Let me start by saying my 5 day road trip around Ireland was not a budget trip. It was a trip to celebrate my 7 year wedding anniversary, something I am planning to do just once in my life;-).
Therefore, I did not try to make this trip as cheap as possible and you can very well travel Ireland for less. If you are interested in more of my budget breakdown posts, you can find them here.
Ireland was absolutely beautiful, we had lovely warm and sunny weather and spent most of our time driving around in our campervan and outside, hiking through some spectacular landscapes. In the infographic below you can find the full budget breakdown of our 5 day trip.
How much does it cost to travel Ireland?
Our Ireland travel budget: important facts and figures
• I traveled Ireland with my husband (obviously, it was our wedding anniversary trip?), all expenses are for the two of us together.
• I spent 5 days in Ireland, in total we spent €1130. This comes down to an average of €226 a day for us as a couple and includes all our expenses in Ireland.
• It does not include our airplane tickets from the Netherlands to Ireland and back home.
• My trip started and ended in Dublin, you can find the itinerary of our road trip here.
Our Ireland expenses are divided into 5 categories:
1. Hotel in Dublin: 5% of our costs
2. Campervan: 64% of our costs
3. Transport by bus: 1% of our costs
4. Food & drinks: 34% of our costs
5. Activities: 4% of our costs
1. Where to stay in Dublin
We stayed at Hotel St. George (see Agoda and Booking) and paid €55 for a night, not including breakfast. The room wasn’t big, but it was recently refurbished so everything was clean, tidy and smelled very fresh.
The hotel is a stone’s throw from the busy Upper O’Connell Street and you can easily walk to the main sites in Dublin. Checkout time was noon which was very convenient!
2. Renting a campervan in Ireland
Campervan expenses includes:
• Rental fee
• Additional insurance (optional)
I find campervan road trips an economical way to travel, because it combines the costs of accommodation and transport, which both usually make up a large chunk of my travel budget.
3. Transport by bus (Dublin airport to the city)
The only public transport we used in Ireland was the bus bus from Dublin Airport to the city center (more info about the bus can be found here). The costs for this bus were €3,30 per person. Our total bus transport costs were €12 (tickets from Dublin to the Bunk depot are €2,70 per person, the office is very near to the airport).
4. Food & drinks
This is where we really splurged compared to our usual travel style. We bought a couple of groceries (breakfast and a some snacks for hikes) but other than that we ate out every single day, both for lunch and dinner.
Lunch was mostly sandwiches from deli shops (price between €3-€6) and we had dinner in pubs (price between €10-€20). On the day of our anniversary we had a fancy (=expensive) dinner at the Smugglers Inn. Total amount spent on groceries, food and drinks: €296 (almost €60 a day).
We did 3 paid activities during our trip. The first was a visit to Trinity College and the beautiful Old Library where the Book of Kells is on display. Admission fee was €11 per person.
The second paid activity were the famous Cliffs of Moher. The admission fee was €6 per person (this includes access to the parking area).
Our last paid activity was visiting the Rock of Cashel, admission was €7 per person. The total for paid activities came to €48 for the two of us.
How to save money on a road trip in Ireland?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can easily travel Ireland for less. Here are a couple of ways to save money on your trip:
• First of all, you could rent a cheaper camper van, the Roadie costs just €40 a night, instead of €73 per night like the Vista van we had. This reduces your rental fee by 45%.
• If you are confident about your driving skills you can skip the €195 additional insurance I took out. I always take out additional insurance since I had a little parking incident in New Zealand.
• We ate out every day and that doesn’t come cheap in Ireland. In Southeast Asia eating out is cheaper than cooking your own food. In Ireland however, the average pub meal sets you back between €10 and €20. If you cook your own dinner you can easily stay within a €20 budget a day for 2 people, we managed to do so in New Zealand as well. So instead of spending €296 on food & drinks, you could spend as little as €100…
These measures could potentially save you €424, bringing down your total expenses to €706 (€140 per day for a couple = €70 per person).
But of course everything depends on choices. I chose not to worry about my budget on this trip, because we wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary and it was only a short trip. We were a lot more careful with our budget during our yearlong trip around the world, as we wanted to travel as long as possible.