The Real Deal: Seven nights' accommodations and a five-day rental car from $599 per person.
When: Nov. 1–Dec. 13, 2007, and Jan. 1–Mar. 25, 2008.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
The fine print: No booking fee, except for a last-minute fee of $30 if you book your trip within 30 days of departure. Price includes hotel taxes and service charges (gratuities). A car rental location fee of about $35 is not included. Rental car insurance, which is mandatory in Ireland and generally not offered as a free perk by U.S. credit card companies, costs roughly an additional $65 per car. Based on double occupancy; single supplement $350. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
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Contact: Brian Moore International Tours, 800/982-2299, bmit.com.
Why it's a deal: The Brian Moore International Tours car/hotel package offers a savings of up to 40 percent off peak-season rates and roughly 10 to 15 percent off the cost of booking your rental car and B&Bs for travel during early November.
Details: The package includes an economy-class, manual-shift car from Hertz and seven nights' accommodations. The first two nights are at one of two Dublin hotels: the Cassidys Hotel, a 113-room property, which is five blocks from the River Liffey and the center of town, or the Grafton Capital Hotel, close to the city's main shopping district around Grafton Street. (Upgrades to other hotels are available.) Another night is at the centuries' old Cabra Castle in County Cavan, in the island's center. The remaining nights are at B&Bs of your choice throughout the country.
The five-day car rental gives you the freedom to explore the island. A manual-shift car is included, but most Americans will feel more comfortable driving in the left-hand lane if they have an automatic transmission. Upgrade to an automatic for about $18 to $25 per day per car—with rates varying by time of year.
Getting there: International airfare is not included. In comparison, the lowest round-trip fares (with reasonable layovers) that we've found on Kayak for Shannon in early November are $388 from Chicago (American Airlines), $408 from New York City (American), $415 from Boston (US Airways), and $730 from Seattle (multiple airlines).
Keep in mind that Shannon's average winter temperatures are in the low to mid 40s, and that December is the rainiest month. Before you go, check the weather forecast, the exchange rate, and the local time at BudgetTravel.com. For more information, visit Ireland's official tourism Web site.
Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.