Things I looked up a few months in advance were where to go and what to do. Google Maps has this great function where you can make maps and add in places to visit. Here is what my map looked like for Dublin and travelling in a car.
You can open the map from this link. I coloured the places I had to go (my hostel and booked tours) in pink. Not as many free places as London, but still lots to do within a few days. I had done a google search on places to go, read a few other blogs and checked out Atlas Obscura. After making a long list, I removed all places that weren’t open/too far/not during the time I was visiting. Then I mapped out each day by tracking how long it would take to walk (or drive) to each place and how long I wanted to stay at each place. A snapshot of my itinerary looked like this:
As you can see, I checked out what I could see in a day, gave addresses for reference, opening hours and I highlighted boxes in green that I absolutely did not want to miss that day. If you want to download the full itinerary you can do it here: Itinerary for Blog.
I tried to fit too many things in during my visit in Northern Ireland – even after compressing the list! I also did not do as much research into prices of places so ended up paying for more than I expected (good thing it’s within the budget). I wish I had spent more time in Belfast rather than heading to Newgrange (which was closed by the time I got there) and the Hill of Tara (where it was too dark to see). I guess I’ll just have to visit again! I’m still so happy with the amount of research I did and the walking tour was worth every euro.
If I plan on driving, I’ll give myself more time for impromptu stops for pictures. You never know what you’re going to see along the way! I love having a mix of things I plan to do and spontaneous stops and tours along the way. It’s a good balance so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
What do you think of the planning I did? Did I miss anything you think I should go back for, eventually?