Ireland – How To Prepare A Road trip
My next travel is already in sight, and I still need to do a couple of things beforehand. Ireland – A Road trip. This time it will be two weeks traveling around the island, including a hen party for an old school friend of mine. I´ve been to Dublin two times before and just have seen a little of its surroundings. As I fell in love with the city and the Irish it selves I knew that I want to go back to discover the whole island. This is the time.
The story is that she lived a long time in Ireland and had seen a lot of places already. But she never visited this one small island located in front of the Westside of Ireland called Skellig Michael. As this is her wish, to celebrate the last days of her “single”-life with friends, doing what she always missed out. Well, the decision for my summer vacation was made. Of course, I accepted her invitation, and I took it as a sign that I should do my planned road trip in Ireland, eventually.
That is why I am sitting here right now and write about my preparation for this trip. I hope this will help me to get everything in order. I am used to doing everything by myself as I´ve done that a lot of times for my travels to the US. But now this is a new situation for me because I haven´t traveled alone in Ireland before. It feels like one more “first-time” traveling solo. 😀 I am so excited and a bit scared but at the same time, I feel so happy about it. Do you know this feeling?
Anticipation And Preparation
I am bit mad at myself because I did not book my trip earlier. I found an 80€ roundtrip, directly from Dusseldorf to Dublin, in February but I did not take it because it was not clear if I get the whole time off. Next time I will book it anyway. Because I waited for my vacation approval, I had to pay twice as much. It is still not the most expensive flight I ever had, but as I know it is possible to get cheaper flights, it bothers me. So, if you want to go to Ireland, book your flights about three or four months in advance. It is indeed the best time frame for booking flights, as the most flight-hacks promise. By the way, my favorite flight search, and comparison platform is Momondo*.
Packing my stuff is still a challenge for me. What do I want to take with me? What will I need, what not? Hw will be the weather? And the most crucial question is… What does the bag policy of the airline say????
Therefore, start to read their policy carefully and check the information they usually provide when you buy the ticket or at the latest check-in. At this time, I will travel with carry-on luggage, only, plus a “small” personal item like a purse or a laptop. Of course, I will use this opportunity to have an additional piece with me. 🙂 Also the weight could be tricky. The average weight allowance for most airlines is around 10 kg. That is fine for me, even if I´ll be on the road for two weeks, with all possible weather conditions from sunshine to rain and wind. I know a couple of people who bags are always heavier than this. For them, this would be a hard exercise.
Tip: Take your bag (doesn´t matter if it is a checked-bag or a carry-on). Pack it as if you were on the road at least less a week than initially planned. Then, take everything out and pack and consider your choices ones again. Asked yourself a couple of questions: Do I need one outfit per day? Or could I wear this once again on another day? Will I need ten pairs of shoes in different colors? Or is one enough which has a color matching the most of my outfits?
Extra tip: You always will have some little space left for a small pack of laundry detergent. If it is enough for one or maybe two laundry sessions you won´t have any issues with reducing your clothes to a minimum.
I prefer to go with Avis because I had the best experience with them so far. I also rented vehicles from Sixt or Alamo, but both always had something in their process which I did not like. For example, Alamo, independent in which city I picked up the car, ever tried to sell me some additional insurances, although it was already included in the original contract and I told them, that I don´t want to have any extras. As my private insurance policy covers those “extras” there is no need to pay for it. One “no” was not enough to stop them from trying to sell me additional ones. I never had this or similar experiences with Avis. Fingers crossed. Hopefully, this won’t happen this time, either. One more plus for Avis is that I already have a preferred account and I collect some bonus points and air miles, which I could turn into an upgrade in the future.
While consideration about renting a car I also thought about rent a GPS, too? The thing is that I already own a GPS which I had to buy in Canada. At that time, the rental company didn´t have any in stock, although I booked it. Unfortunately, only a map for North America is installed. So I bought the Ireland map from the GPS provider and installed it on my device. And, yeehaw, it works. 😀 Well, spending about 40€ for the new plan and about 12€ for an additional SD card is a way better than paying another 250€ for a GPS in the rental car.
Just in case I update my Google Maps offline maps. It is super cool because GPS also works without WiFi or any internet.
I am dreaming of a lonely situated cottage where it is only me who lives there. Do you know “Actually, Love”? When Collin Firth’s character traveled to somewhere, sits in this little old house and only his housekeeper visits him to clean up the house and brings his shoppings? Something like that I would like to live in a couple of days, at least. I will check some AirBnBs and booking.com*.
Things I want to do
There are so many things I would like to do. For a list of my ideas click here.
Get ready for my Ireland journey. Have you been there? If yes, let me know about the things you have done and places where you have been. What is a must-do and what I don´t have to miss on my adventure?
P.S. If you like to explore Dublin and want to save some money, check out the Dublin Pass* and save a bunch of money on entrances fees and more!