Let’s Talk About Travel!

July 6, 2023

Let’s Talk about Travel and our trip to Ireland! We are HOME! In case you missed it, we spent 12 days in Ireland at the end of June and after a few days back. 17 loads of laundry and 305578 emails answered, here we are, ready to tell you all about our trip!

If you want more details on how this year has gone and how we ended up on our trip to Ireland for 12 days you can read that post here. There are about a million things I want to tell you about traveling with young kids! The things we learned, things we did well and things we will be changing in the coming adventures. Today is more of a travel journal.

We headed off to Toronto on the eve of summer solstice. We managed to score a midnight flight for our trip to Ireland, which many people reacted negatively to hearing about. BUT particularly for us it worked out SO WELL. My husband didn’t need to take a vacation day for our travel day, and we got to the airport around 9pm. Now I don’t know if this has anything to do with the timing of our flight, but it was great. We were whisked through security and were sitting at our gate within 28 minutes of parking the car! I am pretty sure that is some kind of record. A few time saving hacks for this to happen included online check in and carry on luggage only. I will write a blog post soon specifically about travel hacks!

Aiden Laurette Photography | cliffs in Ireland

Flights and Our Trip to Ireland

The kids had 2 hours to play, wander and mostly act like wieners. By the time we boarded our flight they were way past bedtime and all 3 slept for 80% of the flight. In my mind this seemed way better than boarding an 8pm flight and dealing with the goofiness for 2 hours before they finally passed out.

The first two days of our trip to Ireland were spent in Dublin. Dublin was lovely! We learned some cool things, including visiting Trinity College and doing a fantastic tea time bus tour. However, if you have limited time to visit Ireland, Dublin would not be high on my priority list for places to see. It doesn’t have nearly the historical centre that many other European Capital cities do. From Dublin we headed North East and visited the Mourne Mountains and spent several days hiking and climbing mountains.

Aiden Laurette Photography | kids in airport waiting for flight

Heading North

We continued North to Belfast and left Ireland for Northern Ireland. For those not in the know, these are considered 2 different countries, one being part of the EU and one being part of the UK. It also means 2 different speed measurements (Km vs Miles) and Currency (Euros to Pounds!). In Belfast we learned about the “troubles”, visited a historical Gaol and headed out of town to the Giant’s Causeway. This excursion turned out to be my favorite when we got to see PUFFINS!!! Puffins nesting in Northern Ireland has been all but non-existent for a number of years. They believe, due to COVID and the reduced boat traffic they have returned. We saw a group of 5 of them! By far the highlight of the trip.

Belfast also boasts one of 2 different Titanic museums in Ireland. We got incredible insight into the building of the ship, the ownership behind the ship and the strong connection to Ireland and its people. If you have an interest in the story behind the Titanic I strongly recommend a visit to Ireland to see the numerous museums and experiences they have there.

Aiden Laurette Photography | Ireland landmarks
Aiden Laurette Photography | an Irish cow

Fiddlers, Busking and Coastal Fun

Our next stop took us South West to the Cliffs of Moher and the small Village of Doolin. Famous for its pubs and traditional Irish folk music! Both the cliffs and the music were some of our favourite experiences. Our oldest’s highlight was definitely at the cliffs, where the tradition of busking has been long standing. Our daughter spoke with a fiddler and over the course of the conversation my daughter was given the chance to play fiddle for an audience along the cliffs. Something she will certainly never forget.

Aiden Laurette Photography | family shots
Aiden Laurette Photography | scenic photo of Ireland

Our final stop was the port of Cobh on the South West coast of Ireland. We spent some time in intentional rest and relaxation after a whirlwind 2 weeks. Cobh, originally named Queenstown, but renamed following Ireland’s independence is another town steeped in deep history. Including being the last port of call of the Titanic, home to the first Immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island and holder of the title of the world’s 2nd largest natural harbour! We enjoyed several days of watching ships come in and out. We wandered the twisting cobbled streets and enjoyed dinner and a show of seals in the harbour before driving back to Dublin to return home.

Aiden Laurette Photography | Kids in Ireland

Like I said at the start, I feel like I have a million things to tell you! Particularly about the logistics of traveling with our kids, our priorities when we travel and how we keep ourselves sane. For today, I hope you enjoyed this little travel diary and can add a few things to your travel bucket list in Ireland.

If you enjoyed this blog about our trip to Ireland, you might also enjoy:

Europe with Three Kids

Travelling Internationally with Kids

An Intimate Destination Wedding in Mexico

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