Baltimore Co. Cork
Baltimore Co. Cork

Getting to Ireland the Smart, Affordable Way

Is getting to Ireland a dream of yours? Is it on your bucket list of places to see?

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If you’re like the millions of people across the world who claim Irish ancestry, I’m sure that visiting the home of your ancestors has crossed your mind at one time or another.

Fulfilling such a dream doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think.

Getting to the Emerald Isle and enjoying a budget-friendly vacation is actually an achievable goal if you are willing to invest some time and research the options.

Here are some ideas to get you going and jumpstart your dream of getting to Ireland on a budget.

Getting to Ireland Basics

Search for discount fares  – use a variety of flight search engine websites when looking for fares to Ireland and set up alerts with them. Popular ones include Hopper, Skyscanner, Airfare Watchdog, Cheapoair, Google Flights, Momondo, Priceline, and more.
Photo: rawf8

Get $25 off your hotel booking when you join Hopper

Hopper is a popular travel booking app that tracks the cost of airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel rooms. The app will give you a better insight into whether current prices are above or below the usual fare/hotel room cost/car rental fee for a given timeline or date.

Know What Airlines Fly to Ireland

Aer Lingus, Ireland's national airline, as well as United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines all fly to Ireland from North America.

planes on the runway getting to Ireland
Photo courtesy of Ryan Air

If you’re based in Europe, there are lots of budget carriers to choose from.

They include the German airline, Eurowings, the British-owned Easyjet (which also operates out of New York's JFK and flies to London and other European destinations) and Flybe, RyanAir, and the Spanish low-cost airline Vueling.

From Australia, a variety of airlines fly to Ireland, including Aer Lingus, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Delta, British Airways, and Etihad Airways.

See Dublin on a Budget with Aer Lingus Vacations

Choose the Right Day to Fly

Essentially, there's no silver bullet for finding the best day to fly. You'll need to do a lot of the groundwork yourself and that means checking various days of the week. If you're flexible, that's great. If not, you'll have to look for the best deals on your desired travel dates with the airlines that fly to Ireland.

a plane and a mobile phone getting to Ireland
Photo: stuartmiles99 for Getty Images.

Hopper, Skyscanner, Airfare Watchdog, Cheapoair, Google Flights, Momondo, Priceline, and others will help refine your search if you have the patience to sift through all of them.

If I were to choose, I'd use Hopper and Google Flights. 

Use the Right Credit Card

When booking your flight to Ireland, book with a credit/debit card that incurs no foreign transaction fee.

Renting a Car

If you’re planning to rent a car in Ireland, there are lots of car rental companies to choose from. You will save more money if you can operate a manual (stick shift) transmission as they are cheaper to rent.

a rental car desk getting to Ireland
Photo: Twenty20photos

If your only alternative is to rent a car with an automatic transmission, try to rent one that is no bigger than a midsize. That usually accommodates four people traveling, along with luggage.

You can save on car rental fees by using an approved credit card to cover CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) costs. The rental company will put anywhere from €1,500 to €5,000 excess on your credit card until you return the car.

irelandonabudget.comBe sure to bring a letter from your credit card company that confirms you have coverage through them.

Are you planning a trip to Ireland in 2023? Let me know in the comments below.


Colette is a County Sligo native who created Ireland on a Budget to provide her readers with money-saving tips on how to get to Ireland and then save even more when they're there. She's a professional copywriter who lives in the New York area with her husband and two children.

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