First time Ireland trip

Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 11:10 AM
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First time Ireland trip

Hello! I am hoping to take my first trip to Ireland in the end of May 2015 for around 11 days. I'll be flying in to Dublin likely and I like the idea of renting a car and driving all over the country. I have things here and there I want to see, but no set route as of yet. It's my first time ever traveling out of the states and I will also be traveling alone. I have seen some boards on advice for driving, a little intimidating but I'm up for a challenge. I'm looking for any advice! As a female traveling alone, as a first time European traveler, etc. I mentioned ideally wanting to drive around the country but if there is good public transportation that would take me around more than just the cities I would love the tips. I am too use to having my own car and not needing or using public transport in the states. Any suggestions on where to stay that will be safe but economical as well as great for the experience would be awesome! I am loving reading the different topics on here. Thanks in advance!
littlemizrabbit is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 12:44 PM
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There's not very good public transportation in rural Ireland, and the train network is rather limited. There are buses between the cities and larger towns.

Driving in Ireland is not really difficult, if you don't mind narrow roads. There are some speed demons on those narrow roads, but just pull over and let them pass if you're attracting a line of cars.

I would much prefer to have a navigator along when driving in Ireland. Someone to help read the road signs (which are often lacking or confusing) and to remind you that you're supposed to keep to the left and go clockwise around the roundabouts.

If you tell us the places you want to see, maybe someone can help you decide whether a car is the best way to get around.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 03:01 PM
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It takes a lot of concentration and you most likely will get a manual shift car. Cab you shift gears sitting in the right seat, drive on the opposite side of the road and navigate yourself. Many people can and it might not be a problem. I can do it but don't like to do it because I like to look at scenery. I would get a car with gps. Greendragon drives alone in Ireland, check out some of her trip reports. I find that getting to major cities like Galway and Cork and even Belfast are no problem. I like doing day tours with guides that do go to a variety of different places out of the way. You can take a great tour of Inishmore from the Galway bus station with a good guide or do something like this.
Dublin has great day tours to Newgrange and Wicklow or you can do the train to Belfast and take a day tour to Giant's causeway. You are still on your own at night and can set the pace but you are in a major city at night. Something to think about.
flpab is offline  
Old Dec 24th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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This is a relatively Ancient (2002) account of a solo woman trip that is an absolute Classic.

I have made about 20 trips to Ireland over the past 15 years and would not hesitate to recommend self-driving. If you are a competent driver at home, you should NOT have any difficulty adjusting.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Old Dec 25th, 2014, 12:19 PM
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Thank you so much for the responses! bvlenci, I would list where I want to visit except I haven't narrowed that down yet lol but good to know public transport isn't too available outside cities, that alone is helpful.
But thank you all for the links and advice! I will be reading up on all of it.
littlemizrabbit is offline  
Old Dec 25th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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To create a very rough route, get a map of Ireland (If you contact the Irish Tourist Board, they will mail you one, for free)and place a mark (or pin) in each location that is of interest.
Use different colors to designate whether it is a Must, Would Really Like, or if you have the chance ...

Then, connect the dots of the 'Must See' locations and see how close that brings you to the rest.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2014, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for the tip on getting the map! I have been looking for one to do that very thing but free is even better!
littlemizrabbit is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2014, 07:01 PM
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This should get you started:

Here's an online map of attractions:
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Thanks so much Italian_chauffer ��
littlemizrabbit is offline  
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