The Emerald Isle, incredible Ireland, is one of the most intriguing destinations in the world. It's a country boasting unspeakable beauty, fascinating culture, and rich historical heritage. From the rugged coastlines to the rolling green hills dotted with small charming villages, the landscapes will steal the heart of any nature lover and hiking enthusiast, while the inspiring cities packed with sights, museums, and galleries are perfect for lecture tours' fans. And the key to getting the best that the country has to offer is careful planning of your Ireland trip. So, let's have a look at the vital things to keep in mind while orchestrating your unforgettable getaway.
Choose the Season Wisely
Ireland is a country with many holidays and an enchanting culture. For example, one of the most popular times to visit Ireland would be during St. Patrick's Day, which happens in March every year when people all across the country gather for concerts and parades while wearing green clothes in a grand colorful celebration of the Irish culture. It sounds quite awesome, but have a closer look at what it means. Hordes. Thousands of people from all over the world come to Ireland for this festival, and you can rest assured that you will have to deal with overbooked hotels, overcrowded sights and restaurants, and, of course, inflated prices.
The same is true for the summer season, the most popular time for Ireland vacations. The lines to see the world-famous Book of Kells are unbelievable, trust us!
So, our advice is to consider the early autumn for your Ireland tour. This time boasts warm mild weather, great for hiking and exploring the cities, but the peak of the tourist season is already over, and you can actually have a chance to feel like you are one-on-one with nature and won't have to book your Guinness tasting six months in advance.
Check on Visa Requirements
If you're a citizen of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as most European countries - congratulations! You don't need an Ireland visa to travel to the Emerald Isle. However, there are exceptions. Not all countries enjoy the privilege of being allowed to enter only by presenting a valid passport or national identity card, so make sure to check the official website of the Irish consulate before planning your vacation. Just to be on the safe side.
What to Pack For Ireland Vacation?
The first thing you need to know about the Irish weather is that it's unpredictable at the best of days. Always keep in mind that it can swiftly change at any moment, so having an extra layer and an umbrella on hand in case the wind kicks up, the sky falls, or if the temperature drops unexpectedly is never a bad idea! Also, make sure that you pack a pair of your favorite snickers, hiking is a "must" in Ireland, and comfortable shoes are a key for enjoying the experience.
Ireland is a beautiful European country that has many interesting features including power plugs, which are different from what you might expect: three rectangular blades in a triangular pattern. You will need to buy an adapter for your devices if they aren't compatible with Ireland's 230V voltage in order to charge them properly. If you bring a portable charger or power bank, you definitely won't regret it.
If you take medications, make sure to pack them as well. And it won't be superfluous to make sure that they are legal in Ireland, as the drugs legitimacy policy is not unified, all countries have their own set of restrictions.
Of course, such things as passport, visa, insurance, ID, vaccination passport in covid times, and money go without saying. Double-checking that you packed all the essentials is a must.
Currency and Payment Methods in Ireland
The official currency of Ireland is called Euro, and it has been in use since 2002 as an alternative for USD or Pound Sterling which were popular at one point but have had less value over time. ATMs around Dublin and other major cities are plentiful and usually accept cards from other countries. However, make sure to check with your bank beforehand, so you won't have any unpleasant surprises upon arrival!
If your itinerary includes some off-the-beaten-trail destinations, make sure to have some cash on you. Small local shops and cozy hotels in remote, authentic villages might have an "only cash" policy.
Research for Costs
While we are on the topic of money, let's talk about another useful thing to do - research for costs. Ireland is not the most budget-friendly destination, quite the contrary. It's often regarded as one of the most expensive among the EU countries, even if you don't take into account that prices skyrocket during the tourist season. So it's vital to do your research on the matter to be able to plan your budget.
Yes, the best way to ensure a smooth trip is to entrust its organization to an experienced professional who will put together a balanced itinerary program, ensure great hotels, and offer convenient connections. But even the best travel agency can't cover all the aspects. There are quite a few things that are still up to you. So, finding a few hours to check the basic information is always a good idea, and it will pay off during your unforgettable Ireland vacation!