Rachel Gaffney’s Letter From Texas - The Floodgates Open

The floodgates opened last week. New and returning clients are all eagerly booking their trips to Ireland for the summer of 2022. Whilst this is great news, on the other hand I now find myself in a unique situation. Hotels are filling fast, some are fully booked already for the dates I requested and getting tee times in places like Royal County Down are like hens teeth.

I met with 3 couples the other day to plan their itinerary and route.They will be going for 9 days. This can be the toughest part of the planning process.
I ask them to tell me everything they want first. No matter how big or how small, I want to know. Dublin, Dingle, Waterford, Ashford Castle(image right), Adare Manor, Cliffs of Moher and Royal County Down were all mentioned at this meeting. All noted. These locations pretty much cover all corners of the country.

The next part of my planning process is to outline the times spent in a car. This is crucial. I have seen so many Irish travel itineraries and I wonder if the person or people planning them have in actual fact, driven or visited before booking for others. Over the course of a week, 3 and 4 hours a day in a car or bus adds up to quite a lot.

It was agreed that staying at Ashford Castle for 3 nights was a must. With these reservations in place, the route must now be planned. It means, some places will have to be ruled out. In this instance, Cork, Kerry and Waterford have to be ruled out. They will fly to Dublin and fly out of Shannon.

I find this to be one of the toughest parts of the planning process, eliminating places. I have to create routes that keep people moving forward and not doubling back on themselves.

These clients will spend 3 nights in Dublin, drive cross country to Cong, Co Mayo for 3 nights and then move south to Gregans Castle (image right), Co Clare and then finally stay in either Killaloe, Co Clare or Dromoland Castle before departing for Shannon Airport.

Over the years, I have been encouraging people to spend a minimum of 2 and 3 nights in each place. Since last week each and every group seems to want to do this. They are looking for relaxing and immersive experiences. My hope is this trend will continue and bookings continue to roll in for 2022.


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