Why Ireland is the Perfect Destination for Multigenerational Travel

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When I was younger, my family used to go on vacation together every summer. We would go to amusement parks like Cedar Point, or down to Florida, or sometimes on a cruise. They were usually the types of vacations you could easily take with kids.

As my sister and I got older, our family vacations became more infrequent; I moved away from home and started traveling more on my own. And I found that I LOVED solo travel.

But, in the past couple of years, I've made it a point to start traveling with my family again, too. Multigenerational travel doesn't have to end once kids aren't little any more – in fact, I think traveling with my parents now that I'm older is far more fun than it was when I was a bratty middle-schooler!

When it comes to planning a multigenerational trip, though, I know that simply choosing a destination can be a daunting task. If you're traveling with older parents and/or younger kids, it can be difficult to decide on a trip that will appeal to everyone.

Which is why I'm here to declare that I think the best destination for multigenerational travel is Ireland.

Ross Castle in Ireland
Ross Castle in Killarney National Park

Why you should plan a family trip to Ireland

Ireland is a bucket list destination for a lot of people – and especially for a lot of Americans, many of whom have Irish ancestry. My family, too, has Irish roots (mostly on my mom's side), so it's no surprise that my mom and sister have always wanted to visit.

When my mom, sister, and I decided we wanted to plan a trip together this year, Ireland immediately came to mind.

We ended up spending a week road tripping around Ireland, hitting up a perfect mix of castles, cute Irish towns, and rolling green landscapes. And after this trip, I can confidently say that Ireland is perfect for a multigenerational trip like this.

At Ashford Castle
The fam at Ashford Castle

Here are some reasons to consider an Ireland family vacation of your own:

Ireland is easy

It's easy to get to, and fairly easy to get around once you're there. From the East Coast of the US, Ireland is only about a 6-hour overnight flight; not much longer than it would take you to fly from New York to Los Angeles.

Once you're IN Ireland, the country is relatively small; you can drive from one major spot to the next in just a couple of hours, making it a great road trip destination. (And road tripping is definitely how I would recommend exploring Ireland – more on this soon!)

Rock of Cashel in Ireland
Rock of Cashel

Everyone speaks (usually intelligible) English

It also helps that you don't have to worry about a language barrier in Ireland. Yes, some Irish accents can be more difficult to understand than others, but for the most part you shouldn't have any problems communicating or finding your way around. Just note that signs on the highway are in both English and Irish Gaelic – so don't worry if you can't understand parts of them.

The B&B culture is perfect for family groups

While you CAN find chain-style hotels in larger Irish cities, what Ireland does best accommodation-wise is the bed and breakfast. There are hundreds of B&Bs all across Ireland, many of them tucked away in beautiful corners of the Irish countryside. These B&Bs often offer up larger family-sized rooms that are perfect for multigenerational tips, and you can't beat a freshly cooked Irish breakfast in the morning.

St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh, Ireland
This view in Cobh was virtually right outside the door of our B&B

These B&Bs are fairly affordable, too – my mom, sister and I were booking triple rooms with breakfast at most of them, and paying on average less than $170 USD per night.

There's something for everyone

The top reason I think Ireland is great for multigen travel is that it really has something for everyone. Whether you're into castles or landscapes or traditional music, you can find it all in Ireland.

There are bigger cities like Dublin, Cork, and Galway to explore, and also plenty of adorably cute towns if that's more your speed. There are lots of outdoor spaces to enjoy if you're into hiking or scenery, but also an equal number of indoor activities for those who prefer to avoid the elements (of which there can be a lot in Ireland!).

Galway, Ireland
Colorful Galway

Here's a sampling of some of the things my family did on our trip to Ireland:

  • Visited the Cliffs of Moher
  • Had high tea at Ashford Castle, along with a walk in the castle gardens
  • Visited the Rock of Cashel
  • Toured historic houses like Westport House and castles like Ross Castle
  • Listened to traditional music in a pub and went shopping in Galway
  • Took the tour at the Waterford crystal factory
  • Went on a Titanic-related walking tour in Cobh
  • Stayed overnight at Ballyseede Castle

All three of us (my sister, who's in her late 20s, me in my early 30s, and my mom in her mid-60s) enjoy things like castles and historic houses, while long drives put us all to sleep. We therefore focused more on tours than scenic drives, simply because they fit our travel style better.

Afternoon tea at Ashford Castle
Afternoon tea at Ashford Castle
Westport House in Ireland
Westport House

For those who love scenic drives and the outdoors, you may want to consider these spots:

  • Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head Drive
  • Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park
  • Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough
  • The Aran Islands
  • Achill Island
  • The Slieve League Cliffs
Sea cliffs of Inis Mor
Sea cliffs of the Aran Islands (taken on a previous trip)

The Irish are so nice

People in Ireland are quite nice to tourists, which makes for a welcoming atmosphere that's ideal for when you're traveling with your family. The Irish are usually quick to say hello, help with directions, and are even quite courteous on the roads – even when you're driving slow around all the narrow curves.

All of these reasons mean that Ireland is a great place for a family vacation, and the perfect destination if you want to ease into multigenerational family travel.

READ NEXT: 10 Days in Ireland: The Perfect Irish Road Trip Itinerary

Have you ever planned a multigenerational trip? Who's ready to plan a family trip to Ireland?


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Why you should plan a family trip to Ireland


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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23 Comments on “Why Ireland is the Perfect Destination for Multigenerational Travel

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  1. keep up the good piece of work, I read few blog posts on this site and I think that your blog is real interesting and holds lots of excellent information.

    Great blog!
    When is the best time of the year to travel Ireland?

      You can travel to Ireland year-round. The busiest months are July and August, so I’d probably suggest the month on either side of those like May/June or September/October. The weather can be cold and wet pretty much any time of year, so just be sure to pack some layers!

    Ireland has always been one of my favorite destinations in europe, this article has made that belief even stronger!

      It’s great for so many reasons! I’ve traveled there solo, with friends, and with family, and it’s a great destination for all 3 kinds of trips!

        Amanda, cant agree with you more but why does the page reload when i click on my name instead of taking it to our site – is it possible to fix this? many thanks in advance

          You haven’t entered a URL when putting in your comment info – there’s nothing to link to as far as I can see.

    So Ireland will be another destination that me and my family would travel to, Amanda! Thanks to this post, I have found a sweet escape my loved ones can go to this year. Not only will this be a lovely location for our younglings, but it will also be relaxing for the not-so-young-ones. I am also looking forward to the B&Bs and all the nice accommodations we can get from the Irish people!

      B&Bs in Ireland are literally everywhere – and they’re so nice! And affordable. AND family-friendly. I had no trouble finding family-sized rooms for us all across Ireland!

    I love travelling with my mum. I always let her pick the destinations because the whole world is on my list anyways 🙂 The past few years we’ve been to Scotland, Dubai, Norway, Iceland & Italy. I can’t wait to find out where she wants to go next year!

      How fun! Your mom sounds really adventurous!

    I definitely agree that Ireland is a great place for a family trip! My partner and I visited for the first time in April but I can totally see us grabbing our parents and going back one day. I think it would even be a cool place for little kids, since everyone is so nice and you can take it easy in some of the smaller towns.

      It really does have something for everyone!

    So cool, looks like it was a great trip! My parents have been trying to organize a family trip to Scotland, I think it would have similar benefits to a multi-generational trip to Ireland. 🙂

      Definitely! Scotland is one of my favorite places in the world, and would make for an equally good family vacation destination. (Though I do still think Ireland slightly wins out simply because of all the castles and variety of things to see/do).

    This gives me so much hope! My family used to travel all the time together but since we left for college we all live in different parts of the US and haven’t traveled together much since. I’ll be traveling to Ireland in a few weeks myself. I might just have to scope it out as a family trip location!

      Definitely scope it out! It stands out for me as one of the most family-friendly countries for sure!

    I love this! Planning a week long trip to Ireland in September with my parents (I’m 25, they are in their late 50’s). They haven’t done a lot of international travel, and Ireland is where I studied abroad 5 years ago. Something I’ve had trouble with the planning is how to find good B&Bs. I’ve mostly looked at some on Airbnb, tripadvisor, and booking.com. Another question I’ve had about renting a car is if it’s hard to park it in Dublin. Looking forward to your full article Amanda!

      I booked all our B&Bs and hotels on Booking.com, and most of them were very good! (There are SO many to choose from, though!) And as for driving in Dublin, I actually didn’t do it! We flew in/out of Shannon to purposefully avoid Dublin. Haha. What I recommend if you’re flying in/out of Dublin is to either explore Dublin first and THEN pick up your car, or drop off your car before you go in to Dublin. The city has fairly good public transport, and also good hop-on, hop-off bus tours (my recommendation when traveling with parents!), so you really don’t need a car there. Same with Galway – we stayed outside the city at a hotel that had private parking, and took the bus into the city so I didn’t have to try to find parking there!

    I traveled in Galway and Mayo with my father when he used a cane/help or non-motor wheelchair, and it worked out well – the built environment usually wasn’t very accessible but the people were helpful. Several times workers at different sites brainstormed on creative accommodation rather than a “not our problem attitude.”

      That’s definitely the Irish attitude for you! Since many of the cities/sites are so old in Ireland, accessibility isn’t the same as it is in the US. But people are almost always willing to help when they can!

    I love this! (Well, I love Ireland, and this explains in beautiful detail why others should too!) Thanks for a lovely, engaging post

      Thanks very much! We had such a good time in Ireland!

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