everywhere), and you don't
have to worry about surcharges because the value of sterling has dropped.
I am not concerned with writing about the beauties of Ireland or the people so as to entice you to "Ireland of the Welcomes". Others will do that better. I am concerned with telling readers how to get there. " There is a very wide choice of transportation, and today the selection of your transport is as sophisticated and complicated as any international airline timetable. It pays you handsomely to study various offers open to you if you want to spend money.
The Editor cannot afford the space for me to give you more than a sketchy idea of some of the schemes available. But however, the Catholic Herald has arranged a readers service and if you put a tick against your interest in the panel at the end of this article we will arrange to have brochures sent to you so that you can study the you a good idea of the places of departure in Britain and the places of arrival in Ireland by sea and air, and will help your first decision.
Now the story becomes more complicated, because each transport company has different attractions to lure you to use their services.
Having made up your mind as to where you want to go you must decide whether to avail yourself of a package deal or whether you will be the independent type who wants to go where and when he pleases.
One of the most popular ways of going to Ireland on holiday is by ear. If you live in England or Wales there are two shipping lincs.to take you thereB. & I. and British Railways Sea Link.
B. & I., the Irish Shipping Line, operates between Liverpool-Dublin and SwanseaCork, Liverpool is obviously vonvenient for all those travelling from the North. Swansea, now that the M4 is open. is within three to four hours' easy'
driving even from the centre of London. What is more. unlike the M I, it is not so crowded as
10 make driving unpleasant.
With the increase of fuel charges and other rises in costs, B. & I. have had to increase their rates by about 15 per cent; but this avoids sudden fuel surcharges. such as are taking place too often in the package holiday firms.
B. & I. have a series of special offers worth studying in detail, they apply both to inclusive and to independent holidays. The most popular special offer is the Wednesday Special. In this case the outward journey must start on a Wednesday, but the return journey may be made any day except Friday or Saturday.
There is a flat rate for any size car, and it includes up to four passengers travelling free in each direction. The cost is Liverpool-Dublin, £44 ; Swansea-Cork £47. But it is not available between July 17 and
September 11. Apart from the cost, this scheme is attractive because it is' simple to understand.
B. & I. also have day and weekend excursions holidays combined with renting a car in Ireland and a wide range of inclusive tours.
If you are planning a holiday in the South of Ireland and use the Swansea-Cork route, get up early in the morning. The boat docks at Cork at 8 a.m. (having lett Swansea at 10 p.m.). but the _journey up the estuary to Cork Harbour is worth seeing, so get up an hour sooner than you need to.
Sea Link organise inclusive holidays, Irish Farmhouse Holidays, Rent-an-lrishCottage, etc. They also have an early booking incentive scheme between Fishguard-Rosslare, Holyhead-Dun Loaghaire or Heysham-Belfast. If you book for outward travel from June to September 30 you will be en titled to a Sea Link voucher for a free return car passage for a subsequent journey between Britain and Ireland to be made between October 1 and March 31 next year. See what I mean about studying the information?
The "Rent-an-lrish-Cottage" holiday is a good one if there are five of you in a car; in the peak season July-August you can arrange a cottage for a twoweek holiday, including transport across the water, from £29 per person.
Another proposal worth investigating is the "Car + Three Moneysaver". Return fare is £27 for your ear, plus three passengers, but there are restrictions on the days of the week and the time of year.
If you live in the London arca and like to make life easy for holidays you can, between June and September, go by Motorail from London to Fishguard with
your car not so expensive now with the increased price of petrol.
Air Lines work on the principle that the business man is fair
game. They reckon that he is rarely away more than Monday to Friday, so they structure their fares in such a way that the excursion return fare is not applicable until you have been away more than six days, so the holidaymaker benefits.
Aer Lingus also have a special weekend trip, of which more anon.
If you go for longer than six days, you qualify for the monthly excursion rates. In the summer there are even cheaper rates for the independent traveller willing to go early in the 'morning on a Dawn Flight. or late at night by Star Flight.
Aer Lingus, in conjunction with B.E.A. (now B.A.), also organise package holidays such
as the "Car Go-As-YouPlease ,Holidays." Eight days,
including flight, car hire and hotel, costs about £25 more than the normal excursion return flight.
Even better value for money are the "Gateway Weekend Packages." Outside high season, for the price of an excursion return flight, these weekends in
clude the flight, coach travel in Ireland between airport and one or a list of excellent hotels, and two nights' accommodation at the hotel, including breakfast.