This is probably going to be one of the first questions you ask yourself when planning any vacation, and every visit to Ireland is going to be different, so there’s no absolutely right answer, but we can give you a guideline of what to expect.
Keep in mind that numerous factors influence the price you can expect to pay, including the length of your visit, what transportation option you plan to use, the size of your group, the length of time you spend in cities (Dublin, in particular, tends to be expensive), how much you spend on souvenirs or gifts for those back home, and so on. There are plenty of questions which need to be considered before you can come up with an answer, but below we’ll give you an estimate for a middle-sized budget vacation.
Again, the numbers aren’t absolute but our suggestion is neither aimed at those seeking luxury travel nor travel-on-the-cheap. This is roughly what you can expect to pay for one person visiting Ireland for a week from North America, staying in a standard B&B or hotel, and navigating the country via rental car with stick-shift/manual transmission.
To save money, it’s a good idea to sign-up to emails directly from airlines. Typically, you can expect to pay around €600 ($750) for return flights to Ireland, this can vary between €400 and €750 however, depending on sales and time of year.
Car rental can be an expensive option during summer, potentially coming in at as much as €550 ($690) with excess insurance. In the past many U.S. credit card companies did not cover car rental insurance in Ireland, but this is changing. Be sure to check before you travel so you don’t pay more than you have to by buying unnecessary insurance. As for using the roads, you will likely spend around €200 ($250) if you drive extensively on petrol/gas. Petrol is expensive in Ireland compared to the U.S., with a litre usually costing around €1.60 or more. Diesel typically costs slightly less.
Many hotels offer multi-night deals or midweek offers, which are often not listed on their websites. Contact your hotel directly to get the best deal. In major cities where there’s lots of competition, hotels will usually be quite reasonable, while rural B&Bs may offer better rates outside the major urban centres. You can expect to spend upwards of €250 ($312).
The majority of hotels and B&Bs will offer breakfast but dining out can be expensive. There are ways to cut down on food costs, such as visiting a convenience store deli counter (not glamourous but certainly filling), and taking advantage of cheaper lunch menus. Even so, pencil in around €200 ($250) for food during your stay.
Many locations, including public art galleries and museums, offer free admission but if you want to see famous attractions such as the Book of Kells, the Cliffs of Moher, or the Guinness Storehouse you’ll need to pay. Once again, €200 ($250) should see you through. Even if you don’t plan designated shopping time during your visit, you’re probably going to end up buying a few souvenirs and other things along the way, allocate around €250 ($312) for these types of expenses.
Altogether, you’re looking at spending €2,250 ($2,814) on your Irish vacation. For your own peace of mind, it’s probably a good idea to plan to go over-budget rather than under, and once again, these numbers certainly aren’t definitive. It’s quite possible your trip could cost less or a whole lot more depending on the deals you find on flights and accommodation and the extent to which you want to pamper yourself.
If you’d like to see Ireland on a budget, consider staying in a Paddy’s Palace hostel. Those who stay in our Dublin hostel can also avail of free airport transfers and a complimentary tour of the ancient monastery in Glendalough and the medieval city of Kilkenny.
By following these steps, you will be able to get the most out of your trip to Ireland without splashing too much cash.