BritBike Forum logo
BritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorThe Bonneville ShopBritBike Sponsor
Upgrade to: Premium Membership | Premium Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
ShoutChat Box
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments.
Buy BritBike staff a coffee
Buy BritBike's staff a coffeeStill here since 1996 serving BritBike enthusiasts..
Search eBay for motorcycle parts in following countries
Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, United Kingdom, USA
Random Gallery photo
Member Spotlight
Nebrer
Nebrer
In the South of Sweden (Skåne)
Posts: 24
Joined: September 2003
Show All Member Profiles 
Newest Members
Argos parts, Mr. Bean, rudi, Derek, Psychorider
10862 Registered Users
Top Posters(30 Days)
franko 172
DavidP 71
reverb 64
NickL 55
Popular Topics(Views)
1,016,063 mail-order LSR
a word from..
Forum Statistics
Forums34
Topics67,795
Posts680,343
Members10,862
Most Online14,755
May 5th, 2019
Who's Online Now
71 registered members (Adam M.), 481 guests, and 998 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
First trip across the big pond #701256 07/09/17 8:41 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,054
Mike Baker Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
OP Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,054
My son and I are going to Ireland to see the Ulster GP next month. Tentative itinerary is to fly into Dublin on Tuesday, spend the day at Guiness (and probably the night in the gutter!), Leave out on the rental bikes Wednesday morning, hopefully head northwest and spend Thursday and Friday exploring and heading in the general direction of Belfast to catch the races on Saturday, and return to Dublin on Sunday.
Question for anyone in the know... I see a lot of airbnb type accommodations out there, regular B&B's etc. We are a bit adventurous, is it generally a safe bet to expect to find this type of lodging or will we most likely be sleeping behind some pub without reservations. With the exceptions of the big cities, I think we'll be trying to stay on the less traveled paths.
Any comments are most welcome.

Support Your #1 BritBike Forum!

Check out British motorcycles for sale:
British Motorcycles on e-Bay UK
British motorcycles on e-Bay North America
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701269 07/09/17 10:24 pm
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,952
T140V-Rich Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,952
You said any comments... if you're taking the overnight flight, make yourself stay awake the entire next day to get accustomed to the time difference. Use a travel wallet. We do whether here or there to prevent pickpockets (not picking on the Emerald Isle, it's the same everywhere).

As for lodging, I can only relate to London. In the summer, it's quite a bit more expensive. In the winter, when we travel, lesser so. But there seemed to be more room in the off months as well. Rose and I made reservations at least six months in advance.

If you have serious doubt, check out the online booking services. See what they have to offer - lots of room or is is pretty scarce? That may give you an idea.

Cheers, and have a great time!

Rich


1977 T-140V
1973 T-140V
2011 Bonneville SE
Author of "Relics and Reminiscing."
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701271 07/09/17 11:05 pm
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 459
H
HughdeMann Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
H
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 459
Mike, if you contact the guest house I told you about, the landlady will hook you up even if they are full.They all know each other. Enjoy the trip, I'm jealous!
You might try a guy named Mike Gibb. He runs a place called The world of owls. He knows almost everyone, and other than being a Harley type, he's good people. His contact info is:
Address: World of Owls Centre, Randalstown Forest, 32 Mt Shalgus Lane, Randalstown, County Antrim BT41 3LE

Phone: 028 9447 2307
Email: [email protected]
I guess I'll have to get back on BBC to see if the races are televised.



Hugh: Proof the Dodo is not extinct
presently without a Brit Bike
A couple others
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: T140V-Rich] #701277 07/10/17 12:17 am
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,889
Lannis Offline
Well'ard Rocker
Offline
Well'ard Rocker
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,889
Originally Posted by T140V-Rich
Use a travel wallet. We do whether here or there to prevent pickpockets (not picking on the Emerald Isle, it's the same everywhere).

Rich


Well, not everywhere, I've never had my pocket picked. Really rare here in the US any more, really bad in Belgium, Spain, urban France, Latin America. What's a travel wallet?

Lannis


Play stupid games ... Win stupid prizes!
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701298 07/10/17 2:22 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,866
ricochetrider Online Content
Moto Mojo
Online Content
Moto Mojo
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,866
Mike
I am a big fan of Trip Advisor and reading reviews to sort bookings on a trip, esp lodging and food- both of which I view as key elements for a trip in terms of basic creature comforts. Be advised there are a lot of "fake" reviews at online sites. What I do is read a number of good and bad reviews, and look for mention of specific details within review content. Know that a small percentage of people are not to be pleased no matter what, but negative reviews can also give insight into either accidental oversights or patterned screw ups. Review reading for travel purposes can be laborious but also VERY rewarding. A blind stab in the dark? Too risky, too much at stake. Not my personal style.

