Planning an Ireland Road Trip - B Loved Boston

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Planning an Ireland Road Trip

Before recapping the other places we visited and sites we saw during our trip to Ireland, I wanted to delve into how we chose the stops for the road trip, things to know before you go & the best way to get around! I had been lucky in the sense that a few friends had just come back from Ireland so they gave me their suggestions & with the help of Pinterest we were able to really lock in a plan! 

Rental Car or Tour Bus ||

There was never a doubt that Gary and I would drive around the country ourselves. As much as we love tours, when you're on someone else's schedule you can't make the stops that you want & you aren't able to explore like you may want to.  We decided for this type of trip, the rental car route was the best choice and thanks to Sixt Car hire Ireland we were able to see so much of the country exactly how we had planned. 
Flying into Dublin Airport and staying for a few days in the city, we didn't need a car for that time and more importantly it would have been a hassle to be charged for parking in a garage with our hotel. We decided to pick up the rental car from the City Centre location rather than trecking back to the airport. It was nice that there were three pick up locations to choose from (including the airport which is where we returned the car). If you're planning on returning the car to the airport, Sixt offers a shuttle to the terminal which is less than 5 minutes away and the shuttles come every 10 or so minutes. Tip: make sure you fill your car up prior to arriving at the airport - there are no fuel stations at Dublin Airport.
We were pretty jazzed that our car for the week was a beautiful BMW X1, which was not only perfect for the roads in some of the small towns of Ireland (hello all wheel drive), but also it had built in navigation so it made my job as passenger/navigator even easier! If you aren't familiar with Sixt, they are a European company with the majority of their "standard" cars being higher end luxury vehicles, but you aren't paying the premium price for that luxury! 
Sunglasses
Pick up and drop of could not have been easier at both locations! The staff is incredibly friendly and should there be a line while you're there - you can enjoy the lounge and relax. The cars are already inspected before you pick them up so you're handed your keys & are ready to get to exploring! It feels like a personalized experience with them! 

Driving and Tolls ||

Similar to England, you drive on the left side of the road in Ireland. This does take some getting used to and there will be times where you panic because you are sure that huge semi truck will swipe you! If you've ever seen The Holiday and you remember Cameron Diaz's character driving into town that first night - those were exactly my thoughts the first time a large truck came towards us! I give MAJOR props to Gary for doing 98% of the driving on this trip! I tried it for about 30 minutes, but was just too scared to do the driving! 
The major highways in Ireland do have toll's - if you're driving out of Dublin that toll (at the time of our trip) was a €1.90 and €2.90 driving back into Dublin. They do accept credit cards if you don't have cash on you. As far as being able to drive, you don't need a special license like some countries require. 
I highly suggest stopping off at certain "picture points" because honestly they are few and far between with how small the lanes are. There were a few times that I wish we were able to pull off because we saw a beautiful castle or ruins of some kind, but there was a split decision moment and we just didn't take it! You're going to see lots of cute sheep, maybe even some goats and definitely horses - I definitely suggest stopping to take some photos! The baby sheep are probably the sweetest things I've ever seen! 

Your Phone Data Plan or WiFi ||

I knew that we were going to need WiFi during our trip. What if we were stuck in the middle of nowhere and the GPS was on the fritz? I wanted to make sure we'd be able to call for help or at least search how to get back to where we needed to go, enter in TEP - portable, unlimited WiFi services. Huge thank you to Sara from a Journey of Doing for recommending this service to us. Gary looked into extending our data coverage with our mobile provider and what he found was that for $100 or so dollars we'd have data services, but we'd be eating into our normal data usage. However with TEP, we would have unlimited WiFi capabilities for a fraction of the cost. I do want to mention that he found a coupon code on RetailMeNot so I do think the pricing would have been similar, but instead it cost us about $50 to have WiFi for the entire time on our trip without eating into our data plan or paying extra for phone services. We'll basically be using TEP anytime we travel out of the country from now on. I won't go into too much more detail about TEP, but some key points:
  • you have unlimited data 
  • you decide when you want coverage to start and end
  • you tell them where you are traveling and they set everything up for you, they mail the package to you and also include a prepaid for mailing label to send it back when you return

Offer from Sixt Car hire Ireland for your trip! 

I'm thrilled that the folks at Sixt have offered all B~loved Boston readers a 10% discount from their web rate for any trip in Ireland through the end of the year! If you're planning a trip to Ireland, all you have to do is go to the Sixt Ireland website and add in the User Number and Password below and the 10% discount will be applied! 
User Number: 9757476
Password: Sixt2018!
There is no doubt that if you are thinking of doing a road trip through Ireland, on your own is the way to go!  I couldn't get over the ease of getting around & how easy the motorways were for getting around. Is there a trip to Ireland in your future?

If you're in the mood for a bit more wanderlust check these videos out!
Thank you to Sixt for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.  

