Traveling to Ireland: How to Buy Travel Insurance & Tips for a Successful Trip
Between sprawling green hills dotted with sheep, village pubs bustling with life, and breathtaking castles at every turn, traveling to Ireland is a truly captivating experience. But as you book your tickets and plan your excursions, there’s one important aspect you might’ve forgotten to consider amidst the excitement and anticipation of planning your adventure: travel insurance.
However, there are hundreds of coverage options scattered across the internet, and finding an adequate policy for your needs and budget can be challenging. In the following, we’ll guide you through every step of getting covered so that you’re one step closer to embarking on your adventure!
Keep reading to gain some insight into what travel insurance covers, how much it costs, and whether or not you need it to go to Ireland. Then, we’ll share some of our top tips to make sure that you’re prepared for your trip abroad.
Travel Insurance for a Trip to Ireland
Travel insurance is a protection plan designed to safeguard the financial investment you make in booking your trip, as well as cover other unexpected expenses and medical emergencies that could possibly occur while you’re abroad.
While you never anticipate that anything will go wrong when you’re traveling, it’s crucial that you have a plan B in place if things don’t go as planned. If there’s a death in the family, a sudden loss of employment or even a natural disaster that prevents you from traveling, travel insurance will help you recover the money you’ve spent in case you have to cancel your trip or cut it short.
Travel insurance also supports you in case you encounter other bumps along the way, such as lost or stolen belongings and issues with your passport.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to Ireland?
No, it’s not required to get travel insurance to go to Ireland. However, it’s in your best interest to get covered. You might be hesitant to spend any more money planning your trip, but in reality, travel insurance is a small investment in the grand scheme of your expenses, and the peace of mind it provides is priceless.
Travel insurance may seem like it isn’t necessary, but if you lose your luggage, get sick, or need emergency medical care, you run the risk of paying thousands of dollars out of pocket to cover these expenses.
You may have medical insurance in your home country, but it’s important to note that many domestic policies don’t provide coverage outside the country. Medicare doesn’t cover foreign medical bills at all, and if you’re seriously injured, you could run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills while you recover. Choosing a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage is a wise decision for international travelers.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My Trip to Ireland?
The cost of travel insurance depends on your coverage options and your situation. Based on the value of your trip, basic coverage can run 3-4%, while premium coverage can go up to 10-12%. It all depends on which policies you choose, the provider you select, and your specific circumstances.
The total cost can vary significantly between each insurance provider for the same coverage, so shopping and comparing is necessary to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Our travel insurance comparison engine allows you to easily shop and compare policies from multiple travel insurance companies. And to make things even easier, you can purchase your travel insurance for Ireland directly online with a lowest price guarantee.
To help you get the most out of your trip to Ireland, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you handle money, pack correctly, and ensure you have a truly immersive experience.
Money: Currency & Tipping
Money in Ireland can be a bit confusing, and the currency depends on where you are. In Ireland, proper, the official currency is the Euro. However, in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, you’ll need to use the Pound Sterling. Border towns are pretty understanding and will accept both currencies at a decent exchange rate, but you’ll receive your change in the local currency, whether Euro or Pound Sterling. While it’s best to use credit cards in the local currency to avoid exchange fees, cash is still king and will go the farthest.
When it comes to tipping in Ireland, standard practice depends on what services you’re receiving. Some restaurants will automatically include a service charge on the final bill, so be sure to check your receipt before tipping. If you’re unsure how much to compensate, 10 to 15 percent is a great rate if the service exceeds your expectations, and it would be best if you tipped in cash since most servers don’t receive tips included on a credit card purchase.
Surprisingly, bartenders will not accept tips in Ireland, but if you’re getting table service, you should leave a couple of Euro if you receive stellar service.
Packing Suggestions & What to Wear
When traveling to the Emerald Isle, it’s guaranteed to rain no matter the time of year, so a reliable raincoat and a sturdy umbrella are essentials on your packing list. Ireland, however, does have four distinct seasons, and it’s very similar to those you’d have in the Northeast United States. Fall runs from September to November, and spring from March through May, and you’ll see average temperatures between 40 and 60*F. Winter in Ireland is pretty mild, averaging 30 to 40*F, and some places in the region even see snow! Summer is beautiful and warm, with temperatures in the mid to high 60s.
You should, however, note that despite the season that you’re visiting, you may experience large swings in temperature and weather throughout the day. In fact, some even say that Ireland experiences all four seasons in one day!
It’s best to bring clothes that you can layer up when it gets colder, and strip down when the sun starts to shine. A good pair of closed-toe walking shoes are also a great idea since you’ll be doing a lot of walking around and because Ireland gets a ton of rain, the grass is almost always wet.
Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
There are so many things to do in the Land of Eire, and it can be overwhelming to decide what to include in your itinerary! If you’re eager to dive into the Irish culture, make sure you have ample time to visit a variety of sites. From the bustling downtown of Dublin to the rolling hills of Kerry, there’s a cultural adventure everywhere you go, and you don’t want to miss any of it!
In Dublin, be sure to check out the gorgeous Trinity College, which is home to the original Book of Kells. Written in Latin, the book contains beautifully detailed drawings and artwork portraying the New Testament that dates back to 800 AD. Then, be sure to head over to the Guinness Storehouse and grab a pint straight from the source!
Ireland is known for its small village charm, and the best place to experience this is out in County Cork. Grab a pint at the local pub, commune with the locals, and then go over and kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck!
If you’re looking for spectacular scenery that looks straight off of a postcard, head out into the country. Travel the Ring of Kerry, starting in old Killarney. You’ll see rolling green hills, tiny villages, castles, and abbeys that are centuries old. Listen to the tales of Irish folklore, and lean in to hear the locals speak in Gaelic, which is the official language of Ireland. Today, most folks speak English, but children are required to learn Gaelic in school as a way to keep their history and culture alive. It’s in the small villages that you’ll hear casual conversations in the native tongue!
Popular Destinations in Ireland
To help you plan your dream trip to Ireland, we’ve listed the top 10 most popular places to visit that you should consider. We’ve also thrown in a few less-popular, off-the-beaten-track places if that’s the experience you’re after!
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Ireland
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in Ireland
- Aran Islands