Road-Tripping Around Ireland: Make It a Drive You Won’t Forget!

We were very lucky to have the chance to live on one of the world’s most beautiful islands (albeit temporarily thanks to house sitting, with picturesque views, breathtaking landscapes and characterful villages around every corner. All of these make Ireland the perfect place for a driving holiday, whatever the season.

Road-Tripping Around Ireland: Some Basic Tips And Advice

You don’t even have to wait for summer: there are plenty of cosy cafés and warm pubs to sustain you as you rattle around the country roads. Below, we’ve put together our top tips for making your next road trip one to remember.

#1. Open the map!

In many ways, planning the journey is the most exciting part. You might decide to go north, and visit the Titanic centre in Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim or any of the Game of Thrones locations along the way. Going west means taking in the Wild Atlantic Way, with all its stunning scenery and coastal life, while the south offers a range of exciting events from the Cork Jazz Festival to the Waterford Festival of Food.

Ireland’s Ancient East is host to some of the country’s best-known attractions, such as the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and Glendalough in Wicklow, which was chosen as one of the most beautiful places in Ireland by Condé Nast Traveller. You don’t even have to set a rock-solid schedule: the great thing about travelling by car is having the freedom to go wherever the wind takes you.

#2. Prepare the car!

Before you set off on your adventure, it’s a good idea to check that your car is in tip-top condition and ready for the journey ahead whether you are renting one or you shipped your own car to Ireland. You’ll want to make sure your tax, NCT and car insurance is in order for peace of mind as you make your way around the country. It might be a good time to schedule a service and vehicle check-up, but you should also examine your car yourself, especially your lights and tyres. The Road Safety Authority has produced a handy check-list of twelve basic vehicle maintenance steps to help you work through the process. Don’t forget the little things, such as de-icing and window-cleaning fluids. There’s nothing worse than squinting through a murky windscreen! A full tank of fuel is a good idea, of course, and perhaps even an extra canister for the boot, just in case.

#3. Pack well!

With no luggage limits or liquid restrictions to worry about, road-trippers are free to fill their car with all the comforts they might need on their journey. Snacks that aren’t messy to eat are a smart choice, like protein bars, wraps or fruit. If you couldn’t resist that flaky croissant at the petrol station, make sure you’ve packed wet wipes to help you clean up. A small first-aid kit is a good idea, with plasters, aspirin and a couple of anti-nausea tablets in case the road gets bumpy.

The right music, of course, is key to a great road trip, and there are lots of specially-curated playlists to choose from. Just make sure you don’t forget your connector cables or chargers. And before you go, check the weather forecast as chances are you’ll need raincoats, umbrellas and wellies. We shouldn’t complain, though - it’s all that rain that makes the island emerald!

#4. Don’t forget your four-legged friend!

One of the best things about taking a road trip is that you can bring your pet as a passenger. They love to see new sights, explore new places and of course, get themselves thoroughly soaked and caked in mud. To make sure the trip is comfortable as well as fun for your pet, don’t forget to pack plenty of water, food and a bowl, as well as a leash and a supply of waste bags. It can help too, to bring their favourite blanket or soft toy, so that they feel reassured by a familiar scent in new places. If you’re thinking of staying over, the Ireland Guide has collected a list of more than eighty pet-friendly places to stay around the country, so you can both enjoy a little luxury for the night.

#5. Plan for the unexpected!

While Ireland is a country of modern motorways and busy dual carriageways, sometimes it’s the country roads that have the prettiest scenery, as well as plenty of opportunities to meet a roadside pal, such as a doe-eyed donkey or curious cow. Those bumpy boreens aren’t easy on your car though, and a deep pothole can buckle a wheel or blow a tyre. You might encounter this problem in a remote area, so it’s wise to pack a puncture repair kit, a jack and wheel brace, and a warning triangle to keep you safe from passing cars. Make sure you’ve got your locking wheel nut key to hand too; manufacturers often store them away in odd places, and you don’t want to be searching with a flashlight at the side of the road.

Your car insurance policy might include roadside assistance - it’s a good idea to check your documents before you set off, or get in touch with your insurer to make sure you’re covered for all eventualities. That way, there’s nothing stopping you hitting the wide open road and making memories you’ll never forget. 

Last but not least, check out for the best rates on Irish hotels. 

What about you, have you ever gone on a road trip around Ireland? Feel free to share any tips & advice below!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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