1. Leave the major cities. Venture across as much of the island as you can. Ireland is small – you would be doing yourself an injustice of you were to visit only one or two cities – especially with the countryside being as beautiful as it is. Can’t rent a car? Take a bus tour!
2. Don’t wait for ‘good weather’. You may not find it – no matter what season you arrive. So why not go during winter and take advantage of some good off season deals? The weather is hardly different from the ‘summer’. Bring a raincoat, no matter when you visit – umbrellas are usually pointless as the rain often comes with wind.
3. Check the local history. Humans have inhabited Ireland for 10,000 years – that’s a lot of antiquity worth researching!
4. Drive carefully. If you rent a car, be wary of the roads – and other drivers. Many of the alternative routes remain virtually unchanged since built. That often means pot holes, narrow lanes and a lack of shoulders. To make Irish driving a bit more difficult, we found local drivers to be very ‘assertive’ – and sometimes drunk. We couldn’t believe the number of drunk drivers that departed the ferry.
6. Avoid potential drunken altercations! We witnessed a few street brawls during our visit – something I always make great attempts to steer clear of. Additionally, I have had more than one experience with aggressive attempts at courtship during my lone tours.
A lot of drinking happens in Ireland, and like anywhere else, that means a lot of potential for disagreement and bad behaviour – both from locals and other tourists!
Make rain a part of your tour and you wont be disappointed by it. Like us here in Vancouver, the Irish don’t let rain stop or even delay their day, and neither should you.
The Irish are friendly and open to conversation – particularly if you meet them in a local pub! So don’t be afraid to make friends. I still speak with people I met on my first tour years ago.
Many Irish have family in North America – many North Americans are of Irish decent. As such, I met many locals who were fascinated to learn about Canada – people who wanted to hear about our life back home, and hoped some day to visit.
I never think of Canada as a destination!
- History of Ireland (Wikipedia)