Planning a road trip in a foreign country can be hard work. You may not know where to start but this post will highlight pieces of advice you do not want to miss when planning your trip.
When I was planning my 9 day itinerary in Ireland with my best gal pals, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It took a lot of planning and FaceTiming since I was halfway across the world, but we managed to do it. Here are five tips you can use while planning your EPIC road trip in Ireland.
Hire a car WITH insurance
Hiring a car with insurance is crucial for a road trip and should be done before you leave. This way you can pick it up at the airport without any hassle.
PRO TIP: do not buy the insurance though the third party site. Instead, buy it from the actual company you are renting from. This will save you lots of time and money because Ireland has a weird law that will not honor insurance plans outside of the company you rented from.
We almost made the mistake of buying it from Expedia and THANK GOD we didn’t because those roads are teeny tiny and we may or may not have gotten a dent in our car…. It’s more than likely you will have a scratch or dent sometime during your trip so acquire insurance!
Learn the rules of the road
Driving on the left seems daunting and takes some practice to get used to but I promise you its not as hard as it seems. A lot of people will hire a car and have some driver take them around the island but I highly recommend NOT doing that. You will have no freedom to choose your itinerary anymore. If you want to stay in one cute Irish town like Kinsale for an extra night, or decide you want to drive the ring of Kerry, you won’t be able to be able to have that flexibility to do as you please.
PRO TIP: find out where the tolls are and avoid those highways if possible. Or download the app and you can pay the fees online to avoid any extra charges.
Plan out accommodation prior to leaving
Planning your accommodation before leaving takes so much stress and worry out so you can focus on driving and having fun! We wanted to get a real traditional feel about what its like to live in Ireland so we booked most of our accommodations on AirBnB. We got to stay in a 200 year old farm house rested near a trail that took you along the river into Kilkenny. Plus, we stayed at an adorable cottage that was only a 15 minute walk to the cliffs of Moher. It was the highlight of our trip! Whether you decide to stay in an airbnb or hotel, I would advise booking it beforehand to save time and money!
Decide what attractions you want to visit
Before planning the road trip of our lifetimes, I had little to no information on what to see and do in Ireland besides the epic Cliffs of Moher. After a bunch of research on the internet, we came to the conclusion to see Kinsale, parts of the ring of Kerry, the Kerry Cliffs, and visit at least one castle during our time.
Now, everyones list is going to be a little different compared to their interests, but majority of the attractions we picked out are well known and pretty popular. You will want to find your attractions first and then locate them on the map. Then, make your route based off of those points and map out your route. If this seems too hard, check out my full post on the perfect 9 day itinerary in Ireland.
You can’t do it all…
If you are planning on seeing ALL of Ireland then I would hope that you would have at least three weeks to tour the whole country. There are an abundance of tractional Irish towns and don’t forget about the Ring of Kerry! But, because we only had nine days in Ireland to plan a road trip, we decided to split the country in half and only see half of it. With this being said, try to do either the northern part of Ireland or southern half of Ireland, otherwise you will be spending most of your time in the car and what’s the point in that?!
There you have it! Five pieces of advice to help you plan your next road trip! Happy driving!