I was terrified…
If you are reading this post you are probably in the same position OR you are just looking for others experience. Well here you go.
I was terrified… But I did it!
My roommate Jen and I are Americans and booked our tickets not knowing exactly what was in store. We had a friend go a few months back and asked about her experience. They rented a car to get around, which is what I suggest. Unless you are there for an extended period of time and can make your way around without any time restraints. We were there for a week and wanted to see as much as we could. If I could do it over, I would have stayed at least 2.5 weeks. Each part of the island was incredible.
We landed in Dublin and rented a car. I was the designated driver. My roommate tried to drive in New Zealand the summer before and it didn’t go so well. For some strange reason I felt I could concur this, in the end it’s something I’m really proud of.
We rented a manual car. Not because we wanted to, but because it was cheaper of course! I think we saved gas money that way. We could put the car in neutral and coast downhill. I don’t recommend this if you are not comfortable with a manual car. It really does trip you out driving on the other side of the road, on the other side of the car, with a stick. Again, for some strange reason I thought I could concur this.
So here you go!
TOP TIPS FOR DRIVING IN IRELAND
HAVE A GOOD NAVIGATOR
Jen was great. I couldn’t have asked for more of a patient person. I would ask her the same question 3 times before making a turn. We laughed about it later.
BUY A GOOD MAP
We had GPS as a back up but it didn’t work so great. A map was the only way to go. If you are traveling solo, make sure to pull over before looking at it.
STAY CALM AND READ THE SIGNS
The signs were really intuitive there. When in doubt follow the signs or know which big city you are heading toward.
In general, the speed limit was slower then in the USA. The Irish are use to tourists and can spot them on the road. Also, in some spots it can get foggy. This was on the Ring of Kerry and it was a one lane road beside a cliff. Be careful and cautious!
PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY- ASK FOR DIRECTIONS!
The people are so kind in Ireland. Here is our tour guide Hazel. They were so sweet and helpful. Talk to as many locals as you can, even if it just for directions.
STOP ALONG THE WAY
Some of the best views were along the Ring of Dingle. Plan to stop and enjoy the journey were ever you are!
DON’T STRESS IF YOU GET LOST
Traveling is a great way to get lost. To explore the unknown and get outside your comfort zone.
After a week of driving we pulled into the car rental lot and I thought “wow, I really did that” The only scare was the first day in Dublin where I went down a one way road. A few people shouted at me and quickly made our way back.
Good luck out there! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding my stay in Ireland. I would love to help!