Who is Going with You

Traveling to Ireland (or anywhere for that matter) may seem difficult when traveling with children or the elderly. Rest assured. Ireland welcomes all her visitors with open arms. However, it is best to do a little research if you are taking along your kids or your grandparents.

Family in the sea

Special family moments in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Martinsillaots

Traveling Ireland With Children

Look for bed and breakfasts that cater to families. They should have family rooms available, often with extra beds in one room, space inside and outside for children to play, and special children’s menu items for breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes anyone?).

Staying at least two nights in one location is imperative when traveling as a family. It allows everyone to come back to the room and rest at any time. It will also provide the children some time to adjust to the space and to perhaps get to know the kids in the house or play with the family dog.

You may also want to consider a self-catering cottage, which allows you to cook your own meals, decide when to get up and go to bed, and give your kids a helpful routine.

Looking for dinner with picky little eaters may seem daunting at first. Most of Ireland’s food is meat and potatoes, but there is always fish and chips or a toasted special (toasted ham and cheese) available at a local pub.

Don’t be put off by the word “pub”. Most are family friendly (especially during in the day and early evening), and provide delicious lunches and dinners. You can always pop your head in first and then decide if it is good fit for you and your family.

When reserving a car be sure to determine if you will bring a car seat or rent one from the rental agency. You don’t want to be stuck without one after a redeye flight. You will also want to rent the smallest car your family can easily fit into. The roads are tiny and gas is expensive. Pack light to save space as best you can.

Traveling with the Elderly

If you are taking a parent or an older friend to Ireland, you will, of course, want to make special arrangements for their safety and enjoyment as well as your own.

Self-catering Cottage

A self-catering cottage, the perfect place to spread out. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Loelle.

As long as you notify the proprietor ahead of time, you should have little trouble. You can ask for a bedroom on the lower level for those with limited mobility or tell them about any dietary restrictions. It is best to self-identify at the time of booking and remind the owners upon arrival.

A self-catering cottage my also be a great choice for generations traveling together. You will be able to have separate rooms, make separate meals, and generally spread out a little more.

Consider your loved ones when deciding your destinations. Ireland is surprisingly mountainous and sometimes the best vistas aren’t always the easiest to get to. If walking long distances or up hills is a challenge, look for coastal drives that have lookout points instead.

Traveling to Ireland with seniors also has its benefits. Be sure to bring an ID that shows date of birth so that you can qualify for senior discounts (often anyone over 60). Look for OAP (Old Age Pensioners) discount rates for entrance fees to attractions. Always ask for discounts even if they aren’t posted.