“If you believe you can-YOU WILL!”
Upon returning safely from a 3 week trip to Ireland, I thought I would share a few driving tips.
Being a Canadian girl, traveling alone in Ireland…
Driving on the ‘left side’ of the road- was my biggest fear.
However, I am a stubborn Virgo and my desire to see the countryside on my own timeline…outweighed my fear. I was praying to find a cute Irish driver to drive me around, but apparently that was not in my divine plan.
It was just me, my rental car, GPS and a few trusty road maps.
With a quick lesson on a deserted beach under my belt- I headed out.
Reminding myself that people drive in Ireland everyday. I am proud to report… I survived the challenge and conquered my fear.
I have to say I was never more PRESENT in my LIFE!
Happily, I returned my rental car without a scratch, covered many miles, saw beautiful vista’s, almost on one tank of Diesel.
If you’re planning a road trip to Ireland…Read on.
Tips before you leave-
- · GET a GPS- it will be your best friend
- · Bring a CDW Insurance travel letter-if you have coverage on your credit card
- · Bring music or buy a good Irish music CD-Irish radio talk is endless and not very soothing for the nervous soul.
Most of the rental cars in Ireland are manual- Shift on the Left. Pedals and Clutch are the same as in North America. Automatic Transmissions are available, but harder to find and more expensive. I rented my car before I left through Costco online and brought a travel letter from my visa company to wave the insurance. If you’re not covered… I highly recommend getting the insurance. The roads are rather narrow and the tour buses are very large. Don’t be scared. If I survived, so can you!
Here are my Tips…
- · Put the correct spelling in GPS- A 1 letter slip up sent me the opposite direction.
- · Make sure Rental car has insurance, floor mats and a good old fashion road map- it rains a lot in Ireland and a missing floor mat makes for a very slippery clutch. Learned this the hard way.
- · Gas- for you and the car. Road snacks and proper hydration
- · Stay LEFT- LOOK RIGHT, TURN LEFT… repeat, repeat.
- · Always keep body to middle of road or white line to middle of road
- · Learn Roundabouts- Trick: you can ride them around and around if you miss your exit. I also heard the locals do stop and wait, if you happen to go the wrong direction.
- · For the most part Trust your GPS- It will reroute you, however when in doubt or in the middle of nowhere. STOP and ASK a local for directions. Remember all roads eventually lead somewhere…unless the road is closed…reroute via a local. The Irish are very kind, patient and more than willing to help.
- · Use side mirrors to gauge the edge of the road.
- · Back into parking stalls whenever possible.
- · Travel early to avoid Tour buses.
- · Have money for toll roads on the M50.
- Give yourself ample time. Time pressures create stress and not a clear mind.
- · Practice YOGA. Breath Deeply, Fully Exhale. Relax shoulders and fingers. Stretch occasionally. Pull over and cry when necessary. Set intention for safety and good weather. Expect a few roadblocks.
- · If you believe you can, you will!
- · I am a good driver… I will get to my destination safely.
- · All roads lead to somewhere.
Benefits of driving on the opposite side:
- Increased Alertness & Awareness= Present Moment Living
- Challenge your fears. Success= Empowerment
- · Senses are heightened.
Go dté sibh slán…May you go safely
Enjoy the beauty!
Bonus tip: Bring a 3 prong adapter.
Austen Fine Art
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oh my gosh- GOOD FOR YOU!!!! I keep wondering how I will handle driving on the left side of the road if/when the time comes! So far, I’ve been lucky enough in my travels to be able to walk/ take the train/ have “normal” driving conditions. Where in Canada are you from? (I’m from the Niagara region, Ontario)
I am from Calgary, Alberta. I live the Niagara region- so pretty there! And driving is no problem;)