39 comments

  1. The car looks amazing and the trip sounds like so much fun! I'd love to road trip island and see some GOT filming locations!

    Abigail Alice x

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  2. This is so cool!! Such a dream vacation!

    Katherine | www.oneswainkycouple.com

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  3. Such a great way to see Ireland! We used Sixt in California and they do have really nice cars. Driving on the other side of the road would take some getting use to -- I was picturing The Holiday scene, too haha!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  4. So much fun! I completely agree about being on tours, and being on someone else's schedule. I always think of Cameron Diaz on The Holiday with driving on the other side of the road - ha! <3
    Green Fashionista

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  5. Some great tips here, we are heading to europe in the summer and tep sounds worth investigating!

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  6. ah this is a great resource girly! and this is a great tip about wifi = i always worry about that. and about the coupon code. you're braver than me to even sit in the driver seat let alone drive lol. but those pics are all worth it

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  7. I love the idea of road tripping around because you're sort of in charge of your own schedule and can really take your time seeing the sites! That is the PERFECT car for a road trip! And the scenery is just to die for!

    Rosy Outlook

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  8. What a great trip. I would love to drive around Ireland but the whole drive on the other side of the road scares me. Yay for driving for 30 mins, I probably wouldn't even last 10 mins. Thanks for the wifi tip!!

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  9. I cannot wait to read all of your posts on your trip to Ireland! This is a gret post because driving through the countryside is exactly what I would want to do. These are great tips!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  10. That car is awesome! I love that you did a road trip to explore some of Ireland! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

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  11. Cruising around the country in style, winning! ;) Sounds like this service made your whole trip that much more enjoyable.

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  12. That sounds so fun!!! The car sounds like a good travel car.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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  13. So glad you two had a blast! I think I would be scared to drive somewhere overseas but there's so much freedom to it for sure.

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  14. Now I want to take an Ireland road trip! It looks like so much fun, and any excuse to see sweet baby animals!

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  15. We used Sixt. They were by far the cheapest and we had a big ass nine passenger van. Driving there was NOT my favorite, even as a passenger.

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  16. BMW... the ultimate driving machine!! :) All wheel drive is SO critical on those roads!!!

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  17. I bet you get a real feel of the land when you drive yourself & keep your eyes out for your own path.
    & what a sweet ride you had!!!

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  18. Wow this was such a thorough and informative post! I would have been scared to drive there too, YAY GARY! OMG the scenery is just gorgeous and you look as amazing as always, even pregnant!!! xoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

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  19. Thanks for sharing all these amazing tips B! Road tripping in a different country can feel overwhelming but it sounds like Sixt was a huge resource!

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  20. those views are just breathtaking! And you look gorgeous, as always!!

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  21. Girl, I don't think I could drive on the left side of the road! I'd be so scared! I've never even visited a country where you do that!

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  22. Love the fancy car you guys got and I'm sure the built-in navigation was a lifesaver! I agree renting a car vs going on a planned tour was the way to go so you can explore at your own pace and see the places you really want to see! Sounds so fun! Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

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  23. Thanks so much for sharing all of this tips for traveling to Ireland!

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  24. Love that you guys took a renal car and showed yourselves around! I like to go at my own pace too!

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  25. Amazing post!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: REVOLVE EVENTS & MY LOOKS

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  26. Looks like fun! Great post!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

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  27. I love that you guys chose to drive yourselves- make your own adventure, yes! Ireland sounds so amazing!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  28. What a beautiful location to set on a road trip! Hope you had an amazing time.

    Sheena | www.sheenalovessunsets.com

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  29. Driving on the other side of the road would give me such anxiety. I love that car and the perfect way to try a fancy one out and see such beautiful sites! I hope y'all had an amazing trip!

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  30. Great ideas!

    www.thedanieloriginals.com

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  31. Those views! How beautiful. As for the driving part - I get anxiety driving in our downtown area on the RIGHT side of the road. Nope nope nope to the left side, haha!

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  32. What a great way to travel around Ireland!

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  33. I know I would 100% be like Cameron Diaz if I had to drive on the other side of the road! You got some incredible pictures on your road trip! What an experience to remember :)

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  34. I would totally prefer to rent a car and explore on our own too. It looks so beautiful and I'll definitely be saving this post for later!

    Brooke

    pumps and push-ups

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  35. That's a gorgeous car! I'd love to go on road trip in Ireland with that car too!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  36. Beautiful.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  37. This is a brilliant post! I never got a summer glow this year, which I don't mind but great post for those who want to keep it!
    Metal nameplates

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  38. We definitely decided AT THE AIRPORT to trade our manual for an automatic during our Ireland adventures... SO GLAD WE DID. lol. I'm glad the TEP worked so well for you, too. We're finishing up another trip with it right now... could not do it without it. Such a better deal than the cell phone plans, too.

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