The writer (second from right) went to Ireland with CIE Tours International. // © 2017 Shannon Tiger
Feature image (above): Her kids enjoyed ziplining in Ireland.// © 2017 Shannon Tiger
Last summer, my husband and I decided to introduce our children, who were then ages 6, 8 and 11, to the world of European travel — and chose Ireland as our inaugural destination.
As soon as we landed, we were greeted by Mike Costello, a chauffeur and guide from CIE Tours International. It quickly became apparent that Mike was a true expert, and the facts that he shared each day kept the interest of both the adults and the kids. My husband and I didn’t have to worry about navigating through Ireland, and we even enjoyed a Guinness or two without having to think about who would take the driver’s seat.
But what truly astonished me was how much Mike customized the trip. He knew how long each day was and the toll it could take on our energy levels, and he gave us alternate options for wake-up and departure times each morning. He also informed us about possible itinerary modifications depending on new departure times. He took us to places he thought we would prefer to see — rather than just what was printed on the itinerary.
My children loved the exhilarating activities of ziplining and tree climbing at Ashford Castle but also enjoyed the simple pleasures of running around in a playground at Mount Juliet.
I knew the kids enjoyed the trip as much as my husband and I did as soon as they asked, “When are we going back to Europe?”