On this, the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, thoughts turn to visiting, or revisiting, Ireland. Those who can quickly turn their thoughts into action by visiting this month or next can see the island on a CIE Tours International self-drive vacation that starts at $468 plus airfare. (Those fares are currently 40 to 50 percent lower than at this time last year.)
Travelers pick up a self-drive standard shift car from Hertz at Shannon or Dublin airport, and create their own itinerary with unlimited mileage, insurance, and government tax included. Also part of the package are open vouchers for six nights at a choice of more than 1,100 bed-and-breakfasts with private bathrooms, Irish breakfasts, service charges, and all taxes. The offer is also available in May or June, beginning at $516. Visit www.cietours.com, call 800-243-8687, or see a travel agent.
Posted by Richard P. Carpenter, Globe correspondent