Sceptre Tours (tel. 800/221-0924; www.sceptretours.com), which specializes in Ireland and Scotland, is running a special for independent travel called Ireland at $65 A Day. It includes a car rental and a bed and breakfast/inn stay among the country's network of more than a thousand registered properties. The trip is based on six nights in Ireland, starting from $439 in May, $469 for June travel and $515 for July and August travel. All of the aforementioned prices reflect land-only trips. You spend your first night (pre-booked) in either Shannon or Dublin, depending on which city you fly into, and five nights in farmhouse bed and breakfast properties. The car rental covers seven days. Upgrades to fancier accommodations are possible for an additional price; so are upgrades to cars with automatic transmissions. Prices are based on double occupancy and do not include room taxes.
Ireland is relatively easy to navigate independently with a car and a sense of adventure, and you can see quite a bit of the very green island in a week. If you're interested in adding on airfare, Sceptre makes that possible, but the air-inclusive prices don't include airline taxes. Packages that include roundtrip airfare from New York-JFK, Boston, or Washington, D.C.-Dulles are priced from $954 for May departures, $999 for June departures, and rise to $1,158 for July and August departures. But if you can wait until later in the year, the price drops even more -- in November and December, it's priced from $699. If you're opting for a land-only tour during those two months, it will cost $389; that's where the $65 a day figure comes from. Other cities are also posted but the price rises: Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles start from $1,091 for roundtrip airfare in May.
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