Organize your trip to Ireland in 3 steps

If you’ve already read “10 Irish landscapes you can’t see in a guide”, you may have noticed that there are lots of amazing places in Ireland. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you to do it, you’ll be surprised about the stoning landscapes.

There are two options to visit all these amazing places:

  • Organizing it by yourself. I strongly recommend this option because you can spend all the time you want in a place and you can change the route if you prefer.
  • Organized tour. There are tours that go to some of these places, but I don’t recommend this option because you won’t have enough free time to enjoy everything.

So today I’m going to show you how to organize a road trip by yourself and I’ll explain you how we organized the road trip to the north of Ireland and the road trip to the south of Ireland in October and December 2015. By the way, I recommend you to go there.

Before starting, I want to talk about the time you need to do a trip like that. We went just for a weekend in both of the trips, but it wasn’t enough to see everything we would have liked to see. For this reason I suggest you to do, at least, 5 days route, then you can take advantage and see more places. If you just have two or three days, as we had, I recommend you to read the posts I’ll write in the following weeks about the whole route. Then you can decide and choose if you want to try to go everywhere or just to see some places but in a relax way.


First you need some kind of transport. We decided to rent a car because we were five people and it was going to be cheaper than any other way.

There are lots of different websites where you can rent a car, but I personally recommend you Rentalcars. This is a website that compare all the rental cars companies and shows you the best prices. Here you can find the main companies as Europcar, Budget, Sixt, etc.


  • Trip to the north of Ireland

We rented the car with Budget and we paid 191.74€ for two days (38.34€ per person), and we also had to pay the gas that was 55€ (11€ per person). We paid more than we had expected because we didn’t pick up the car at the airport (that it’s often cheaper) and we had to pay an extra charge because the car was diesel.

  • Trip to the south of Ireland

We rented the car again with Budget, but this time we had to do it. This happened because we were going to rent the car with Europcar but it seems that you need a credit card if you want to rent a car. We didn’t have any credit card so we had to go to Budget and rent it there. Finally we paid 165.8€ for three days that was 33.16€ per person.



  • Do you need a full insurance?

If you’re renting a car you’ll have the basic insurance, this is the vital third-party insurance cover. So I always recommend to get one of these two additional insurances:

  1. Insurance with the car’s company. This is usually a full insurance and it covers almost everything, but it’s a bit more expensive than the insurance with Rentalcars. You can get this insurance the day you’re picking up the car, once you’re in the office. That means that when you pay through Rentalcars website you have to say that you don’t want an insurance. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying two insurances that you don’t need.
  2. Insurance with Rentalcars. This one covers fewer things than the other one, that’s why it’s also cheaper. It’s hired in the website, at the same time you’re renting the car and you don’t have to pay for another insurance once you’re at the office.

Both options are good ones, but you have to evaluate which one is better for you and the trip you’re going to do.



  • Pick up and return place. The price will be different depending on the pick-up and return place. So, if you do it in the same place it will be cheaper than if you return the car in a different place. Furthermore, if you pick up and return the car at the airport it will be always cheaper.
  • Age to rent. The age for driving always depends on the company and the country where you’re renting the car, but usually you can drive if you’re between 21 and 70 years old. It’s highly likely that you’ll have to pay more if you’re under 25 years old or older than 70.
  • Driving license. This is also depending on the company but they will ask you to have your driving license for more than 1 or 2 years.

These facts are not 100% sure in all the companies, so I always recommend you to check the terms and conditions when you rent a car.

Other websites to rent a car:


When you’re organizing this kind of trips, I think that it’s better to plan the route first and then to find accommodation. Then you will know the area where you’ll be when night falls and it will be easier to find a place to sleep.



I highly recommend to check the distance between one place and another to find out if it’s a viable route. You can check it with Googlemaps or with ViaMichelin (Spanish website).

  • option 1: the north of Ireland

We only had two days so we couldn’t see everything we would have liked, but we stopped in many beautiful places where we didn’t expect to stop. The route was:

Day 1: Dublín – Londonderry / Malin Head

Day 2: Down Hill / Dunluce Castle / Giant’s Causeway / Carrick-a rede rope bridge / Belfast


Check how to save the map.

  • option 2: the south of Ireland

We learned from the first trip, so in this second trip we could see everything we wanted to. Well, maybe the main reason was that the weather was really bad and we couldn’t stop for a long time in each place. The route was:

Day 1: Dublín – Sneem

Day 2:  Derrynae Castle / Waterville / Ballinskelligs / Valentia Island / Gap of Dunloe

Day 3: Carrauntoohill / Ross Castle / Torc Waterfall / Cork


Check how to save the map.


This are only two ideas of the thousands of routes you can organize.



Once you’ve done the route you’ll know the area to find a place to sleep.

There are lots of websites where you can find accommodation but I really like Airbnb and I always use the same one first. In this website you can find houses and apartments from people who want to rent their whole house or just part of it (a room, ground, etc.). An easy way to find accommodation is with the map you’ll find in the website, there you can see all the places and the prices in the area you want.


  • Trip to the north of Ireland

The first day we ended up in Malin’s Head area, so we booked a very cosy house in Carndonagh suburbs. We stayed just one night and we paid 68€ for the whole house, 13.6€ per person. I really recommend this place, both for the area and the hosts.

  • Trip to the south of Ireland

This trip was a bit longer so we had to find a place to sleep two nights, so we decided to spend both nights at the same place, we thought it would be easier. We also booked a nice and big house with Airbnb and we paid 115€ for two nights, 23€ per person. The hosts were very nice and they gave us home-made cookies to welcome us.

You can get here 34 discount in your first booking in Airbnb.


Other websites to find accommodation:


You don’t need to follow these steps in order, of course you can change the order, but I think it will be easier to do it like that. Something that I really recommend it’s to check the accommodation’s prices first, then you can change your route according to the prices.


Have you ever done a route in Ireland? Let us know in the comments which one it was and what you liked the most.

2 comentarios en “Organize your trip to Ireland in 3 steps

  1. Jack dijo:

    It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this put up and if I may just I wish to counsel you few attention-grabbing things or advice.
    Maybe you could write subsequent articles regarding
    this article. I wish to learn more issues approximately

    • shortlifelongtrip dijo:

      Hi Jack!
      Thank you for you advice. I’m writting all the trips I did in Ireland with lot of information but it take some time. Today I’ll post the first day of one of the trips. So, during this months you will find other posts about Ireland. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

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