July 24, 2006

Vacation to Ireland and France - Advice Needed!


OK, here's the deal. There's an excellent chance that I will be traveling to Cannes, France this September to hang out and visit with friends. And if I do that, I will probably make an overdue visit to Ireland before or after the French leg.

And I may rent a car over there, the first time I'd be driving on the left side of the road! Though being unfamiliar with a stick, will get an automatic vehicle, still an unusual thing over there.

Here's where I need some information from my friends over there:
  1. I may fly in to Belfast Airport and out of Dublin Airport, or vice versa.
  2. I -may- rent a car. Which of the car rental firms would have the lowest drop-off charges, or cheapest overall rates?
  3. Is it cheaper to rent a vehicle and/or to buy petrol in the North ( have heard both )
  4. Recommendations as to cheap but good hotels in Belfast
  5. Outside of the main downtown area in Belfast, can you park for free on the street?
  6. Are there any toll roads either side of the border ( don't think so, but have heard of people accidentally getting in trouble by driving on such roads in Europe )
Will have more questions later. If you're a driver over there, better watch out! Thanks in advance.

9 comments:

daytripper said...

1. I may fly in to Belfast Airport and out of Dublin Airport, or vice versa.

did you mean "may I". if you did then yes if you buy two singles. the carriers are different at the two airports, so unless you can get two affiliated carriers (Star Alliance etc) youre out of luck on getting it on one ticket.
just depart and return from one airport and do a loop around ireland. its not a big country and can be circumnavigated easily in 10 days, with plenty of relaxing stops in between. if you start in belfast go anti-clockwise. if dublin go clockwise.

The Phantom said...

daytripper

I will now fly from NYC to Dublin on Continental Airlines, and fly back to the US on Continental out of Paris. ( The leg from Dublin to France will be on Ryanair )

But if I wanted to go into Belfast and back to the US out of Dublin, I could have done that by using Continental--they now fly into Dubllin, Shannon and Belfast, making it very possible to avoid any back-tracking, unless that's what the traveler feels like doing.

El Matador said...

-I may fly in to Belfast Airport and out of Dublin Airport, or vice versa.-

Dublin would probably be cheaper- Continetal fly into Belfast, but from what I've seen, it's tres expensive. I've always gone Aer Lingus when flying to the US.

-I -may- rent a car. Which of the car rental firms would have the lowest drop-off charges, or cheapest overall rates?-

Sorry- not sure as, unsurprisingly, I've never had the need to rent one here!

-Is it cheaper to rent a vehicle and/or to buy petrol in the North ( have heard both )-

Petrol is far cheaper in the south. No question. I get mine there. Not sure about the cars.

-Recommendations as to cheap but good hotels in Belfast-

Not sure.

-Outside of the main downtown area in Belfast, can you park for free on the street?-

Yep- about 5-10 mins walk from city centre, you can park for free. It's also free in the city centre on a Sunday.

-Are there any toll roads either side of the border ( don't think so, but have heard of people accidentally getting in trouble by driving on such roads in Europe )-

A section of the Dublin to Belfast road around Drogheda is a toll road. However, it's pretty cheap (2 euros I think) and is worth it for the time you save. You could take the old road through Drogheda if you are in no rush and wish to see more of the countryside. Apart from that, I don't think there are any other toll roads. Ireland isn't big enough for them to be expensive anyway.

Hope this helps!

Céad mile fáilte!

Observer said...

Phantom

The ring road around Dublin (M50)is a toll road. There are two Toll Plazas (southern and northern ends).
The shortcut from North Dublin to South Dublin, over the Liffey (fairly central) is tolled, as is the M1 (Dublin to Belfast)at Drogheda.
Tolls are 1.60 euro (approx 2 dollars) on the M1. I have a notion they may be slightly different on the Eastlink (bridge), but is is only a few cents of a difference.
Coming off the motorway at Drogheda, to avoid the toll, could, quite possibly, traumatize you and ruin a good holiday. (traffic and a lousy traffic control system).
Petrol is only slightly cheaper in the South (5-10%). Lots of price rises recently.
Never hired a car in Ireland.
Jury's Hotel is very central and not particularly expensive.
Parking is free outside the centre of town.
Park where others park. Areas devoid of cars are usually so for a good reason.
If you hire a car in the South, the number plate will identify it as a Southern car. Check out the grafitti, kerbstones, flags etc, before you park. White EU plates may cause antagonism in some areas.
If in doubt, secure (sort of) car parks are plentiful and not particularly expensive.
Enjoy your stay and don't miss South Armagh. Spectacular scenery.
Luck.

Antonio from Italy said...

I see that others have given you good advices about most of your doubts.
The toll on the M50 from South to North around Dublin is Euro 1.80 ($2.25 at current change rate).
A couple of good car rental company may be Europcar and National. They have very good quality-price ratio. Avis and Hertz are quite dearer. Avoid Irish-Car-Rental. Don't know about drop-off charge but their web-sites can give that info.
Petrol is much dearer in the North, it's around Euro 1.17/litre ($1.45/litre) in ROI and Euro 1.45/litre ($1.80/litre) in the North...
These are the prices at the end of May.
Another thing, I don't if you know that, 1 litre is 0.264 US gallons, that is 1 US gallon is 3.785 litres.
Enjoy your holiday!

Parcifal said...

Looking forward to hearing about your Belfast experience. Not been there myself, but will keep an eye out for your tales

Eagle said...

I've never rented a car here, but my father has many times. He's used different companies depending on the deal he got. You might find booking a car through Continental is the best way to do it. I'm not sure there's a huge difference in price. Try the big companies: Hertz, Avis, Budget, National, etc.

There's a toll on the new M4 heading west to Galway. I'm not sure how much it is.

Aer Lingus is the cheapest airline on the north Atlantic.

Eagle said...

By the way, don't forget to subscribe to mlb.com for radio coverage of the Mets while you're in Europe!

THey may charge you the full $15 annual fee. Not sure.

Adelynn said...

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