Ireland on a Budget

5/3/2018

Ireland on a budgetFor our 25th anniversary, my husband and I planned our dream trip to the Republic of Ireland. We were excited for 12 days of amazing views, delicious food, pints of Guinness, and some of the most hospitable people in the world. Unfortunately, before we could enjoy that and more, we needed to do our homework.

If you are considering a trip to Ireland, I want to share some of what I learned during the preparation and planning of our trip.

  • Did you know?  Ireland is approximately 114.9 miles wide and 251 Miles length. That is right!  You can drive from top to bottom or coast to coast in just a few hours. 
  • Please don’t fill your car with Gas, it is Petrol.
  • Euros are the currency in the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland, that is part of the United Kingdom, uses the British Pound Sterling. 
  • Time in Ireland is 5 hours ahead of the USA.
  • Guinness is the nectar of the gods.

Travel Tips:

  1. Booking your trip: You can rely on a travel agency to plan your travel, but you don’t have to. Travel professionals, are expertsIrelandand provide everything you need for a great trip, virtually worry free travelling.  I, unfortunately,  love the challenge and excitement of  building my own schedule and setting my own pace when I travel.  Often buying a planned trip comes with a planned itinerary and time frames, which could limit your experience at a location. It may sound intimidating but with some research and planning, many people arrange flights, accommodations and attractions, with great success and savings. Use the internet.  Shop flights, accommodations, and attractions individually based on the schedule you want and then compare the total cost to the planned trips. You will be surprised how comparable it can be and you are free to do what you like on your own.
  2. Accommodations:  Vacation rentals are an option and usually a good one for families because of multiple bedrooms. If it is just two people,  try a Bed & Breakfast. A few perks include a unique experience for the traveler, the innkeepers are a wealth of knowledge about their country,  they know the best places to eat and can give you a snapshot into their everyday lives and  culture.  We stayed in 8 different B & B’s across Ireland during our trip. Our interactions with the local families, as well as other travelers from all over the global, added a more personal depth to our trip. We no longer felt like tourists but invited guests, everywhere we went. Simply unforgettable.
  3. Driving and Rental Vehicles: Go local. We rented from an Irish rental company, whicht saved us money and they were very helpful. They talked to us about road safety, maps and we were given a very nice, efficient and safe vehicle. 
    • Helpful tip: most people drive a stick shift in Ireland, so if you want to drive an automatic, rent it as far in advance as you can. They are snapped up quick. 
    • Study the rules of the road in Ireland ahead of time. You can find all that info online.
    • Challenges include narrow roadways, driving on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to, steering from the opposite side of the car than you’re used to and the dreaded roundabouts
  4. Attractions: Make a list. Jot down everything you want to see and experience while there, then get a map and see how feasible your list is. We were there 12 days and traversed from coast to coast, east to west and north to south.  Staying in Bed & Breakfasts along the way and seeing all the sites we could during each leg of our journey.
  5. Travel Insurance: Most experience travels know that a good travel policy is an absolute must. Travel policies are designed toPhoto taken by Linda Garnerprotect your investment as well as unexpected and unplanned emergencies on your trip.  Things you should consider when purchasing a travel policy:
    • When to purchase? – Once you know what your total investment will be for your trip BUY the travel policy BEFORE you place your first deposit.
    • What does travel insurance cover? Travel policies can help you recoup your lost deposits, nonrefundable tickets purchases and more if your trip has to be unexpectedly cancelled due to specific events.   
      • Example: What if you planned a romantic trip to Aruba and one week prior to leaving you learn there has been a Hurricane and the whole island has been shut down. Your trip has been cancelled but what about the money you already spent? Travel policies can help you recoup costs. Additionally Travel Policies can help you by providing coverage for lost luggage, rental car coverage, medical benefits in case of sickness or injury on your trip, and much more. 
    • How do I purchase one? Your TROXELL agent can help.  Talk to your agent about this low cost security blanket every traveler should have.

Now that you are armed with some tidbits, tips and research, start planning. Your adventure is just starting.

Safe Journeys!

This article was written by:

Linda Garner

Linda Garner

Linda has been in the insurance industry since 1985 and for 22 years has been a member of the TROXELL family.  As our Information Systems Administrator, her duties include client management systems administration and processes, as well as staff training. She is proud to be a member of the senior management team, responsible for  day to day operations and strategic development of Troxell.   She is an avid Green Bay Packers fan and has two “perfect” grandkids.

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