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Safety Tips for Ireland

Hello All! My sister and I are traveling for two weeks in Ireland without a car, so mainly using the bus system. We are both in our 20's and are not heavy drinkers or party-ers, and are unlikely to go clubbing on this trip, but we are still not very experienced with traveling abroad on our own. We want to be safe, but unafraid. Suggestions on how to do this? We also are traveling on a very tight budget (read: students, barely own the clothes on our backs), so any suggestions on cheap places to stay/eat or ways to beat the tourist prices would be very helpful! (We are traveling through Cork, Kilkenny, Dingle, Doolin, Aran Islands, Donegal, and Dublin.) Thanks! Tara

Posted by
291 posts

Tara, I just returned from Ireland and had good luck with the following hostels: Doolin: Doolin Hostel Dingle: Hideout Hostel
Dublin: Globetrotters Hostel I found the staffs at all three hostels welcoming and helpful (check out reviews on Trip Advisor) and the rates reasonable. As far as safety, I was traveling alone and took the same precautions I would take at home and felt very safe. Just be aware of your surroundings, and you'll be fine.

Posted by
32266 posts

Tara, Staying in Hostels is absolutely the best way to keep the costs for lodgings at a minimum. Some of the independent Hostels are great, but you might also have a look at the HI Hostels website. They have Hostels in most locations in Europe, including some of the places on your list. I've found the facilities are fairly consistent from one location to another, and they're well run (generally not "party Hostels" but still with a nice atmosphere). Having an H.I. membership will provide slightly cheaper rates and preferred booking. A few other suggestions. I assume you'll be staying in Kilronan / Inishmore on your visit to the Aran Islands? The Hostel there is located within easy walking distance from the boat dock. Have a look at Their Website for more information. If you're planning on buying one of the characteristic Sweaters while there, be sure to add a bit to your budget and leave room in your luggage. There's a huge sweater shop only a few minutes from the Hostel. There's a good choice in Hostels in Dublin. One is attached to the Harding Hotel, but I can't remember the name. That's a good location, as it's right across from Christ Church Cathedral, and easy walk to the Temple Bar area and the river. As with any Hostels, it's a good idea to pack Towels (the micro fibre quick drying models work well) and small but good quality Padlocks for the Lockers. Happy travels!

Posted by
2397 posts

Also suggest disposable or at least quick drying washcloth. Can store it in plastic zip lock bag. We also bought food at grocery stores and had picnics a lot.

Posted by
119 posts

I'm going to second the recommendation for the Globetrotters Hostel in Dublin. And I know you didn't mention Belfast in your itinerary, but if you do decide to go there the Belfast International Youth Hostel is a great place to stay! My favorite way of saving money was to go the grocery stores and buy just enough for a picnic lunch. I did that quite a few times in Ireland.

Posted by
1358 posts

As far as safety goes, just use common sense in most places, and be a bit more on your guard in Dublin. Wear a money belt, stay with your sister (especially at night), and don't wander down little unpopulated streets at night in Dublin.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all so much for your help. It is very reassuring for me to hear feedback from other experienced travelers. I will certainly look up those hostels. And if anyone else has more suggestions, please keep them coming! Merci!

Posted by
1806 posts

Since you are going with your sister, don't look exclusively at hostels as often the cost for 2 bunks in a shared dorm or a private hostel room can sometimes exceed that of a B&B. You'll definitely get a better breakfast at a B&B than you would at a hostel - often one that is so filling you can even skip lunch and save money with just a quick snack to tide you over until dinner. The hostel idea is a good one if you are hoping to snag a ride share since you could post for one and have a better possibility of meeting up with someone who has a car. You mentioned in your other post you were considering doing some hitchhiking to get around, so a ride share from another hosteller would be a bit safer than just standing by the side of a road. Also, some of the larger hostels may offer organized day tours headed to some of the places that can be a hassle to get to using public transit.