Travel advice for short stays in Ireland

Summer season is well and truly underway, and with it an abundance of tourists holidaying in Ireland – many for the first time.

For such a small country, Ireland really does pack a punch. There are many attractions scattered around the island, and the beauty of Ireland’s landscape means that the journey is often as fun and memorable as the destination itself.

Naturally, we would suggest spending weeks getting lost and exploring the best that our nation has to offer. There is nothing quite like an immersive experience to get to know the people, traditions and culture of the Irish. However that may not be realistic for most holidaymakers, especially those on a shorter timeframe.

If Ireland is a stepping stone to elsewhere, or if you are just eager to explore as much as possible in a long weekend, the team at Galway Tour Company have you covered.

Plan Ahead

Yes, Ireland is a small country but getting around can take longer than you would expect. Our winding roads, temperamental climate and seasonally high visitor numbers can affect how quickly you tick off those bucket list items.

If you are vacationing in Ireland and hoping to secure accommodation at short notice, it can be difficult and expensive to do so given the current climate. There are a few things you can do to swing the odds in your favour. In terms of tourist attractions, don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. It is much better to focus your energy on one area, e.g. Wild Atlantic Way or Northern Ireland, than trying to squeeze it all in.

It is best to book accommodation in advance and by doing so you can shape your travel itinerary accordingly, knowing that at the end of a long day hiking in Connemara you have a warm bed and bath waiting at the end of that road.

Budget Accordingly

The price of many popular tourist attractions can be easily found online, with the most famous ones often free! Depending on your mode of transport, there will be a cost associated with travel. Renting a car is ideal to navigate the nooks and crannies of the island. However, increases in fuel mean that the cost can quickly eat into your budget.

Many holidaymakers prefer using coach services to take the hassle out of driving, and Ireland’s rolling green hills and stunning countryside give ample opportunity for tourists to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

Always ensure you have plenty of cash in reserve for your trip. This helpful guide can give an idea of indicative costs. The small things really can add up, whether it be a few more pints of the Black stuff, last minute gift ideas or taxis to get around the city.

Expect the Unexpected

An often amusing spectacle of travelling in Ireland is the occasional brushes with livestock. It is not an uncommon sight in rural Ireland – especially in the Aran Islands – to meet sheep or cattle happily grazing at the side of the road. Always drive with caution, especially on the bendy roads that cover many of the smaller towns and villages.

Some of the best adventures you have in Ireland are those where you get off the beaten track. Whether it be that tiny pub in Cong, the fish and chips in Galway or the local farmer giving directions in Gaelic, prepare to be challenged and embrace the unknown.

Participate

You can learn much about Ireland from a guidebook, but nothing replaces going out there and participating. Eat what the locals eat, drink what the locals drink (responsibly or not!), go where the locals go.

We promise you will get much more out of your experience by being a willing participant and you’ll eventually get closer to that elusive ‘craic’ you keep hearing about. Our coach and bus tours feature drivers who have local knowledge and stories about the most popular travel destinations – many which you won’t read in a Lonely Planet Guide Book.

Have fun!

Even if your stay is only for a half or full day, there is always something worth doing. Ireland is rich in personality and steeped in history – relics, monuments and stunning locations all within a short distance of many of the larger cities.

We are a warm and welcoming nation and even without scratching the surface, you’ll notice we tend not to take ourselves too seriously. 

Our suggestion is that you take a more relaxed approach to your time in Ireland, find time to connect with its people and that way you’ll make memories for life.

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