IF YOU’RE READING this, then the chances are that you fear you’ve left it too late to book your place in London on May 19.
You have not.
However, you may be outside the reams of calling it a cheap and cheerful trip across the water. So you’ll probably have to lay off the booze for a few weeks in order to save up the few hundred quid needed.
If you’re planning on a mix-and-match approach, scrounging a ticket wherever you can then Saturday morning flights are where you’ll pay through the nose.
Ryanair are flying to Stansted from Dublin on the morning of the match with prices of €137 (departure 6.25), €205 (8.10) and €110 (11.30).
The prices drop sharply after that, but only because next arrival is at half four, in which case you could arrive at Twickenham just in time to see the trophy presentation.
A return flight post-match is not advised, the last departs at 20.15.
Aer Lingus from Dublin is even more off-putting. €302 to Heathrow on the morning of the game. Return flights the following day are between €240 to €330. Ouch.
These prices are before you even account for hotels, so maybe (and we don’t advocate this, of course) you could pull on all-nighter in the English capital. Ryanair will get you back to Dublin for less than €100, but only if you board the plane at 6.30 AM.
Grim up North
Prices are similarly grim up North where FlyBe will take you from Belfast to Gatwick for grand total of £201 (€247).
So unless you plan on going without sleep on the mean streets of London – which many of you probably will do anyway – the best way really is to stick by the travel companies who have hedged their bets by pre-booking places.
Budget Travel are offering a day trip from Dublin to Twickenham for €400. They’ll have you back by midnight, but there’s no match-ticket included.
Celtic Horizon Tours‘ offer sound like much better craic to us. The say that a limited number of tickets are available to be bought on top of the €225 cost of the coach trip (via ferry) and two nights B&B. The only snag (apart from departing Dublin at 5AM on Friday) is that your accommodation will be in Reading and you’ll be shuttled back there from the Stadium.
From what we can see, the best option from Dublin is Marathon Sports travel. Their packages start at €120 per person sharing with the option of buying an match ticket for €45. The budget price will have you at a hotel near Heathrow, but they have options for more central accommodation too, rising to €250.
Ulster have limited places available on their own travel packages which guarantee match-tickets. A same-day return will cost you £275, while if you fancy staying the night in the plush Hilton Kensington (around the corner from Notting Hill) you could have it all for £255.