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Traveling to Ireland for the first time March 10th till the 18th. Any tips

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I will be traveling to Ireland for the first time March 10th till the 18th. Any tips besides the response to my questions below would be much appreciated.


1. Flying into Shannon airport on the 10th & driving up to Galway. Any recommendations on which rental company to use. See numerous different co's but some have pretty general comments that rates/fees may be additional based on location at the time of pick up/drop off. We will be dropping the car back off in Dublin & some mention additional fee for dropping at a different spot then pick up. Also want to know is it worth getting GPS for rental car or recommend a good electronic tablet that could double as GPS device.



2. Current Cell service provider has way high fees for using International. Any suggestions for simple prepay phone? We will also be heading to London the following week so would like to be able to use it throughout London as well.



3. Any must stay at little B&B's/hotels or pubs that might not be on the big websites that are a must to stay/see while traveling around Ireland? Galway, Bunratty, Tralee..around ring of Kerry, Cork... Would like to experience true charm of small pubs/music & not get sucked into all the tourist areas.



4. We will be in Dublin the 16th & 17th staying near the Airport since most downtown hotels are booked. Any small pubs in that area recommended or best/safest way to travel to & from downtown Dublin late at night?



5. Are American Express checks or credit cards widely accepted when traveling around the smaller towns of Ireland?



6. We will be taking the ferry to head London. What is the simplest way to get to the ferry port after we drop our car off Sunday March 18th at the Dublin airport? We have to catch the early 8:20am ferry.



Thanks!

Kurt-Iowa

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