Nothing is more exciting than vacation planning, right?
Especially when you're planning a trip to Ireland!
Read on, intrepid Vagabond, to discover the most essential travel tips for Ireland!
⏳ Early Vagabonds Catch The Worm!
Our tours fill up quickly during certain months.
May, June and September are all popular. To avoid disappointment, we strongly advise that you book in advance.
Alternatively, try taking a tour off-peak (March, April or October). We offer a 10% discount to Vagabonds and Driftwooders travelling off-peak.
💡 PRO TIP: Ask our friendly reservations team for the month in 2022 or 2023 with most capacity for your tour. That way you'll enjoy greater choice and flexibility - not to mention a nice chat with Michael, John or Dee!
🛫 How Early Should I Book My Airline Tickets?
When booking long-haul flights to Ireland, it's best to book well in advance. More airlines fly direct to Ireland than ever before.
- Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus operates direct routes to Ireland from many North American cities.
- Flight price comparison sites, such as Kayak or Skyscanner, can be very useful. You could also use a travel agent.
Try booking your flights midweek, instead of the weekend. Airlines carry less passengers and update their systems midweek which results in the best deals.
Read our guide to saving money on flights to Ireland
Make sure you have your tour dates confirmed before booking flights.
💡 DID YOU KNOW?There is only a €250 deposit required to secure your tour with us. Even if you haven't decided on your flights, we can hold your tour departure for 7 days on a provisional basis (no cost or obligation).
🛌 How Early Should I Book My Dublin Hotel?
Dublin is a fun city. It's also popular.
Finding hotels in Dublin can be challenging even outside peak vacation times. Our advice is NOT to leave booking accommodation in Dublin until the last minute.
All Vagabond and Driftwood tours start and end at the Grand Canal Hotel. Use the promo code VAGABOND to receive a discount.
Can't find a room at the Grand Canal Hotel? We recommend using Booking.com to locate suitable accommodation nearby.
Using AirBnB? Dublin neighbourhoods to try searching for (convenient to reach the Grand Canal Hotel) include:
- Grand Canal Dock
Find out about the best areas and our favourite hotels in Dublin
Insurance, Passport Your Travel Essentials
🏥 Should I Book Travel Insurance?
We highly recommend taking out full travel insurance before coming to Ireland.
Your travel insurance policy should cover potential medical bills, lost baggage, flight delays and cancellations.
🛂 Check Your Passport Expiration Date?
It's important to check your passport expiry.
Ireland requires your passport to be in-date for the duration of your stay.
Be aware, it can take weeks to process a passport which is out-of-date.
If you already have a passport, check (and then double check) that it's valid for the duration of your stay.
Find Information on Passports In Your Country:
USA: Bureau of Consular Affairs - Passport Section
Canada: Passport Office
Australia: Passport Office
Before You Depart For Ireland
🧳 How Do I Pack For Ireland?
Firstly, make a list of all the things you need.
We strongly recommend that you pack lightly, taking into account the changeable nature of the Irish climate.
Because of our small-group ethos, our tour vehicles are small. There is limited luggage capacity. To be fair to everyone, please only bring one suitcase per person, no bigger than 30" (75cm) along its longest side.
Alternatively, one large suitcase between two people. Laundry facilities are available at selected hotels on longer tours.
Read our handy list of what to bring to Ireland.
💊 Should I Bring Prescription Medication To Ireland?
Consult with your doctor before you depart.
Ensure you have sufficient medication to allow for delays or unexpected events.
Read this handy advice from the US Embassy in Ireland
💡 PRO TIP: Carry all important medication in your hand luggage. In case your checked-in bag is mislaid, you will still be covered.
🖨️ Should I Print Out My Travel Documents?
Don't rely on digital devices for important documents when you travel.
Always carry a hard copy of the following:
- Flight booking confirmation documents and/or home-printed boarding cards.
- Dublin accommodation booking documents, for before and after your tour.
- Directions/printed map to your Dublin accommodation. This will help you locate your hotel and aid taxi drivers to find it too.
- Vagabond or Driftwood Tour confirmation. Youll receive this by email 21 days before departure. On the morning of departure, your VagaGuide will ask to see a printed copy to confirm your booking.
- Photocopies of your passport and travel insurance documentation, in case of theft or loss. Keep these copies in a separate bag to the originals. You can't be too careful!
📞 How Do I Contact Home From Ireland?
