Tips For a Terrific First Trip to Ireland
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Ireland is on my soon to visit countries. I’ve actually been working on putting together an Ireland / Scotland tour. Maybe combined. Maybe two stand-alone trips. Not sure yet. What do you think? Would you have a preference? I was getting quotes and working with suppliers to plan something for May 2021, and then the world paused. No worries - I will get back to it, because I want to go and I want to bring a group of people with me to enjoy the area. All the clients I have sent here, love every minute of it. I want that joy…and not just the joy you get from celebrating St. Paddy’s Day! That’s a whole other tour that could be done on its own - also been considering a brewery/whisk (e)y tour themed trip.
Whether you travel on your own or as part of a group, here are some tips that might come in handy while we plan your Irish trip because you know you've put off visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, and Blarney Castle long enough. It's finally time to take that trip to Ireland! We applaud that decision, but before you book that brewery tour or get too excited about visiting Dublin's Grafton Street, here are a few tips to make for a more enjoyable trip.
Consider Car Travel
The best sites in the Emerald Isle are seen via public transportation or tour buses, but renting a car is not a bad idea to get to those obscure sites. Be sure the vehicle you rent is a small one, as rural roads in Ireland are narrow. Oh, and the Irish drive on the left side of the road and pass on the right. Much like in London. Or just leave it to the expert and get driven around.
All those goodies you'll find to buy on Grafton Street are tax-free! That's right, travelers who live outside the European Union can shop tax-free in Ireland. Make sure to apply for a Fexco Horizon Card prior to your trip so you can register and swipe it in affiliated stores in the country and claim sales tax back on the purchases.
And while we're on the topic of shopping, it's important to note that, as part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland uses Pound Sterling rather than the Euro.
Irish weather is not extreme, but the country does get a lot of rain, particularly along its west coast. And if you're traveling to Ireland during winter, know that the season's days are short. The sun rises at about 8 a.m. and sets at about 4 p.m., which means you have to cram a lot of sightseeing into a few hours. Close to what we are used to here. But during summer, the sunsets as late as 10 p.m. Be mindful of these seasonal changes, pack light layers of clothing and a pair of rain boots or waterproof shoes, and you should be just fine.
Public Transportation Pointers
The trains in Ireland carry you in comfort, but they are pricey. So, if you intend to travel on one during your trip, we will make sure to book it in advance to take advantage of discounts that the Irish Rail offers. If you choose to travel by bus, be aware that you must flag the bus to get it to stop.
Heritage Cards Are Helpful
If you plan to visit the country's many cultural attractions, picking up a Heritage Card from the Office of Public Works is a great idea. This card entitles you to free admission to all heritage sites managed by the state for an entire year. These sites include castles and national parks.
So now that you have the tips to a successful Ireland trip, be sure to call or email me to help you plan your vacation whether on your own, with a land tour, or as part of what could be a hosted tour with me.
If you want to stay informed about upcoming an Ireland and Scotland Land Tour hosted by yours truly, register HERE.
Is Ireland a bucket list destination for you? Is there something that appeals to you? Ancestry? Themed tours? Would love to hear from you.