How much does a trip to Ireland cost? (Expenses from our 2017 trip)
If there is one thing you probably already know about me, it’s that I am a planner. I plan and organize as much as I can in my life. Weekly meal plan? Check. Recipes from magazines in neatly organized binders? Check. Creating a budget and tracking every penny from our trip to Ireland? You betcha, check.
I mean, it’s usually pretty useful to know how much something is going to cost before you buy it especially if that thing is going to be expensive, right?
I broke down how much our trip to Ireland cost in 2017 for everything including flights, accommodations, car rental, food,
fancy beverages Guinness, and more. Read below for all the details, but don’t forget to CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2019 TRIP EXPENSE REPORT.
We traveled a little differently than we usually do since we brought along Alexander, our seven month old. We enjoyed slow mornings with cups of tea and naps for the little one. Our afternoons included a few sites and some great pubs and restaurants. We didn’t stay at multiple B&B’s and our schedule wasn’t packed to the gills. Normally this would have bothered me, but this time around it suited us perfectly.
But since you’re likely to travel far and wide, see lots of sites, and stay in multiple amazing places, I thought I’d give you an average cost for that type of trip too. Just look below at my calculations for each category in the “How Much Does…in Ireland Cost” sections. This should help you roughly calculate how much you might spend for a ten-day trip with two people.
Before we get into the awesomeness below, a quick note (can you tell I am excited about it??). We paid about $1.10 USD for every €1 at the time of our trip (end of May, 2017). Exchange rates fluctuate all the time, so pay attention to your current rate when making your own budget.
We used United Airlines points to purchase two round trip Aer Lingus tickets. Aer Lingus and United are code share partners so sometimes Aer Lingus flights show up on United’s site.
My ticket and Joe’s ticket cost 60,000 points and $47.86 in taxes each. Alexander was a lap baby, which means we didn’t have to pay the ticket cost, but we did have to pay taxes and fees ($96.76).
We also spent $150 on change fees. Originally we bought the tickets for a trip in September 2016 before I knew I was pregnant. Even though the dates we planned for were within the “safe to fly zone,” I didn’t think I would be really enthusiastic about traveling while waddling (not to say all pregnant women waddle, but I definitely did!). Good thing we changed our plans because little Alexander decided to say hello six weeks early!
You might ask how the heck did we accumulate 120,000 points to pay for our plane tickets in the first place? Well, initially we received 60,000 points for opening a Chase Sapphire credit card. Then to accumulate more points, we put every single thing we could on that card including utilities, groceries, diapers (oh, the diapers!), etc. We also get extra points from using the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal anytime I buy something online, which adds up really, really quickly.
(It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway, we don’t buy anything we can’t immediately pay for…never ever leave a balance on a credit card).
Our Flight Total: $342.49 plus 120,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
So how much does airfare to Ireland cost?
For a shoulder season ticket (March through early May & mid September through October) from the East Coast, expect to pay between $675-950. You can find cheaper if you are flexible with dates and/or fly from a large hub city like NYC, Atlanta, or D.C. Plan to spend more if you go in the peak summer months.
Flights from the Midwest and west coast can vary pretty significantly, around $800-1200. But again if you are flexible and fly from larger airports (like Chicago!), you can snag good deals.
Favorite tip: use Google Flights to find the cheapest flight and sign up for alerts to start tracking prices.
Just want a rough cost to put into your Ireland budget? Average Flight to Ireland: $875 per person
We stayed in three different self-catering accommodations throughout the two weeks. This was a very strategic decision this time since we were traveling with our baby. (You’re welcome fellow travelers–no baby crying in the middle of the night next door for you!).
The first place was Kilfeacle House in County Tipperary, which is unfortunately no longer available to rent. We booked three nights here, but only stayed for two. One of my favorite tricks is to book the night before we arrive so that our room is ready when we land in Ireland. No waiting for check-in. Paying for that extra night is so worth it after a long international flight. The total cost was €240 for three nights ($264).
Next, we went to the Dingle Peninsula to a small village called Ballyferriter. We stayed at the best place for those traveling with their young families. The total cost was €688.19 ($757) for eight nights.
We were able to pay for a portion of our stay with AirBnB credit that we received when people use our referral link, which gets you $20-$40 off your first stay. Of course, we aren’t special. Anyone who has stayed with AirBnB has a referral link. So if you’ve used AirBnB, go here and send your link to all your friends. Perhaps you can use the fact that you got a little credit to convince your husband to buy you an extra special necklace in Dingle town (not saying that I did that or anything…but it totally works ?).
