road, it was really fun driving. Whipping around on the one lane, two way country roads was a blast. Driving 12 inches away from 100 foot cliffs with no guard rails is definately an adrenaline rush. Down side...Petrol was VERY expensive.
 

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I've had a home in the west of Ireland (Connemara in County Galway) for over 25 years. How things have changed.
Not cheap. The dollar has weakened at least 25% against the Euro in the past couple of years. Figure on paying the equivalent of more than four dollars a gallon for petrol.
Be sure to look both ways as a pedestrian. We Americans tend to look the wrong way for traffic. I always found that tendency more dangerous than driving the roads, which are much better than they used to be, but still smaller than what we're used to.
If you're into cities, Dublin is of course the main attraction; Galway is a bit of the San Francisco of the country. If you're into landscapes, the west coast is where you want to be.
Weather is always a guess. They can have their summer in May, and the days are long then that far up in the hemisphere. I suspect that the total package price quoted you likely does not include that time of year, but see how close to that time of year you can stretch it.
 

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Mr.PassatMan said:
hawaii is outrageous, i went to maui last summer, and wow, freakin expensive, $15 for a 6pack of bud, $6-8 for a gallon of milk, everything is sky high, definately cheaper places to go, but it was an amazing place
Yeah, Hawaii makes California look affordable! Was in Maui last April. Most of the locals I spoke with had three jobs or worked 80 hours a week in order to afford the cost of living.

Now, if you're working that many hours or jobs, when do you have time to enjoy the weather or the unique things that Hawaii has to offer? You don't!

I love Hawaii and thought about how I could find a way to make a living. I would own a nice restaurant, but I'd probably find a way to eat all of my profits! :lol:
 

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eirebob said:
I've had a home in the west of Ireland (Connemara in County Galway) for over 25 years. How things have changed.
Not cheap. The dollar has weakened at least 25% against the Euro in the past couple of years. Figure on paying the equivalent of more than four dollars a gallon for petrol.
Be sure to look both ways as a pedestrian. We Americans tend to look the wrong way for traffic. I always found that tendency more dangerous than driving the roads, which are much better than they used to be, but still smaller than what we're used to.
If you're into cities, Dublin is of course the main attraction; Galway is a bit of the San Francisco of the country. If you're into landscapes, the west coast is where you want to be.
Weather is always a guess. They can have their summer in May, and the days are long then that far up in the hemisphere. I suspect that the total package price quoted you likely does not include that time of year, but see how close to that time of year you can stretch it.
I agree, if you go to Ireland, you need to spend some time in Galway...absolutely stunning.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
well it's a done deal. We are going to the big island of hawaii for 9 days. Ireland will wait for another day.
 
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