After this worldwide pandemic dies out, taking a vacation outside your home country will be the perfect way to relieve the stress of being cooped up at home for the past months.
A road trip around the emerald isle should be on your to-do list. Thanks to the relatively small size of the country, it is very feasible that you will be able to see almost everywhere in a short time and still have incredible fun.
Even though I had once had a trip to Dublin, I only recently marked a road trip around Ireland off my bucket list. Trust me, it was every bit as beautiful as they say. Craggy coastlines, lush meadows, and numerous other beautiful views all around. I was especially awed when I saw the Cliffs of Mother. This is truly an experience that everyone needs to have at least once in a lifetime.
Now, deciding to go on a road trip around Ireland is just the first part. There are a couple of things that you would need to know before you embark on a drive around Ireland. This is even more important if this will be your first time driving in the country.
From my road trip, I was able to get a good insight into the possible challenges a foreigner can face while road tripping around Ireland. So, I have prepared a few tips that can help make these road trips easier.
10 Quick Tips for an Ireland Road Trip
- The Small Country Roads Require Some Getting Used To
Ireland isn’t just a small country, most of its roads take up this attribute also. This can become quite difficult especially as an American that is used to driving on the other side of the road.
To avoid making an already difficult situation even more so, I will advise against overtaking and fast driving. Driving slow especially on very small roads and also looking out for indents where you can pull in while oncoming vehicles pass will prevent accidents and save you a lot of stress.
Although not Ireland is like this, there are big and good roads all around. However, the real visual gems are found on these small roads.
2. Practice Runs
Before you embark on any journey in Ireland, you need to first make sure that you have gotten used to the wheels, gears, and dials in your rental as it is most likely a different make from the one you use back home. That is apart from the fact that everything is flipped.
Dublin, being the capital city is probably where you will experience your most nerve-wracking driving experience. Not understanding how your rental works can infinitely increase that stress.
3. Rent Car From A Reputable Company And Insure Insurance
If you are planning to rent a car for your road trip, then make sure to book a car online along with your tickets. It won’t be suggested to get a car rental at the airport to avoid an expensive deal.
Mostly all hire cars are insured but still make sure if to have comprehensive insurance instead of the third party. Having road assistance with your insurance will be excellent if you don’t want to spend your night in the road in case it breaks down or accidents, they are one of the primary reasons an exciting vacation can quickly turn sour.
Anything can happen while driving in your comfort zone, not to talk of a completely different scenario than you are used to. You can always upgrade or have a new car insurance cover from AA Insurance with many options (including the 24 hours breakdown assistance).
4. Have A Designated Navigator
This is another important tip majorly because it is very easy for the driver to miss the signs since they are on the left while he or she is on the right.
You also need a GPS or you can use the map app on your smartphone. However, sometimes you do not get the audio navigation, and having a designated navigator will come in handy.
5. Avoid The Coaches
Already, driving on a narrow road is difficult. Now, imagine a huge coach coming at you from the opposite direction. It won’t be fun.
The easiest way to avoid this happening is by carefully selecting the time you visit the tourist attractions. Most of these coaches are on the road early in the morning. By going out later in the day, you are most likely to avoid them.
However, if you do meet them on a narrow road, following the tip above will help you maneuver out of the situation safely.
As an American, you are probably not used to seeing these on the road. However, it is the norm here. Once heard somewhere that they use it for economic reasons as it cancels out the need for traffic lights. Either way, you should get used to seeing a lot of these.
Roundabouts in Ireland are quite tight and their exits come on quickly. Having a designated navigator can also make things easier.
7. How To Turn
Whenever you need to make a turn, just keep repeating this mantra, “Hug the curb when driving left, wide when turning right”. After a while, you will get used to it, but you have to remember that it is when you get confident that accidents can happen.
8. Do Not Fully Rely On The Internet
There are some places where you might not get good internet access. To prevent being stranded, you should make sure you have a good idea of places you would like to go and also have their postcodes jotted somewhere.
9. Carry Cash And Coins For Tolls And Parking
Some of the tolls accept only cash therefore you should always make sure you have enough cash at hand to always for your toll. The good part is that compare to the States, the toll in Ireland is cheaper.
10. Budget For Gas
When renting a car, you have to make sure you know the type of fuel the car uses. There are both petrol and diesel variants. Petrol is much cheaper, but it is said that the fuel efficiency of diesel cars cancels out the hefty extra cost.
Also, when buying fuel, you need to make sure you are putting the right type of fuel as using the wrong one can put a huge dent on your budget and thus affect your vacation.
Road tripping around Ireland is quite fun. As a tourist, there is quite a lot to take in around the country. The cliffs, the beautiful beaches, the local pubs, and much more. By following the above tips, you will be enjoying your trips without experiencing the various challenges that can mar a fun trip such as this.