It finally feels like the world is opening up and I know a lot of you are traveling this summer for the first time since Covid started. Babs and I flew to Dublin this spring to plan for my wedding and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to travel post-covid (is it even considered “post” yet?) and how to navigate a few hurdles with that. I also just wanted to share all about Dublin because it is such an easy city to visit and such a lovely experience. Check out my latest post on fighting jet lag here. If you’re thinking about traveling or made travel plans already, here are some thangs you should know. First let’s start with the most amazing new travel app…..
Out Of Office App
This OOO app was recently launched by women obsessed with seeing the world – hello, sign me right up! If you are looking for a visually organized and informative travel app, this is it. It allows you to create itineraries or just favorite places you may want to visit on your trip. It links directly to google maps so you can easily find directions, as well photos and information about the particular spot with a link to their website. My mom and are were on a HUNT for a rehearsal dinner location so this came in handy prior to our trip with mapping out locations of restaurants and venues. If you want to follow me on the Out of Office app, I have a stellar City Guide for Dublin. Follow me here!
You currently do NOT need to take a covid test or show proof of vaccination to enter Ireland, but you DO need a negative Covid test in order to return to the US. Kind of a pain, but the airlines also make it super easy. Honestly, it was really effortless. If you are traveling to any other country in Europe this summer, be sure to check their requirements because every country is different. The day before we flew back to the States, we walked in to a Covid testing center in Dublin – they are everywhere, just google, or ask your hotel concierge’s desk. The test was an antigen test and took 5 minutes from start to finish. They emailed us our results within 20 minutes and we then needed to upload that to our airline ticket. We flew Delta and they sent us many emails explaining how to upload – if my mom can do it, you can do it ?
The EASIER option which I didn’t know about until I returned was eMed. I am going to be telling all of my wedding guests to use this option for flying back because it doesn’t require visiting a testing center. All you need is to order this kit and your cellphone with wifi. The downside is they are expensive, at $150 for a 6 pack, but from what I’m told it’s super easy with no appointment needed online. You can also upload this test result directly to your airlines.
Getting Around Dublin
As far as cities go, Dublin is pretty small for a big city so it is really walkable! We strolled all over which was just beautiful. For further distances, you will need to hop in a car. Dublin is notorious for having really narrow roads and semi-confusing routes as the city is essentially made up of a series of narrow one-way streets, so you may go in circles just to get to somewhere down the street. I highly suggest downloading the Free Now app, which is essentially their Uber. I tested using Uber vs. Free Now, and Free Now has way more cars – so if you want to guarantee a ride, then download that app! If you do rent a car just remember that you drive on the opposite side of the road ? This is a great option if you want to take day trips outside of the city or are planning on exploring other areas of Ireland.
Like the rest of the world, tipping in Ireland is not required if the service fee is included in your final bill. Everything is included (as it should be! Blows my mind we can’t figure out how to do this in the US) but as an American, that can feel really weird when you are dining out and expecting to tip your servers. If you feel like your service was out of this world, you can tip 10%.
Should you pay in US Dollars or Euros?
Traveling in 2022 is so great because you don’t need to get hard cash out like the old days, everything is now digital and credit cards are taken pretty much everywhere. Ireland is on the Euro so it is good to have a few crisp bills on hand, just in case, but I didn’t for our last trip. A big question I had whenever we got the bill was “Do you want to pay in US dollars or Euros?” In short, always choose to pay in the local currency, so Euros, to avoid conversion rate fees from your bank or credit card. It’s not much but that will save you some dinero.
A friend from Dublin told me that it is wise to get dinner reservations in advance on Open Table or Resy. Walk in’s aren’t really a thing and they prefer you make a reservation ahead of time.
Ha! I’m adding this one because yes, you need converters, but you also need to make sure your American hair dryer doesn’t blow when using their outlets. Mine totally busted after turning it on in our old hotel room. All hotel rooms have a hair dryer, so if you want to save yours from death, leave it at home. RIP expensive hair dryer.
Traveling Back to the States
Something that is super unique to flying from Dublin to the US, is that you go through customs THERE. It seems odd but if you are flying to the United States you will go through the US customs after you get through the airport security at the Dublin airport. It makes it super easy when you land back in the US, but make sure to tack on an extra hour at the airport because this line can be long.