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Anyone have any tips for vacationing in Ireland?

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My dd won a fiddle competition and we will be travelling to Tullamore Ireland for her to compete. I have never travelled outside the US so have no idea even where to begin besides heading out to get passports. Any tips...what to pack, what to see, ideas for kids' entertainment on the plane, don't forget to bring, things to know, etc... Anything would be appreciated!



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Make sure you have waterproofs! I would pack these for everyone: waterproof walking shoes, light-weight waterproof jackets, layers to go underneath as Ireland can be chilly year round, and (if you plan on doing any hiking) waterproof trousers. It's a great country, but there's a reason it's so green!


Normal travelling things: take a photocopy of your passports and keep it separate from them; check with your bank to see what is the most economical way to get cash (it may be just using your ATM card once there) and warn them that you'll be travelling; talk in advance to the children about needing to stay still and strapped in on the plane, so they know what to expect; take lots of books and some toys with no little pieces for the flight; check your purse/hand bag for sharp items and put them in checked baggage; bring any prescription drugs you might need in your hand luggage; check with your airline about current regulations for hand luggage; think about what adaptors you might need - many electrical items are dual voltage (Ireland is on 220/240v) but some are not and you will definitely need plug adaptors; check if your mobile phone will work and consider if you will need a phone (local ones can often be rented, for a price, at the foreign airport)...


Have fun!



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I echo Laura's advice about waterproofs. I have been to the UK a number of times and find my waterproofs absolutely indispensable. It really, truly makes a difference. You can find good waterproofs at a sports or a camping store. There are cheap, generic vinyl ones or you can spend a little more and getting something waterproof that looks a little nicer and are more breathable. Get both a jacket and bottoms. The cheapest ones usually come folded in little baggies, but the nicer ones will be hanging on a rack. Don't get the very cheapest ponchos, though--they are little more than saran wrap and tear easily. (Those are the ones that are only $2-$3 each.)


When we have gone my husband carries our waterproofs, bottled water, and snacks in a backpack everywhere, and we are always sooooo thankful.


Make doubly sure your shoes are waterproof no matter what.


I have not been to Ireland, but found in England and Scotland that I absolutely adore the pubs. Aside from the alcohol, our family found that the pubs were almost always a place we could get a decent meal at a decent price. You could always find a stew or fried fish at a pub. Pubs in the UK are not like bars here--most that we found were very family friendly.


Check Rick Steves--I have found his advice and resources to be invaluable.

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For the plane ride, wikki stiks were the most wonderful thing to have. All 4 of my kids enjoyed playing with them for HOURS. Each of the girls got their own mp3 (think $15 cheapies) and make sure you have batteries. I downloaded each of them an audio book so they would have their own story to listen to and bought the book so the youngers could "read" along with the story.


Make sure you verify each portion of the flight before you leave. On our way home we got stuck in Chicago because somehow our reservations got cancelled. The good news was we got $1200 in flight vouchers - I didn't care at that point though, I just wanted to get home.


Have a great time! I wish I were on my way to Ireland!

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