Ireland Travel Tips From A Twenty-Something

So back in November I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Ireland, mostly to visit my sister who was spending the semester studying abroad there.
Before she packed her bags and left against my mother’s will, Ireland had never been on my radar as a travel destination.
I mean sure, it looked gorgeous in films like P.S. I Love You and Leap Year, and sure, I have a thing for Irish/British accents. But with so many more “popular” destinations in Europe, it wasn’t a top priority on my “Places To Travel To” list.

But hey, when you have a sister studying there who’s got an apartment you can crash in FO’ FREE and flights are reasonably priced because it’s low season, you really can’t say no. And so I (over)packed my bags and headed off in hopes of drinking many glasses of Guinness, finding leprechauns and running into a Gerard-Butler-Type like Hilary Swank did on the road. None of that happened. I realized I don’t even like Guinness after one heavy sip at their giant factory in Dublin.

Anyways, I went into the country with not a lot of expectations and with no plan. I took it day by day and winged all my adventures, which actually worked out for me. But I know there are people out there who NEED to know what they’re getting into and even, *shocker* have an itinerary planned.

So I thought I’d share some advice/helpful tips and a few pictures for anyone interested in visiting the land of the four leaf clover. If you want a little summary of my trip, I put together a vlog below that I’d LOVE for you to check out!


Though I stayed in Galway, obviously I had to check out the capital! I took a double decker hop-on/hop-off bus which cost me 16 euros (because the man in the tourist office was nice enough to give me the (struggling) student price. It was definitely the best decision. Like all tourist carrying vehicles it took me around all the hot spots and landmarks in the city. You don’t have to buy your ticket ahead of time, just walk into any of the many tourism offices, because you can probably then bargain for a cheaper price in person.

Trinity College
I hopped off at Trinity College, which is a massive and old and beautiful and historic university. Did some walking around, gawked at some cute students, got strangers to take pictures of me in front of buildings, and then I found myself in a very long lineup to get inside their library. 30 minutes later I finally got inside only to find out there’s a $10 admission fee! As a former struggling student whose Canadian dollars were like nothing in Euros, I decided to skip out, so I scoped the gift shop and left.

Dublin Castle
If you don’t wanna travel to the countryside or northern Ireland, your chance to see a real life Medieval Castle is still possible in the middle of the bustling city of Dublin. It’s big, it’s beautiful and it’s free to walk around (going inside, I’m not entirely sure).
Dublin Castle


Temple Bar
This is where that infamous red bar is and where all the tourists go to have a drink. The Temple Bar area is a great atmosphere with cobblestone streets, pubs, and tons of gift shops. It’s a nice area to just walk through during the day, though I imagine it’s also where the partying happens at night (partying I never got to experience sadly).



Guinness Factory
Probably Dublin’s most tourist filled attraction, the Guinness factory was a huuuuge building that reminded me kind of like the Willy Wonka Factory from the movies, with its giant gates and smoke bellowing from the top. The tour cost around 18 euros and with it you also get a free pint of beer. Guinness beer, obviously. I don’t know if I could justify the price being worth it, but it was still interesting to see. Note that it’s a completely self guided tour, though they do have audio books available for purchase. My favourite part was where we learned to craft the perfect pint of beer in the Guinness Academy and then are able to enjoy it on their Gravity Bar, which gives the best CN Tower/Empire State Building type view of the city.




The “random” city my sister was studying in. I say random because as an uncultured Canadian I had never heard of this city prior to my sister moving there for four months. Let’s be honest, when you think Ireland, you think Dublin and that’s about it. However Galway is one beautiful gem that is definitely worth the 2.5 hour bus ride to visit. It costs around 16 euros for a two-way bus ride from City Link and there’s FREE WIFI on board! What’s in store for you in this town? The sea, awesome shopping (see: Shop Street), great pubs and just the taste of a beautiful quaint Irish town.




I visited this BEAUTIFUL picturesque part of the country through a day-tour offered by Galway tours. It cost 25 euros, 20 if you’re a student, and it was worth every damn cent. I was indifferent about going on this tour but it was probably the highlight of my trip. If you’re about seeing the countryside, jawdropping scenery and a giant mansion to boot, then this trip is for you. Take a look for yourself:







Since everything about this trip was a “just go and roll with it” type of thing, I obviously had no idea what the cool, hip, happening and let me stress, affordable places to shop were. Finding these places weren’t as hard as I thought, so here are my top 3 places, from cheapest to most expensive, cuz that’s how I browse online:

Penny’s (known as Poshmark in the UK)
If there was a retail heaven that shopaholics died and went to… I imagine this would be it. I was so overwhelmed when I first walked in, I probably resembled this meme right here. For a Canadian/American, shopping across is the pond is NOT cheap! While things may be reasonably priced for Europeans, like a sweater for 30 euros, that costs us around $45! And hey, I’m a recovering student who just paid off my debt. Which is why my eyes widened at the site of Penny’s prices. Scarves for 2.50?! A jacket for 30? And no way this sheer blouse is only 7 euros! Things weren’t just reasonably priced, they were dirt cheap. And so cute! From clothes to accessories to shoes to makeup to home goods, it’s basically like a Target meets Forever21 and it’s AWESOME! If you’re going to spend your money in one place, this is it my friend.

