Ireland - February 2016

Ireland was my first International trip since I was 18 and I couldn’t have picked a better country! Even in cold, windy February, the warmth of Irish hospitality showed through. The things that stand out the most from this trip: Peat fires, pints of Guinness, laughter, so much laughter. Rowdy boys singing American songs, old men singing Irish ballads, whiskey and so much vibrant color.

 
Dromoland Castle - I stayed in a CASTLE!

Dromoland Castle - I stayed in a CASTLE!

Travel tips

This was my first Groupon Getaway and I was a little skeptical when I received this as a gift. This trip was $799 and included 6 nights in castles, rental car for a week and round trip airfare from Chicago to Dublin. The short story is it was seamless, I had zero issues. I had been forewarned to thoroughly check our rental car when we picked it up to make sure there were no issues and that the spare tire and jack were in the trunk. All set, we took off. My friend that I was traveling with did all of the driving and I did the navigating. It definitely took two of us to navigate going through the many roundabouts! Traffic was no worse than Chicago and we really didn’t have any issues driving. The roads are rather narrow out in the country so it definitely takes getting used to. The first glitch was I managed to blow up my hair dryer. I had bought a converter (that allowed me to plug into the outlets) but not a step down adapter to convert the voltage. I took a taxi to a local electronics store, spent $30 to purchase one and still managed to blow up my hair straightener. I would recommend just using the hotel hair dryers or picking up a cheap one when you get there. Same with a curling iron or straightener. I just opted for my hair to look a hot mess the entire trip. We drove all over southern Ireland and didn’t run into any issues. GPS worked great. I would highly recommend stopping in the little towns along your way and having a pint with the locals. Those were our favorite conversations and memories!

 

Castles are Groovy

While the Castle term was thrown around somewhat loosely we stayed in four really fantastic places.

 

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