MyHolidayIreland tips – travelling in Ireland…

For everything you need to know before you travel to Ireland……….from financial information to internet access, cell phones & tax refunds, has you covered with this quick guide……

  • Credit Cards: It is advisable to notify your credit card company that are taking a trip abroad and the dates involved. This will avoid any difficulties such as the cc company freezing your account if the think there is suspicious activity out of the ordinary. Ask your cc company about international surcharges such as conversion fees. Know your company’s approximate rate of exchange at the time of travelling. When in Ireland you may be asked if you would like to pay in Euro or Dollars. Know if you have a better rate with your cc company that what you are being offered. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Ireland. American Express and Diners Club card are not as commonly accepted.
  • ATM Cards: Make sure that you top up your checking account in advance of travelling to cover your expenses. Check with you bank to see what charges are associated with using your ATM card in Ireland.
  • Tax Refund: If you are travelling to Ireland from outside of the European Union you will be eligible to claim tax back on purchases such as gifts, souvenirs (bought for non-business purposes). Look for the “Tax Free Shopping” signs in stores. The store attendants will give you a cheque with each purchase. Make sure that you keep all receipts and Cheques and you can process them at the Tax Back Desk at the airport. Tax may not be claimed back for services such as hotel accommodation, car-hire or restaurant meals. You will receive a cash refund in a choice of five currencies from the Global Refund desk at the airport. If you are flying home from any airport other than Shannon or Dublin, each cheque must be stamped at customs. You can also receive your VAT refund by mailing the Tax Free Cheques. Each cheque must be stamped by customs and can be refunded by cheque or credit card.
  • VAT (Tax): 23% is the standard rate of tax on most goods e.g. alcohol, cosmetics, jewellery, gasoline, tobacco. (In general – luxury items). 13.5% of VAT applies to short-term car hire. 9% applies to tourism related activities such as restaurants, hotels, and cinemas.
  • Safety: Be wise when it comes to carrying cash. Divide you money about your person and or you luggage. Avoid bringing $100 bills to Ireland as counterfeiting of them is quiet widespread and Irish banks will not cash them. Be alert when using ATM cash machines as you would in any country.
Telephone & Internet Tips

Here are some general tips about using your cell phone or mobile devices in Ireland…..

In general be cautious when using hotel telephones, as the rates are quite high. Public telephone boxes can still be found, but are not as common since cell phones became so commonplace. Most hotels will have a computer that you can use for a minimal charge. You could familiarise yourself with SKYPE before travelling as a cost effective way of keeping in touch with family & friends. The quickest way of finding a number is by dialling directory enquiries 11850 or 11890.

They are very useful but expensive. Write down the number & say “No” when asked if you would like to be connected, as this will be even more expensive

  • Cell Phones: if you are lucky enough to have a quad band cell phone you will be able to use it in Ireland. Check with your cell phone provider in advance to see what services you can use while abroad and what roaming charges apply. If you cannot use your phone you can either rent or buy a cell phone in Ireland. Renting is a good option if you would like to use the phone immediately from the time of your arrival and if you would like to give your new number to family & friends before travelling. The “my holiday Ireland” team can organise your cell phone or modem rental before you arrive.
  • Smart Phones: Consult your phone company before travelling about data charges. Turning off your data while your phone is idle is something that most people will forget. It can lead to serious bills if there are apps using your data un-necessarily.

Wi-Fi can be easily found free of charge in many public places such as a hotel’s lobby, café’s, tourist offices, buses and trains. If you need a modem for your laptop you can rent one for the duration of your stay. Most hotels in the country now have broadband internet access and/or Wi-Fi in their bedrooms for use with your laptop or handheld device.