How to Travel Ireland Like a Spoiled American

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of Americans are still without power and I am reminded of a  young Irish woman with four children under the age of four that I met in Ireland this past month when I was traveling there.. Although they don’t usually get snow, they get what they call “frost.”  I imagine the roads can be very slippery and she told me the Irish do not salt or sand the roads as we do in America. They just stay put.  On rare occasions when they get snow, I was told there is one snow plow in the whole country and it is in Dublin. Two winters past, my Irish friend told me her pipes froze and people had to wait for the Spring thaw. Her family was without power, water, and electricity for six weeks!!!  I cannot even imagine what that must have been like but the Irish seem to take this in stride. Never knowing how bad a coming winter will be, they stock up on food, water, and make preparations beforehand. I’m in awe at their resilience and willingness to just take charge of their own situations. But that’s not really what this post is about.

 Americans like to travel but we also prefer the same luxuries we had at home. I call them luxuries because not everyone lives the way we do, with Starbucks on every corner,  a Walmart with every available item  under the sun and 1-2 cars in every garage filled to the brim with gas no less. In Ireland gas is about $9.00 a gallon so they don’t drive far.

Here are some tips to make your trip to Ireland , a bit more hassle-free and American friendly. Often these tips carry a cheaper price tag as well, so listen up!

1. Do your homework. Scope out where you want to go and how you will get there. Decide the places you want to see and make your own itinerary. Don’t rely on a tour group or scheduled itinerary from some outside source. There are several reasons for this. A.  tour packages can be as much as $1000.00  higher per person than renting a car and traveling on your own. Also, we were able to add three more days  than is often allowed in a tour package. There are other reasons such as seeing what you want, taking your time, not being on some tour operator schedule etc. The  photo of the Moone High Cross was a rare treat we stumbled upon while going from one place to the other. It was not easy to find, hidden away behind a stone wall in the back of a

Moone High Cross County Kildare

farmer’s private property. We had to squeeze through a small opening to get inside the area where it was kept, another advantage of driving on your own. What fun that was finding it!

2. Rent a car and take out the extra ins. too. ( I recently found out that many credit cards will cover collision on rental cars)  Driving in Ireland is not as scarey as you may think. Although there are few street signs and there will be places where the roads are very narrow. Everything takes twice as much time to get to than it appears on a map so allow for this. Rent your car before you leave the states and rent an automatic (if that is what you prefer) way ahead of time. Rent or buy a GPS with voice activation. I’ve driven with a map and I’ve used the GPS both. I survived both times but the GPS added so  much ease to the trip that it greatly added to my enjoyment. note: An advantage of buying  the GPS in the states and loading the European maps ahead of time, will allow you  get to know how the gizmo works before you get into a foreign country.

3. Stay at a bed and breakfast. Many tour companies stick with the few hotels available because they need to accommodate a larger group of people. B@Bs often have about four rooms  to a dwelling. The advantage of a bed and breakfast is Great Value!  and the personal attention. The last time I traveled in Oct. I payed 60 Eu which is about $75 a night  including a full Irish breakfast. (Irish Breakfast: porridge, bacon, eggs, toast, sausage, fruit, coffee, tea, juice, etc etc) We were greeted at the door and offered tea and scones, when we got there. Here’s a tip: Look for the Shamrock. Ireland has a great advantage over America when it comes to accommodations. Every place with a shamrock on the sign is guaranteed by the Irish Tourist Board to be good and I’ve never been disappointed.. One place even washed our clothes for an added fee. Another note: book your Dublin accommodation for the night you fly in and the night you fly out. (over the internet)  It also is a good idea to pay for the night before you arrive as most places won’t let you in the room before 3pm otherwise and since  you’ll have major jet lag and you’ll arrive early a.m you may want to sleep. ( the time change will mean you lose most of a nights sleep before you arrive) Its; alright to book the rest as you go as there are plenty of B@Bs all over the country at least in the off season.

4. So you’re getting your breakfast included in your b@b. Now how about lunch? Just about every pub, restaurant, tourist stop I can think of serves homemade soup and fresh baked bread. This is  your best value and nutrition. It’s cheap and healthy. No McDonalds here, lads and lasses although they are beginning to spring up.

