Journey to the Emerald Isle — Travel Tips to Remember
Early this month I took an excursion from our little mountain town to Ireland on a part pleasure, part business trip. Here I have collected a list of some great things to do when you’re in Ireland, as well as some tips to not lose your mind when traveling.
DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT
Although the border between North Ireland and the Mainland has, in recent years, become borderless (meaning you don’t have to show your passport to travel between the UK and the Republic of Ireland) you’ll still need it to get into the country. If you forget it you’ll have to call your roommate, have him bring it to you before you miss your flight, and he and everyone who hears the story will make fun of you FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. One time guys, it happened one time.
Avoid Chicago O’Hare Airport
Sorry Chicagoans but your airport is criminally inefficient and gross. I know airports are basically giant cattle routes, but it would be nice to not be reminded by the slaughterhouse-style architecture.
Stay in a small town
Finally, you’ve made it after 30 hours of travel, but your luggage is nowhere to be found! As you collect what little you have left from your travels overseas, think about where you would like to stay. Most people go for the city, which is understandable since that’s where most of the fun stuff to do is. I’m not denying the great things to see in the large cities, but in Ireland there is something magical about the small farming villages. I ended up staying at the Blarney Castle Hotel in the village of Blarney (known for its castle and the famed Blarney Stone) and really enjoyed being in a town with only 3 pubs and restaurants. Blarney is also only 10 minutes away from the city of Cork so it’s easy to jaunt to the city and take in some big city life.
Be a tourist… at appropriate times
When you are outside of your home country, you’ll want to take in everything through a camera lens. In many situations that’s okay, like when you’re at very touristy locations (Blarney Castle, the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, etc.) but being a tourist walking down the streets of Dublin makes you an easy target. Whenever I go to a big city I act as if I belong there — that means no giant camera hanging around my neck. These days, phone cameras are so good you might as well just use that. It’s easier to carry around and you won’t look desirable to muggers; win win.
Have something to do when traveling
I was only in Ireland for a week and a half and I think 30% of my time was either on a taxi, bus or plane. That’s a lot of time to sit and contemplate whether or not you left the stove on or if you fed your cat. I always recommend you bring something to read or do on your travels to alleviate the boredom. On this trip I took the advice of one of my dear friends and downloaded an audiobook via the Audible app. I loved it! I’ve even ended up continuing to use it since I’ve been back.
After my short trip to Ireland I’m already planning a return trip. There is just so much to see and I only kissed the tip of the Blarney Stone. One thing is for sure though, whether I was listening to an audiobook, taking pictures in the cities, or just trying to figure out where I was, having my phone on me with power was absolutely essential. Without my Resurgence Power Case to give my iPhone 6 double the battery life, I may have found myself to be in a bit of a…potato (I’m so sorry).