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3 wks till Ireland - what am I forgetting?

3 wks till Ireland - what am I forgetting?

Oct 20th, 2000, 05:29 AM
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3 wks till Ireland - what am I forgetting?

Hi all,
well it is 3 weeks until I leave for Ireland. I have this odd feeling I am forgetting something, so I figured I would check with you.

What is your best / favorite tip on packing, photography, driving in ireland (!),
travel in November....

This is my first time in Ireland & my first time driving a rental outside the USA.
(I was in England/Scotland a few years ago, but did not drive).

any ideas will be welcomed.
Oct 20th, 2000, 06:01 AM
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I am also preparing for our trip to Ireland - we leave on Tuesday for 10 days. I was going through my old Ireland notes and reminded myself of a few things: take tapes or CDs for the car - I never remember to do that, and we do enjoy listening to the radio in Ireland, but tapes or cds are nice too! Take coffee cups if you like to have a cup while you're driving. This may have changed since our first trip, but then we found NO styrofoam (or takeaway) cups anywhere, and sometimes we just wanted to have a cup of coffee or tea as we drove. Eat ice cream -- even if it's cold outside. I didn't discover how wonderful the ice cream there was until the end of the first trip, so I'll start sooner this time! If I think of anything else, I'll add more later. Have a splendid trip!
Oct 20th, 2000, 06:15 AM
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Not to be negative or overly obvious, but hope you have packed a hooded rain coat, umbrella, and boots. Not to be prepared for rain would be a mistake.
Oct 20th, 2000, 06:15 AM
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Debbie, I asked for similar help a long time ago, and a lot of people gave me great ideas. I'll try to pull up the thread for you. It was something like "Ultimate To-Do list".
Oct 20th, 2000, 06:17 AM
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Hi Debbie, You're going to love Ireland. I just got back on Monday and had a wonderful time. Mine was a whirlwind trip in just 4 days but saw a lot. Don't forget gloves, umbrella and converter if you use a hairdryer or curling iron. Wash cloths are no where to be found. Everyone smokes too! You are brave to drive there, but once you get out of the city and get on the M roads, it should be ok. Streets are very narrow and keep in mind they drive on the left, steering wheel on right and the slow lane on the highways is the left lane. The cliffs of Moher are awesome for a short stop if you have time. Have a great time. Pat
Oct 20th, 2000, 08:33 AM
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thanks for the comments so far.
fyi -- I will be there 9 days/8 nights)
I have a brand new Winter Slicker ( the insulated kind - with a hood!)
a small umbrella
gloves / hat
mini-tripod for night photos.
addresses for postcards preprinted on labels.
Map (detailed routes listed)
1 pr hiking boots
1 pr tennis shoes.

I have seen posts in other places recommending the following -any comments?
stick on compass
travel mug for drinking soda/coffee in the car

any other ideas?
Oct 20th, 2000, 08:52 AM
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Have a great time! Very enchanting place.
Don't forget:
Hand sanitizer or Wash n Dri
Shout stain removal wipes
Zantac or Tagement
Small Flashlight (you might want to keep this in your purse)
Lint stick or tape (I found disposable Lint Gloves in Walmart, Great)
Don't bring big bottles of shampoo, etc. Depending on where you are staying it is provided.
There is a website called oratory.com
the complete packing guide. It may give you more ideas.
Oct 20th, 2000, 09:09 AM
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bungee cord - it's a clothesline, it's a suitcase-holder-togetherer, it's a door securer when there's an iffy lock..

battery-operated or wind-up alarm clock

an extra suitcase - nylon duffel or the ilk, folded up in your suitcase. For lugging dirty clothes to the laundromat, carrying groceries back from the store, packing the way-too-many souvenirs you'll buy for the trip home.

As for driving: get a really REALLY good road map, like a Michelin. Signs are notoriously sparse in Ireland, and a good road map is indispensable. As you're driving along country roads, no other cars insight, suddenly, around the corner, a car comes RIGHT AT YOU...or so you think until you remember you are driving on the LEFT and so is he. Very startling. There are roundabouts/rotaries; they are a godsend to tourists, because, if you miss your exit, you just drive 'round again.
Oct 20th, 2000, 10:27 AM
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Just be warned - Ireland is cold and miserably wet and windy at the moment, and I know because I battle through the weather every day.

Re a travel mug - if you are in Dublin you can pick one up in Brewleys, save you packing one. One other thing I would advise you is to check the inside page of the Irish Times on Saturdays for traffic delays and road works. There is also a very useful service by the Automobile Association on the radio at rush hour - at 8.10am, 8.35am and then from 16.40pm onwards on RTE Radio 1 (also available on other stations at different times). It will help you avoid traffic jams etc and road closed due to road works etc.

Hope this helps,

Oct 20th, 2000, 11:56 AM
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Get an automatic car.