Finally we stayed near the Shannon Airport in a lovely place called Mount Cashel Lodge near Sixmilebridge. Talk about a retreat! Claw foot tub, gorgeous exposed beams, lakeside views. I could go on… We paid €353.63 for three nights ($389).
Total cost of lodging for 14 nights was €1281.82 ($1410).
Average cost of lodging per night was €91.56/night ($100.71).
So how much do accommodations in Ireland cost?
The average B&B costs about €40 per person per night. So if you are planning a 10 day trip for two people, plan on €800 ($960). Of course you can spend more and you can find cheaper, but that’s a good estimate.
Here’s the other “big one.” The car rental. We rented with Dan Dooley again and chose to forgo the Super Collision Damage Waiver by using our credit card insurance.
Small soapbox: I don’t recommend waiving the insurance with a credit card to first-time visitors. It’s a lot of hassle if you have any damage to your vehicle, which is almost inevitable. Car rental is still very expensive with or without, so spend the extra couple hundred for the Super Insurance and buy peace of mind. If you still want to know more (because you’ve been to Ireland several times or drive on the left already (hi Brits!), you can read this post about using credit card insurance. Ok, climbing down now…?
We rented an automatic car in the F2 group (one step up from their smallest vehicle) with an extra driver from Dan Dooley. We received an 18% discount for booking on Black Friday (y’all it pays to pay attention to their Facebook page!). The total cost was €581.38 or $697.66 for 13 days.
So how much does car rental in Ireland cost?
Here’s generally what I recommend for car rental:
- Super Collision Damage Waiver
- Extra Driver
- GPS if you don’t plan on having wifi accessible in the car
I typically budget about €59 per day ($65-70) for a rental car. I know that’s a lot! But I promise you it’s worth it to rent a car and drive yourself. Just imagine the adventures you’ll have!
We bought gas twice in Ireland. Once to fill up our vehicle when it was low and another to top off before we returned it. We didn’t do a ton of driving in Ireland this time. But I am always surprised at how much we don’t spend even in the years we do drive a lot. Cars are simply more efficient than their US counterparts (which is good because gas is expensive!).
At the time gas (or petrol as they call it) was approximately €1.30 per liter or about €5 per gallon ($5.50). We spent €91.52 ($100.67).
So how much does gas/petrol in Ireland cost?
I would anticipate that you would fill up a smaller vehicle about two-three times during at 10 day trip. While, it is difficult to predict the price of gas, unleaded petrol has hovered around €1.30-1.40 per liter for the last couple of years.
I typically budget €181.81 per trip ($200). If you spend less, great!
Food & Drink
We stayed in cottages with full kitchens, so we were able to make ourselves meals as we wanted. Typically, we ate at “home” for breakfast, bought supplies for lunches on the go and enjoyed most dinners out.
Below are our favorite pubs and restaurants. If you find yourselves hungry near one of these spots, you won’t be disappointed:
- O’Niell’s Bistro, Thomastown, Co. Tipperary (Sunday Lunch: €34 or $37.40)
- Tigh TP, Ballydavid, Co. Kerry (Dinner and one drink: €37.20 or $40.92)
- Murphy’s Ice Cream, Dingle, Co. Kerry (2 servings of Ice cream: €9.50 or $10.45)
- Murphy’s Bar, Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry (Dinner and two drinks: €48 or $52.80)
- Goat Street Social, Dingle, Co. Kerry (Lunch: €18.50 or $20.35)
- Abbey Tavern, Quin, Co. Clare (Dinner and one drink: €42.70 or $46.97)
- Larkin’s Bar, Garrykennedy, Co. Tipperary (Dinner and one drink: €45.85 or $50.44)
We managed to have a couple of pints throughout the trip, but we didn’t spend much time in pubs beyond our meals. If the dinner above included a drink that usually meant glass of Guinness (Joe) or a Bulmers (Steph) for €4-€5.50.
Our total cost of food and drink was €570.80 ($627.88), which includes a few stops at Tipperary town’s Dunnes and Dingle’s SuperValu for groceries, water, baby food for Alexander, and extra chocolate for me!
So how much does food and drink in Ireland cost?
If you are staying in B&B’s, you can forgo the cost of breakfast entirely since you will get your fill there (and then some!). After those big breakfasts, we often find ourselves enjoying a snack along the way and then a late lunch or an early dinner.
On average you can plan on 10 euros per person for lunch and 15 to 20 euros per person for dinner (and you may not want both). Alcoholic drinks vary widely (especially in the cities), but €5 per drink is a good estimate. A good average would be about €35 per person per day ($31.81).