We understand that keeping in touch with friends and family back home is important.
Because we visit rural destinations, phone signal can often be weak or non-existent. Please be aware that, in our off the beaten track hotels and guesthouses, wifi will be more reliable than phone signal. Meanwhile, cellphone roaming charges can be exorbitant.
To access the internet on your phone outside wifi hotspots, you have two main options:
- Contact your home phone provider before you travel and ask about an international roaming plan.
- Purchase an Irish sim card, to swap into your phone. Although your phone needs to be either unlocked or have dual/virtual sim feature if you intend to purchase a sim card in Ireland. The simplest way to do this is by buying an Irish simcard upon arrival at Dublin Airport. The Spar convenience store beside Arrivals in Terminal 2 stocks simcards.
- Purchase a cheap Irish 'pay-as-you-go' phone in Dublin before your trip. Vodafone, Three and Tesco Mobile are some of the popular networks in Ireland.
💡 PRO TIP For tours passing through Northern Ireland, be mindful that you'll be crossing an international border (Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom). Any roaming plan you pre-arrange before your tour should include the United Kingdom (UK) as well as Ireland.
Money Makes The World Go Round
💳 Do I Need To Tell My Bank I'm Travelling?
Please pre-notify your bank or credit card provider of your travel plans before you leave.
International charges on bank cards may raise red flags and lead to a block on your account.
💡 PRO TIP: For tours passing through Northern Ireland, mention to your credit card provider or bank you will be visiting the UK as well as Ireland.
Be sure to ask about international service charges too.
💵 How Much Cash Should I Bring With Me?
We advise carrying €200-300 in cash (or enough to get you through a few days, in case of emergency).
A combination of cash and card works best, but the actual way you do it will boil down to personal preference.
ATM cash machines will most likely work with your card. Just make sure your bank knows you are travelling.
However, cash machines are not prevalent in some of the off the beaten track destinations that we tour to. For this reason, it's best to withdraw more than enough for a few days when you do visit. This will avoid the need to visit an ATM every day of your tour.
IMPORTANT: Ireland uses the Euro (€). But remember, you'll need a different currency (Pounds Sterling (£)) if your tour visits Northern Ireland.
Read more about cash, credit cards and spending money.
Last Minute Checks
🔌 Do I Need An Electrical Adapter in Ireland?
In Ireland and the UK, we use a three-pin plug, with square pins. The voltage is 240v.
Check that any appliances you are bringing to Ireland can work on a 240v system. The voltage level should be shown somewhere on your device.
Check out our dedicated blog about electrical adapters
📸 What Camera Accessories Will I Need?
Carrying a camera?
Fully charge it before you leave.
Carry a power bank (portable battery booster pack) as well as spare memory cards with you.
Check out 7 Tips for Taking Better Travel Photos.
⏱️ Be On Time At The Airport
Plan in advance how you'll get to your home airport.
Aim to be at your home airport at least 3 hours before a transatlantic departure, to allow for unforeseen delays.
Try to anticipate potential delays. These include rush hour traffic, holiday periods (such as Spring Break) or major sports events that might coincide with your journey.
Listen to local news reports and check the Twitter feed for your departure airport before you leave so you know about any major delays as they occur.
Better safe than sorry!
📄 What To Triple Check Before Leaving Home
Passports. Tickets. Boarding passes. Money.
Make sure you have your boarding pass available on your cellphone or printed. Ideally, you should have both as a backup.
Double check your flight departure times. You can normally do this with your airline's mobile app or on the website or Twitter feed of your departure airport.
Triple check any supplies of personal medication are packed and in-date.
After Landing in Dublin...
🛬 How Do I Get From Dublin Airport To My Hotel?
We recommend taking a taxi from Dublin Airport to your Dublin hotel.
There are also multiple bus services serving Dublin Airport.
Read our handy guide to Dublin Airport transfers
☘️ What Should I See & Do In Dublin?
Travel isn't all all boring, practical stuff!
Ireland's capital city is an amazing place to visit. Even if you only have a few hours to spare, Dublin's delights are well worth exploring.
Read our guide to non-touristy things to do in Dublin
Planning a trip to Ireland can be so much fun. We hope you have a great time organising your visit!
Email us at email@example.com with any questions or queries.
Photo of checklist/hand by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Photo of passports by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo of Trinity College Library by Jonathan Singer on Unsplash
What do I need when traveling to Ireland? ›
- Lightweight layers, including t-shirts and long sleeve shirts.