Also, don't bring tapes & CDs from home. Radio stations in Ireland in the UK are far superior to the stuff we get here. But if you do listen to tapes, buy some local stuff. You can get these bands here, but try the Saw Doctors, Great Big Sea, etc.
Oct 20th, 2000, 12:34 PM
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I couldn't resist a reply. My first trip was in college for a semester of study. On my last trip I drove from Glasgow to the ferry that crosses to Belfast, then around the northern coast , thru the Glens, past the Giant's Causeway, thru Donegal, down the coast to Galway and Dingle, back to Dublin (for the coffee mug), across to Wales, and back to Glasgow. My wife and I divorced soon after. I'm not sure she enjoyed the drive. Elvira's comment about pulling out on the wrong side is very accurate. You will forget at least once. Hopefully you'll live not to do it again. I remember my initial shock that the side of the road (ie. the grass) is designed to drive on. I was amazed there were no rocks (rocks are actually in short supply in much of Ireland). We had 2 weeks of clear blue sky in late September (an Irish miracle) but the weather can be damp and cold, with a "soft" mist most of the time. This is designed so that rainbows can appear at a moments notice. I actually saw one that ended in front of me in a castle keep. I almost cried. but I digress... Dress for damp (you will see lots of "roadside attractions" that demand that you hop a stone wall and wade thru a a peat bog). Don't underestimate distances. Rushing or arriving at dusk or after dark is no fun. Drive less and walk more. I wish I could go to Ireland again for the first time. I plan on returning often. Speak softly and don't forget to bring your heart.
Oct 20th, 2000, 02:07 PM
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Was in Ireland for 3rd time in September. Bring a hooded rain poncho so your hands are free of umbrellas. When driving on the "other side" which we do frequently--two very good tips. Keep your right front fender on the center line of the road and always yield before you enter a roundabout. As someone above says, if you don't find your route the first time on the roundabout, circle around again. It helps to have a navigator who can say, oh, our road is off about 3 o'clock. The roads are actually great compared to 20 years ago and major construction and widening continues with EC money. Have a great trip and know that you WILL have rain. After all, that's what makes it so green!
Oct 20th, 2000, 04:27 PM
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Hey Debbie! What part of Ireland did you finally decide to go to? Don't know if you have to make phone calls back to the US, but a phone card purchased from Sam's Club seems to be a great deal. I've had a couple of people recommend buying one from there. I also purchased a road map from Michelin's (found it as Barnes and Noble)- figured that would be one less thing to have to hunt down once I got there. Oh, the other thing I discovered was that some credit cards want to know your going overseas or they will block your credit card thinking they are doing you a favor. If you plan on using one particular card a lot - you might want to let them know!
Oct 20th, 2000, 04:40 PM
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ACtually, the credit card people say that they are doing this in your best interest which is not exactly true as they are responsible for stolen cards above a certain amount. Do call them to make sure they know you're going out of the country, especially if the card is relatively new and you haven't used it for travel outside the U.S. before. There is also a toll free international phone number that you can request should you experience any credit card problems.
Oct 23rd, 2000, 07:30 AM
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Good suggestions from everyone especially Cat and Seamus. I now let my credit card company know I am leaving the country. I had my card stopped in Amsterdam. They were concerned about the amount of charges overseas in a short period of. A quick phone call straightened things out.
Good looking out on their part.
Have a great trip!
Oct 23rd, 2000, 09:35 AM
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Hi all
Thanks for the comments - keep them coming.

Yes - I rented an Automatic ( I drive one at home, so I need one there

I also purchased a new Winter-type slicker - the kind with the thick insulated flannel inside - to keep me warm & dry. Luckily - living in Wisconsin has me used to damp & Cold.

I will be in Galway, Waterford, Killarney & Bunratty - each for 2 nights.

I hope to leave each city by 9 or 9:30am (avoid most of rush hour) , so that I can take my time on the drive and still get into the next B&B before nightfall.
I found the "Ordnance Survey, The complete Road Atlas of Ireland " at a local Map store in Milwaukee. It is ONLY Ireland and has city maps of some of a lot of the cities and towns.

18 days to go. I am ready to start packing now, but I know I need to wait at least one more week..... aaarrggghh!

Oct 23rd, 2000, 01:05 PM
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9.00-9.30 is still rush hour in most Irish cities - school runs etc- leave it until 10.00 or so and listen to the traffic reports on the radio between 8.00am and 9.00am and 16.00-18.00 hrs RTE Radio 1.

Re rental of the automatic - bring your confirmation as automatics are not the widely available and you might run into trouble,

Have a great time

Oct 23rd, 2000, 01:11 PM
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Hi Debbie, sounds great and let me know what's what, as we are going next summer.
Elvira, my husband always swears by bungee cords for everything...wait till I tell him you have 2 more ways for the "cord of the century".
Van, what lovely sentiments...hmmm,yes.
Driving? I close my eyes when my husband drives here, maybe I won't notice that car coming right towards me in our lane....not!
Debbie, I can not blame you for being excited, have a good time!
Oct 23rd, 2000, 05:49 PM
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this is what i bring to europe, so i figure they'll be helpful in ireland

small bottle of febreze to get rid of smoke smells.

olay or biore brand face wash cloths. they are like handi wipes for your face, take your eye makeup off too.

Shout stain wipes.

Ziploc bags

plane snacks: small bags of cereal, power bars, sturdy fruit (apples or oranges) chex mix. i generally avoid plane food.
Oct 23rd, 2000, 05:58 PM
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Forget the Fabreze or what ever. Ireland is great. I would not drive in the countryside at night as not many of the country roads or lighted. Otherwise, enjoy the very real,delightful people.

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