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Having just re-located and improved our greenhouse in the garden, getting a slight sunburn due to some really good spells of sunshine here in Ireland, I decided that it is time to recuperate indoors. So I started to sort out my library. And stumbled upon a book called "How to Travel Europe on $ 5 a Day". Wow! This book must have been in print when Jerry Garcia was a talented but unknown young musician ... five dollars won't get you very far these days.

The changing costs of traveling are decided by many factors. Take the exchange rate - $ 5 a day was a small fortune a few years ago, these days it pans out at 3.50. Which will not even buy you a decent breakfast. Another fact of life: Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in the Eurozone. And Northern Ireland, still using the Pound Sterling, does not lag far behind (but is cheaper).

On the other hand air travel has become cheaper. So has car rental. And bearing in mind that inflation has raised costs all over the world it might be possible to travel today for the equivalent of the cost in working hours twenty years ago. This could actually be an interesting exercise - sit down and calculate how long you would have worked for two vacation weeks in 1987, how long you will have to work today. Prepare to be surprised!

But money is tight for most of us these days. So ... while we may not be able to travel Ireland on $ 5 a day, we are not forced to pay over the odds either. In the coming days I will highlight some ideas for budget travel in Ireland. And (I hope) save you a few Dollars, Pounds or Euros.

Photo 2007 Bernd Biege licensed to About.com, Inc.

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