Travel Jottings

My wanderings are urban as well as rural, and several have taken me overseas around Europe and to North America. All have needed at least some planning: knowing what to see and where to stay remain ever present needs. That and remaining ever open to new possibilities have contributed to what you find here. Everything builds up over time, and I hope that the horizons continue expanding to mean that I can continue to share new things with you here.

Arranging Accommodation

River Shannon, Limerick, Co. Limerick, √Čire

These days, I like to have my accommodation booked before I embark on any trip away. That may be the case, but there have been times when I arrived somewhere and made for the local tourist information centre to do what was necessary. Only once have I ever knocked on the door of a guesthouse without a booking, and that was in a deserted Fort William on a Saturday one January; all was well with this.

My parents have been known to go for trips away from home in Éire without having all of their accommodation sorted out beforehand. Just turning up and asking at a B&B or guesthouse usually did the trick and, if they were full, they always phoned around to find somewhere else, a sort of unofficial booking service if you will. I even believe that it might have been the obliging nature of the accommodation providers that motivated this altruism, but I suppose they were doing favours for their own fellow providers as well, favours that could be returned. I have never known this sort of thing to happen in the U.K. but the current economic malaise might change that, possibly removing one of the unique aspects of visiting Éire.

Even with the possibility of someone helping you out, it's always best to be organised in advance. That's especially the case if you're coming from further away and, if going the independent traveller approach, you probably would be laying out guidebooks and picking things from there. It's easy to feel bewildered while doing that, so that's when tourism agencies and others get consulted. On the web, any site that allows you to plan in more detail only can help, but here are a few dedicated to the purpose of sorting a roof over your head while in Éire.

Though I have been a frequent user of hostels in Scotland, England and Wales, that has not happened for me in Ireland, so it is reassuring that the options are there for those who need them. Between these, you hopefully should be able to find something that fits your budget if you want to keep costs down. Knowing what overseas explorations can cost, it is easy to see why anyone would like to keep down costs, and that applies as much to locals as those that visit from afar.

Hidden Ireland

I rather suspect that a quick through the tariffs charged by this collection of country house accommodation providers might convince you that this is not the budget end of the market. To be fair, the places where you would be staying would not be the usual bungalows and farmers' dwellings, but something having far more character. Another hunch that I have is that you would base yourself in one of these, avail of services on offer, and spread out to explore an area as part of a longer break.