Going on holiday requires a lot of planning in advance, especially if you’re looking to go cheap.

Not all of us have had our summer holiday booked since January nor the money to even travel abroad. If this is you, a staycation may be right up your street. The great thing is there are plenty of gorgeous locations to visit in Ireland, and you might even get lucky with some exam weather.

 

Bundoran, Co Donegal

A classic staycation your parents would recommend. What they might not know is that there are a lot more things to do than when they last visited.

Now the surf capital of Ireland, Bundoran is perfectly situated at the heart of the northwest, with its own beach and reef breaks and very close to top class surfing spots in Donegal and Sligo. There are loads of surf schools to choose from if you fancy giving it a try. Turf n Surf provide camps that include accommodation and transport from Dublin, Bundoran Surf Co do surf and yoga retreats and there are a vast amount of other schools around that provide lessons and gear – and if it's flat there’s always SUPing.

As well as surfing there are cliff walks, golf, a water park, amusements, cafés, scenic drives, country music gigs and loads of festivals to coincide with your trip, like Sea Sessions, Bundoran’s Big Week by the Beach, Bia Bundoran, the Soapbox Race, Street Party, Classic Car Show and more.

Best of all it’s not an expensive place to stay.

 

Lahinch, Co. Clare

Pack up your car and head to one of the most scenic places in Ireland. Yes, it’s another surf spot, but where waves happen there is also gorgeous scenery and plenty to do. There are plenty of cute pubs and restaurants to keep you occupied and it’s also a highly regarded golfing destination if you’re keen to get your swing on.

As well as this the town isn’t far from the Cliffs of Moher or the Arann Islands, both of which are well worth a day trip. The Burren and the Ailwee caves are also must-sees. If you fancy a civilisation detox the Cliffs of Moher Retreat is a perfect location to stay and immerse yourself in nature, the gorgeous scenery and do some yoga. A perfect road trip staycation.

 

Valentia Island, Co Kerry

A well-kept secret staycation location at the very west coast of Ireland. A gorgeous location for diving if you have experience and for sailing even if you’re just starting off. The scenic Geokaun Mountain & Fogher Cliffs are breath-taking and definitely worth a visit. Valentia Island Farmhouse Icecream is a must try for any foodie. Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point is also great for some local history.

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The Skellig Islands are a gorgeous view and well known because of Star Wars. They are accessible from a short drive across the bridge to Portmagee where you can get a boat out. You may have to book this in advance.

You can also take a day trip to Dingle and see all the seaside town has to offer, visit the original Murphy’s ice cream shop and Fungi the dolphin.

 

Ballintoy, Co. Antrim

Another gorgeous coastal spot with plenty of scenery, lovely places to eat and friendly locals. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a nearby spot that is one of the most beautiful places I have been in Northern Ireland.

Go to the Red Door Cottage for some excellent food and then wander down to the harbour, a famous spot used for the filming of Game of Thrones. The beach is quiet and secluded there. You can go for a dip and go up to the tea house there for a hot cuppa and some divine sweet treats.

You’re also not a far drive from the Giants Causeway.

 

Dunmore, Co Waterford

Another classic staycation. You won't go hungry here, there are plenty of great places to eat and drink. In terms of activities, the possibilities are endless with adventure centres offering tons of water centred activities like kayaking, canoeing, SUPing, climbing, caving, archery and more.

It also has several gorgeous blue flag beaches to choose from. You can also visit the castle, go golfing or enjoy a bit of nature as Dunmore is also known for its wide variety of birds.

What are you waiting for, it’s all right on your doorstep.