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How to Tour Ireland on a Budget

Stunning Irish countryside
Ireland’s stunning countryside is completely free

So, you’ve decided to take that tour around Ireland you’ve always dreamt of. Your budget isn’t huge, however, and you know you’re going to have to plan carefully to do everything you want to do. This is where our handy guide comes in. In this post we are going to look at different aspects of how to tour Ireland on a budget:

  • Transport
  • Small group tours
  • Self-drive tours of Ireland
  • Timing
  • Accommodation

Budget Transport in Ireland

Working out how you’re going to travel from A to B is a good start when planning out your budget.

If you want to explore the country and search for some of those hard-to-reach hidden gems, then transport is vital, and one of the first options to consider is whether to rent a car for a solo trip. A self-drive tour can be the cheapest way to explore the country, but as we’ve mentioned in our post about whether you should take a road trip through Ireland, what it doesn’t cost in money it makes up for in planning time. Plan your routes ahead of time, take into account your accommodation, and research special deals you can make the most of at each attraction you visit. If you are comfortable driving in Ireland, then renting a motor home could be another option to cut down on accommodation costs.

Perhaps driving isn’t for you, however, and touring Ireland is quite possible through public transport. For more information on that, check out our blog about alternative ways to tour Ireland.

Small Group Tours in Ireland

Slea Head drive, stunning drive on the Dingle Peninsula
Some happy guests on one of our small group tours

Of course, you can take the easiest transport option and opt for one of Overland’s small group tours of Ireland. At first glance, going on tour might seem a bit pricier than renting a car for a solo road trip. However, there are plenty of benefits to keep in mind, such as the knowledge and care of our local guides that elevate a great ‘Ireland trip’ into an unforgettable experience. On a group tour, you won’t have to worry about vehicle rental, insurance, fuel or parking costs, and you won’t waste valuable time planning routes and trying to find your way around. An added advantage of a group tour is that you can benefit from tour company discounts at some of the bigger attractions – this can really add up if you’re going on a longer tour of Ireland. So, if you’re on a budget but you’re going on a longer tour of Ireland, then one of our small group tours might be the perfect option for you.

Self-drive Trip Through Ireland

However, we understand that group tours aren’t for everyone and that for some people planning a trip is part of the fun. In this case, a self-drive trip through Ireland is bound to reward travellers on a budget. We are developing a range of self-drive tours for people where we arrange everything for you, but you drive and tour Ireland, moving at your own pace. In a way, this could be the best of both worlds. So stay tuned for more information!

Pre-planned Self-Drive Tours of Ireland

If you want the freedom and smaller budget of a self-drive trip, but you’d like to enjoy all of the benefits associated with taking a tour with an expert local tour company, then one of Overland’s Self-drive Tours of Ireland will be ideal for you. We plan the entire trip for you, booking all of the tours and experiences, as well as offering all of the tickets and itinerary details on our purpose-built app: Paddy the Pocket Pilot. Our biggest self-drive tour is our Ultimate Self-Drive 10-Day Tour Of Ireland, but if you’re looking for something a little smaller, check out our Coast-to-Coast 5-day Ireland Tour.

When Should You Visit Ireland?

The beautiful Donegal coast

So now you’ve got your transport sorted, you need to think about when you’re going to travel. Ireland is most popular in the summertime, so it stands to reason that it’s in summer when it’s the most expensive. However, just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to consign yourself to the cold winter months. You’ll find Ireland’s weather is pretty glorious in June. But if we’re perfectly honest, the country is beautiful all year round. Just take into account what you will want to do as the weather can affect your plans. For example, you can’t visit the magnificent Skellig Michael island in the winter as the waters are too choppy for the boat.

Choosing Accommodation When Touring Ireland on a Budget

The final point of consideration when planning your budget holiday is accommodation. All kinds of accommodation are available in Ireland, from the humble hostel to some of the most glorious castles. If you take an Overland tour, you’ll find some of the finer types of accommodation available to you at a surprisingly low cost so it might be worth saving up a bit more for a night of luxury. But if you want something in between, you can’t go wrong with a classic Irish bed and breakfast.

That’s all we have time for in this guide, but we hope it’s helped you begin plans for your budget tour of Ireland. The Irish are renowned for their warm personalities so however, you choose to travel and wherever you choose to stay, you are sure to be looked after. And if our small group tours have piqued your interest then don’t hesitate to get in touch – there’s something here for everyone!

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