Tips For A Terrific First Trip To Ireland

Have you been to Ireland? Is it on your bucket list? Ireland is one of my favorite places to visit. Having been to Ireland many times, and helping clients experience this magical place, below are some of my expert tips for a terrific first trip to Ireland.

You’ve put off visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, and Blarney Castle long enough. It’s finally time to take that trip to Ireland! I applaud that decision, but before you book that brewery tour or get too excited about visiting Dublin’s Grafton Street, here are a few tips to make for a more enjoyable trip.

Tips for a terrific first trip to Ireland
The perfect country for a road trip

Consider Car Travel

The best sites in the Emerald Isle are seen via public transportation or tour buses, but renting a car is not a bad idea to get to those obscure sites. Be sure the vehicle you rent is a small one, as rural roads in Ireland are narrow. Oh, and the Irish drive on the left side of the road and pass on the right; it takes some getting used to and is not for everyone.

Tax-Free Shopping

All those goodies you’ll find to buy on Grafton Street are tax-free! That’s right, travelers who live outside the European Union can shop tax-free in Ireland. Make sure to apply for a Fexco Horizon Card prior to your trip so you can register and swipe it in affiliated stores in the country and claim sales tax back on your purchases.

Differing Currencies

And while we’re on the topic of shopping, it’s important to note that, as part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland uses pound sterling rather than the euro.

Dress Appropriately

Irish weather is not extreme, but the country does get a lot of rain, particularly along its west coast. And if you’re traveling to Ireland during winter, know that the season’s days are short. The sun rises at about 8 a.m. and sets at about 4 p.m., which means you have to cram a lot of sightseeing into a few hours. But during summer, the sunsets as late as 10 p.m. Be mindful of these seasonal changes, pack light layers of clothing and a pair of rain boots or waterproof shoes, and you should be just fine.

Public Transportation Pointers

The trains in Ireland carry you in comfort, but they are pricey. So if you intend to travel on one during your trip, make sure to book it in advance to take advantage of online discounts that the Irish Rail offers. If you choose to travel by bus, be aware that you must flag the bus to get it to stop.

Heritage Cards Are Helpful

If you plan to visit the country’s many cultural attractions, picking up a Heritage Card from the Office of Public Works is a great idea. This card entitles you to free admission to all heritage sites managed by the state for an entire year. These sites include castles and national parks.

So now that you have the tips to a successful Ireland trip, be sure to call or email me to help you plan your trip. As an Ireland destination specialist, I will help you plan your custom itinerary, and have more tips and tricks to make your first trip to Ireland one that you will never forget.

LGBTQ Destination Wedding Locations

The passage of marriage equality laws throughout the world has made the choice of a wedding away much easier for couples. There are 3 LGBTQ destination wedding locations I recommend that should be at the top of your list when choosing a destination.

LGBTQ destination wedding locations, Puerto Vallarta vacation packages

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It is a destination with a lot of allure; from its restaurants and bars to the spas and exclusive tours.

LGBTQ destination wedding locations

Costa Rica. Lush verdant jungles, tropical rainforests, and beautiful beaches; what more could you ask for?

LGBTQ destination wedding locations

Cancun, and Riviera Maya Mexico. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, nightlife, and lots of activities & places to explore.

There are many resorts & private wedding locations to choose from. Which is the right one for your wedding? The first step is to work with a destination wedding & travel specialist who will help you bring your dreams and vision to life.

Your specialist will make recommendations based on your needs and wishes. Planning a wedding away is not a ‘one size fits all;’ each couple is unique and has their own vision of their perfect wedding.

There are several things to think about when choosing the right location. Your total wedding & travel budget, the number of guests, will children be attending, and the travel costs for your guests. Where do you see your wedding ceremony taking place? On the beach, in a garden, on a rooftop terrace with amazing views, or something more private?

If you would like more information about these and other LGBTQ destination wedding locations email me.

All Villa Resort in the Riviera Maya

On my recent visit to the Riviera Maya of Mexico, I focused on seeing resorts in Playa del Carmen that I have not seen before. Set in a tropical jungle like enclave along the white sands of Playa, is the home of the Viceroy. This all villa resort in the Riviera Maya offers luxury accommodations, amazing outdoor massage cabanas, and the views will leave you speechless.

viceroy riviera maya

The Viceroy offers 41 villas. It is adults only, but children over the age of 12 are welcome. The resort offers an all inclusive package that can be added to your stay. The are several villa categories to choose from; the best one is the beachfront villa where you are just steps from the sand.

viceroy riviera maya beachfront villa

Each villa includes your own heated private plunge pool, outdoor rain shower and a hammock for two. Renewed energy and wellness are all part of the experience at the Viceroy Riviera Maya. The spa treatments are based on natural local resources and Mayan traditions. During my visit, we were able to participate in a Mayan blessing ceremony. The spa services include many options for you to experience a Mayan journey.

villa riviera maya

This all villa resort in the Riviera Maya does a wonderful job of combining modern luxury with local traditions.

Plan Your Luxury Getaway