Most flights to U.K. & EU in my experience arrive in morning. I've never once got off the plane and said, Heck with (insert country name here)- I'm going to SLEEP!
If there's an afternoon or evening arrival time option? I'd skip it and just opt to arrive between 7 and 11 AM. In terms of overcoming jet lag, being up all day, taking an 11 PM flight out of the US and landing at 7 AM then on arrival, staying up all day til after supper.... is a pretty darn awesome way to insure at the very least, a solid first night's sleep in a foreign land! For me, once I've done that and wake up say late morning of my 2nd day.... I'm on the schedule in whatever land I'm in. I might be outside the norm in this way. I have trouble sleeping on planes so I might catch a little sleep in a 7 hour flight... or might not. You'll get coffee an hour before you land. British Air or most EU airlines are miles ahead of any US based carrier in terms of amenities and service. I like Al Italia as well but sometimes the Italian crews feel a bit.... stiff? Gruff? But the food and coffee - and the overall experience are amazing. I think British Airways is maybe the most celebrated airline anywhere. (double check that for me?) We fly British Air in October. Can't wait!

Buy airline tickets and join their frequent flyer club to score sky miles. Many EU carriers also partner with US abased carriers (and vise versa), so if you play it right you can score points from this trip ands them for domestic flights as well, or score points on domestic flights and use them internationally.

I got myself a Global Entry card that comes with a Known Traveler ID number. So far the single experience I had coming back from an international flight out of Dakar, Senegal... was a bust! The only people in passport control were those from our plane! At JFK go figure! BUT recently on a flight from Newark to L.A., I sailed past 300 people in the security line and was through security and on the way to my gate in just a couple minutes. It costs a bit and you have to go for an interview and be fingerprinted etc. If you don't travel much it might not matter but the benefits are great for those who will use this. I add my ID number to my Sky Miles profiles and add them to tickets upon purchase. and laugh all the way to the bar as I sail past the hordes at security.

I've used melatonin to help offset sleep issues from jet lag before- and my sister has used it quite a lot, in fact I'm not sure she ever leaves home without it. She's travels world wide often. In the end, I've found I'm not usually plagued with jet lag myself and found melatonin a bit weird, just for me personally- but maybe my already erratic sleeping habits reduce jet lag effects? Weird in what way? Snapping to what seems like full wakefulness only to also instantly fall right back into deep sleep- ultimately ending up feeling like I didn't really sleep restfully. BUT as stated my sister -who works a normal day job and travels regularly from time zone to time zone, swears by it. Truthfully, I usually pack some along but really use it. YMMV

In terms of street theft, most pickpockets etc hit on people who seem like easy targets. There is, somewhere on the internet, a guide or "scoreboard" for cities in terms of so-called street crimes such as pickpocketing n stuff. Take a look at the cities you'll visit and see how it ranks. The hot lick nowadays seems to be RFID (??) blocking wallets and bags. Apparently people can scan your ID, credit card info etc as you sit in a bar or maybe even walk past! I'm not too paranoid about this sort of stuff but do try to be sensible about safety and security abroad. Ireland is 1st-world, so you'll blend in more than stand out. Be safety conscious and don't be a target. Also be aware that people can access your cell phone at will. Sometimes I Might leave my regular phone at home and bring an unlocked, internet capable, World Band device of some sort along. I have an old iPhone 3s that I've taken to Africa and Europe. It works..... to some extent. BUT waving modern cell phone around and logging. onto public wifi is one way to get "got".Again, be safe, be aware, don't make yourself a target.

I usually exchange some money into whatever local currency I'll be using on the USA side at the airport. Just to have a hundred bucks or so of instant walking around money then exchange more money as I go along where ever I am. Last time I was in the UK, Local Post Offices had free, no fee exchanges with decent exchange rates. If you have a "chipped" debit card you can use it anywhere for point-of-purchase sales- like at gas pumps or whatever. Any plain ol debit card you can use at any ATM to get local cash- but be aware that you're subject to the exchange rate du jour plus fees. With some notice, your local bank might be able to provide you with Irish pounds or whatever just to get you started on your 1st day there. If you have wifi there, watch the posted exchange rates but be advised that you're at the mercy of vendors or street kiosks and whatever. It kinda it what it is, but just make some effort not to be victimized and you'll be fine.

