My name is Derek Smith. I am a tour guide in Ireland with over 15 years of experience in tourism. Below is a blog I have put together with some very helpful and important tips to help you with your planning a trip to Ireland.
Vital tips for travelling to Ireland from Custom Irish Tours
When you are planning your trip to our beautiful island. Please try not to put to much pressure on yourself to Hit the top 10 things to see on Google. I have met people on their first day who are on a day tour with me and when they show me their plans for 7 days it is impossible to do and you put to much pressure on yourself and miss out on so much rushing around.
Please let your bank know you are going to be travelling as With security measures they will stop your card or cards. Also if you are going to be spending part of your trip in Northern Ireland let your bank know as Northern Ireland is part of the UK. So your bank might pick up on how can you be in The republic of Ireland in the morning and the UK In the Afternoon. I have seen this happen on many occasions and this might just save you the hassle. Also have some sterling with you as the UK is in sterling not Euro.
If you are arriving on a red eye flight at silly o’clock in the morning. Try not to take on to much on the first day. Do not get into a hire car and decide you want to drive 4 to 5 hours on the first day. Jet lag will hit you hard on the first day. If you do have to drive a long distance on the first day please take as many breaks as you can on route.
We drive on the left hand side in Ireland . So if you are from a country that is drives on the right hand side take this into consideration Please. Especially when you hire a car. I would highly recommend you get automatic car. For a few reasons. If you are not used to shifting gears while driving on the left hand side of the road it is a lot to take in.
Our major roads are big and well kept and some of our secondary roads the same. But when you get off the beaten track our roads are narrow and two way and sometimes would have a crazy speed limit on them. Try to avoid getting to close to the Ditch as not only may you loose your wing mirror this us where the pot holes tend to hide and you may loose a tyre or two.
Also remember most accommodations do not have rooms available until after 3pm. So it is important to keep yourself busy to fight off Jet lag. I put together a red eye tour for this specific reason to keep you busy and awake and so you do not have to drive on your first day.
Keep yourself hydrated when you are travelling and don’t forget to eat something. I have had people fall asleep in there soup at lunch due to dehydration and low sugars.
If you are hiring a tour guide either for a day tour or escorted tour in Ireland . Don’t be afraid to check out all their reviews let it be on Google or Trip advisor or wherever you can find them. It is always good to even arrange a call before you book a guide.. Also ask if they are going to be the guide on your tour as big companies may have many drivers.
Food and what to expect when you are in Ireland . Ireland has a growing reputation for food and I’m the past 15 years Ireland has moved on from bland food. We have amazing local produce from our locally grown crops to farms and our fish is plentiful which in general is caught locally and fresh. So look out for the many amazing local restaurants on your trip. If you are with a tour guide on a tour they will know the best places to bring you.
Gratuity when Travelling to Ireland . In Ireland leaving a Gratuity is always welcomed but not expected if you do wish to leave Gratuity we say around 10 to 15% at a restaurant or 10% if you hire a guide. But again this is up to you.
I know that planning a trip anywhere can be daunting. There is a lot of planning and you put a lot of thrust in the places you are staying, putting your itinerary together maybe hiring a guide, figuring out the logistics. Please do take your time and enjoy our beautiful island . We have so much to offer you and we are waiting with a warm welcome.
All information supplied is by Derek Smith Custom Irish tours. Drawn from many years of experience in the tourism industry in Ireland .