6 Reasons To Choose Ireland For Your First Solo TripExtras, Ireland, Solo Travel — By Nancy Y on August 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm
For those first timers who want to break out on their own but aren’t sure where to go, here are my top 6 reasons why Ireland has it all for the first time solo female traveller.
Thinking about traveling solo but worried about those rumours? As women we have all heard it before: ‘It’s not safe for you to travel alone’. The reasons may vary; in some countries women don’t have the same rights as we do here, other countries have bad reputations of travellers being sexually assaulted or killed. Or even the more ridiculous excuses, such as we look different so will quickly be targeted, or my personal favourite: you will be captured by human traffickers. And for those of us that ignore these ‘warnings’ we are often given further ‘advice’; wear a fake wedding ring, don’t go to bars/clubs alone, dress in a certain way, avoid certain areas etc. The information can be intimidating, and although you do need to be careful when traveling (some places more than others), the outside world isn’t out to get you. Traveling solo can be incredibly rewarding and may be the best experience of your life.
The Culture The Irish culture is different enough from that of North America to know that you’re no longer at home, but not so much that it will give you culture shock. You can enjoy yourself and the experience while not having to worry about any language barriers or how to dress or act appropriately. You will recognize the food on the menus, be able to read the signs, and it’s totally acceptable for a woman to be on her own.
The People There’s a reason as to why the Irish are ranked as one of the friendliest people in the world. Everywhere you go people are willing to give you a hand or some advice. Need directions? There’s no problem asking someone on the street. Want someone to chat to? Nothing weird about striking up a conversation with someone at the park or in a pub. The Irish love to talk, and be honest ladies, with those accents we love to listen.
Accommodation Let’s face it, most of us girls have certain needs when it comes to accommodations and for some of us the idea of a hostel doesn’t live up to our standards. The great thing about Ireland is that not wanting to stay in a hostel doesn’t mean you’re stuck with an expensive hotel bill either. While there are plenty of hostels and hotels around the country, the number one accommodation in Ireland is the Bed and Breakfasts. Not as cheap as a hostel, but not as expensive as a hotel, B&Bs are the way to go in Ireland. Your own cozy room with clean bed and bathroom, a quiet night’s sleep, and amazing home-cooked breakfasts, these are your homes away from home. The best part is the hosts, who are often the friendliest people you will ever meet! As a solo female traveller you will likely get extra attention; a little more help with day trip planning and maybe even a drive to/from wherever you want to go. Plus it’s always nice knowing someone is looking out for you. Check out trip advisor for the best ranked B&Bs in the town or city you want to visit.
Pub-life Pub-life is everyday life for the Irish and there is nothing wrong with going to a pub alone, at any time of the day. Pubs are pretty safe places and a great spot to meet some locals and travellers alike. Grab a seat at the bar and chat up the bar staff, they are always friendly and easy to talk too, plus they will keep an eye on you and make sure everything is ok. Most pubs also serve food, and although Ireland is known for the beer you can usually gets wine or cocktails as well. For those of you who like the fruity drinks try Bulmers or Kopparberg ciders. Bulmers has a distinct apple flavour while Kopparberg come in a bunch of yummy fruit flavours including wild berry and strawberry lime. Unlike the bars and clubs that we are used to in North American, people of all ages can be found at the Irish pubs. So don’t be surprised when a little old man hits the dance floor with the 20 year olds, it’s all part of the fun!
Public Transportation So you don’t want to rent a car and drive on the wrong side of the road? No problem! Multiple bus companies make it quick and easy to travel across Ireland. Busses run multiple times per day and tickets can be bought both in advance (either online or at the station) or on the bus as well. Busses are clean and comfortable and, for the longer trips, equipped with a bathroom on board. Tickets are relatively inexpensive, certainly cheaper than train and are a faster way to travel. GoBus and Bus Eireann are the most popular companies and their schedules can easily be found online.
Tours and sightseeing Ireland has enough magic for everyone, and the locals are more than happy to share it with you. If your time is limited, take a multi-day Shamrocker tour. They will take you to the most popular spots, tell you the local folklore, and give you a real taste for the Irish life. For those of you that have a little more time on your hands, there are plenty of day trips (guided or not) so you can see the country on your own. Check out the countless castles, including the magical Kylemore abbey. Take a tour through Muckross Park and keep an eye out for fairy rings. Hop on a boat in Dingle to meet the local dolphin Fungie, and cycle around the Gaelic island of Inis Mor. Ireland has plenty to see, and enough magic to re-invoke every girl’s princess dreams.
So ladies, what are you waiting for?
You can keep up with Hannah at Eat Sleep Breathe Travel