No Car…No Problem – don’t let that stop you from seeing the Irish countryside
“Taking a road trip through the Irish countryside”, this was on my bucket list for years. But what happens when the rental car company wants a 1k deposit? This actually happened to Drew and I. We booked our tickets to Ireland and immediately started researching rental car companies. Not going into too much details about that here, but we couldn’t rent a car without a huge deposit which that’s not a really big deal as we work around a lot of issues while traveling. It’s all about being flexible. What about seeing the countryside? Dublin, being a big city, has a great public transportation system. Buses and trains can take you anywhere in the city which is awesome if you are going to spend your Irish trip enjoying the city life, but if you are going to leave the city and you want to see anything off the beaten path (like the Hollywood sign, yes it exists in Ireland) then some unique “thinking outside the box” planning is necessary.
Me and all my infinite wisdom booked us two nights in Dublin, then two nights in Doolin which is on the west coast. We asked the front desk person at our hostel what our options were for getting to Doolin (I figured a bus would be the easiest but I always like to ask) and were told the bus trip to Galway was about 17€ a person. Ok, from there we would then need to take another bus to Doolin which looked to be an additional 8€. Once we got to Doolin, we were planning on doing a lot of walking, but a quick look at any map showed that walking to the Cliffs of Moher (which I really wanted to see at the time) was a little out of our fitness level, so it would require ANOTHER bus and that doesn’t include the buses to return to Dublin. You can tell this is starting to add up. A little discouraged at having to spend so much on transportation just so we could see what we wanted, I took to the internet looking at different options, and stumbled across Irish Day Tours. They offer a tour for 45€ that leaves from Dublin and goes to the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Village, The Burren and Galway then returns to Dublin. This took care of seeing the cliffs, and getting to Doolin all in one price, so I sent a message to the company and asked if they would mind if we jumped off the tour in Doolin since we were staying there, and to our delight and surprise, not only did they say that was more than fine, but also to let them know when we wanted to return to Dublin and we could just jump on another bus and finish the tour! This was not only cheaper, but we also got to see more! Now, this is not something that they offer on their website, so talking with the company was important, but if you are heading to Ireland it never hurts to ask.
I have since crossed “taking a road trip through the Irish countryside” off my bucket list and now when I start planning new adventures I think outside of the box and view “obstacles” as nothing more than little hiccups. Remember as you go about planning your 2018 adventures, no matter what is on your bucket list, it’s possible, even if it doesn’t happen the exact way you pictured it.