- Warm jumper or fleece.
- Jeans or long trousers.
- Shorts for summer trips.
- Waterproof jacket or shell layers.
- Waterproof trousers.
- Scarf, hat and gloves.
- Good walking shoes or hiking boots with socks.
Ten days is just enough time to visit the highlights of Ireland, including Dublin, the Rock of Cashel, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, and Northern Ireland. It's an amazing trip, but expect to have busy, action packed days. Places to visit with 10 days in Ireland.How can I see all of Ireland in 7 days? ›
- Day 1 – Galway.
- Day 2 – Cliffs of Moher.
- Day 3 – Killarney National Park, Ballybunion.
- Day 4 – Ring of Kerry.
- Day 5 – The Dingle Peninsula.
- Day 6 – Dublin.
- Day 7 – Dublin.
- Options to Extend Your Ireland Itinerary from 7 to 10 Days.
Five days in Ireland is just enough time to visit a few key destinations.Can I use US dollars in Ireland? ›
Can I Use US Money iIn Ireland? Simple answer = No. Only euro (€) is accepted in Ireland. Only British pound sterling (£) is accepted in Northern Ireland.Do they tip in Ireland? ›
😋 Do I Tip in Irish Restaurants? It's normal to leave between 10-15% of your bill as a tip after dining in Irish restaurants, bistros, cafés or pubs. Leaving a tip higher than 15% of your bill after dining in Ireland is really only given for outstanding service.What is the best month to visit Ireland? ›
When is the best time to visit Ireland? The best time to visit Ireland is between March and May, and September to November, when it's not as crowded as it is in summer, or as cold as it is in winter. That said, Ireland has a mild, temperate climate and although it's rainy at times, you can visit all year round.What can I skip in Ireland? ›
- Guinness Storehouse Dublin. Teeling Distillery Tour.
- Titanic Belfast. Crumlin Road Gaol.
- Cliffs of Moher. Loop Head Cliffs. ...
- Galway City. Cork.
- Kissing the Blarney Stone. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
- Temple Bar Dublin. O'Donoghues Pub.
- Malahide Castle Dublin. ...
- Book of Kells.
Book at least 3 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price. High season is considered to be June, July and August. The cheapest month to fly to Ireland is February.Is it expensive in Ireland? ›
Many people consider Ireland to be expensive. It's an island country and has a relatively small population. This means that they import a lot of their products which can raise prices. The country also has reasonably high taxes.
Is driving in Ireland difficult? ›
Driving in Ireland is not difficult , but you may want to rent an automatic car rather than one with a stick shift. Yes, it is more expensive, but the convenience is worth it if you're not used to driving on the left.How long does it take to drive all around Ireland? ›
How long would it take to drive all around Ireland? It'll take about 13 hours to drive around Ireland. Starting from Dublin in the east, drive along the southeast coast to Kilkenny and then to Waterford. Drive south to Cork, then southwest to Killarney.Is cork worth visiting? ›
Jam-packed with buzzing pubs, fantastic galleries, thought-provoking museums and arguably the best restaurant scene in Ireland, Cork is the perfect city break destination.Is Galway worth visiting? ›
Galway is one of Ireland's most picturesque cities, and if you love music, culture, and the arts, it is the perfect city for you. Brightly coloured pubs heave with live music and buskers line the streets playing instruments ranging from fiddles, tin whistles and bodhráns.Will my debit card work in Ireland? ›
All US issued Visa Debit cards and Mastercard Debit cards should work in ATMs in Ireland. All US issued Visa Debit cards and Mastercard Debit cards can be used to spend in stores in Ireland.Do I need to carry cash in Ireland? ›
Ireland's main currency is the Euro. Because most places you visit will be able to take your credit or debit cards, you don't need to take much cash. In fact, there is really no reason to get Euros before you leave the US.Can you drink Ireland tap water? ›
Is tap water safe to drink. Your water is safe to drink unless you see one of these notices from Irish Water. Know what to do if you receive one.How much cash can I bring to Ireland? ›
Carrying cash - If you enter or leave the European Union (EU) at an Irish airport or port carrying cash of €10,000 or more, you must make a declaration to customs. Sending cash - If you send or receive cash of €10,000 or more by post, freight or courier you may have to make a cash disclosure declaration.How do you tip with a card in Ireland? ›
If you want to tip you must tell the cashier when you give her the card and how much, Cash is best though as some ruthless owners skim them if its by card. Simply tell the server you want to add a gratuity before they tap in the amount and they'll change the amount to the new total that includes your tip.What is the rainiest month in Ireland? ›
What is the wettest month in Ireland? October is often the wettest month in Ireland. In Dublin, there is approximately 80 mm (3”) of rain during the month of October. The months of November, December and January usually also receive high amounts of rainfall each year.
