Getting There – Tips on Traveling to Ireland

IrelandHOW TO GET THERE

Join us on our adventure to Spiddal, Ireland!

Fly into either Dublin or Shannon Airport

Several airlines fly to either airport.  Before you book that flight, make sure you check on SeatGuru.com to ensure you get the best seat.  It’s a long flight.  The more perks (like individual movie screen and electrical outlet) the better!

caution-drivingIf you decide to rent a car and drive, know that in Ireland, they will insist that you purchase the super deluxe coverage (approx another $30-$40 per day), which covers everything except if your car falls off a ferry and into the icy cold waters.  If you don’t opt for it, they will put about a $2,000 hold on your credit card (even if your credit card company offers coverage).  Some people are blindsided by this news and it can be a sour start to a sweet adventure.  Ali says she opted for the super deluxe coverage in the past and said at least she had peace of mind throughout the longs drives along steep and windy roads with sheep crossing at any turn and transport trucks and tour buses whizzing by. Also, remember that they drive on the opposite side of the road.  Nothing more frightening that when you forget that as you do a u-turn on a barely 2 lane road.  Keep this in mind…your right eye should always align with the line in the road that separates you from oncoming traffic!

If you decide to forgo the expense of a car rental, you can get around by public transport pretty easily.  Just be patient. Time has a different pace in Ireland and it will move as it moves.  Just soak in the sights and sounds and know that in the end, you will make it to your destination in plenty of time for that much desired pint.

From Dublin Airport

Take the train from Dublin-Heuston station to Galway city centre (takes about 3 hours and costs about 30-40 Euro).  From there, you can take the half hour bus ride from Galway bus station (Bus Éireann #424 stops right on front of An Cruiscin Lan hotel) or a cab to Spiddal.

From Shannon Airport

Take the bus (Éireann #53 and takes about 2 hours) right out in front of the airport and go left about 50 yards – to Galway station.  Most buses have Wifi (ish).

PACKING TIPS

  1. Pack light! lugging around all those clothes you’ll never wear will just end up irritating you.

  2. Pack an empty, extra bag.  Because you’re going to want to buy stuff for yourself and the dozens of people who paid you to bring them back something cool.  So, do carry-on to Ireland and check the now filled bag on the way back.

  3. Pack a light rain jacket/windbreaker

  4. Pack thin, long underwear

  5. Pack an International adapter for your hair dryer, curling iron, cell  phone, etc

  6. Pack comfortable walking shoes and your favorite pain reliever

MONEY TIPS

  1. Get about $300-$400 in Euro before you go.

  2. Be aware of the dollar to Euro ratio.  on May 1, 2015 the rate was 1.12 Euro = $1.  Some of the best rates in years, which means now would be a good time to head to your bank and exchange some dollars for Euros.

  3. Use any bank ATM to get more cash while there. Do NOT use the airport or bank exchange kiosks.  They’ll charge a fortune in comparisson.

  4. Make sure the credit card you use on trip doesn’t have International usage fees and be sure to call them prior to booking the trip.  Nothing worse than being overseas and your credit card is blocked for suspicious activity.

COMMUNICATION

  1. Check with your cell provider about getting international texting (at least) setup for the month you’ll be overseas.  You can always cancel it when you get back.  It’ll save you alot of hassle while you’re there.

  2. If you opt out of any changes to your plan, be sure to set your cell phone to Airplane Mode from the time you get on the plane to Ireland until you set foot on US soil again.  Surprise roaming charges are a heartache. In Airplane mode you can at least connect to any local, public Wifi on your phone which allows you to at least check and send email/internet.  You might even be able to call through Facebook.

  3. Be sure to download and test one of the free calling apps like Viber before you go.  We used it a couple times and it worked well.

  4. Be sure to print a copy of your passport and all reservations and keep them in your carry-on bag or purse.

  5. Bring gifts.  There isn’t much need for anything in Ireland, but souvenirs from where you are from and delicacies like tequila, hot sauces and specialty wines are always appreciated.

WHERE TO STAY

an-cruiscin-lan-hotelAn Cruiscan Lan hotel is right in the heart of Spiddal.  They’ve graciously offered special rates for friends of “The Bastard Sons.”

Double room rate €100 per night (including breakfast). We can offer you  a special guest rate of €85 per night.

Single room rate €65 per night (including breakfast). We can offer you with a special guest rate of €55 per night

Reservations are made by phone: +353 09 1 553 148, or they can email us on ancruiscinlanhotel@gmail.com

 To call Ireland from the U.S., just follow these simple dialing directions:

  1. First dial 011, the U.S. exit code.
  2. Next dial 353, the country code for Ireland.
  3. Then dial the area code (1–2 digits)
  4. and finally the phone number (mostly 7 digits).

You can also google “Vacation rentals in Spiddal, Ireland” or “Self Catering in Spiddal, Ireland”.  Self Catering is the term they use, meaning you’d have your own kitchen, no meals provided.

Ali will be exploring some of the rental options while she’s there in June and will post recommendations here shortly after.