A few tips we learned on our recent trip to Ireland — These are things you need to know before you go…
1) Rain is going to happen. Always have a raincoat or umbrella close by.
2) Good walking shoes that dry fast are a must.
3) All the cars are right hand drive and you drive on the left side of the road. This is very stressful to learn and get comfortable with.
4) Car rentals offer auto and standard. Take the automatic. The vehicles are designed to cut off the engine when you stop, and restart when you press the accelerator pedal. This makes quick starts difficult. A standard shift would be even more of a nuisance.
5) If your credit card does not offer rental car insurance, buy it from the rental company. The side roads can be very narrow and really not room for more than one vehicle. You are going to get scratches on the car as the trees and bushes are right on the edge of the road. See the above picture.
6) Nearly every intersection is a traffic circle, usually with multiple entrance and exit points. Your GPS may not be clear on which exit to take.
7) If you love Haribo gummy candy, buy it here. The candy is fresher and more flavorful than in the states. Why? I do not know. Haribo is a German company. With so many varieties to choose from, try them all!
8) If you are traveling on a Sunday or other bank holiday, be aware that a lot of businesses are closed. So, check before heading out to eat.
9) Restaurants use a hand held credit card machine and take your payment at the table. They will not bring the bill without you asking for it. A service charge is added to the bill. If this charge is not stated on the menu, they are not allowed to charge it. If this charge is not included, you would be expected to leave a tip.
10) Be sure to bring European AC converter plugs and USB phone chargers.