Navigating Ireland on a Tight Budget: A Belated Honeymoon Adventure While Caring for High-Needs Children at Home

My partner and I had always dreamed of taking a romantic honeymoon adventure to Ireland. But after being married for over 13 years, and with three high-needs children to care for (and a military tour to contend with!), it seemed like an impossible dream. However, we were determined to make it happen, and with careful planning, creativity, and a lot of hard work, we finally did! And the best part? We were able to ensure that our children received the specialized care they needed at home while we were away. Let me share with you how we made this dream a reality!

  1. Research, Research, Research!

Our journey began with a lot of research and budgeting. We spent a considerable amount of time calculating our own expenses and determining the costs associated with arranging specialized childcare for our children back home. We wanted to make sure we found qualified caregivers who could meet their unique needs while ensuring that our budget could accommodate these additional expenses. As the “budgeter“ in my family, I took the lead in figuring out just how much we needed to save and how much everything would cost. We started planning a year ahead of time, which was a little daunting. But we knew that with a good grasp of how much we needed to get through the week and how much was extra, along with an organized plan of attack, we could make this happen.

  1. Arranging Specialized Childcare:

When my partner and I were planning our trip, we faced the daunting challenge of finding suitable childcare for our children with high needs. We needed to ensure that our children would receive the best possible care while we were away – this was a non-negotiable. We reached out to trusted caregivers, therapists, and support networks within our community to find individuals with experience caring for children with similar challenges. We invested a great deal of time into vetting and training our caregivers and included the cost of securing specialized childcare in our overall trip budget. For us, there was no question that there would be no trip if there were no reliable childcare options. It was that simple. We had peace of mind knowing that our children were in capable hands, and as a result, we were able to enjoy our adventure without worrying about their safety and well-being (and minimal parental guilt)

  1. Flexible (aka Off-Season) Travel Dates and Lodging:

We made our trip more economical due to the selection of flexible travel dates and low-budget accommodations. Off-season travel, in our case, March, can save you a fortune, and it may be worth booking your travel itinerary through one of the best travel agents around. The right low-price (but still reputable) website can do wonders.

  1. Transportation and Fun (Cheap) Things To Do:

Throughout our vacation in Ireland, we stuck to a budget, especially when it came to travel and entertainment. To save cash, we took advantage of Ireland’s superb public transportation system, using buses and trains to roam the country’s awe-inspiring countryside and delightful towns. When we couldn’t use public transportation, we rented a car that’s a hybrid to get around. We also thoroughly enjoyed hiking in some beautiful Irish climes, sightseeing from picturesque overlooks, and taking in cultural pastimes, all largely free or low cost. (By the way, museums and national parks ask nothing of Irish visitors, who ultimately receive the wealth of amazing experiences in these places that keep them coming back. I strongly recommend Killarney National Park or the Burren if you ever get the chance!)

  1. Embrace the Spirit of Adventure:

On this long-awaited honeymoon, we faced the challenge of caring for our high-needs children back home. We knew it would take a spirit of adventure and adaptability to make the most of this trip. I missed them, but I appreciated the chance to reconnect with my partner. It was worth the trouble to see the wonder in his eyes as we marvelled together at the Emerald Isle. We walked– or he half-limped, really – through lush gardens, hiked and climbed staircases through castles defending lonely cliffs, and dug our feet into the smooth sands of her beaches. After our getaway, my partner was exhausted –but I wouldn’t trade the climbing and clambering it took to achieve those sights! (I mean, seeing your family’s ancestral castle—how do you top that?!)

  1. Staying Connected to the Kids:

After careful planning, budgeting, and specialized childcare arrangements, we were able to embark on a belated honeymoon adventure through Ireland while ensuring that our children were well taken care of at home. This trip was a testament to the power of determination, creativity, and love. It reminded us that anything is possible, even amidst the responsibilities of parenthood, as long as we prioritize what’s important and remain adventurous at heart.

This is my very personal story of travelling on a budget – our priorities were the well-being of our children and making the most of our Irish adventure.

What is yours?

Until next time!


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