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First stop?

We are flying RT DUB from the US in May. Originally we thought we would stay our first few nights in Dublin and rent a car from the airport after our Dublin stay to continue our trip. After thinking about it further, we are considering renting a car upon arrival at DUB and then heading off on our trip with our first stop possibly being Waterford and then ending our trip many days later in Dublin for a few nights.

Any suggestions or comments about our new plan? This is our first trip to Ireland.
Thank you-

Posted by
529 posts

I don’t recommend driving immediately after a trans-Atlantic flight. Especially driving on the opposite side of the road for 2+ hours. I can’t sleep well on a plane, so it’s a safety issue. My husband does sleep well on a plane, and he still managed to sideswipe some rubber barriers before we even left the airport parking lot. Lucky for us, the previous renter had already knocked of the passenger side mirror so we didn’t have to worry about that getting damaged!

Fully insure your rental car, whatever you do!

Posted by
15 posts

If a two hour drive is too far for a first day after an international flight...do you have any recommendations for a quick overnight stop to
explore, relax, and unwind, that isn't Dublin?

Posted by
529 posts

We stayed in Dun Laoghaire, just outside of Dublin and took the train in to the city. You could take a bus direct from the airport to Dun Laoghaire, stay a night, then pick up the rental car at the ferry port. There are several agencies there.

It’s been 17 years, so I’m not sure is this town us still recommended. We didn’t explore the town much, just wanted a quieter and cheaper place to sleep and it was a quick train ride.

If you don’t want to stay in Dublin the first night, I would be looking for a town easily accessible by public transportation, with car rentals available for pickup the next day.

Posted by
65 posts

Most people on here will say not to rent a car on arrival. I am the opposite. I prefer to rent when I arrive. I sleep decent on planes and feel good when I arrive. Driving in Ireland is not difficult especially when driving on the main roads between larger cities. It takes literally 5 minutes and you are adjusted to driving on the left. For first overnight stops in the past we used Kilkenny and Cork. We always had other stops before getting to these cities just to break up the trips some and get outside. If you wanted to stay closer to Dublin, Howth is nice and you can get there by bus I think.

Posted by
5011 posts

Do yourself a favor: when you land in Dublin, just take public transportation to your first destination (train or bus - you can grab a bus right from the airport to many destinations, it's easy and comfy). Get a good nights sleep there, rent your car the next day when you feel at least half human. Drop your car someplace on the day before you want to go back to Dublin, and take transit back to the city. You'll have no worries about driving in the city.