July is over and August approaches meaning we are closer to 2019. But no matter the month, Ireland is a lovely place to visit. From Cork to Donegal and Dublin to Galway and everywhere else Ireland have a lot to offer. Here is some travel advice about Ireland as well as information about Ireland’s public transport, the Irish people and their restaurants.
Preparing for the trip
When flying within Europe particular with Ryanair, there are fines to excessive luggage. Check the weight and size restrictions. Be sure to check with the airlines that you are travelling with the restrictions with baggage and that your carry-on bag under 10 kilos. The best guide is to have one medium luggage and one carry-on per person. Double check your flight times before you leave. If you book airfare far in advance the departure time can change.
Don’t take much cash with you or bring traveller’s checks. Just bring your card. Ireland has several ATMs that you can use to withdraw money if you wish to or have to pay with physical cash.
Be sure that you have insurance with you and If you are travelling from an EU country, be sure to have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. In emergency situations, Ireland’s blue light services – the Garda Síochána (police), ambulance, or fire department – they can all be reached by dialling either 112 or 999, and just 999 in Northern Ireland.
If you plan of seeing some Heritage sights, get A Heritage Card. While it costs €25, you have free access to all fee-paying state-managed heritage sites in Ireland for one year, including castles, national parks, and war memorial gardens.
Here are some items that you should pack:
Don’t underestimate the size of Ireland, it is larger than you think. As well as the hustle and bustle of our big cities, we have gorgeous countryside and seaside to view. The best way to see it is to rent a car so you can see it at your own pace and avoid waiting hours for rural public transport.
When renting a car, don’t be afraid to ask for one with an automatic transmission. While most Irish cars use manual, it is better to drive in a transmission that you are familiar with. Whichever one you choose to keep in mind that the Irish drive on the left side of the road.
Country roads in Ireland can be quite narrow, contain a lot of turns and may have pothole so be very careful when driving. Consider purchasing additional car reimbursement coverage just in case.
The Irish cities has plenty of public transport to get you from A to B if it’s too long to walk. You can take a taxi which given that is a surplus of them in Ireland you don’t have to book one unless it is an urgent lift. Just stretch out your hand or just head to a taxi rank. This is more suitable if there is a group of you as taxis are expensive.
Alternately, you can take the bus. When hoping to get on the bus. Make sure to stick your arm out when it approaches to let the driver know you want to board. Buses won't stop unless you put your hand out. If you plan on using Dublin Bus, fares are paid to the bus driver when you board, and they only accept coin. Alternatively, you can purchase a prepaid Visitor Leap Card, which provides use of on buses such as Dublin Bus and Airlink as well as commuter rail services such as DART and Luas. The pricing starts from €10 for a 24-hour card and the cards are sold online and at retail outlets in Dublin city centre and Dublin Airport. If your bus runs late, don’t panic. That is a common trait of the Irish buses.
If you need comfort, then you could always take the train. with free Wi-Fi, electrical outlets, and bathrooms onboard. However, it is best to book online and search for discounts as the train is a pricey way to travel. The Irish train service is called Ianród Eireann or Irish Rail and the Northern Irish train service is called Translink.
The Irish People
What you need to know about the Irish people is that they have a sense of humour. So, expect harmless ribs and conversations that aren’t so serious. Also expect some swearing as they tend to use adult language. However, it’s used for exaggeration rather than a form of malice.
The Irish don’t say “Top of the Morning” or “May the Road Rise to Meet You” and they don’t talk in our accent unless you are really good at it. They may be positively reserved but are friendly when spoken to and love to talk once they get going. Also expect the Irish to give you a handshake when saying hello and say goodbye a lot before they actually leave.
Irish cuisine is more than bacon, cabbage, and potatoes. There are restaurants all over that satisfy all cravings. Furthermore, Irish restaurant menus are allergy and diet friendly pinpointing any allergens with graphics and/numbers. If they aren’t present on the menu, do not be afraid to the servers who would kindly tell you whether or not certain food contain allergens.
Keep in mind though that if you want to smoke after your meal and pint, you have to do in designated areas in the restaurant as there has been a smoking ban enacted since 2004. However, tipping isn’t mandatory here in Ireland unless you feel the service was excellent and wanted to give more money.
Written by: Diarmuid Crowley from StayPlanet