$1,381.48 + 57,722 Points=Trip for 4 to Ireland

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Over the winter break, the Michael W Travels family took our first international trip as a family of 4. Our destination was Costa Rica.

The trip went really well and now we couldn’t wait until our next trip.

During President’s Week, we went on a quick trip to Ireland!

Picking the Destination: There were a few reasons why we chose Ireland.

  1. None of us had visited the country before
  2. I came across a very reasonable fare to get us there.
  3. With only time for a short trip, I thought we could see and do a lot during a quick visit.

I started looking into travel options for President’s Week months back. I came up empty-handed while trying to use miles and points. This is a very busy week for travel so award flights were only available at a premium.

While considering options for this trip, one other destination was considered. I was close to booking a flight to Spain but I’ve been there before and this weighed heavily in my decision.

Here are the trip planning details for our visit to Ireland.

The Flights:

I don’t recall where I came across the deal for the flight to Ireland but I searched for pricing through Momondo. This led me to Explore Trip. I’d never heard of them before but they did come up with the best price.

We flew three airlines during our trip:

On the way:

  • JFK- MAD on Iberia
  • MAD- DUB on Aer Lingus


  • DUB- LGW on Aer Lingus
  • LGW- JFK on British Airways

I booked the flight with my Barclay Arrival card. The cost of a child ticket was slightly cheaper than the adult fares. The adult fares cost $402.22 each and Lucas’s ticket was $377.22. This brought the total cost for the flights to $1,181.66.

I applied my Arrival points for statement credits to bring down the cost of the trip. I used 40,222 points for a $402.22 statement credit for one of the adult fares. I was then able to apply 17,500 points for a partial credit on another ticket for $175.

This brought the total costs for our flight to $604.44.

We had a major issue adding Theo as a lap baby. We ended up having to add him at the airport. This caused a bit of a delay while checking in as well as a crazy high price of $363.47 in taxes!

Total cost of flights: $967.91 + 57,722 Barclay Arrival points.

Hotel/ Accommodations:

Let me start this off by saying that Dublin is a pricey city to stay in. It turns out that the week we were traveling was quite the popular time to visit. While looking for a room with points, I came up empty-handed. They were either not in the area we wanted to stay or way too rich for us to pay.

I then searched for hostels which were either pricey or in locations we didn’t care for. A couple of not so cheap hostels had no WiFi or other issues etc…

We ended up booking our hotel stay through Hotels.com.

We spent 4 nights at the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane. The average price per night was $94 and with a 10% off Hotels.com coupon the stay came to a total of $413.57 with tax.

Total cost of hotel: $413.57.

Total Trip Costs$1,381.48 + 57,722 Barclay Arrival Points.

Obviously, it would’ve been nice to see our airfare and hotel costs come out a bit cheaper but I still think we did pretty well during a holiday week.

We also had a great time during our visit to Ireland so I’m happy with the decisions we made while planning our visit.

Have you visited Ireland? If so, what did you think about the country?

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5 thoughts on “$1,381.48 + 57,722 Points=Trip for 4 to Ireland

  1. Pat- Glad to hear more votes for how good Ireland is. We were really impressed, even with our short visit. We did a long day trip to Giants Causeway which was incredible. (Yes I know it’s Northern Ireland.)

    I am a big fan of guidebooks and get one for most trips. I typically go with Lonely Planet but have used Rick Steves for many of my early Europe trips. His guides are excellent.

  2. I agree with DaninMCI, the best parts of Ireland are outside of the cities. As Matt S said, rental cars are cheap, so there’s no excuse to avoid venturing out into the countryside (the treacherous roads are half the fun, honestly). In about 10 days, you should be able to do a loop around the entire island, spending a couple nights at various towns along the way. Honestly, I found Dublin to be the least-enjoyable stop on our itinerary.

    I know we consider ourselves to be seasoned travelers, but even if that’s the case, using the Rick Steves guidebook isn’t beneath us. I found it to be invaluable for my trip.

  3. Matt S- That is awesome! You did great on your flight. Ireland really impressed and we plan to eventually go back to see more of the country!

    DaninMCI- I’ve saved Ireland for years thinking we’d go and drive around the country but it still hadn’t happened. While looking for a destination for President’s Week, I thought it was time to pull the trigger and I’m so glad we did. We loved Dublin and also went on on a long day trip which was awesome. Someday we’ll return.

  4. We visited Ireland last year but had booked a series of nights at the tail end of the Carlson last night free benefit. The Radisson in Dublin is very nice. We also stayed in Cork and Limerick which are also nice. We had one added night in the NW suburbs of Dublin at a nice Crowne Plaza as well.
    I think a lot of people visit Dublin but fail to see the country. Dublin is a nice visit but there are.so many neat castles and sites to see outside the city. From Cobh to cliffs of Mohr. It’s a great place to visit.

  5. Just got back from my first Ireland trip. My first international trip with my brother and his wife and our cousin. I found us Delta flights from JFK-DUB for just $270 round trip, booked last July – the main reason we went and why we went in February. I used points for two rooms at the Holiday Inn in Killarney (just 15,000/night) and the Hilton Garden Inn Custom House in Dublin (just 30,000/night). This hotel sold out by our trip and when a room was open earlier it was going for over 90,000/night (the reason I always book in as early as possible with points). I found us a great place in Galway on Orbitz that had 3 bed/3 bath and a huge living space with kitchen and large windows for just $80/night (Galway city pointe apartments). Rental car was just $225 for an entire week with GPS. So all in all, it was a great trip, even with the rain and wind.

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