Travel to Ireland

Travel from the airport is easy enough as there are a number of transport services in Ireland. Once you reach the airport you can either take a bus or a cab which will not cost you too much.

The first stop should be Dublin as this is the city centre filled with a fantastic buzz and the nightlife is something that you have to experience while you are there.

Accommodation in Dublin can get expensive but there are a few places that are cheap enough for you to keep money to spend on souvenirs.

If you want a comfortable five star experience then a hotel like the Gresham or the Shelbourne Renaissance hotel are fantastic but expensive if you are on a budget. The average price of a room for these hotels range between 100 to 250 euro’s per night.

For a chance to meet Bono and U2, you can stay in their hotel called the “Clarence” which is an average of 200 euro’s per night but if it is five star service you are looking for then you would have a better chance of meeting the band as the service and the décor is old and tired.

Spending money on expensive accommodation is not worth your while as there is so much to do there and finding something central just to allow you to explore Dublin is a good idea.

Budget accommodation in the city centre should cost you about 30 euro’s per night but to find the cheapest rate you can look at as they have specials and “top secret” locations for great prices.

The city centre is in walking distance to everything but you do need to know that every city has their crime and to avoid being mugged, you should stay out of the alley ways and walk on the main roads or take a bus or cab to get to where you need to be.

Looking for accommodation in the city centre means that you need to know which of the streets are the most popular for tourists and stay one or two streets behind them.

Temple bar is a terrific place to let your hair down and have fun, listening to the Irish music on the cobble stone streets, visiting the local pub and places to eat can get expensive as they do cater for tourists. The best option is to look for the places that all the locals go to, to avoid being ripped off.

It is a festive city and the atmosphere is fantastic with so much to explore while you are there.

I would recommend staying in the city for two nights so that you can get to see everything there is to see there before you move on to the next stop.

Looking for accommodation is easy and all you need to do is ask a local for the best place. The Irish are very friendly and helpful, their currency is euro’s and the drink in Ireland is Guinness.

The Guinness Storehouse, photographed by Pat Swan for the Guinness Photo gallery competition
The Guinness Storehouse, photographed by Pat Swan for the Guinness Photo gallery competition
Attractions in Dublin

Dublin has many places for you to see and the first stop should be the Guinness Storehouse. Here you can do the tour and watch how they make their famous drink as well as get your very own pint as you watch the view of Dublin from the “Gravity Bar.”

There are souvenirs and you can eat there too but it is very interesting to have a look at the old building which was bought by the Guinness family when they signed a 9000 year lease for the property.

The Guinness Storehouse has its very own fire department, ambulance service and employees that have retired are welcome to go there every day for a pint.

The building itself, is beautiful and very old but fantastic to photograph.

You will find the Storehouse at St James Gate, Dublin and it is open from 9:30 to 5pm everyday and the tickets cost about 15 euro’s per adult, which includes a free pint of Guinness.

A markerst james gate, dublin – Saint James’s Gate, Dublin 8, Ireland
[get directions]

Guinness Storehouse can be found here.
Temple Bar on St Patrick’s Day 2014. Photograph taken from
Temple Bar on St Patrick’s Day 2014. Photograph taken from
Rick Steves Ireland 2017
Rick Steves Ireland 2017
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Temple Bar

For nightlife and a chance to let your hair down and enjoy the streets of Dublin, Temple Bar is a great place to be. It is full of tourists and there is live music, cobble stone floors and venues that stay open until late.

Most of the pubs in Ireland are only allowed to stay open until the last round is called at 11pm but in town it could go on all night.

Take a walk through temple Bar and try out the cuisine, gift shops and avoid being conned into buying things on the street as they do not work when you get home. If there is a bargain to be found, it will be in the store and not in the street.

The Medieval streets and preservation of the buildings is definitely something to take a look at.

The Temple Bar pub is the most popular pub and it is filled with tourists that can listen to traditional Irish music, have a pint of Guinness and enjoy the traditional Irish food.

If you really want to have a fantastic experience than I suggest Dublin on St Patrick’s day for the festivities and non stop party vibe and Temple Bar is the place to be then.
The viking splash tour in Dublin takes you to see the great sites of Dublin by land and water, wearing a viking hat while you do it
The viking splash tour in Dublin takes you to see the great sites of Dublin by land and water, wearing a viking hat while you do it
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Viking Splash Tour Dublin

This is a great way to see the streets of Dublin as well as experiencing the River Liffey. The tour gets you to see the great sites in Dublin on land and on water, it is great fun and very informative.

The Viking tour is about an hour long and in the times change during Winter so you will need to check before you buy your tickets.

Trinity College, Christchurch Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral, viking Dublin, Medieval Dublin, Georgian Dublin, government buildings and the docklands are what you will be able to see on the tour.

You can catch the bus or get there by train and it starts in Grafton Street, which is easy to find and also worth going to walk in as the shopping is fantastic, for those who can afford it.

The unique and well know store, “Brown and Thomas” is wonderful to take a walk through.

St Stephens Green also has a beautiful park to take a walk through and there you can catch up with students from all over the world as well as meet the locals who spend their lunch breaks on the grass.

