I booked our $53 flights to Ireland about a month ago, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the past 30 days just daydreaming about the amazing places we will visit. If you’re new to our blog and your jaw is still on the floor from the $53 flight statement, let me back up and tell you how that worked.
The flights cost me 40k AA miles and $53 each. I’ve accumulated a pretty good chunk of American Airlines miles over the past 4 years – something like 550,000 of them – not because I’ve flown a ton, but because I’ve been smart about finding and taking advantage of credit card travel reward offers. There have been some great ones over the years, and right now there’s an incredibly easy way to earn 100k American Airlines AAdvantage miles… but you came here to hear about Ireland, so let’s get on with it.
First off, I want to tell you how I’ve started plotting out my loop journey to see all the highlights of Ireland. From now on, this is the only way I’ll plan trips because it makes it so easy to know where we need to stay and how much time we need to allocate.
On Google Maps, there’s a great little function that I had never before used. When searching for any particular location, there’s generally an option to “save” it on my map (while I’m logged in). It’s simply a way to save the places you have an affinity for, and it leaves a brilliant little star on your map. I marked out all the sites I knew I couldn’t miss – the Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, the Blarney stone, the Cliffs of Moher, a church that my ancestors were married in, a place where Nicole can ride horses and jump over stone walls… and so much more.
Knowing where I have stops to make, I can begin to locate places to stay as we make a road trip around Ireland in our $8.66/day rental car. Yes, I am bragging… some people like to brag about how much they pay for things. On this blog, Sheldon and I like to brag about how little we pay for things. 🙂
Ok, on to those amazing places to stay. Airbnb.com is precisely how you give yourself an authentic travel experience. I’m sure you’ve been somewhere and thought, “I’d just really like to know what life is like for someone who lives here,” or, “I wish we had a friend who could tell us more about this place.” Well, that’s exactly what Airbnb.com does for you… and did I mention it also tends to be a super affordable way to stay, too?
We’ll start with the most incredible one I could find, and we’ll end with the one that is my favorite. I’ll include a picture of each, but you really need to go to the site and see for yourselves.
- Live like a king in Peter’s castle – Peter is a stonemason who restored this castle outside Galway to its present glory. He rents out the top floor of this amazing piece of history for just $147/night (prices vary). I don’t know about you, but I’d go to Ireland for this in and of itself.
- Superb Historic Coach House -Meld luxurious comfort with the raw beauty of an ancient home and you have the makings of this home. And the garden is just as great. You’d have almost no reason to ever leave the property.
- Charming Cottage – This place has a sun room to die for… to say nothing of the quaint exterior, that I’d probably spend the better part of a day trying to photograph to capture just how beautiful it is.
- Prehen Coach House – You were after authentic, right? How about waking up in the old hayloft of the Prehen Coach House? This place screams authenticity – it looks like an idyllic place to stay.
- Castlebawn – an Island Castle in Scariff Bay – You liked the castle idea? What if you combined it with a private island, appointed it with kingly furniture and decoration, and offered it up for $111/night? The only slight catch is that you have to hire a boat to take you out there… I think that’s a problem I can resolve.
- Renovated Farm House – This place has four bedrooms – a palace for you and your family… and you’ll want to bring your family because trails in the wood like this are just meant for discovering.
- The Enchanting Mill Cottage – If I could huddle around a beautiful stove like this, I’d almost hope for a chilly rain so we didn’t feel like we needed to leave. This is an old mill that’s been converted to a home for WorldWanderlusters like you.
- Irish Log Cabin – Think “log cabin…” cool, right? Now put it in Ireland… even freaking better. How would you like to spend some time in this place, surrounded by Ireland’s fifty shades of green.
- Restored 200 year-old Church – Wait, like, you can sleep in the church? Yes, that’s what I’m telling you. This place is freaking beautiful, too. It’s clean and elegant… just a fantastic experience to give yourself… and I’m not even joking in saying that it’s ~$111/night.
- Thatched Seaview Cottage– At $227/night (for the dates I looked at), this is one of the pricier options, but let’s keep in mind that you could have 10 people in this home… and every single one of them would be off their rocker with just how amazingly cool it is. If you think it looks awesome, check out the listing to see the inside!
Are you excited? I can tell you that I am… April can’t come soon enough for me. Please comment and tell us which is your favorite, or let us know if there’s one we missed. Have you ever used Airbnb? What was your experience?
Thanks for wanderlusting with us!