New Look
New Look is like the UK/Irish version of Urban Planet/Charlotte Russe/Forever21. And I’m saying that because I saw a lot of the same brands there that I’d find at UP or Charlotte. Prices are a step above Penny’s but that’s not to say you can’t find a good deal (they have plenty). If you’re going to buy just one thing make it a pair of jeans. Seriously the best fitting jeans I have ever tried, they’re soft to the touch and tight and fit like a dream.

River Island
The most expensive of all three, River Island is on Topshop’s level. Which means that the clothes look great and are probably of better quality. I recommend splurging your money on one of their cute bags/purses.

How to snatch the best concert tickets



I am addicted to concerts. There, I said it. I only discovered the immense pleasure of seeing your favorite artist perform live a little over a year and a half ago at the late age of 19, but I’ve made up for the many teen years I’ve missed out on attending concerts by getting my hands on tickets to any and every show that caught my eye–or more like ear.

From One Direction to The Maine to Demi Lovato to the Warped Tour, I went, I screamed, I sang my heart out, I spent all my money on merch, and I suffered from post-concert depression. And because of that I have the most amazing memories.

And here’s the thing, I don’t just go to a concert, I LIVE that concert. Almost always have I had amazing seats where I could see the performer’s sweat dripping from their forehead. And always do my friends say I’m so lucky. But it’s not luck. Okay, well it’s a bit of luck. But it’s also timelines and determination that got me those amazing seats.

Below I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you get the best seats in the house, and for those of you who prefer watching/listening I also made a video!


1. Always try for the pre-sale
Most tickets go on sale around three days before the general sale, and this is your best bet to getting tickets to a show that’s bound to sell out. Even though you need a password, you can find it online the day before or morning of on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Most of the time it’s the artist, the venue or Ticketmaster/Live Nation who post the password. There are also the fan presales that go on sale around the same time and for this, you usually have to be a part of an artist’s fan club (meaning you have to pay $30 for a yearly membership of nonsense) but don’t let this stop you! Search up “xxx presale password” on twitter or Facebook, there’s bound to be one kind superfan who’s willing to share the password. Also, if you or your parents or a really good friend have an American Express card, you get access to special tickets and a presale.

2. Buy on time
Think of it like a job interview, be ready and there fifteen minutes early. There’s nothing worse than getting to your computer at 9:59 and having to power it up and wait for your browser to load. Have your computer on, your internet connection double checked and Ticketmaster open to the page. Then as soon as your clock hits 10 am (You could even set up a stopwatch or get a to-the-second clock ready a minute or two before) hit refresh to purchase your tickets. Also be prepared with not just one but two credit cards on hand (just in case the first one doesn’t work). Though the timer gives you ten minutes to make a purchase, the longer you wait, the more likely the tickets will disappear and become unavailable. And regret sucks.

concert tix

3. Enlist the help of your friends
Seriously, two hands can only do so much. Get your parents, siblings, friends, anyone who is up and available at 10 am to help you out, whether it’s on a computer or on their phone. It’s simple math: the more people who are trying to get tickets for you, the greater chances you have of getting A) seats and B) greater seats. If two or more people are lucky enough to find tickets in their basket, you can take your pick at the better section.

4. Don’t settle for the first
You may have gotten tickets with your first click at 10 am, but do you really wanna sit up in section 300 in the 24th row? I (along with Drake) am just saying, you could do better. Tickets come and go as people loose them because they run out of time or empty their basket. Keep searching until you find tickets that agree with your budget and your standards. Because who wants to see an artist look like a tiny ant on stage?

If all this fails or you simply aren’t available when the tickets go on sale there are other ways to snatch tickets to a highly anticipated contest. The most obvious and equally torturous method is contests, whether through radio stations, TV networks or online publications. They almost always exist for every show though the chances of you actually winning are seemingly none. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to try! (Just maybe hurts a bit to lose).

Also even though a show may be sold out, start checking Ticketmaster on a daily basis one to two weeks before the date of the actual show, because more than likely they’ll release more tickets. I’ve gotten the best seats to shows this way (Pit tickets for Taylor Swift hollah!). If you live close to the venue, it doesn’t hurt to check the day of at the box office, because I’ve also gotten pretty awesome seats to shows this way too (sold out One Direction show awwyeah!). There are also other options, though I don’t recommend them because of evil people called scammers, but you can always search up StubHub, or even better Kijiji or Craigslist (because you deal directly with the seller).

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