It took less than a month for me to find my first great travel deal. 9 pounds from East Midlands Airport to Dublin! …I reiterate, 9 POUNDS TO FLY TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY! (Thanks Ryanair ). If you are from the US originally like me, this discovery is almost too good to be true. It can cost up to three times that much just to get to the other side of England. It costs more for a pair of jeans. #downwithmaterialism #ihatehashtags #jk
So, at 6am I boarded a plane, excitedly (and most likely still tipsy from the bar crawl we decided to go on instead of sleeping due to the earliness of our travels) with Rhys Morgan- the only sucker that would accompany me on my quest for adventure- and to this day has stuck around.
Arriving in Dublin at 7:30am, we then got public transport into the city to our Hostel, arriving by 9am. Little did I know at the time, we could not check into the hostel until 3pm- and this is normally how hostels operate. So our only option was to continue on- with no sleep, chilly temperatures, and the bright morning sun- and begin sightseeing. We went to the main shopping street, saw the infamously ridiculous Millennium Spire (which I was later told has Wi-Fi, as to not be a complete waste of tax-payer money…), and then managed to get some sleep on the common room couch back at the hostel. Apparently this is normal as well, but waking up in a daze, forgetting where I was for a hot second, next to a guy nonchalantly typing away on a laptop will still always be remember as an odd feeling.
After getting the appropriate amount of sleep, We joined the hostel bar-crawl- which is a must-do for new travellers. We got discounted drinks, met people from all around the world (some of whom I still follow on Facebook), got to see Dublin night-life (which is more than just Temple Bar), and returned back to the hostel in the wee hours of the morning.
Another great thing about hostels (in addition to the low price, usually free breakfast, and fast friends) is that they generally offer a free walking tour, given by a student or local, that you pay for by giving tips at the end (This is really open ended as well, generally if you are a student a fiver is more than enough). DO THE WALKING TOUR. you will learn a lot, sometimes useless information, sometimes not. Bananas didn’t arrive in Ireland until after 1950. Our tour guide in Dublin was particularly excellent, and was not only charismatic and friendly, but actually invited us to hang out later in the evening. I have a distinct, life-appreciation-memory of sitting outside a pub, talking to Keith James-Walker about acting, his beautiful Spanish model girlfriend, and general life in Dublin. Thank you again Keith!
The remainder of our trip consisted of self-toured bar crawling, dancing with locals to live music at pubs, and hanging out with Croatian visitors at our hostel roof terrace. I would go back to Dublin in a heartbeat.
Borrowed Clothes: On my trip to Dublin I brought with me my favourite flannel shirt that was borrowed from my Dad’s circa 1990 wardrobe, and my Mom’s little black flats (but to be fair, they are only $15 from Payless, therefore my borrowing was hardly an inconvenience, and we have bought multiple pairs of these shoes over the years). On my trip I bought a “Dublin” sweatshirt that has since been borrowed by someone else, as current whereabouts remain unknown…
- Wander beyond Temple-bar, drinks are expensive and there are other, cheaper, student bars near the University
- Stay in a hostel (there are so many in Dublin) and take advantage of the bar crawl (see point 1 about expensive drinks…), breakfast, and walking tour
- There is a great tourist shop called ‘Carrolls Irish Gifts’ to get family and friends souvenirs, but there is literally one on every corner so don’t worry
- Dublin Porter is a great alternative to Guinness
- Guinness is a great alternative to food (especially on low budget trips…)
- Learn the words to ‘Galway Girl’ before going and impress the SH** out of everyone-it will come up