Taylor James photography of 3d map of Ireland
Taylor James photography of 3d map of Ireland
Viking and Medieval tour at Dublinia
Viking and Medieval tour at Dublinia
Dublinia the Viking and Medieval experience

This is a great way to see what Ireland had to offer many, many years ago.

With this tour you can get to experience Dublin in the Viking and Medieval era where you learn about the history of Dublin and how the Vikings came about, what weapons they used and how it influenced Dublin today.

The Medieval experience allows you to dress up in the old clothing and walk around old Dublin where they take you through the famine, recreate sites, smells and sounds of the city.

It is a fascinating tour and you will have so much fun going through the history as a viking or whomever you choose to be.

The artefacts are there for you to see and the history of it all is very informative and made interesting.

It is open from 10 to 5pm every day and the tickets cost 7.50 euro’s per adult. They do have a family price and it is worth the spend on this one.

The Christchurch Cathedral is next door and you can walk there via a bridge linking the two.
Christchurch cathedral and Dublinia Medieval tour. Photograph found on Dublin Ireland travel pictures
Christchurch cathedral and Dublinia Medieval tour. Photograph found on Dublin Ireland travel pictures
Kylemore Abbey, county Galway

This is also a mind blowing experience and we hired a car to travel through the country side. There is so much beauty in Ireland with the green landscape and all the colour from the rainy weather.

To go through each place could take you a while but if you have the time then it is definitely worth spending in Ireland.

Kylemore Abbey was founded for Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium in the world war.

They do not speak and when you visit Kylemore you will notice that they are all silent. There is a section of the abbey that you are able to go through and it is very moving to be there.

A Gothic church and a beautiful Victorian garden is a must see here.

You can also go on a guided tour of the abbey where they will give you history and talks about Kylemore Abbey from the beginning.

How to Find Accommodations in Italy for Under 100 Euro

Anyone who has been, or is planning to go to Italy knows very well that it can be an expensive country to visit. It is not uncommon for visitors to pay well over 100 euro per night for a room and it can easily run you over 200 euro if you are looking for plush accommodations or a resort.

In our three trips to Italy, which combined for a total of over forty nights of accommodations, we have yet to pay over 100 euro for a room for a single night. In fact, on our first trip to Italy in 2009 we averaged only 77 euro per night, our second trip in 2010 averaged out to 82 euro per night, and on our third trip in 2012 we averaged 80 euro per night.
Villa Quartarella – Modica, Sicily. Unbelievable find for 75 euro per night. The largest rooms we have ever stayed in.
Villa Quartarella – Modica, Sicily. Unbelievable find for 75 euro per night. The largest rooms we have ever stayed in. | Source
Villa Rosa Convent in Rome, not far from the Colosseum. Huge clean rooms with high ceilings. Paid 90 euro per night.
Villa Rosa Convent in Rome, not far from the Colosseum. Huge clean rooms with high ceilings. Paid 90 euro per night. | Source

Before you tell yourself that these people must be willing to stay just about anywhere, I will tell you that we are in fact very picky about where we stay. The place must be above all else clean. If we have even the slightest indication that a place is not clean we will cross it off of our list. And because we have traveled to Italy in September when there is a chance for it to be quite warm we will usually, not always, wind up with a place that has air conditioning. Another criteria that we insist upon is that our room have private en-suite bathroom facilities, as we do not want to have to share a bathroom with other guests.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Beautifully restored farmhouse in Montepulciano with a great breakfast. Paid 85 euro per night
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Beautifully restored farmhouse in Montepulciano with a great breakfast. Paid 85 euro per night | Source
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Huge rooms with very large bathrooms.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole. Huge rooms with very large bathrooms. | Source

Agriturismo Review – Le Caggiole – Montepulciano, Sicily
Agriturismo Le Caggiole is located just outside of the medieval town of Montepulciano. The beautifully restored farmhouse is the perfect setting for a visit to the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany.

How did we do it?

Our method is simple but effective and we have yet to stay at a place where we have had a really bad experience. After deciding on the basics, namely where we are going and when, we start by making a visit to TripAdvisor, the on-line travel forum. This user-friendly travel website is a great tool for getting travelers honest feedback on accommodations, restaurants and things to do. The website allows you to use filters to hone your search and we usually use this tool to make a short list of four to five places that look like they fit our criteria and are under 100 Euro.

You want to make sure that in addition to price you are taking into consideration other important factors such as; location, feedback on cleanliness, amenities that you may require, check in/out times, photos of the place, etc. TripAdvisor also lets you filter by the type of accommodation that you are looking for; hotel, B&B, or apartment. We have found that B&B’s, Apartments, Convents and Agriturismo’s are generally more affordable than a Hotel or Resort so we usually direct our search to this type of accommodation.
IL Girasole Apartment in Corniglia. Paid 65 euro per night.
IL Girasole Apartment in Corniglia. Paid 65 euro per night. | Source
Our room had a loft and a balcony. Great restored apartment in a very old building with a lot of character.
Our room had a loft and a balcony. Great restored apartment in a very old building with a lot of character. | Source

B&B Review – Villa Quartarella, Modica, Sicily
A review of the Masseria Quartarella in Modica, Sicily. For a first hand look at this unique bed and breakfast located in the hills just outside of Modica. For a true Sicilian experience pay a visit to this wonderful corner of Sicily.

