By Amanda Little
Before embarking on your trip to the Emerald Isle, it’s important to know that, like any country outside of your own, the culture, rules, and land is different. If you’re going to Ireland, the first thing you may want to pack is your umbrella.
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The Weather in Ireland is fickle at best. Very often it rains, but there are many days where the rain and sun take turns dominating the sky, and plenty of in-between time where the sky is overcast, threatening rain with the glimmer of hope for sun. So be sure to have a rain poncho or lightweight umbrella. You should also think about bringing a few warm sweaters with you. Yes, even in the summer. It can be chilly or warm seemingly at random. So it’s best to be prepared.
The euro is the currency of Ireland, like much of Europe. One euro is equal to 1 dollar and 18 cents, so the conversion rate isn’t too bad, but look out for those exchanging fees. You might want to exchange money at the airport or find a currency exchange in the city you’ve chosen to visit, but may places in the highly populated areas also take credit card. Just be sure to tell your provider that you’re going abroad.
When traveling through Ireland, the easiest way to get around is very likely a car. If you plan to stay in Dublin, then you may not need one, and could rent a bike instead. While there are rail stations and public transit, the quickest and most cost-effective way to get from one end of the country to the other is driving yourself! There may be a bit of an adjustment period since they drive on the opposite side of the road, but once you give it a bit of practice it’s easy to pick up!
To native English speakers, traveling through Ireland becomes easier, since English is the main language. Rare few speak only Irish, and there are so many dialects hidden away, it’s very unlikely you’ll find someone who doesn’t speak English.
Many travelers think they’ll be getting the standard, boiled British food when visiting Ireland, but that's not true! Sure you can indulge in fresh fish and chips, which is a frankly delicious bar-food staple, but there are delicacies all over the country. From hearty stews in the north to delectable mutton throughout the farmlands to mouthwatering oysters and seafood along the coast, Ireland has a decadent palate.
Rest in comfort while staying in Ireland. Anytime you’re abroad, you should be a little weary of those who may wish you ill, but Ireland has a very low crime rate and has been ranked safer than many of the states. Of course, with any city comes the risk of theft, but keeping your wits about you will keep your wallet on you!