The Burren

Hire a Driver/Guide

Overview

 

Hiring someone to drive you around Ireland telling you one story after another has to be a great way to see the Emerald Isle. Wouldn’t you think? You don’t have to rent a car nor figure out the travel insurance process. You don’t have to navigate the roads and figure out where you’re going. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your travels. And listen to some great stories. There’s plenty of them.

 

There’s a number of driver/guides in Ireland. Many work alone (i.e. self-employed) and many work for Irish tour companies. These people are very knowledgeable about Ireland. The key is to find someone you feel you’ll ‘gel’ with and who will create an itinerary based on what you want to see and do - not on what they think you should do. 

 

Some key things to consider:

  • Does their personality fit with yours? Will you get along well over a several day period?

  • Do they sound passionate and are they interesting to listen to? 

  • Do they offer unique suggestions - ones that peek your curiosity and get you thinking?

  • During the interview stage, do they listen to your thoughts/ideas while asking pertinent questions or do they start suggesting what you should do during your trip. This last point would be fine if you solicited their advice.

 

Pros

  • You don’t have to drive, nor figure out where you’re going. Nor will you have to navigate the narrow and winding roads.

  • You’ve got your own personal tour guide throughout your trip. You’ll be able to get their insider’s perspective on life in Ireland.

  • This is a very comfortable and relaxing way to experience Ireland.

  • You can pretty much go wherever you want, whenever you want.

Cons

  • This is an expensive option. It’s definitely not for everyone.

  • You might not connect as much as you would like with your driver/guide - maybe their personality clashes with someone in your group or you differ with their perspective on things.

 

Important to know

  • When hiring a driver/guide for a multi-day trip, included in their cost of services will be their travel expenses such as lodging and meals.

 

Things to consider

  • When you’re not with your driver/guide (e.g. at the end of the day), you won’t have any wheels if you want to go somewhere that’s not within walking distance. There are other options such as taking a taxi; however, you’ll just need to plan a little bit. Plus, if you utilize your driver/guide from early morning to late at night, your fee is most likely going to be higher.

  • What type of vehicles does your driver/guide offer? You’ll want to make sure you and your group are comfortable. Travel days can be long.

  • Ensure you have a way to communicate with your driver/guide. You might be overnighting at different locations. You might want some alone time. Having a cell phone and a local SIM card will be very helpful.

 

Is this a great way to see Ireland?

  • Yes, most definitely. Sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving. You won’t have to figure out where you’re going nor navigate the Irish roads. Plus, you've got your own personal tour guide throughout your trip. Make sure to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

How does this impact my choice of lodging options?

  • For the most part, you can pretty much stay wherever you want - in the city or in a rural area. If you're in a rural area and you're looking for them to drive you in the evening (dinner, pub, shopping, etc.), extending the day will most likely drive the cost of their services higher.

 

Price perspective

  • Hiring a driver/guide for a multi-day trip is the most expensive option for getting around Ireland. You’re not only paying for your driver/guide’s time, car, fuel but you’re also paying for their travel expenses if they have to rent a room and eat out.

  • If money is a little tight, you might use the bus or train to travel from destination to destination and then hire a driver/guide just for the day. This way you won’t be paying for their lodging, meals, etc. You might have to hire a couple of different driver/guides if you’re in different regions but that’s very easy to do. Using different driver/guides can provide different personalities and perspectives on things. It can be refreshing.

 

Ease of use

  • Most of the effort will be needed upfront as you determine who you want to lead you around Ireland. We’ll provide options, suggestions and help you determine who fits best with you and your group. It's important that you engage in the selection process of the person who can make or break your trip.

 

Are reservations suggested?

  • Reservations are a must with this option. You’ll want to secure your driver/guide well in advance to ensure their availability. This also gives you an opportunity to get to know them a little more before your trip and to build your itinerary.

 

How Book Ireland Travel can help you

  • First, we’ll chat with you to learn more about you and what you’re looking for in your trip and the type person you want guiding you around the island. This person and/or company can make all the difference in determining whether you enjoy your time in Ireland.

  • Book Ireland Travel has many contacts and will suggest several that we feel will be a good fit for you and your group.

  • With your ok, we’ll join you as you communicate with and select potential driver/guides. We can either lead the conversations or be a silent partner interacting with you outside of the interviews.