"One of the greatest things in human life is the ability to make plans. Even if they never come true - the joy of anticipation is irrevocably yours. That way one can live many more than just one life."

Maria Trapp-The Story of the Trapp Family Singers - Ch. 12 p. 4

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

- St. Augustine

Monday, January 31, 2011


Now we arrive at the point in the trip planning where I panic....

Too much to do!
Nothing fits together!
Everything costs too much!
The plans I had to make it all work now look silly....and expensive!
Why don't I ever just use a travel agent????

I'm choosing to think this always happens, and in the end everything always works out. Right?

My problem seems to be getting everything I want for this trip to flow together efficiently and affordably. I've never planned an overseas trip and I'm afraid I'm going to discover some expensive "oops" I didn't take into account. 

I want to have a meaningful trip through Ireland and see real things, not just spend 12 days on a manic drive 'round the whole island stopping off at tourist traps. Apparently, this is what most Americans do - set themselves up for a "green blur."

I want to see a specific list of places, including Belfast, which is way out of the way of everything else highlighted on my map of Ireland.
I want to stay within my budget, get the best deal, not find out when I get there that there were $3,000 worth of things I didn't think of. 

Question is....how do I get what I want? Or, is what I want unreasonable.

Luckily, I found this amazing travel site for Ireland -  IrelandYes Travel Forum. The people on this site have been SO helpful and are answering all kinds of questions that I haven't been able to find anyone to help me with. Even though I'm not going to buy an itinerary from the owner of this website, she has been really helpful answering anything I post up on the forum. This has helped immensely, but also led to a bunch more rethinking of the plans I previously had. 

Maybe I won't buy a package but will try and book everything myself? (yikes! am I ready to self-plan an entire overseas trip?)

Maybe we'll start somewhere other than Dublin?

Maybe we'll skip Ashford Castle and stay at their sister property, Dromoland Castle?

Back to the drawing board....literally....

Doing it the old fashioned way instead of in a spreadsheet on my computer really helped. I can easily move places and activities around and things seem to be coming together.

panic attack subsiding....
yay for "Ask Michelle" and butcher paper! :)


  1. :) Go Amy!

    I'm confident that you will be able to fit in everything you want to!! :)

    Have fun planning!

  2. Thanks Brenda! Any European tips for me? :)