Once you have four or five places on your list it’s time to dig deeper. I normally make a visit to the web site of the places to check out availability and to confirm that the prices that I saw on TripAdvisor are still accurate. TripAdvisor gives you an average price per night for the place so often times it will differ from the price you find on their web site. To find out if the establishment has rooms available sometimes requires sending them an e-mail. Some places have an on-line availability calendar but I have found on occasion that these are not accurate so it is best to always check with the place.

How to Save on Foreign Exchange Fee When Travelling Abroad

Introduction to saving money when changing from one currency to another

Money lost in foreign currency conversion is mostly gone unnoticed by most of people travelling abroad. Even frequent international travelers are ignorant about ways to save money while converting foreign exchange. A traveler can lose any thing between 4% to 10% when converting one currency to another, based on the method used for the conversion of money.

The biggest culprit is ignorance or misinformation provided by middlemen engaged in currency conversion trade. Travelers choose credit cards or other methods to change money in another currency solely out of habit or influenced by advertisement available at airports, travel websites or banks.

Money can be converted by buying foreign currency from the bank or forex dealer in the home country or abroad. In addition, credit cards, stored value forex debit cards, bank debit cards, travelers checks, bank drafts can be used for changing money from one currency to another. Choice of method used for exchange of domestic currency should ideally be decided by answering following questions:

How much money do I need to convert?
What is the length of my total stay abroad?
Do I plan to travel to one country or multiple countries? What will be duration of stay in each of the country?
What is the minimum amount of cash I would absolutely need at each location?

It is also influenced by individual preference for cost saving, convenience and safety. Generally convenient or safer methods will cost more to convert foreign currency. Let’s examine following most popular methods for converting one currency into another and cost / convenience associated with them.

Traveler’s check
Prepaid / stored value travel cards
International debit cards
International credit cards
Western Union
Wire Transfer

It is so pleasant to work with experts. Read the info to find out more regarding London Taxis.

3 Money-Saving Tips on Car Rentals in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Winter is coming and for many commuters and travelers in the UAE, that means negotiating their car rental contracts, now that many are back from the refreshing Eid holiday. From loyalty programs to selecting the best pick-up location, there are a number of ways you can save money on your next rent a car.

Follow these three money-saving tips to get a better deal rent a car abu dhabi

Become a Loyal Customer

If you haven’t been renting a car from a particular dealer long enough and oral promises don’t work, try prepaying an additional sum to show your inclination of becoming a long-term client. Chances are that you could qualify for a loyal customer program. If however you have been renting a car from a company since 6 months or more, you could be in a position to receive discounts or free upgrades.

Zero-down on your Requirements

Determine ahead of time what ‘extras’ you may need and consider the costs so that they fit within your budget. Items to consider:

  • Car Size: Consider the size of the car you are renting. Do you really need that SUV if it’s just you and another partner traveling?
  • Insurance: Contact your travel insurance and credit card company to see if you already have enough coverage. Thirdly, look at available insurance options with the car rental provider. While insurance cover might be essential, you might not need the pricey full insurance option.
  • Mileage limit: Consider the distance you’d be driving every week and opt for a small mileage package if you need to move about short distances in Abu Dhabi. Be sure to check how much you’d be paying for the extra miles should the need arise.

Skip Renting from the Airport or Hotel

Ignore the car rental kiosks at the airport terminal or your hotel. You’ll surely be able to get a much more cost-effective deal if you Google “car rental companies in Abu Dhabi” from the airport or the country you’re traveling from before reaching Abu Dhabi. Try to ease your search, communicate with the car rental dealers directly and have the car delivered straight to you at the airport arrival terminal.

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Euro Travel

If you’re going to Europe, and planning on traveling, rather than staying in the one place for the duration of your vacation, and you don’t want to spend a fortune, there’s two or three alternative ways that you can travel throughout the continent.

The first option would be to take what you might call the “traditional” budget alternative, which would generally be backpacking and traveling by train. Nothing wrong with that at all, and by using a pass on the trains (known as a Eurailpass, and available in the USA from you can certainly reduce your spending, whilst journeying widely throughout many countries.

There are, however, a couple of down sides to this traditional “budget” planning.

First, whilst it can often be exhilarating and exciting to meet and travel with strangers on a train, equally, sometimes, it’s nice to have your own space to enjoy the journey, on your own.

Secondly, by definition, trains can only take you as far as the railway station, and railway stations are not always placed where you want them to be placed. In other words, if you have definite “target” places that you want to see, then you might end up having to take a train, then a bus or taxi (for who knows what distances) before arriving at your destination. This shouldn’t be a problem if the place you so desperately want to visit is in the city, but what if it not?

And, of course, trains run to their timetable, not yours!

An alternative to trains are planes. Flying within Europe is now extremely cheap, and can be reasonably convenient, especially if you are visiting a country that it widely geared up for tourism.

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