Ireland is the poster for lush rolling landscapes contrasting beautifully against rugged mountain peaks. The Island has a strong folk culture, and Halloween can be traced back to Celtic tradition. Its over 30,000 castles and ruins that are popular filming locations offer tourists everything they'll need to enjoy an eventful holiday.
It costs a solo traveler an average of $1400 for a 1-week fun trip to Ireland. The average flight fare to Ireland costs $600, depending on activities and lifestyle; the average daily budget is $127. The daily budget includes $50 for accommodation, $32 for meals, $20 for transportation, and $25 for activities and random spending.
The Island of Ireland is an affordable travel destination with a lot to offer. The rest of the article has a detailed breakdown of the costs of traveling to Ireland. You'll also find useful tips for traveling on a budget.
How Much Money Should You Take On A Trip To Ireland?
Ireland is a small country, and the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and activities are reasonable. Based on the experiences of past travelers, an estimated $1400 guarantees fun and comfortable stay in Ireland.
Flight fares are reasonably priced, and an average round-trip ticket to Ireland is $600. With a daily spending budget of $127, you can afford a regular mid-range hotel, food, and transportation.
The estimate also relies heavily on public transport rather than car rentals. So, you can expect to spend more if you prefer the more comfortable car rental services over public transport.
Sightseeing activities are almost free, thanks to Ireland's picturesque natural beauty. However, some popular tours and activities can drive up your budget.
Ireland caters to both the budget traveler and the luxury getaway, and there's no limit to your budget. Generally, first-class tickets cost between $800-$3000, while vacation rentals cost $400-$800 per night.
Traveling To Ireland On A Tight Budget
It is possible to travel to Ireland cheaply; after all, it is small, and most of its charm is free. If you are willing to take a few minor inconveniences, then you can travel to Ireland with a budget of $700
Some past travelers have found $300 flight tickets for a round-trip to Ireland. You can find even cheaper flight deals if you are willing to take standby flights and make stopovers.
You can find cheap vacation rentals outside the city center for as low as $20 per night. These vacation rentals usually sell out quickly, and your best bet is to book for them way ahead. You can also find good 1 to 2-star hotels at an average of $20-$40 per night.
Since sightseeing activities are free, your daily food and transportation expenses should be around $20-$40. This budget is possible if you avoid fine dining and rely heavily on public transportation.
Basic Expenses On A Trip To Ireland
The Island of Ireland is made up of two countries: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Although it is not a big country, there's much to do and see. Here's a detailed cost breakdown of the expenses you should expect on your trip.
1. Flight Tickets
Flight Tickets are usually one of the most significant aspects of any journey. Airfares to Ireland depend on several factors, such as season, your take-off location, and booking in advance.
The average flight ticket from North America to Ireland is $600. This airfare is cheaper than other destinations because there's a high volume of flights to Ireland. In addition, cheap airlines such as Ryanair are based in Dublin, and travelers can get even cheaper flight deals.
December (Christmas holidays), Summer months, and St. Patrick's Day (March) are peak seasons in Ireland. Flight tickets to Ireland during this period usually see a hike in prices.
International airports such as Dublin airport are usually the point of entry. However, you can find cheaper flight deals on flights to smaller airports like Cork and Belfast.
The accommodation type, location, and season can affect prices drastically. Ireland offers accommodation for every budget, including hostels, Irish B&Bs, mid-range, and luxury hotels.
Hostels are always the best option for a solo traveler or backpacker on a tight budget. The cheapest option is getting a bed in a dorm for $20 or a private room for $50. Most hostels offer discounts and are a great way to meet other travelers to travel with and bills.
Irish Bed and Breakfasts are famous for their hospitality. B&Bs are travelers' most common accommodation style, costing $100 daily. Although their locations aren't always centralized, the cozy rooms, warm meals, and friendly owners make up for that.
Hotels are available in a variety of styles depending on your budget. Mid-range hotels are easy to find everywhere, have fair prices, and the rooms usually meet quality standards. The average price of a mid-range hotel is $50 per day.
Luxury hotels in Ireland offer a unique experience you can't find elsewhere. There are several 4 to 5-star hotels in the city that cost an average of $150-$200. However, the Irish castle hotels in the countryside are unique and cost an average of $200-$600 per night.
Airbnb and vacation rentals are becoming a popular accommodation style for many travelers. The average price of an Airbnb Ireland is $40-$50 per day, while vacation rentals go for $40-$200 per day. Many travelers choose this option because most prices are reasonable, and you can save money on food by cooking.
Remember that these accommodation prices will often be higher in big cities like Dublin. When choosing accommodation, look for a central area outside the cities.
Your transportation cost depends on whether you use public transit or car rentals. Using buses or trains for your day trip is usually cheaper than renting a car. However, both means of transportation have their perks.
