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Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

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Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

Hi all!

I'll be traveling to London and Scotland with family this summer, and then am planning to spend 1 week solo in Ireland. I've never been to the UK, and this will also be my first time traveling solo! I am excited, and have heard that Ireland is a great place to experience solo travel! I am a 27 year old female for reference.

I was wondering what suggestions everyone had- I was looking for itinerary ideas, and there seems like there is so much to see. I was considering doing a small group tour, but am now shying away from the idea for budgetary as well as adventurous reasons, since that doesn't quite count as solo travel. I am definitely open to some one day tours, however, especially as I'm a little nervous about getting lonely. I am also open to renting a car, though currently cannot drive stick and I've heard that's what I'm likely to get (though I have some months to learn...).

I'll be in Ireland roughly June 24th-July 1st (need to be back in London for my flight on the 3rd). I know this is peak tourist season, and I'm hoping not to get too caught in a pack. Though things like the Cliffs of Moher and the Blarney Stone sound appealing, I'd also love to hit some of the less touristy places, especially with all of Ireland being so dramatically beautiful. Would love to do a lot of outdoorsy stuff, and am hoping to do some self-guided biking (maybe on the Aran Islands) and if possible some horseback riding. I'd like to do some guided stuff mixed in, as I don't know much about the Irish culture/history (though will start reading now) and would like to learn more during the trip.

Any suggestions as to where to go? Definitely planning on spending a little (maybe 1-2 days) in Dublin for sure, and maybe a few days in Galway/Cork? Also have been reading some great things about Donegal but not sure how difficult that would be to fit in as it seems that has a lot to see on its own. I want to be able to catch a lot of the highlights, but don't want to feel like I'm completely rushing through the trip.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!!!

Sasha

12 replies to this topic
Missouri
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1. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

Sasha, I was in Ireland 2 months ago in September with my 2 sisters and am going back for 2 weeks in May 2018. I will be going alone . I will be 64 by the time I go back. I have no qualms about going by myself. As long as you take the usual precautions of a woman traveling alone you should be fine.I did rent an automatic transmission car even though it's more costly. I felt a little intimidated by the driving as traffic seems to moves so fast and the roundabouts are numerous.. I'm from a small town in Southwest Missouri and though we do have some roundabouts here, our traffic does move slower.You may want to consider upgrading to an automatic..

Western Ireland...
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2. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

Sasha,

>> I am also open to renting a car, though currently cannot drive stick and I've heard that's what I'm likely to get (though I have some months to learn...)<<

There are plenty of automatics available to rent, you just need to order one when booking.

btw,they are more costly.

Kesh_grammy

Dingle, Ireland
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3. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

Are the flights home booked already? If you flew back from Dublin direct it would give you two more days.

Galway, Ireland
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4. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

I am currently studying in Galway and I think it might be a great fit for you! The city itself is the cultural capital of Ireland and is a great launch pad for other experiences. The Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher are easy to see from Galway, with plenty of day trips leaving the city daily. Additionally, if you do rent a car and are in the area, I highly recommend taking a day trip up to Clifden and driving or biking along the sky loop in Connemara. The views are absolutely beautiful and quintessentially Irish. I know as a solo female traveler you might be concerned with safety and Galway is incredibly safe, easy to navigate, and full of friendly people.

Boston
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5. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

I agree, Galway, with a ferry trip over to one of the Aran Islands and a bus trip down to the Cliffs etc would work well for you. No car needed!! Bus and trains in Ireland are excellent and frequent. What everyone else is suggesting is perfect. I don't rent cars when I visit there as it seems like too much of a hassle. My first trip to Ireland I was a solo 19 year old and following usual safety common sense guidelines, there were zero worries then and I didn't notice a single change this past October when I was there again with Hubbie. Enjoy, you will fall in love and find that you are going to very easy places for tourists to adjust to due to the lack of language issues if you are an English speaker.

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6. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

Hi all!

Thanks for the advice! So would you recommend renting a car versus using public transport/day tours? As auto cars don't seem to be as rare to rent as I thought I would splurge for that in order to worry less! It also seems like it would give me some more flexibility over public transit.

My flights are already set, and I don't mind spending an extra day or so in London (I'll be in London for 1 day at the beginning of the trip, before heading to Edinburgh). However, my day of arrival in Ireland is pretty flexible as I'll be in Edinburgh from June 17th.

Any other suggestions are more than welcome! Thoughts on doing 2 nights Dublin, 2 nights Galway, 2 nights Belfast (in some order?)?

Thinking maybe:

June 24: arrive in Dublin and rent a car (hopefully on the earlier side), hang out in Dublin for the afternoon/evening (I do want to do Guinness while here but not sure what else in Dublin)

June 25: drive to Galway (earlyish)

June 25-27 in Galway: Cliffs of Mohr, Ring of Kerry, Connemara, Aran Islands (what is the likelihood of doing all in 3 days?)

June 28: drive to Belfast

June 28-30 in Belfast: Giant's Causeway, maybe Slieve League (would it make sense to stay in Donegal one night, maybe on the way from Galway?)

July 1: drive back to Dublin, stay the night

July 2: fly to London

Not sure if this looks like I'm trying to fit in too much- I don't want to feel like I'm rushing sight to sight or seeing everything from the car, and I'm really flexible at this point on what I see. Honestly, I thought Ireland was small enough that it would be easy to cover in a week but it seems like that's not at all the case :) this might have to be just the first of many trips!

Also any other suggestions appreciated! Interested in mostly outdoors/history/nature and some pub culture.

Sasha

Dingle, Ireland
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7. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

June 25th - 27th,

you cant do the ring of Kerry as a daytrip from Galway, so forget that, and then it looks reasonable.

Western Ireland...
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8. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

>>arrive in Dublin and rent a car<<

No need for a car in Dublin, great city for walking and easy to use public transportation system.

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9. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

Oops- just looked at a map and realized the Ring of Kerry is much farther south than I thought... thanks!!!

Western Ireland...
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10. Re: Solo adventurer planning 1 week trip this summer

In your time frame, do what most of the locals here suggest, draw an imaginary line from Dublin to Galway and stay either North or South after that. Ireland's magic is in the time you won't spend rushing from "tick list" site to tick list site.And a heads up, referring to Ireland as part of the "UK" can land in trouble, most of the country is an independent nation, bar the controversial " 6 counties."

Edited: 22 November 2017, 20:31
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