Hello from Dublin, Ireland
I am writing you this week from Dublin, Ireland. I am here for a short business trip to check out all the hotels and restaurants to see if they have recovered from COVID enough to bring Husker football fans over in August for a game. Despite being shut down for two years things are surprisingly positive. The hotels are clean and appear ready for guests. The restaurants are staffed properly. It almost seems like COVID never happened. People here are saying they are seeing a big wave of tourists making reservations this year.
Here are ten observations from my trip to Ireland so far:
1. The Irish wear a giant smile to welcome Americans – The Irish love Americans and many say that Americans are their favorite tourists. Let’s do our best to keep it this way.
2. Car rental rates may cost more than your airline ticket – There is a major shortage of rental cars in Ireland. When you add insurance to the price of your rental you can easily spend over $1000 for a one-week rental. Also, most cars are stick shift. If you want an automatic transmission you can add another $200 to your rental. My best advice…. rent your car from a travel agent in the USA as they can cut your total cost by as much as 25% or more.
3. Be sure to make a reservation for your dinner or afternoon tea – Things have filled up fast. Two times during my trip I have been told that restaurants are full and reservations are required. One of my favorite places to visit is Adare Manor. I tried to stop in for afternoon tea and they said they are full for the next 6 months. Wow!
4. Ireland is the Bed and Breakfast Capitol of the world – Almost every other house has a B&B sign hanging in front of the house. Be very careful as some of these can be a great experience while others can fall short of your expectations.
5. The people of Ireland are the most hospitable people in the world – I travel the world and nobody makes you feel as warm and cared for as the Irish. They greet you with a smile and a homemade treat. You also can’t leave without a hot cup of coffee for the road.
6. Small business is Ireland – Many hotels and restaurants are owned by families and not large corporations like in other countries. It is not uncommon to meet the owner/manager during your dinner or stay. It is so much fun to see the pride on their faces when they proudly explained to you that their property has been in their family’s hands for 3-4 generations.
7. Ireland is moving rapidly to touchless (cashless) payment – COVID has expedited the move from paying with currency to a short tap of your credit card. Most places still accept Euros however I was surprised at how common cashless payment was used.
8. Walking and driving can be hazardous to your health – In Ireland, they drive on the wrong side of the road (left side). Many Americans are an accident waiting to happen when they rent a car in Ireland. And the most common accident is Americans crossing the street and looking the wrong way only to get clobbered by a car from the other direction. Please be careful and take the extra time to look both ways twice before crossing a street in Ireland.
9. Roundabouts are everywhere in Ireland – It seems like almost all traffic intersections have been converted to roundabouts in Ireland. You can get dizzy without drinking while driving in Ireland.
10. You have never had a milkshake taste as good as a pint of Guinness poured in a pub in Ireland – Why is it that Guinness in the USA tastes like axle grease while one poured in Ireland is as smooth as a milkshake? Some people say they have to put preservatives in it to ship it abroad. All I know is Guinness tastes completely different on this side of the pond. Join us in Ireland – If Ireland is on your bucket list, you should join us this June or August! We have a few spots left on our Women of the Midwest journey, June 7-16, a small-group tour restricted to 20 like-minded women. CLICK HERE to see the detailed itinerary. Or, let’s Go Big Red, August 20-29 as we take off to cheer on the Huskers. This tour is open to everyone. CLICK HERE to see the day-by-day itinerary of the coolest football tour ever! Both trips include the best Ireland has to offer. Shamrocks, leprechauns, ancient historic sites, great food, and beer, all in a Gaelic language of their own. Call or email our friendly group department to secure your spot today, (402) 858-0033 / GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com.