Buses in Ireland travel around the whole country, making it an easy and affordable way to visit the countryside. The most popular bus is the Bus Eirean which costs an average of $14-$17 and stops in smaller towns. However, the open road tourist travel pass offers an unlimited 3-day pass on Bus Eireann for $72.
Most travelers often assume wrongly that the train is the best option for travel. Although the trains are more comfortable, they are usually slower than buses and cost more. The average train ticket is $14-$23, or you can get a 4-day Trekker rail pass for $125.
Often touted as the best way to see the country, renting a car comes with many challenges. First, cars are mainly manual and cost $38 per day, or you can pay a higher fee for an automatic. Secondly, country roads are long, winding, and difficult to navigate, especially considering Ireland drives on the left side.
4. Food & Drinks
Meals are reasonably priced, but it is easy to raise food bills if care is not taken. Like most places, breakfast is usually cheaper than lunch and dinner, and most accommodations provide it. Considering Ireland's entertaining food and drink culture, add a little extra cash to your food budget for safety.
The average daily meal prices include $10 for breakfast, $12-$18 for lunch, and $21 for dinner. Alcohol is an easy way to break your budget in Ireland. Ireland's pub culture is fascinating, and one can readily spend up to $20 daily on alcohol alone.
5. Attractions & Activities
Ireland's natural beauty, heritage, and historical sites make sightseeing easy and free. However, on average, significant attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher or Giant's causeway cost $15. Even these can be visited for free by travelers who are good hikers.
Dublin is the most expensive city in Ireland, but you can visit many sites and attractions with the Dublin pass. A 2-day pass for $87 guarantees over 35 attractions such as the Guinness storehouse, distilleries, the Dublin castle, etc.
Many companies offer day tours outside the city center for an average of $60-$80. Day tours are usually fun with exciting history and Irish folklore.
6. Travel Insurance And Random Spending
Travel insurance is vital when traveling to cover unforeseen circumstances such as passport loss, medical emergencies, etc. Always compare quotes from different agencies and choose the plan that covers all.
Ireland is a land of souvenirs and paraphernalia. You don't want to finish your vacation in this country without creating good memories. There are so much you can buy and take home.
It would be best to budget $100-$200 for shopping. Some popular items are Waterford crystal, Alan wool sweaters, blankets, etc.
How To Save Money On A Trip To Ireland
Although items are reasonably priced in Ireland, several costs can add up to increase your budget. For example, most sightseeing locations are free, but you'll still need to pay for most of the popular attractions.
Thankfully, you can still cut costs if you know the right hacks. You just need a few adjustments here and there, and you'll be good to go. Here's how you can save money on your trip to Ireland.
1. Travel During The Shoulder Season
Summer months, Christmas holidays, and March (around St Patrick's Day) are peak seasons. Flight fares around this period are usually expensive, even in winter, which is technically an off-peak season.
Hotels and accommodations can also go off the roof because of the high demand during these seasons. They can eat significantly into your budget if you fail to plan properly.
The best prices are usually in Spring (April, May) and Fall (September, October). Apart from lower prices, you will enjoy the site and attractions with fewer crowds and pleasant weather.
2. Book In Advance
Whether accommodation or flight tickets, booking in advance has helped a lot of travelers save money. The earlier you Book, the cheaper your flight tickets. Besides, it could also be an opportunity to cash in on discounts and other promotions.
Book your flights 1-3 months before your journey to save yourself a considerable amount of money. Remember to clear your browser cookies because websites can tell you just checked flight prices, increasing the cost.
Booking your accommodation in advance can also guarantee a cheaper deal. If you are staying in Dublin for a few days, remember that weekdays are always more affordable than weekends.
3. Save Money On Food
Some restaurants offer early bird specials, and you can eat full meals at a discounted price. Also, look for restaurants outside tourist hot spots to get heart-full meals at reasonable prices.
There are hostels all over Ireland, whether in big cities or small towns. Groceries are affordable, and many hostels and private rooms come with cooking facilities you can take advantage of. This is especially an excellent idea for people traveling in groups.
Stroll to the local markets to stock up on groceries and foodstuffs. It could also be an opportunity to see places and interact with locals. Most accommodations come with a full Irish breakfast that keeps you full until lunch; save money by making dinner.
4. Travel In Groups
The most significant case for traveling in groups is the sheer amount of money you save from splitting bills. Since most accommodations come with a double bed, it is cheaper to split costs when traveling with another person.
You can also limit your transportation cost by traveling with a group. This way, you split the cost of car rentals and gas, and take free, self-guided tours.
Just be sure your co-travelers are like-minded and share similar interests. If you don't know anybody traveling, you can hook up with other travelers on forums and tourist sites.
5. Consider House-Sitting
House-sitting is perfect for long-term travelers who don't have to worry about travel dates. You get free accommodation by taking care of someone's house and pets while they are away.
This way, you can enjoy your stay without paying for accommodation or utilities. You can even earn some money on the side and build a solid relationship with your employer.