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Distant Lands

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

One for the Money...

We have a big trip in our future - to Ireland - and to get ready for it, we're using a lot of web tools.

TravelZoo - I subscribed to their weekly email and we found our trip inspiration in its regularly updated links.  The actual trip deal came from a sharp-eyed someone in my husband's office.  But TravelZoo pointed us in that direction.

iTunes - we made a playlist (actually two - one for the adults, which includes songs by the Pogues and Black 47, and one for the kidlet, which doesn't) of tunes we like by Irish musicians. We play it often, when we're cooking, driving, and sitting around - a lot of the tracks are traditional and some are in Gaelic.  Music is a great way to get into the culture before you go, and our daughter loves to dance around the kitchen to it.  Laura Bond Williams' guestpost over at Family Travel (hi Sheila!) about taking her daughters to China was our inspiration.

We'll be following TWC guest guide Steph I.'s lead and loading our spare nano with our daughter's songs, including her current favorite - a Milkshake album.  We'll also likely download a movie, just in case.

Google Maps - we've been listing the places we want to go on a shared Google Map, making notes, and checking out the photos others have uploaded. It's easy to get distances and drive times from one location to the next using this map, though my friends in Cork say to add an hour for traffic.

We're tracking local weather on my iPhone's weather app, so we'll know what to pack.  I'm looking into international data plans as well - more on my success or failure later.  Another option I'm checking out, as cellphones are fairly cheap in Ireland, is borrowing one there and purchasing a sim card.  That's the trick we used in New Zealand, and it was a huge help to have the phone with us when we needed to call ahead somewhere.

I am using a couple of calculators to figure out our environmental footprint - to see if it makes sense to buy some carbon offests.

We also plan on buying many of our groceries from local markets (why yes, the place we're staying does have a kitchen - are we surprised?) and going as green as possible when we're finally there.  We'll see.  This will help keep some costs under control, even if I can't control the Euro exchange rate. 

Granted, we made plane reservations in March - before prices zoomed.  We're glad to be able to go though - and we expect we'll have a lot to report while we're there.  

A local friend is scouting some good locations for fairy rings - which has our daughter ready to head to the airport Right Now, or possibly fly over the ocean by sheer force of will.
Posted in Europe : June-Aug. : Young Child by Fran W. at 8:05 PMPermalink

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