To me, the best part about travelling is being able to wander around without the stress of having to adhere to a schedule, which is also why I love to travel solo – I can go where I want, when I want. Ideally, this travel style is best suited for longer trips and conversely isn’t conducive to short trips. For example, I recently spent 3 fabulous days in Dublin, and although I didn’t necessarily have an itinerary, I had to follow a somewhat of a tight schedule because time was of the essence and there were so many items on my list! Through trial and error, I discovered a few time-saving tricks to make zipping around the city a tad bit easier.
Here are 5 Time-Saving Tips for a Quick Trip to Dublin:
Purchase the hop on/hop off bus pass: While riding the big, red, double-decker tourist bus isn’t really my cup of tea, it’s actually a quick and cheap way to get around the city. I bought a 48 hour pass, which allowed me to hitch a ride when I didn’t have enough time to walk. Though the city is quite walkable, some of the top landmarks are quite a distance away from each other. The bus pass also comes with an array of coupons for discounts to restaurants and popular attractions.
Purchase a Guinness Storehouse ticket for off-peak hours: The Storehouse tickets are a few bucks cheaper during off-peak hours. Of course, a few bucks off isn’t that big of a deal, but it can be if you’re travelling in a group. Secondly, if you purchase the Storehouse ticket from the hop on/hop off tour bus, you get an automatic line bypass added to your ticket – something that is definitely worth having because the lineups for the Storehouse can run down the street.
Purchase a Trinity College Library ticket online: I wish I had known this before I visited Trinity College. Even if you purchase a combined tour and library ticket at the entrance of Trinity College, you still need to wait in line for the Library. It was cold and raining on the day that I visited, and I waited in line for almost one hour. I can’t even imagine what the lineup would be like on a sunny day in high season. If you buy your ticket in advance online, you can bypass the line and pretty much walk right in.
Visiting the major sites on off-peak hours: This one is kind of a no-brainer, yet it’s not that easy to do when you’re travelling. Even if you get a line bypass as I mentioned above, the crowds inside are unavoidable. Though I was awestruck by the beauty of the Library, it was still difficult to soak it all in because I was being jostled around by the crowd.
Hire a driver for long trips: A trip to the countryside doesn’t have to be 12 hours of being carted around on a coach bus. Hiring a driver is a great way to avoid the stops of a guided tour that might not appeal to you, and it’s also much faster to reach your destination. I took a bus tour to Cliffs of Moher, and I wish that I had hired a driver to save time and most importantly see the things that I wanted to see.