Our travel agent is Barbara Sabo with United Fairfax Travel. You can contact her through email: Barbara@UFXtravel.com or via telephone: 703-591-3544. She has all of our wedding itinerary details and can assist you with booking flights and accommodation and renting cars.
The following is some general information you may find useful. There are two international airports in Ireland, Dublin and Shannon. Shannon airport is much closer (1 hour) to Cloghan Castle where we are getting married. Dublin is approximately 5 hours away.
Aer Lingus in the national airline of Ireland. You can get direct flights (with one stop in Dublin) from Dulles Airport on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Aer Lingus flies daily from JFK in New York and Logan in Boston. I believe Continental flies directly to Ireland from Newark and Delta used to have direct flights as well. Flights for Ireland always leave in the evening here (7-9pm) and arrive early in the following morning Irish time. One interesting note on return flights: If you want to go from Shannon to Dulles the flight leaves Ireland quite early in the morning-about 6:45 am and then goes on to Dublin where you wait until about 12:30 pm. It might be better for those who are not early birds to either depart from Dublin or return to Dulles through Boston as the flight leaves Shannon at a much more civilized time.
Numerous car rental firms operate in Ireland and most have offices at Dublin and Shannon airports. A United States issued driver’s license is sufficient for driving in Ireland. The driver must be over 23 years of age and have a credit card. As in Britain, driving is on the left which is of course opposite of what we do here in the States. The majority of rental cars in Ireland are manual drive. Even if you are used to a manual drive car here, it may be better to specifically reserve an automatic. Driving on the opposite side of the road requires quite a bit more concentration. When you add trying to shift the car with your left hand it can become overwhelming! Also, keep in mind that Irish roads are for the most part are narrow and winding. Going for a smaller car might be easier than handling an SUV.
Insurance is a tricky subject. Many US issued credit cards claim that you don’t need to take the CDW insurance (collision damage waiver) if you rent the car with that specific credit card. If you plan on doing this, you should bring documentation from your credit card company to show the car rental agent. However, we have been advised that should something happen while you are driving in Ireland it is very difficult to coordinate your credit card company and the Irish car rental company. Often the driver ends up responsible for paying potentially large bills while the credit card and rental firms fight. Although CDW insurance does add quite a bit to the overall bill, we always go ahead and purchase it.