5. Nine to twelve months ahead of your trip watch for cheap flights! Every couple of days or so pop on the internet and search flight prices on as many sights as you can find.. I’ve found May and Oct. to be pretty cheap but I’m sure if you look you could find other months as well. If possible do not fly in the summer as those flights are usually double what you would find in other months of the year. My last flight to Ireland from Roc. to DUB was under $600 round trip. If you live in NY or Boston its may be cheaper as that is the connection from where I live. Also fly in and out of Dublin. Shannon and Belfast will make you connect there any way and charge you for that connection. Besides there are lots of     things to see in Dublin.

These are the major points to make your trip to Ireland American friendly. I would add , invest in a Ireland Tour book by Frommers It can be any edition but be sure to get a paper map with it. They also have a website. This is by far the best traveling tour book out there and will help you with your itinerary.. Its also good just to flip through if you have no real destination. That’s how we found the Moone High Cross.

Another great place to find hidden gems to visit in Ireland is at a blog called RUINIreland.com (R U IN Ireland) The blog is written and updated often by a fabulously helpful woman named,  Elena Clancy. Elena  writes reviews and travel tips about some of the less traveled spots in Ireland,  some of the best, and some of the most popular, which she will be very honest in either promoting or telling you not to waist your money on. She will even answer your questions or point you in the right direction before you travel as she has lived in Ireland for over ten years and knows nearly every inch of her beautiful landscape.

I welcome any other tips on how you can save money, time and  have as much “craic” as ever while touring Ireland. For more savings tips go here! Or.

If you have any tips or stories about Irish travel, leave a comment below. You can also subscribe on the home page to read more Irish history..

 

 

 

 

49 thoughts on “How to Travel Ireland Like a Spoiled American

  1. I in addition to my buddies have already been following the best key points from your site and then then I got a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the web site owner for those techniques. Most of the young men are already for this reason happy to study all of them and now have really been having fun with them. Appreciate your simply being very kind and also for opting for this kind of wonderful guides millions of individuals are really needing to know about. My very own honest regret for not saying thanks to sooner.

  2. I simply wanted to jot down a simple remark to express gratitude to you for those amazing tips you are showing at this website. My extended internet investigation has at the end of the day been paid with excellent suggestions to go over with my family and friends. I ‘d assume that most of us website visitors are really blessed to be in a remarkable place with very many marvellous individuals with beneficial tips. I feel somewhat privileged to have discovered the website and look forward to many more brilliant minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.

  3. Thank you so much for providing individuals with an extremely nice chance to read articles and blog posts from this website. It’s always so pleasing plus jam-packed with a great time for me personally and my office fellow workers to visit your blog at minimum thrice every week to study the newest guides you have got. And indeed, we’re usually pleased considering the exceptional opinions you give. Some 1 tips on this page are honestly the most effective I have ever had.

  4. I have to express my thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this dilemma. After looking out throughout the internet and coming across tricks which were not productive, I believed my life was done. Being alive minus the answers to the problems you have solved as a result of your entire article is a crucial case, and the ones that could have adversely affected my career if I hadn’t come across your website. Your good mastery and kindness in taking care of all the things was very helpful. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come upon such a subject like this. I am able to now look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for your skilled and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to recommend your site to any person who should have guide on this topic.

  5. I have to get across my gratitude for your generosity giving support to those who really need help with in this area of interest. Your special dedication to getting the message all-around became remarkably valuable and has permitted individuals much like me to reach their aims. This helpful suggestions signifies so much a person like me and somewhat more to my office workers. Best wishes; from each one of us.

  6. I wanted to write you a very small note to finally say thank you yet again on the extraordinary guidelines you’ve shown here. It is pretty generous of you giving freely precisely what some people might have marketed as an e-book to generate some bucks for their own end, most importantly since you might well have tried it in case you considered necessary. These pointers likewise worked to be a fantastic way to understand that someone else have the same keenness like my own to understand great deal more when it comes to this matter. I’m certain there are a lot more pleasant occasions in the future for many who browse through your site.

  7. I am writing to make you be aware of of the great experience my cousin’s child found checking your blog. She learned several issues, not to mention how it is like to possess an incredible coaching heart to get a number of people completely gain knowledge of a variety of extremely tough things. You really surpassed her expectations. Thanks for imparting such good, dependable, explanatory and fun guidance on that topic to Jane.

  8. I definitely wanted to send a comment in order to say thanks to you for all the splendid strategies you are placing on this site. My long internet look up has finally been compensated with wonderful tips to share with my partners. I would say that we site visitors actually are very fortunate to live in a fantastic place with so many wonderful professionals with helpful techniques. I feel quite lucky to have discovered your entire site and look forward to really more fabulous moments reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *