Newbies travelling with a toddler and baby - advice on Ireland

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Mummyoftwo, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Mummyoftwo

    Mummyoftwo Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uk
    Hi all, after various types of holidays abroad (and many years caravaning in the UK) my husband and I have decided to hire a motorhome and take our wee ones (2 and 1) to Ireland next Summer for 2-3 weeks. But we've never motor homed before so have no idea what to expect. Can you help??

    Specifically:

    1: what have you done with with regards to sleeping arrangements with babies?
    2: realistically how much of Ireland can we cover? We thought we could try and travel from site to site after 7ish so the babies could at least drop off to sleep in the car seats. We'd like to visit family in Donegal and travel down the west coast.
    3: when picking sites, can we expect any to be on bus routes as we think it would be nice not to have to drive the motorhome everywhere.

    Any other advice and tips (recommendations for sites too) would be very welcome!

    Thank you
     
  2. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,513
    Likes Received:
    9,879
    Location:
    E Yorks
    Hi, welcome to fun!

    Firstly, have you actually checked on the cost of hiring a motorhome and the exorbitant cost of taking it across to Ireland (probably £400+ for the return crossing alone)? Also, campsites aren't cheap there either so you're not looking at a 'cheap' holiday by any means. If you definitely want to use a motorhome I'd suggest you see if you can hire one in Ireland itself instead and either fly, or go across by car to keep costs down. Whilst it would be tempting to go for a large motorhome, I'd suggest not going any bigger than you really need as it will enable you to take it to more places and negate the need for buses etc, it means that you can then tour round in it seeing places as you travel from site to site (or wild camping spot!) and also have all the facilities with you which I should think would be very handy with youngsters.

    As for sites, you will probably find that your proposed arrival time could be a problem as campsites don't usually like 'after tea' arrivals. You can wild camp fairly easily in Ireland, we've just done 4 weeks there and not had to use a site at all, but with 2 young kiddies that could be more difficult, though not impossible for the odd night or two.
     
  3. Mummyoftwo

    Mummyoftwo Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uk
    Thank you for your reply; we have costed out the trip and no, it's not cheap but that's not a factor (we'd spend the same abroad). We just love the simplicity MH offer. The cost of the ferry is day light robbery so we 'll look into hiring in Ireland as you suggested - great idea.

    We were thinking of a six birth as this seems to offer the set up that would work the best but do you think a four birth would be better in terms of mobility around Ireland?

    Thanks for the tip on the sites, hadn't realised late check ins might not be possible. Not sure I think the idea of wild camping with the babies but are there any places you could recommend?

    Thank you again
     
  4. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    4,517
    Location:
    Tyne & Wear, sometimes..
    There is not really a huge difference between a 4 berth and a 6 berth, maybe a metre or two on the length. This is not usually a problem on most sites.

    We have two boys now 5 & 10. The little one has travelled in the van since before he was a year old. We have a 6 berth so there is no need to make up beds as we have the 4 "permanent" berths. That also leaves your lounge/dining space available at all times.

    Overcab beds normally have a security net or some other method of preventing little ones falling out. We have twin bunks across the bunk which would are very easy to make "toddler proof".

    We "wild" with the boys regularly, even when they were small. The west coast of Ireland affords so many lovely places where you could quietly and safely park up for the night. At least then if the little one is noisy during the night you are not worried about disturbing neighbouring campers on a site.

    Just remember if you don't feel comfortable with the location in any way, just move on, that's the beauty of a motorhome.

    I'm sure you will have a great time.........:thumb:

    :BigGrin:
     
  5. Bellini

    Bellini Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    794
    Location:
    Crowthorne, Berkshire
    My daughter is 2 and had her first motorhome experience in August.

    Like you, we've never motorhomed as a family before and she still sleeps in a large cot at home as she's, in her own terms 'a big monkey'.

    She sleeps in one of these GroBags but wee's prolifically at night, so we bought loads of Dri-Night sheets to line her motorhome bed. She slept in the single-bed dinette area on our 6-berth (2 double and one dinette single / double) Swift rental. We also have a mesh screen that is supported under a mattress to stop her rolling out of bed. That worked really well.

    It took a bit of patience to get her to sleep at night, but we found the best way was to leave her awake until we went to bed (we also have a 10 year-old son who is great with her and whom she dotes on - he slept in the over-cab double) and she nodded off easily once the lights were out. To be fair, she was pretty tired by then anyway and we had a few nights when she simply fell asleep well before then as she relaxed more. Our son would sleep anywhere without issue when he was younger. Our daughter is the complete opposite!

    For us, bedtime wasn't the issue. Holding her car seat in was. The intertia reels in our rental took some force to engage, so she had to be sandwiched in against the window and either my son or my wife (who also rolled around when cornering, but could at least control themselves) supported her from the side. Alice found it amusing, though...

    The experinece gave us a lot to think about before we eventually buy our own motorhome.

    Other than that, no issues at all. I really hope you enjoy it!:thumb:

    Si.
     
  6. Mummyoftwo

    Mummyoftwo Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uk
    Great advice, thank you for taking the time to reply.

    Well we are all booked to go (MH, that is) so now it's just a case of deciding where to go :) Any recommendations for campsites? I feel more confident about camping wild because as you say, if we don't like it we can just drive to another spot.

    I'm sure I'll be back with more questions before we go! :BigGrin:

    x
     
  7. dotplus6

    dotplus6 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    N. Ireland
    Touring Ireland

    Hi New Funster - we toured around Ireland 4 years ago in September for 2 weeks (afterwards we sold our motorhome but are going to the NEC next week to look for another one). We thought we would tour the whole way round the coast but ended up just going down the West coast & up the middle & booked into a hotel for the last 2 nights for a treat. You could easily drive around in 3 weeks but we got stuck in Cong (where the John Wayne film the Quiet Man was filmed) - it was just so relaxing & weather was good & we didn't want to move on. I loved Connemara though the weather was fab for the 2 weeks so that did make a difference as it can be miserable here.

    The campsites in general wouldn't be as good as over in the mainland & Europe - most we stayed in were basic but we often arrived late at night & no-one ever minded opening up or if they weren't about we paid next morning. Most people are fairly relaxed in Ireland.

    There's a good wee campsite book & I'll have a look for it & email again with the name but google 'free sites' as like the Britstops there's some here for free too - usually they're at restaurants or football grounds. Donegal is beautiful & Enniskillen - we used to camp at the Leisure Centre car park for free but there are nice campsites too. Ballyronan Marina is good for touring Northern Ireland as it's pretty central - 1 hour in any direction takes you to most places in the North (except Donegal). Antrim Forum is good too as is Loughshore which is on the edge of Belfast Lough & there are plenty of buses to Belfast which is only a few miles away with Carrickfergus a few in the opposite direction.

    Take care,

    Dot
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page