Traveler Spotlight: Barton Jones, Self-Drive Ireland Tour, June 2015

We’re thrilled when our clients have amazing vacations, and love when they tell us all about them! Barton Jones certainly had the trip of a lifetime on his recent tour of Ireland, and was wonderful enough to participate in our Traveler Spotlight series. Barton also goes into more detail on his blog, which you can read here . Barton-1-.jpg barton-2.jpg


Why did you pick Ireland?
I have always wanted to go to Ireland… it’s been on my bucket list since I’ve had a bucket list. But recently, I had a DNA test completed and it placed my paternal DNA as coming from County Meath.

Who did you travel with?
Ha! My traveling companion was my ex-wife. We are still great friends and had initially wanted to go to Ireland for our honeymoon.

Where were the top 3 places to visit on your wish list? Did you make it to them? Did they meet/beat your expectations?
1. Cliffs of Moher – better than I could have imagined! 2. Dingle Peninsula – the Slea Head drive was wonderful and much shorter than the crowded Ring of Kerry. 3. Hill of Tara – didn’t make it there.

What was the best part about your vacation?
The people. No matter where I was, they were warm and inviting. From the petrol station to the car rental, everyone was pleasant and engaging. barton-3.jpg barton-4-e1436385095302.jpg

Why did you choose Tenon Tours? What advantages did you have booking with Tenon Tours?
I chose Tenon Tours because of my account manager, Barbara . She was informative without pressuring and gave great advice on items I wouldn’t have even thought of. I’ve already recommended her to numerous people.

Do you wish you prepared better for any specific part of the trip?
Yes. I made the mistake of assuming that Google Maps time frames were as accurate as they are in the US. Not trying to cover as much ground in one day, and definitely not trying to drive across the country right after arriving. I’ll prepare better for jet lag.

Any advice about the weather?
Layers. Dress in layers. And have a light, waterproof jacket. The basics you see in the Tenon Tours travel guides.

Tell us about any new friends you may have met along the way.
I met an older gentleman in Dingle that used to work with the same company my step-mom retired from. Stephen O’Neil (O’Neil B&B Dingle) was a wealth of information, and pointed us in time-saving, visit-enhancing directions. Kathleen O’Shea (Melrose B&B- Kenmare) was a delight and a fantastic cook.

What destination is next on your list?
barton-5-e1436385162724.jpg barton-6-e1436385268741.jpg Back to Dublin, so I can take a tour out to the Hill of Tara, and experience more of the city.

How did you feel about driving on the “wrong” side of the road?
That wasn’t the issue, shifting gears with my left hand was a bit more difficult at first.

What tips do you have for others planning a self-drive tour ?
But if you are going to drive, make sure you have multiple drivers. You miss so much because you have to focus on the VERY narrow and twisty roads. Still worth it, though. Taking little side trips showed us some great places. And with your own car, you go when and where you want.

How did you go about planning your itinerary, picking sights, arranging them and figuring out how long to stay?
I spent a bit of time, but talking with Barbara and Karen I got more ideas and incorporated those. The most time consuming and yet beneficial process was picking from all the B&B choices.

Any advice for getting around?
GPS for sure. And learn what the signs mean before you go, including the markings on the roads. Very few street signs, so having a navigator looking at the map on the GPS while you listen to the turn by turn was most beneficial.

Any advice for the “round-abouts” while driving?
Don’t sweat them. Just remember to look right and stay left.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Barton! If you’ve been inspired to take your own self-drive tour of Ireland based on Barton’s travels above, simply click on the request quote button below. Thinking about visiting? Find the best times to visit Ireland

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