IRELAND

 

Truly Ireland is one of my favorite places to visit.  From it’s lush green countryside to the warm welcome of the people with their Irish accents, it truly is amazing.  Plus, it holds a special place in my heart as it was the last family vacation we took together before my mother passed away from her battle with ovarian cancer in 2009.

Did you know: Ireland is a snake-free island. Due to its isolation from the European mainland, Ireland lacks several species common elsewhere in Europe, such as moles, weasels, polecats or roe deer.  Ummm, sign me up to live here please!

Activities: 

  • Whiskey or Beer Anyone?-If you like whiskey or beer, you are in the right place.  From Guinness to Jameson, you are in for quite a treat as there’s a pub on nearly every corner and distilleries galore.  Take a walking tour of Dublin and hit up Temple Bar area to enjoy some live music and ale.

  • Game of Thrones fan? -There’s now a fully narrated overview of the Game of Thrones filming locations around Dublin.  All attractions are FREE for all to visit, making this a cost conscious option.

  • Castles-What trip to Ireland would be complete without visiting a few castles.  One most notable one is Bunratty Castle and the village of Lahnich.  You can even stay for a medieval dinner complete with honey wine (mead) made right in Bunratty castle.  Afterwards, take a little trip over to Durty Nelly’s -It is truly one of Ireland’s landmark pubs complete with amazing badges of countless police and fire departments who’ve visited over the years.  It’s quite a fun place to make a pit stop and grab a drink!

  • Cliffs of Moher-This place is a must see while in Ireland.  The cliffs have amazing views of the Atlantic ocean. 

    • TIP: The tourism agency carved a 12-mile coastal walk traversing the entire length of the cliffs.  The trail offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside while wild horses wander fields broken up only by field stone walls.  If you prefer to view it from below, I highly recommend one of the epic boat tours to see things in a different light.

 

Shop Tax Free: Travelers from outside the EU are entitled to tax-free shopping in Ireland. Applying for a Fexco Horizon card before you arrive means you can then register and swipe it in any affiliated location in the country before claiming back sales tax on those purchases at the airport on your way home. The service has even launched a tax-free shopping app, through which you can order and register your card, locate affiliated outlets and track purchases.

 

Rent a SMALL car: While most of the major Irish sights can be taken in using public transport or tour buses, renting a car is worth considering, to get to those spectacular places off the beaten track. I recommend a SMALL one as some of the roads are well-Quite narrow.  And a traffic jam may involve donkeys sitting in the middle of the road refusing to move! 

Check your baggage restrictions: If you are traveling within Europe, Ryanair is known for providing amazing low fares.  However, they are also known for placing certain regulations on those bargain-level fares, such as heavy cabin baggage restrictions. You can bring on board only one cabin bag – weighing up to 10 kilos – plus one small bag such as a handbag. Make sure to check the luggage requirements so you don’t over pack and get dinged at the ticket counter with a hefty fee.

Tipping: Ireland doesn’t have the same culture of tipping that some countries do, but there are certain services that people do tend to tip for. In restaurants with table service, it’s normal to tip between 10 -12% if you wish. For taxi drivers, it’s customary to tip 10% if they provided good service.

Health Tip:  Keep a well-balanced diet. I know only too well how hard this can be while on the go, when you want to try absolutely everything. I know it’s tempting to order fish and chips at every meal while in the Irish pubs, but choosing fresh fruit and vegetables instead of processed and fried food for at least some of your meals will do wonders for your overall mood and wellness. Pack a quality probiotic for natural immunity.  If you need some suggestions on a good one, I’ve got you covered with some of my favorites that are budget friendly and absorb well too.

Empowering you to live well + travel!