Tag Archives: Trip Report

Ireland with Children Accommodation Tibradden Cottages

trip plan: ireland

This post is first in a series where I provide details of the trips I have taken with my family as examples for you to follow. If you have trip suggestions (destinations) for family travel for which you’d like a see a trip plan, leave a comment and I’ll contact you for details.

Trip Focus
When I plan a trip, I find it’s important to decide in advance what the goal of the trip is: to relax, to explore, to have an adventure. This drives all the other planning decisions.
After BigB was born, we spent most of my maternity leave in Ireland to be closer to family. We invited friends from the U.S. to come visit us while we were there. We also wanted to relax and enjoy each other’s company as we adjusted to being a family of four.

Number of Guests : 10 (us + 6 visitors from the U.S.)
The number of people in your party drives accommodation and transportation decisions.
We needed to find accommodation which was just big enough for four, affordable and yet would have room for more when needed. The Tibradden Cottages, two houses and an apartment, are nestled in the hills in South Dublin.
Ireland with Children Accommodation Tibradden Cottages

For me, price and space are the most important factors in choosing accommodation.
I can’t imagine staying in a hotel for eight weeks with children. They need space to spread out and be kids. Thankfully there are plenty of self-catering options available in all parts of Ireland. We chose a rental property in the greater Dublin area so that we could be close to family yet have our own space and be away from the traffic and stress of the urban area. We chose a location which wasn’t too rural to facilitiate day trips into the city.

The facilities are spacious and immaculately maintained. There are sheep roaming the hills behind the property which CAM found fascinating – especially when the sheep hung out at the back of the house. Tibradden is a short drive to the nearest in-city neighborhood from which public transportation into town is available.

In 12 years of flying with kids, I’ve learned that it’s easier to take one long flight than many short hops.
Aer Lingus offers routes between many U.S. cities Dublin and Shannon. Since Aer Lingus does not fly from Seattle, we flew to Heathrow with British Airways and then on to Dublin.

Local Transportation
Think twice about renting a car, you may not really need it.
Dublin Bus, DART and LUAS provide plenty of in-city public transportation options. If you plan to travel around the country, check out the services provided by Irish Rail and Bus Eireann first. Depending on where you plan to visit, you may be able to stick with these services all the way – which will save you money and the heart-stopping anxiety to which any freeway-driver is susceptible when driving on a two-lane road that’s only slightly wider than the car itself.

If you do rent a car, investigate agencies and prices before you leave. You will get a much better rental rate if you book in advance. And above all else, keep in mind that it’s dangerous to drive while jet-lagged.

Temple Bar Dublin Elephant and Castle
Photo credit: flex_plex

There are many, many dining options in and around Dublin. Here’s a few of my personal favorites:

  1. Brunch with kids at The Elephant and Castle in Temple Bar
  2. Dinner with traditional music at Johnny Fox’s in the Dublin Mountains
  3. For a more contemporary dining experience, check out Venu in the heart of downtown.

It feels like I should mention some bars here, but truly, there are too many good places to meet with friends, have a drink and enjoy genuine Irish convivality in Dublin (and around the country) to list – it would take up the whole page. It’s actually more difficult to find a bad bar. Start with The Palace on Fleet St. and ask the barman to suggest the next bar for you to visit. I bet everyone within earshot will have an opinion on what your next port of call should be – and they’ll be happy to share that with you.

Attractions and Entertainment

Ireland with Children Dublinia Dublin
CAM trying on some of the paraphernalia provided at the Dublinia exhibit. A great stop for kids.

Fun things to see and do:

Additional info from Kayt, one of the Travel Savvy moms: families with strollers get to go straight to the front of the line at the Guinness Museum. Thanks for the tip!

Related Posts
Ireland, Leprechauns and Rainbows
Budgeting Tips for Family Travel

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Mom + CAM, Macchu Picchu

Trip Report: Peru 1998

Peru with Kids Machu Picchu

That’s me and my baby (who is now 12) at Machu Picchu. We were lucky enough to be able to make this trip when he was 2 1/2. We traveled to Peru with a group of friends over the Christmas/New Year holiday.

Peru with Kids Huaraz

We spent the first week of our trip in Huaraz in the north. The scenery was stunning. We then returned to Lima for the New Year holiday and then continued on to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. I was most impressed with the amalgam of Incan and Spanish architecture in Cuzco. But as you can see, my little guy was a little more taken with the Llamas at the weekly market in Huaraz :)

Peru with Kids Huaraz Llamas

Today, as I work on writing about traveling with children in this blog and in the soon-to-be-published Wanderlust & Lipstick guidebook ‘For Women Traveling With Children’, I’m thinking a lot about the mechanics of planning a trip with a small child. As I write and when I give advice to people, it’s easy to obsess about having the right travel gear and knowing the right things to pack, not to mention important details like passports, visas, immunizations and travel insurance. So it’s a good balance for me to look back and remember everything I didn’t have for this trip to Peru:

  • no travel insurance
  • no fancy stroller, car seat or travel bed
  • no special foods, medications or toys (except a favorite blanket and teddy)
  • no first-aid kit (what was I thinking!)

Usually we improvised with what was available – check this out for a happy, ‘bathing’ toddler (in a laundry basin in a shower stall):


Moms, by definition, worry about having everything ‘just right’ for their offspring. With travel, sometimes we need to remember to keep everything simple and just go.

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Information on traveling to Peru with Children.

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