What is Ireland's most famous for? ›
As the creators of world-class beer and whiskey, Ireland has made a name for itself around the globe, giving people a taste of the Irish culture. Think Guinness, Jameson, Bushmills, and Kilkenny for instance.What is the coldest month in Ireland? ›
January and February are the coldest months of the year, and mean daily air temperatures fall between 4 and 7 °C (39.2 and 44.6 °F) during these months.Is Ireland safe for English? ›
Ireland is a very safe country to visit. Compared to other European countries, crime is relatively low and the crime that does happen is mostly fueled by alcohol, so you should avoid roaming along Ireland's streets late at night.Is Galway a tourist trap? ›
The Galway Races, Galway
Although this is promoted to be the pinnacle of Irish sports, this is, in fact, an overrated tourist trap.
Three days in Dublin is the perfect length of time to enjoy the sights, soak up the culture, the cathedrals and the castles. You'll also have plenty of time to explore the pubs and bars the city is so famous for and enjoy the craic.What is the best airline to fly to Ireland? ›
In recognition of our consistent quality and excellent guest experience, Skytrax World Airline Awards has rated Aer Lingus 4-stars, making us the first and only Irish airline to receive such a prestigious rating.What is the most beautiful part of Ireland? ›
- The Old Library, Trinity College Library, Dublin. ...
- Cliffs of Moher, County Clare. ...
- Kinsale, County Cork. ...
- Achill Island, County Mayo. ...
- Skellig Michael, County Kerry. ...
- Galway, County Galway. ...
- Killarney National Park, County Kerry. ...
- Aran Islands.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
You must have a valid passport to enter Ireland. U.S. citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business stays of up to 90 days. There is no minimum passport validity requirement for U.S. citizens entering Ireland.
While meal prices in Ireland can vary, the average cost of food in Ireland is €32 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Ireland should cost around €13 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.Why is food so expensive in Ireland? ›
Lack of natural resources. We have a major lack of natural resources in Ireland meaning a huge amount of what we eat, wear and use has to be imported from abroad. And as outlined above, our relatively isolated, island location means transporting things into the country is more expensive than other countries.
Can I use my US driver's license in Ireland? ›
Your full US, Canadian or EU driving licence allows you to drive in Ireland both North and South.Can you turn left on red in Ireland? ›
In the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, drivers sit on the right side of the car and drive on the left side of the road. Unlike in the U.S., where motorists can turn right at most red lights, you can never turn left on red in Ireland.How do I prepare for driving in Ireland? ›
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- Know the Metric System. ...
- Stick to the Speed Limit. ...
- Don't Always Rely on GPS. ...
- Have Money for Tolls. ...
- Take Advantage of Rest Stops. ...
- Stock Up on Snacks.
Despite being a compact country that you can literally drive all the way across in half a day, there's so much to see that travellers should budget at least one week in Ireland to properly explore.Can you see all of Ireland in a week? ›
At only 32,599 square miles (for reference, the state of Indiana is 35,910 square miles), Ireland's compact size makes it entirely possible to explore the highlights of the Emerald Isle in just one week, as long as you are up for a jam-packed week of activities and a lot of driving.Where should I stop for lunch between Dublin and Killarney? ›
The top stops along the way from Dublin to Killarney (with short detours) are Kilkenny Castle, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, and Rock of Cashel. Other popular stops include Trim Castle, Irish National Stud & Gardens, and King John's Castle.Should I go to Cork or Galway? ›
Cork and Galway are both tour-worthy destinations. While Galway offers street entertainment, Cork stages the best music concerts. For a fantastic food experience, Cork edges Galway. However, if you want to enjoy the city with minimal movement, go to Galway.Is Dublin or Cork better? ›
Dublin has always shown mastery in football winning the All Ireland title a total of twenty-seven times to Cork's seven. However, these statistics are reversed when it comes to hurling, in which Cork has won a staggering thirty times compared to Dublin's six.How long is train journey from Dublin to Cork? ›
The train journey time between Dublin and Cork is around 2h 37m and covers a distance of around 265 km. Operated by Irish Rail, the Dublin to Cork train service departs from Heuston and arrives in Cork Kent.How many days do I need in Galway? ›
Three days in Galway allow you to explore the culture-filled city, as well as the wind-whipped surrounding countryside—home to some of Ireland's most spectacular natural beauty spots, including the Cliffs of Moher and Connemara's hills, bogs, and rocky peaks.
