Travel Spotlight: Ireland

When you see photos of the beautiful lush greens of Ireland, it is hard not to want to pick up and travel there tomorrow. If you are lucky enough to have a trip scheduled, the following are some tips to think about before you arrive.

Northern Ireland Uses a Different Currency

As part of the UK, Northern Ireland uses pound sterling, not the euro. This should not affect your debit card or ATM usage at all, but it will affect you if your are traveling with cash. It is also important to know when it comes to shopping. According to Culture Trip, grocery shopping bills in Northern Ireland are close to 15 per cent cheaper than in the republic.

Rent a Small Car

While most of Ireland’s main sights can be seen by public transportation, there are some off the beaten trail sights you may want to rent a car for. If you do decide to rent a car, keep in mind that the Irish do drive on the left hand side of the road, opposite of US drivers. When you are visiting rural areas, the country roads will be winding and narrow, and although the locals may speed along them with ease, it is best to drive very slowly and carefully!

Pre-Book Trains

If you decide to use a train to travel Ireland, be sure to pre-book your tickets. While the trains offer more comfort than a bus along with free wifi, bathrooms and even outlets, they come with a cost. Luckily, Irish Rail offers great online booking discounts, as long as you book in advance.
Stay at least Two Nights in a Location

While in Ireland, do yourself a favor an allow two nights (at least) in each location. Travel is meant to be fun and by allowing yourself any less than two nights in one location, you will spend most of your time packing and unpacking in new hotel rooms. Instead of trying to hit every single location you are interested in, narrow it down to your top three. Ireland has “hubs” you can stay at in between locations where local families will allow you to stay in exchange for some work on their land or a small sum. This not only offers you the opportunity to get to know some locals, it is a great way to fit day trips in!

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Ireland, there are some things you need to know before you arrive. Be aware of which part of Ireland you are in because Ireland uses two different currencies. In addition, rent a small car if it’s in the budget, book your trains as far in advance as possible and allow yourself two nights per location in order to get the most from your travel. And lastly but most importantly, enjoy!