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, parents or grandparents.
Traveling Ireland With Children
Many B&B’s are great for families. Look for ones that offer family rooms, which provide one or two extra twin beds in the room. Space inside and outside for children to play and a special children’s menu are common (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 whenever you need. It may even allow the kids to get to know other children in the house or time to 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 a place to eat out with picky little eaters may seem daunting at first, but you can always find 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 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.
Ireland Family Vacations is a great resource for families planning a trip to Ireland.
Traveling with the Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa
If you are traveling with an older adult to Ireland, you may need to make special arrangements for their safety and enjoyment as well as your own.
If you are staying at B&B’s, notify the proprietor ahead of time of any accommodations you might need. For example, ask for a bedroom on the lower level or notify them about any dietary restrictions. It is best to self-identify whatever you need before you arrive and then provide a polite reminder upon arrival if necessary.
A self-catering cottage my also be a great choice for generations traveling together. You will be able to have separate bedrooms, make your own meals, and generally spread out around the house more so than at B&B.
Consider your loved ones when deciding your itinerary. 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, like the Ring of Kerry, Slea Head Drive, the Sally Gap or the Causeway Coast.
Traveling to Ireland with seniors also has its benefits. Be sure to bring an ID that shows their date of birth so that they can qualify for senior discounts (often for anyone over 60). Look for OAP (Old Age Pensioners) discount rates for entrance fees to attractions and always ask about discounts even if they aren’t posted.