Many close followers of this blog are aware that I’ve written once about how Ireland is an ideal destination in the fall. Well, things just got a lot better as a crazy fare sale has turned flights to the Emerald Isle as cheap as we’ve ever seen them.
At the moment the best fares we are seeing between New York and London are $600 round-trip, and that’s the cheapest trans-Atlantic route of all on most occasions. However, right now we are seing fares almost half that to Ireland, and they are non-stop flights as well.
The great Ireland fare sale
This can’t last long, but at the moment I am seeing round-trip fares leaving in November and returning in December at $363 to Shannon, and at $371 to Dublin. Better still, these are offered on Continental, which actually flies this rounte non-stop, and United and Lufthansa in codeshare agreements.
This sale will probably be over within a week or so, and prices will probably go back to around $550 round-trip at their best, so this is a deal worth pouncing on if you can. You might see similar prices offered in mid January, but by then it will be a bit too cool to really enjoy much of the walking around you’ll want to do.
Off-season Ireland is well worth it
Here’s the thing about Ireland: Most people either visit Dublin only or they visit Dublin and then rent a car to drive all around the island. Honestly, Dublin isn’t that impressive of a city so the driving around part will be the highlight almost certainly.
However, with at least 80% of visitors doing the driving thing between May and October, the roads can get a bit crowded, the inns can fill up with higher prices, and some of the charm is lost with huge lines at places like the most famous castles. If you can visit in November you’ll have the roads largely to yourself and you’ll be able to just waltz in to most attractions without a queue at all.
It’s true that it gets cold in winter in Ireland and that you’ll be seeing some rain as well, but with the cheaper hotels and rental cars you can stay for 10 days for the same price you might stay for 6 days in summer. By doing this you can slow down and spend more time in the inns and pubs when the weather isn’t ideal and still get more of a holiday in.
The countryside will be green and plush and beautiful, and you can see it almost as well on a misty day as you can on a clear day, but you’ll have more time indoors to meet with the locals (instead of other tourists like in summer) so your overall experience will feel much more authentic.