We found ourselves enjoying many of the free sites in Ireland this time (stone forts, scenic views, walks and drives–sounds rough, doesn’t it?). Our only two paid activities were the Dingle Distillery (€20/$22) and the Dingle Aquarium (€28/$30.80).
Total entrance fees: $52.80.
So how much do entrance fees in Ireland cost?
Typically you could expect to pay for at least one small entrance fee per day and one large attraction like a boat ride per trip. For example, the Rock of Cashel’s entrance fee is €7 and a round trip ticket to the Aran Islands is €25. Plan for €10-15 per person each day.
Our souvenirs almost always end up being various books, music and chocolate (latter is definitely for me, but don’t let Joe fool you, he definitely approves and sneaks pieces of my chocolate).
We spent more in this department than we have in a couple of years. Namely because Joe bought a hat and I got a necklace. All in all we spent €230.36 or $255.95.
So how much do souvenirs in Ireland cost?
This one is actually quite easy to budget. You pick an number and stick with it! ? But many come to Ireland with an idea of something you want to purchase, like a Claddagh ring, a bottle of whiskey or an Aran sweater. Each of those items range pretty significantly, but to give yourself a nice cushion budget €100 or $110 per person.
I always make a miscellaneous category in my budget to cover those expenses that I really just can’t predict, but I want to be sure I have money set aside for. I love looking back at what we spent in this category because it always reminds me of the most random stories.
This year is no different, we spent €12.01 ($13.21) at a pharmacy in Quin for cream for my hand after I touched some nettles (ouch, not recommended). Joe got his haircut in Dingle, €11 ($12.10). We bought a backpack at Garvey’s Sports Store in Dingle because we wanted a separate daybag for Alexander’s things, €30 ($33). This category also included random parking fees, €14.95 ($16.45), and the Limerick Tunnel toll, €1.90 ($2.09).
Our miscellaneous total was €69.86 or $76.85.
So how much does miscellaneous expenses in Ireland cost?
It’s a good idea to have about €200 euros ($220) sitting in the bank to cover miscellaneous expenses. You might not spend a penny or you might get a flat tire and need to head to the garage (true story…a couple years ago…cost less than €100 euros, thank goodness). Better safe than sorry.
Our trip to Ireland cost….
With everything tallied together, we spent $3564.30. That is a fantastic deal if I do say so myself! Granted, we traveled a bit differently, but we had an amazing time. Honestly I’d rank this trip up there with our most favorite. There is something to be said about slowing down and just enjoying the moment.
I had to put it all together in graph form for you. Isn’t it pretty?
So how much does the average trip to Ireland cost?
Here is a recap of the items above (remember this is for two people for 10 nights in Ireland with the current exchange rate of $1.20 dollars for every euro):
- Flights: $1750
- Accommodations: €800 ($960)
- Car Rental: €650 ($780)
- Gas/Petrol: €181.81 ($200)
- Food/Drinks: €700 ($840)
- Entrance Fees: €300 ($360)
- Souvenirs: €200 ($220)
- Miscellaneous: €200 ($220)
Total Estimated Cost of a Trip to Ireland: $5330
Can you spend more (oh yeah–bring on the rounds, personal drivers and luxury stays!).
Can you spend less? Ha. Yes! We did! See all our expenses above. ? But can you spend less than we did? Yessiree!
You may have to sacrifice a few things. Cheaper accommodations, fewer souvenirs, less dinners out, public transportation. If Ireland is really on your bucket list though, you can do it (even if it means planning a few years out).
Are you super type A like me? Do you have a budget before you go somewhere and track every expense when you arrive (please tell me I’m not the only one… ?)
I hope you found this useful! If you did, you might also want to check out the most recent TRIP EXPENSE REPORT from our 2019 trip too!
Now that you know how much it’s going to cost, don’t forget to pack!
This is my very best resource for packing for a trip to Ireland. Enter your details below to get my Ultimate Ireland Packing List including all my “To Do’s” before leaving for a trip.
It’s so good, I use it every time we leave for a big trip (not just Ireland).
Great info and close to the cost that I have found with the exception of food. I have found the cost for me is closer to $60 per person per day. Sometimes even a bit more. I think food in Ireland is very expensive and also I like to eat in places that are little more upscale. Another great article thank you.
Welcome!! I think you’re about spot on with the food. I average out at about 35 euros per person per day. I think it’s a good gastropub style budget (good but not super fancy). Yummm. :-)
Good info for future travelers fer sure.
I just returned from a 12 day trip, 11-23 Sept, Aer Lingus LAX to Dublin and return.
By myself, had a tour company hook up the rental car (Enterprise) and a few of the B&B’s along the route I was planning. Spent 4 days in Donegal, One day each in Sligo and Galway. Two days in Killarney and a day of rest in Kildare, before heading back to Dublin.
