With the government’s new Stay and Spend incentive, now is the time to take an autumn staycation in Ireland
We’re in the year of the staycation!
Now is the time to explore the beauty of your own country to minimise the spread of COVID-19 caused by travel between regions. In Ireland, many headed to the country as the lockdowns were eased to breathe in that nature smell. But as we move into autumn the ideas may be starting to dwindle. And with the beautiful weather we get in Ireland in the lead up to winter, the options may not be as far and wide as they were in the summer months.
Some good news, though! The Irish government announced a new Stay and Spend tax credit to encourage tourism in Ireland. In a recent press release the Department of Finance said the goal is “to support domestic providers of accommodation and/or food during the off-season, providing support to a particularly impacted sector.” Sounds like a win-win!
Understanding Ireland’s Stay and Spend Tax Credit
How do you qualify? Firstly, you must be an Irish taxpayer to avail of this credit. You can submit receipts up to €625, and the Revenue department will provide you with an income tax credit of up to €125, or €250 for a jointly-assessed married couple. This incentive will run from October 1st, 2020 through April 30th, 2021. For more about what you can submit, review the details on the Citizen’s Information website.
I have pulled together a list of ideas for an autumn staycation in Ireland to get you started! I’ve broken them down in to two categories: 1) ideas for having a relaxing autumn staycation in Ireland and 2) ideas for having an energising autumn staycation in Ireland. Hopefully, there will be something here for everyone!
Where to Have a Relaxing Autumn Staycation in Ireland
Have Spa Weekend
Monart is Ireland’s only destination spa, meaning you and spa all day and sleep there at night! At the time of publishing, they are open with a more limited capacity. While this means it may be tougher to get a booking, if you manage to grab a spot you’ll probably have a more enjoyable experience with fewer people around. Talk about relaxing!
Visit Dublin’s Tourist Attractions
If you’ve ever been curious about visiting Kilmainham Gaol, or wanted to get that cute photo of your Guinness at the top of the Guinness Storehouse, now is the time to go! Both of these, along with many other Dublin attractions, have reopened post-lockdown. Booking online is mandatory to ensure the safety of everyone visiting, and face masks are also mandatory. I can’t think of a better way to see a tourist attraction than at a time when there is a cap on the number of people allowed in!
Live like Matt Damon in Dalkey
During Ireland’s initial COVID-19 lockdown, Matt Damon found himself stranded in Dublin. He had been in town filming a movie, which was halted as the country shut down. Instead of finding a way to fly back to the US, he and his family camped out in style in Dalkey, South Dublin. The fun part? The place he stayed at is available to rent on Airbnb! Now you too can live like a celebrity.
Stay on the Waterfront
With Ireland being an island, you’ve got a lot of waterfront to choose from! Waking up to a view of the water or, even better, the sound of the ocean, is one of the most relaxing things you can do. Why do you think those meditation apps have so many soothing water sound options? Here is my list of Airbnb’s around Ireland with waterfront views. Head on down to the coast, drink tea all day, read that good book you keep meaning to pick up, and look out onto the ocean. And, relax.
Visit a Fancy Hotel
Ever wish you could splash out on a fancy hotel, but booked a trip to Greece instead? Seems like a fair trade-off. As we come into Autumn, why not book that stay at a swanky hotel! If it rains, who cares? You’re inside! Plus, you can submit your receipts as part of the Stay and Spend incentive.
Where to Have an Energising Autumn Staycation in Ireland
Walk the Stairway to Heaven
The boardwalk on Cuilcagh Mountain has been dubbed the Stairway to Heaven because, well, look at it! You can reach Cuilcagh from Dublin in about 2 hours by car. There are different opinions as to how long this walk might take you, I’m sure parking dramas, Instahuns, and taking time to admire the scenery can cause the time to vary quite a bit. The average seems to be 2.5-3 hours at a fine pace.
Cycle the Aran Islands
You can reach the Aran Islands, just off the coast of Galway, via a 50 minute ferry. I did it once, in precarious weather, and it was quite an experience. I’ll cross my fingers for you that you get good weather, but even in the rain there was something so magical about the rural island. Read my full experience arriving to and cycling around the Aran Islands.
Experience the Giant’s Causeway
Have you really seen the Giant’s Causeway if it wasn’t raining? Even in Autumn, the Giant’s Causeway is worth a visit. Click here to read more about one of my (very rainy) visits to the Unesco World Heritage Site.
Kiss the Blarney Stone
Yes, even during COVID-19 you can still head down to Cork to get the gift of the gab! Blarney Castle has reopened with health and safety measures in place. If you’re looking to turn your 2020 around, maybe start here?
Let someone do the heavy lifting! Have browse through Airbnb’s experiences in Ireland and plan your staycation around that. You don’t have to worry about tickets or equipment, just show up on time and someone else will plan everything for you! Alpaca Trekking Through A Magical Forest in Tuosist? Seal Feed and Enrichment Experience in Courtown? Explore the amazing world of falconry in Wicklow? Irish Dance at the Thatched Cottage in Galway? The options are endless! Search for your favourites below.
Pin this autumn staycation list for later!