Ireland is a fantastic country to travel and explore. Many people have fallen in love with the beautiful countryside, the rolling hills, the village architecture and of course the many pubs.
The Irish people are, by the vast majority, friendly and courteous but as the old saying goes ‘it is better to be safe than sorry’. Therefore here are our top 10 tips for women to stay safe when travelling solo in Ireland.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Travelling in Ireland is regarded as being quite safe, but there isn’t a country in the world that has a crime rate of 0%. For a woman travelling alone, you should always be fully aware of what is happening around you. Keep an eye on cars that are driving next to you or suspicious-looking characters nearby, particularly at night. Admittedly it is unlikely that you could be facing any real danger, but you never know. At least for the beginning of your trip, it’s better to look a bit paranoid than to be harassed, robbed, or worse.
- Keep a Safety Whistle On Your Person
A simple tip for women travellers is to carry a safety whistle in case of emergency. Just by carrying something that makes noise, you’ll feel safer and more secure while travelling. It goes beyond just using a whistle in case of attack. Think about a situation whereby you slip and fall in an isolated area without phone coverage. The whistle could be used to draw attention and call for help. It is a highly recommended practice for solo female travellers and you never know how handy something so small could be.
3. Get Travel Insurance
Most travellers spend a lot of time and effort planning the perfect vacations, but they often overlook the importance of getting a good travel insurance policy. Lady travellers are more vulnerable to predators when they are travelling in a strange land, and there is no sure way to prevent unfortunate incidents from taking place.
In a worst case scenario, travel insurance will protect you if your luggage is lost, if you’re robbed or worse. Therefore travel insurance is essential to protect you against any unforeseeable incidents.
4. Be Cautious at Night
Dangerous activity is more likely to occur under the cover of nightfall, when there are fewer crowds about. You should try to arrive in Ireland during the daytime, if possible, so that you can get your bearings. Avoid walking around at night time alone. If you are spotted as a lone female at night by a predator then you might be in trouble. Avoid this situation by travelling via taxi or using public transport as opposed to walking in the dead of night. Don’t carry excessive cash or valuables with you at night, be wise to potential danger.
5. Find a Travel Group
Group trips are an excellent way to travel solo and stay safe. For a travelling woman in Ireland, it’s best not to be isolated ALL the time. Group trips allow you the freedom of the solo travel experience, but you have the expertise and safety of a local guide to hand, as well as guided excursions and secret trips that are off the beaten track – the best of both worlds! There is a choice of several tours operated by Dublin bus which explore all the main Dublin attractions via the hop-on hop-off buses. Or if the city isn’t your scene, why not head to Connemara and see the rogue Irish countryside with a tourist-group bus trip?
6. Educate Yourself in Irish Customs and Culture
The Irish people have a dry sense of humour. As a woman in Ireland, if you don’t know some of the colloquialisms, a chance encounter with a local Irish man might leave you feeling confused or even a little intimidated! But don’t concern yourself too much, Irish people are a light hearted & friendly bunch. The best way to avoid any awkward encounters is to pick up a handy notebook of little Irish sayings. Or simply just search Google and see what you find!
7. Make a Plan and Share it with Family
Benjamin Franklin famously said “[i]f you fail to plan you are planning to fail.” No matter where you are, it is always recommended for women travelling solo to have a plan – however rough or detailed – for their trip and accommodation details.
With a plan in place, this can be shared with friends/family before leaving so if you lose your phone or internet access, there’s still a way for those at home to know where you are. Be adventurous but prepared. You can even plan to check in with family members through text or email once a day. Send a quick message to say “hi” or to let someone know how you’re getting on.
8. Know Your Valuables in Transit
The importance of keeping your phone charged and close by cannot be understated. But that’s not the only essential you need to keep an eye on. You should have a designated bag into which you can fit all of your essential items: your passport, your camera, your medication, your jewelry, your credit cards, your smartphone, and any other technology, photography or otherwise valuable equipment. If any of these items go missing, it could mean a disastrous trip to the Emerald Isle. Keep this bag in your sights at all times and invest in a lock to keep the bag secure.
9. Don’t Drink Too Much
The Irish people like to drink. The nightlife across the country varies but one common denominator across the board is that culturally, the Irish people enjoy a drink. A word to the wise – don’t try to keep up. Drinking alcohol will dull your senses and slow your reaction time, which in turn makes you vulnerable to others. If you’re under the influence and are not in control of the situation, it can be dangerous for a woman who’s out and about. By all means enjoy yourself, but go at your own pace. Have a drink, have a laugh but be safe about how you do it.
Ireland is rich in culture and is worldly renowned as one of the friendliest countries on the planet. Don’t over-think the tips in this article too much, a lot of it is common sense. Bearing these tips in mind will guarantee a fun and eye-opening experience but there is no need to let the prior advice dominate the whole visit. Here are some key takeaways:
- Plan, plan & plan! Keep in contact with family regularly.
- Protect yourself with a great travel insurance policy!
- Charge your phone and keep your essential belongings close.
- Have fun!