More and more families are opting for a ‘staycation’ in summertime, forgoing sunnier climes in favour of the wonders that Ireland has to offer.
And why wouldn’t they? Ireland is a haven of natural beauty and history. There is plenty to see and do for all ages and tastes throughout the country, and with the upcoming launch of Ireland Planner, exploring the Emerald Isle has never been easier.
“The idea for Ireland Planner was born out of having family and friends from the United States come to visit us for one night,” owner Tara Brady explained to the Leader. “They booked themselves into a hotel almost two hours from where we lived as they thought it was close by!”
Ms Brady added that though, in the grand scheme of things, Ireland is tiny, people tend to assume that everything is easily accessible and often don’t take into account the length of time it takes to navigate rural roads.
“Also, although the coastal areas of Ireland are a well-worn and well-promoted path, certainly a lot of Ireland’s centre and the Midlands in particular, have copious amounts of offline wondrous sights and hidden gems that remain legendary to locals, but unseen by tourists who are on a schedule and a computer,” the Mullahoran native continued.
Ms Brady has been working as a business professional for almost twenty years, and her passion for this project is infectious.
She studied a BA in Arts at UCD, a Graduate Diploma in Multimedia & E-Business at SCD (where she was awarded 2001/2002 Student of the Year) and the IAPI Graduate Diploma in Advertising at DIT, who named her 2004/2005 Student of the Year.
Having worked for several years in merchant banking, Ms Brady moved into marketing for media company Clearchannel Outdoor and then onto European Marketing Manager at Quinn Radiators.
Ms Brady has traveled extensively, both professionally and for leisure, and she spotted a gap in the Irish market for a travel website that included mapping and itinerary creation. Though she has spent the past 18 months collecting and collating information for the website, Ms Brady admitted that it’s an ongoing thing, and there will be opportunities for people to submit places that they feel are of interest.
“I think sometimes, especially when it’s something in your own area, it becomes almost like wallpaper - you don’t see it after a while,” she mused.
Though the site has yet to be launched, Ms Brady has already been extremely active on social media, sharing picturesque photos and charming stories of some of Ireland’s best kept secrets and most-loved areas.
“Social media is about backing up the site with more stories and quirky little facts,” she added, pointing out that people, particularly Irish people, love stories.
Keen to acknowledge the support she has received over the past year and a half, Ms Brady wished to thank her local enterprise agency, Cavan County Enterprise Board, Cavan Tourism, Bank of Ireland and her development team particularly TickTock Design, who have been instrumental.
It’s a beautifully designed website, and very comprehensive in its content. What’s more, it’s extremely easy to navigate and gives an excellent variety and choice of results.
Users can either browse the information on the website, or they can create an account and build a tailor-made, timed itinerary.
Eager tourists can input where they would like to go and when, and what kind of things they would like to see and Ireland Planner will create the route along with everything of interest along the way. Users can then add items to an itinerary and print a fully-mapped and timed holiday plan. With more than fifty different categories from art galleries and castles to historic pubs and surfing schools, holiday-makers won’t be disappointed.
The Ireland Planner will be launched in August, with the final testing and upload phase taking place at present. For more information, or to get a taste of things to come, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit https://www.facebook.com/irelandplanner or follow @irelandplanner on Twitter.
Whether you’re coming from overseas for a few weeks, or you fancy a day-long adventure, visit irelandplanner.com to see where it will take you. As the Facebook page boasts; ‘the perfect trip is at your fingertips’.