Ireland has always been popular as an international travel destination, and it’s understandable — after all, what’s not to love? The pristine and mesmerizing views, the breathtaking castles and architecture, the one of a kind cultural cuisine…the list goes on and on. But even though you may be eager to pack your bags and get going, it’s important to plan carefully in order to make the most of the time you have in the country. With that in mind, here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you plan for your Emerald Isle adventure.
Brush up on your Irish vernacular.
In the United States, immigrants make up approximately 13% of the total U.S. population. While most of them can easily adapt to the English language over time, they still remember the language of their country of origin. You’ll have a similar experience when visiting Ireland: most people speak English, but there are some who still speak Irish. On the other hand, it’s helpful (and fun!) to fill yourself in when it comes to keeping up with savvy Irish slang. For a quick and easy lesson, take a look at IrishCentral’s handy guide.
Prepare for unpredictable weather.
One thing that you’ll consistently hear from those who have been to Ireland is that the weather can be quite unpredictable. While rainy weather is the most common, you should also be prepared for the occasional sunny day as well. Experts say June and July visitors have the best chances of seeing the most sunshine, but even fall months like October can bring about the occasional sunbeam. The solution, again, is to be prepared for all sorts of weather: about 75% of U.S. adults wear Rx or plano sunglasses, and it’s worthwhile to bring along any sunglasses you have lying around, especially if you plan on doing some hiking or rugged exploring.
If you’re renting a car, know the rules of the road.
At its widest the island is about 174 mi (280 km). At its longest (north-south) it is 302 mi (486 km). While renting a car certainly isn’t necessary, it does make it easier to navigate and allow for more convenience between stops compared with public transportation options. That being said, if you do decide to rent a car, be aware that Ireland drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road. You should also consider your vehicle choice and compare it with your intended route.
“Renting a car is worth considering, to get to those spectacular places off the beaten track. If you are going to rent one, remember that people in Ireland drive on the left-hand side of the road and pass on the right — the opposite of US drivers. It’s best to rent a small car for visiting rural areas – country roads in Ireland are notoriously narrow and winding, and some locals drive along them more quickly than you might expect,” writes Kate Phelan on Culture Trip.
So there you have it — now you can plan your Irish getaway with ease. Top o’ the mornin’, and enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the Emerald Isle!