The big appeal for solo travelers is how friendly the Irish are. It’s very easy to meet people and it’s also very safe.
“I’ve never been to a place where people were more likely to say hello or strike up a conversation with you,” Schlichter said. “That makes you feel like you’re not alone.”
The sights: Expedia recommends the Wicklow Mountains, Valleys and Lakes plus City Tour of Dublin ($50), which takes you through the countryside, including lakes and charming villages, plus the city and some of the big sights like Dublin Castle. Independent Traveler also recommends the Dublin Writers Museumand a literary tour of Ireland that celebrates authors including Frank McCourt, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. You can take a walking literary touror multi-day trip.
The cost: Hotel rates are up 14 percent from last year, though only 3 to 6 percent for four-star hotels, Expedia reports. You can get a flight and three-night hotel combo for about $730.