Have been here at least 5 times, so it’s not new to me, but this was the first time alone…did miss my navigator at times, but managed.
I had a budget of 5K and came out in the black.
Your advice is well warranted and a great benefit for the family traveling aspect.
Love that you went on a solo trip Neil. I think everyone should travel it at least once in their life. You covered so much ground–it must have been spectacular! And you came in under budget! Nicely done. :-) Time to start planning for the next one!!
Hi Stephanie, Great information for anyone planning a trip to Ireland. Living in the West, we found airfares somewhat more expensive.
The west does get the short end of the stick, doesn’t it? Only thing that I’ve found that helps is signing up for alerts and the Aer Lingus newsletter to wait for the deals to come to you! Here’s hoping anyway! ?
Great info, Stephanie! I’d have 2 comments to add
1) our experience is that B&Bs seem to be inching closer to €50pps these days 2) air fares fluctuate a lot! When our guests are searching, I suggest they grab the flights when they see the fares go below $1000. A non-stop or one-stop flight (and avoiding Heathrow) is worth paying a few more bucks.
Yeah I think you’re right. The best of the best places really are charging more (and some that aren’t even the best of the best). We’ve been lucky to find good deals still hanging around. The cities seem to be the most difficult. Is that what you are seeing too? Airfare is always tricky, but signing up for alerts really seem to help a bit!
Hi Stephanie! We just got back last week-and after doing laundry, sorting through emails, catching up on jet lag, etc., my next step is to do just what you did, chart, graph, and hammer out all our expenses. ( yes, I think it’s fun, too!) Again, thank you for all the great tips we used of yours, it was an AMAZING trip! I’m writing myself-and posterity-a journal; kept notes on each day to remember the awesome experiences we had. Murphy’s ice cream-OMG
Yay!! I am not alone. :-) :-) I knew you would love Ireland. I am so glad! And Murphy’s don’t even get me started…my sweet tooth can’t handle it! Ha!
If you know how to drive a standard shift transmission you can save lots of money on the car rental. We rented a Nissan compact standard 5 speed and paid less than half of what it cost to rent the automatic even with all the super all covering insurance.
Yessss!! I keep thinking I am going to take lessons one of these days. Growing up on a farm I really should have learned lonnngg ago. I believe you can teach an old dog new tricks so there is still hope. :-)
Just starting to plan my trip for 2018 – found a lot of the above info super useful, thank you! One piece of advice for fellow travelers, if you have any flexibility on when your travel -you can find flights for much cheaper. I consistently find flights around $300-$350 r/t to Ireland, usually non-stop as well. Now, I live in Philadelphia, and the airports I’m willing to fly out of consist of obviously PHL, but also all three NYC airports and all three WAS airports – but like I said, if you have a little flexibility and are diligent in checking the prices, you can find really good deals. I found $284 r/t to Stockholm last week, and $272 r/t to Iceland a couple days ago – they are out there! Happy travels everyone!
Love this Harry! Looks like you’re a rockstar at finding great deals! I wouldn’t mind hopping over to Stockholm for a Christmas market… :-)
The boyfriend and myself are on a very limited budget, so yes I am a major planner and I keep track of all my spending. Ireland is on our bucket list, neither of us have travled out of the state let alone the country! With your tips and advice we have estimated about 2-3 years before the plans are in action. We are both very excited but also hear a lot of horrible things, example, the Irish do not like Americans and think we are bad people. Either way we want to visit, it’s beautiful!
Hooray for type-A planners! :-) I am one through and through. You guys are going to have a great time. And don’t worry. The Irish actually love Americans (generally speaking that is). We’ve had great experiences so don’t you worry one bit! Enjoy planning…and going!!
Good for you to plan a trip to Ireland, and as a first choice going out of the country it’s a great one! We went to Ireland two years ago and the number one reason we would go back is the people! Everyone was unfailingly kind, gracious, and eager to connect with us. We did not find prices outrageous , and there is so much natural beauty to enjoy that just being part of the landscape and talking to folks who live there doesn’t cost a thing but reaps great rewards. Good luck and have fun planning! By the way, Stefani is an unbelievable resource.
Aww. Thanks Deb! You’re too kind!
And yessss to everything else you said. THE. BEST. PEOPLE. :-)
Thank you for such a wonderful detailed expense sheet. My husband and I are planning a trip for September of 2020 ( Ireland has been a dream of mine forever as my grandparents were born there) and are in the early planning stages..Our biggest concern is how much to budget…this was sooooooooo helpful..again many thanks
You are so welcome! I am glad it is helpful! :-)