Irish Tips

In order to further enhance the joyous occasion of your holiday in Ireland, we have collected for you a number of tips on travelling here.

They are as follows.

Tip 1: When you travel, hire the smallest car you are comfortable driving and one big enough to hold your suitcases and golf clubs.

(If the missus nudges in close, all the better for that second honeymoon.)

Our car rental booking engine actually shows you frightening icons of little people and little luggage so you can best judge your needs.

The roads are narrow in Ireland and they are quite safe but rock walls are closer than they appear in the mirrors.

After all, many of you have learned to drive on the wrong side of the road now, haven't you?

Tip 2: Get away from the big cities and spend some time in the villages.

The Irish are some of the nicest people in the world and they will show you more of the real Ireland out in the bogs and on the countryside than you will ever find on the beaten path.

Keep in mind, once you walk into a pub, you could be almost anywhere in the country so it doesn't really matter where you go, now does it, lads?

Tip 3: Throw away the notion the Irish are not good cooks.

They are excellent bakers and cooks, and you will soon find they are generous to a fault.

The Irish also remember the lean times and will never send anyone away hungry. If you want an extra egg, ask for it.

One thing to note is, most lodgings in Ireland, with the exception of self catering (weekly rentals), provide breakfast with the price of the room.

These breakfasts are hearty and we suggest making them the main meal.

Tip 4: Pub Etiquette

Sit at the bar and join the locals in their craic (conversation).

They will respect you for it and, although there hasn't yet been born an introverted Irishman, they will generally ignore you if you sit at a table away from the bar.

The tables are where they go to eat when they don't want to be bothered.

Conversely, if you see an Irishman you know at a table, salute him (tip your cap or wave) but be careful about walking over and standing above him while he is eating.

It would be better to have a Guinness at the bar while waiting for him to finish his lunch.

Wait for the bartender to come to you.

Don't worry, he will likely see you sit down and it won't do you much good to yell at him.

If he calls both you and the missus "lads" don't be offended. It's like saying "youse guys" in the States.

The pubs are now smoke free so you can take the kiddies inside (Some pubs do have a curfew for the wee ones.)

Expect to be slagged (teased) and feel free to slag back. It's all in good fun, really, and they will only slag you if they like you.

When slagging, remember to be kind. If you can't be kind, try to be vague.

Tip 5: If you stay at a B&B, make friends with your hosts.

Sometimes they will even step out with you for a pint if you suggest it.

Tip 6: When shopping, take some time to talk to the clerk checking you out.

They expect it in Ireland. They are people, too, and if you don't inquire about their day, they might think you are being aloof. Don't be in a hurry. Develop a sense of whimsy. Be at one with the Slainte.

Tip 7: Feel free to bargain with the local shopkeepers (to a point of course). There's such a thing as "luck money" and the owners of shops many times believe luck will come to them if they knock down the price just a bit.

In fact, mention the term "luck money" and see if their eyebrows raise.

Phrases, words and questions to avoid

  • Four-leaf clover (it's not really a shamrock, you know, so please don't ask the lad to draw one on top of your Guinness)

  • Top 'o the morning (nobody says this)

  • B'Gorra (actually, I've heard this once)

  • Leprechauns (Fairies yes, Leprechauns no)

  • Do you know where my relatives might be? (You can expect a less than congenial answer to this.)

  • Why is everything spelled wrong? (Well, then. The Irish have been at this spelling thing a lot longer than most of the colonies have.)