Is there a train between Dublin and Galway? ›
How Long Is the Train Ride? The train journey takes between 2 hours and 21 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes, and prices usually range between 18-22 euros each way. Trains run between Dublin and Galway every day and are operated by Irish Rail. Trains depart Heuston Station in Dublin bound for Galway every two hours.What is Galway famous for? ›
Galway is famous for being the festival capital of Ireland, hosting on average 122 festivals and events per year. Although Galway is often cited as being the fastest growing conurbation in Europe, it was relatively slow to develop.What town is halfway between Dublin and Cork? ›
Urlingford is known for being 'Halfway Between Dublin and Cork' and Hayes Bar has served teh passing traveller and locals since 1851 and remains in the same family hands.How long dies it take to drive from Cork to Dublin? ›
How long is the drive from Dublin to Cork? The direct drive from Dublin to Cork is 160 mi (258 km), and should have a drive time of 2 hrs 32 mins in normal traffic.How long is it from Dublin to Galway? ›
Yes, the driving distance between Dublin to Galway is 209 km. It takes approximately 2h 8m to drive from Dublin to Galway.Do I need a passenger locator form Ireland to UK? ›
You do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel, take any COVID-19 tests or quarantine when you arrive in England.Do I need a PCR test to enter UK? ›
The travel test booking service is unavailable
You no longer need to take any coronavirus (COVID-19) tests when you arrive in the UK from abroad.
- Ireland Visa Application Form.
- A valid passport.
- Passport-sized pictures.
- Proof you have paid the Ireland visa fee.
- Proof of legal residence in the country from which you are applying.
- Letter about your purpose of travel.
- Proof of accommodation in Ireland.
No, if you are a citizen of the UK, you do not need a passport to travel to Ireland. That's because Ireland and the UK along with the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are part of the Common Travel Area. According to the laws of the agreement, there is minimal control on the internal borders of these countries.Can I print a passenger locator form? ›
Yes you can download and print the form.
Do I need travel insurance to go to Ireland? ›
Though it is not a requirement for travel to Ireland, many tourists opt for coverage. One reason is that for many families, Ireland is an ideal first international trip for their family, and travelers would like to add an extra layer of protection when traveling with children.When should I take PCR test? ›
Key times to get tested: If you have symptoms, test immediately. If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.How much do PCR tests cost UK? ›
The Standard test is £99. LFTs are £17.50 each.Is locator form still required in UK? ›
You do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or fill in a passenger locator form when travelling to the UK from abroad. These changes apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.What is classed as fully vaccinated? ›
Being fully vaccinated means that you have finished your vaccine, whether that's one dose or two, and two weeks have passed. You do need two weeks for your immune system to mount its full response. You are then considered fully immunized.How much bank balance is required for Ireland tourist visa? ›
Please note that there is no set amount of funds that will result in the approval or refusal of an application. The Visa Officer will decide whether your have enough funds based on your individual circumstances. Your 3 most recent payslips.Is Ireland a Schengen country? ›
Ireland is not part of the Schengen Area, which means that if you travel to the Schengen Area from Ireland, you pass through an immigration checkpoint and have to show your passport or national identity card. The following European Union countries are not part of the Schengen Area: Bulgaria. Croatia.How long does the Ireland visa process take? ›
The Ireland visa processing time is about eight weeks.
However, depending on the specific case, it could take longer or even shorter, so be sure to apply well before your planned trip.
British nationals travelling from the UK don't need a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality, particularly if you were born outside the UK.What documents do I need to drive from UK to Ireland? ›
Licence, insurance and Brexit
Remember, in the Republic of Ireland, you must carry your driver's licence or permit at all times. From 2nd August 2021 UK registered vehicles (with valid insurance) will not need a Green Card to drive in Ireland or from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.
Do you need a visa to go to Ireland? ›
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
You must have a valid passport to enter Ireland. U.S. citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business stays of up to 90 days. There is no minimum passport validity requirement for U.S. citizens entering Ireland.