Lauren turned a business trip in the UK, to a great adventure through Ireland with her boyfriend! She shares some of her experiences and why this trip was so special for her!
What were some of the places you wanted to see in Ireland?
“Our top three destinations were the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Hill of Tara. We visited the Cliffs of Moher on our first day after picking up our rental car. What a fantastic way to start our vacation! It was a grey but clear day, and we were just amazed at how green everything was. We drove the Ring one day, and it took all day because we were trying to take everything in and there’s so much to see. We couldn’t make it to the Hill of Tara, but we compromised by visiting the National Museum of Archaeology in Dublin.”
What made you choose Tenon Tours?
“We’re both from New England, so we liked that they’re a local company and one of the countries they specialize in is Ireland.”
Can you tell us more about your personal sales representative?
“Karen DiGangi, our sales rep, was so helpful and kind and always quick to help and answer our questions. I can’t say enough nice things about her! She made planning this vacation so easy, and had excellent restaurant and B&B recommendations!”
Ireland doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to weather. Any insight to how to deal with the weather?
“Layer up! Every Ireland travel book or article we read mentioned it, and it really is true. There were days I went from a long sleeve shirt and sweater, to just shirt, back to the sweater and added my jacket. Also, even if the forecast doesn’t call for rain, bring a rain jacket.”
Any noteworthy unplanned adventures during your trip?
“We extended our drive around the Ring of Kerry to the Skellig Peninsula, and discovered the Skellig Chocolate Factory. Definitely worth a stop if you’re out that way! We also discovered some ancient ring forts on the Ring of Kerry near Dingle Bay.”
You decided rent a car and take on the country on your own. How did you feel about driving on the “wrong” side of the road?
“The first day was difficult, but we were surprised how quickly we got used to it. My boyfriend drove more than I did, especially on the narrow country roads, but we were both comfortable driving on the highways.”
How did you go about planning your itinerary, picking sights, arranging them and figuring out how long to stay?
“I bought the Rick Steves Ireland guide book about two months before we left, so I read it for advice about the top sights and recommendations he had. Our Tenon sales rep, Karen, was a big help in planning our itinerary. We usually based how long to stay in each town on how much we wanted to see in that area. For example, we stayed two nights in Killarney so that we could sleep in one place the night before and after we planned to drive the Ring of Kerry.”
Any advice for others who want to rent a car as well?
“We used the Google Maps app on our phones, and everything was fine. I had back-up maps just in case, too. Ireland definitely loves roundabouts! My boyfriend and I are both from New England, and we have our fair share of them, so we were used to them – just had to remember to go the opposite way! If you’re not used to them, just take it slowly, and remember that the cars already going around have the right of way.”
In the end, what was the best part about your vacation?
“The best part was probably the day we drove round the Ring of Kerry. It was the worst day of our vacation weather-wise. It was very windy, and rained on and off all day, but everything we heard about the scenery was beyond true. We spent the whole day (and really the whole week) just in awe of how lush and green that part of the country is. The rain didn’t dampen our moods!”