We share the top ten travel trips to the Wild West of Ireland because travel can be stressful regardless of how much you’re looking forward to your destination. We’ve got some insight into how to make sure your trip goes that much more smoothly.

Pack Light, but Efficiently

There’s a lot of different things you might need for your trip to the Wild West of Ireland –  but you don’t need to bring a huge bag! A great way to save on space is to use vacuum-seal bags to compress your clothes, or, even easier, simply roll your clothes up like Yule Logs and make rows in your suitcase! This almost always doubles your space for storage – a neat trick I utilize every time I travel now.

Layered clothing during Ireland travel at Cliffs of Moher
Everything you bring should be able to be worn in any weather. Focus on versatility and layer-ability.

Layers, Layers, Layers

While on the subject of clothes, Ireland is known for its gorgeous lush hills of evergreen – and for the occasional shower. A surefire way to pack for success is to bring sturdy shoes for walking; layers just in case, a slicker or coat to deflect any predicted drizzle, and perhaps a hat – my preferred ensemble is usually a flannel, a shirt, jeans, boots, and a beanie! Mix it up any way you like – and you never know. You may find an Irish sweater or flat cap to call your own whilst abroad.

Bring an Adapter

Whether you want to charge your laptop, camera, or phone, having an adapter with you will make your life that much easier. Most big chain stores will sell them, and for everything else, there’s the internet! Be sure to pick up a European universal adapter – maybe a set just in case. If you’re a techie like me, a great combo is to bring an adapter and a power strip – simply put the power strip into the adapter and voila. Phone and camera battery good to go!

Convert for the Euro Ahead of Time

I’ve found it’s way easier to go to your local bank and make an exchange than to deal with the exchanges at airports or similar – simply call or look online to see which bank in your area will convert your funds for you. Some may charge a small fee, but chances are it’s not steep.

Clare Galway Connemara hiking trail in Ireland
Photo by Ron Byers

Know Your Passport Status

This one’s pretty straightforward, but just in case – check your passport to make sure it’s not expired and put it somewhere you won’t forget it easily! The jacket pocket [zipped or buttoned] you board the plane in is ideal; or use your carryon. Going through the process of filing for a passport through a town hall or post office works well; and passport photos are usually offered in the same location – or a place such as Walgreens!

Look into International Data Plans

Iphone or Android; Galaxy or Google, all phones should offer some form of international data plan. Capping it to a 300mb limit can put a nice even temper on those of us who tend to go a little data-crazy – and you can still take photos and communicate about the important stuff off WiFi when you need to. It also helps you to unplug a little and better embrace the experience up front and personal – take a photo when it matters, but also know you’re there to feel the whole thing.

Invest in a Neck Pillow

If you have difficulty sleeping on flights; I definitely recommend a neck pillow – any support will do, but my preferred one is a pillow with a little bit of lavender in it. Lavender or eucalyptus coupled with a nice cushion for the weary traveler makes for a much better flying experience – though I must say, the international flights I’ve taken are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever had! Maybe I’m biased because of the excitement of the destination…

Tips for Tipping

In the Wild West of Ireland, much like most of Europe, tipping isn’t really something you do when presented with your bill. On the contrary, most restaurants have a collective jar at the register where you go to pay for your meal where you can put a tip if so desired – you don’t have to look for gratuity on your receipt or leave money on the table! You’re more than welcome to compliment the service, though – as Irish hospitality is absolutely legendary.

County Donegal Rosatos Bar and Restaurant in Ireland
Wild Westies enjoying a pub lunch at Rosato’s Bar & Restaurant in County Donegal.

Getting Around Dublin Town

When you’re with us on your Wild West Irish Tour, we’ll be giving you the scenic route by comfy mini-bus – but once you get to Dublin, most folks tend to split off for individual activities. One of the easiest ways to get around downtown Dublin is to take the double-decker – just have your Euros at the ready! You can look up fares to your destination [such as Trinity College to see the Book of Kells or the Guinness Factory] beforehand – like any city bus, pay your fare, board, and watch for your stop. It’s an affordable and fun way to explore on your final day with us.

Whisky vs Whiskey

And no finale would be complete without a little “sláinte” in farewell – this is more of an Irish fun fact than a tip, but there’s a distinct difference between “whisky” and “whiskey” you all might enjoy – namely that whisky without an e is typically Scottish; and Scotch by nature – distilled twice, usually from malted barley. Irish whiskey, on the other hand, is triple distilled and made from a variety of grains. Thus; Irish whiskey is typically lighter and smoother than its Scotch rival. You can learn more about distilling differences in Dublin; coincidentally – there’s a few distilleries to explore; much like the Guinness Factory!

Small group tours to ireland enjoy Irish whiskey
Wild Westies enjoying an Irish whiskey tasting!

A final bonus tip: flexibility! If you know what you want to do ahead of time, that’s great – but also be open to all possibilities. Like any great adventure, the Wild West of Ireland holds a lot of unique and invigorating surprises – whether it’s a live traditional music session, going off the beaten path, or something seasonal. Just embrace the seldom and wonderful…

And until next time, be well!

Sam Fishkind

Wild West Irish Tours

Social Media Manager & Scribe

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Nicole Rappaport

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