Lots of stuff you purchase or buy in the UK and other places you'll be charged VAT (taxes). At retail store and whatnot, ask for paperwork to get your VAT BACK! Upon exiting the country, take a minute to find the VAR refund office in the airport- it's probably in some dark out of the way corer but you can maybe get back a couple hundy $$$! OR maybe not. BUT you gotta fill out the forms and leap thru the hoopsWHILE YOURE IN COUNTRY ON HOLIDAY. It IS worth it if you can keep your focus on VAT return/refund. Ask any time you buy something. Things like bar and restaurant purchases likely don't apply. Some countries make it real easy, the UK, not so much. BUT it's entirely possible to get VAT refunds... it IS however, up to you to chase that particular dragon.

Good luck!
have fun!
Be Safe!
Post pix!

Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/10/17 3:00 am.

"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701302 07/10/17 3:41 am
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 984
Don Leaming Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 984
We rented a car and drove all over Ireland three summers ago. Never made a reservation and never had a problem finding nice b& b's everywhere. If you definitely have a destination for the next night the folks your staying with will be able to set you up. There are lots of choices. b&b's, Inns, hotels in even the small towns.
When you take the Guinness tour your admission includes a pint!
Have fun. Wish I was going with you.
Don


1965 Royal Enfield Interceptor
1969 Triumph Tiger 650
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701310 07/10/17 7:08 am
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,352
Kent Shaun Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,352
Just remember one thing dude, when at the bar, you ask for say two pints of the Black stuff. The barkeep will hand over the drinks and say that'll be XX money, you DO NOT tip. Simply pay for the beer, walk to your table or place of drinking, quaff it, then repeat... beerchug

IF you have food with the beer, and it's not just a snack, you could tip, if you get a good meal or service. It's not compulsory like in Mericky, and the price on the ticket is the price the item is, they don't sit there thinking up what tax you'll have to pay... :bigt


I'm from the SOUTH, the Deep South
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701315 07/10/17 8:13 am
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,390
J
johnm Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
J
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,390
I have done many trips to the UK but none to Ireland but hopefully some of this will help.

The number one thing to be careful of. Driving/riding is on the LEFT side of the road. I cannot emphasis how important this is !!!!!!!!!!

Especially if you are doing back roads and lanes.

The usual mistake is as follows:

Motorways no problems, main roads no problems. You start to relax. This is easy !!

Then on some little country lane you stop for a photo shoot. No one about - all peaceful and quiet - and you get back on the bike/car and drive down the road ON THE WRONG SIDE and come round a corner head on into a truck !

Believe me it is so easy to do. I have done it in Norway and also in reverse when returning to NZ after 5 years of driving in Europe. No trucks on either occasion but I gave myself a hell of a fright !!!!!!!

It's the quiet roads that get you every time. BE CAREFUL.

Apart from that the UK is dead easy. There are pickpockets in any country but I have only seen one working a street crowd in London. Just be normally sensible really and watch your stuff. If you end up in London watch it on buses and tubes and around any street markets or entertainment.

I use AirBNB a lot in the UK. Only one problem ever when the hot water gave up. As in all things the cheap ones are the "cheap" ones. Don't expect the Ritz for 50 quid. I find the reviews generally very reliable.

I like AirBNB because they are not as in your face personal as B&Bs which I find a bit too friendly for my taste. And they are not as expensive as hotels where you can pay a fair bit in the UK for pretty rubbish service. In AirBNB you can look after yourself which is more like the motel system in the US or Australia and New Zealand. Motels are very uncommon in UK and Ireland. But if you want more contact with locals then B&B would be the way.

My son did an Ireland tour a couple of years ago and he would just book a day ahead online as he went along - but that was in April- don't know about summer time. And he recommends the Guinness tour.

And Jet lag !! Pssssh ! You guys should try NZ UK and back again in 8 days. Used to do that 5 times a year for work. US to the UK is nothing!!!!




Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701324 07/10/17 11:13 am
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,054
Mike Baker Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
OP Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,054
Thank you all for the responses. This will be a bit of a challenge for me at least, the only border I've ever crossed is into Canada, but I think I'm pretty resourceful and I try hard to not be a target in unfamiliar situations. In my travels, I find that the best local advice comes from (get this) Locals! Hopefully the same can be found in Ireland. My son is an Air Force and airline pilot so we fly standby and basically free. AA has a daily flight into Dublin from Charlotte that is typically 2/3 full so we probably won't have any trouble getting there and back.
The northwest part of the island looks to be somewhat less populated. We're thinking this will be our general direction for a couple of days. I'm sure everything is worth seeing, but is there maybe somewhere else that could be more recommended? As stated, we are not afraid of an adventure.
Marlin, I'll give you a call today......

Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701353 07/10/17 4:47 pm
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,762
A
AngloBike Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Online Content
BritBike Forum member
A
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,762
Don't forget that Eire uses the Euro and NIreland uses the pound

My Canadian g/f uses sat navy and programmes it to remind her what side of the road to drive on

Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Kent Shaun] #701357 07/10/17 6:28 pm
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,093
Mike Muir Offline
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,093
Ignore the tightwad in the silly hat. Bar and restaurant staff really do not earn much, mostly in the summer they are students trying to pay off uni or college. They really appreciate a tip!
Always we hand over a fiver for a meal (usually about 10% of the bill), the smile you get is worth it!


Mike, home is where we moor it.
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Muir] #701369 07/10/17 8:08 pm
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 984
Don Leaming Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 984
Ha!!! ... guess we know to "Whom you are referring" Mike!
Ya we always give the kids and single moms who give good table service a tip even in Europe and the U.K. 'Course it's mandatory over here in the colony.
Cheers
Don in Niagara.
Originally Posted by Mike Muir
Ignore the tightwad in the silly hat.



1965 Royal Enfield Interceptor
1969 Triumph Tiger 650
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701371 07/10/17 8:25 pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,017
K
Kev. Online Sick
BritBike Forum member
Online Sick
BritBike Forum member
K
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,017
If you get a chance check out the Giants Causway, I don't think you will have time for The Ring of Kerry


http://kevindean.zenfolio.com/

http://backstreetthunder.wordpress.com/



1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
2001 Road King
2006 BMW R1200GS




Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701376 07/10/17 8:58 pm
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,762
A
AngloBike Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Online Content
BritBike Forum member
A
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,762
Nice girl, Kerry

Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701423 07/11/17 8:39 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,271
R Moulding Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Online Content
BritBike Forum member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,271

Cant be much help as I've never been. Little tale that always stuck in my head though.....

My Father served with 2nd Para at the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland. One day whilst on patrol he felt a tap on his back, he raised his rifle as he spun around and pointed it at the face of an elderly woman. He told me she never flinched but handed him a medallion of the Virgin Mary and thanked him for his efforts.

Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701437 07/11/17 11:47 am
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 984
Don Leaming Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 984
In the North, the Antrim coast and Devils Causeway, Larne, and Belfast are not to be missed. In the south you need a couple of weeks to do Glendelough. Ring of Kerry, the Dingle, the Kennedy homestead near New Ross, Cobh and Cork, Jameson's in Midleton, the Cliffs of Mohr, Galway and the wilds of Connemara. And Dublin has so much. Temple Bar, the museums, St. Patrick's and Christ Church cathedral.
Jeese! ... This has got me going remembering the trip we had. Wish I could go for it again soon.
Don


1965 Royal Enfield Interceptor
1969 Triumph Tiger 650
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Lannis] #701591 07/13/17 12:18 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,952
T140V-Rich Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,952
Originally Posted by Lannis
Originally Posted by T140V-Rich
Use a travel wallet. We do whether here or there to prevent pickpockets (not picking on the Emerald Isle, it's the same everywhere).

Rich


Well, not everywhere, I've never had my pocket picked. Really rare here in the US any more, really bad in Belgium, Spain, urban France, Latin America. What's a travel wallet?

Lannis


It's kind of like a carpenter's apron, Lannis. You tuck your paper valuables inside, zip it closed. Then you wear the contraption around your waist and inside your britches. Someone says, "Gimme yer wallet!" And you reply, "O-tay!" Because nothing is in yer wallet.

To make a purchase, you simply excuse yerself to the loo, dig out a few pounds of $$, and return to make your checked a bit heavier.

I'd post a photo but the Bucket seems to want more for a photo than the entire wallet costs!

Rose and I both have them. Works wonders.

Cheers

Rich


1977 T-140V
1973 T-140V
2011 Bonneville SE
Author of "Relics and Reminiscing."
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Kent Shaun] #701592 07/13/17 12:24 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,952
T140V-Rich Offline
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,952
Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
Just remember one thing dude, when at the bar, you ask for say two pints of the Black stuff. The barkeep will hand over the drinks and say that'll be XX money, you DO NOT tip. Simply pay for the beer, walk to your table or place of drinking, quaff it, then repeat... beerchug

IF you have food with the beer, and it's not just a snack, you could tip, if you get a good meal or service. It's not compulsory like in Mericky, and the price on the ticket is the price the item is, they don't sit there thinking up what tax you'll have to pay... :bigt


THAT was a big help. The VAT - or in America, tax - is already added in. Whereas in Merica, we have to to some mental calculations and actually know how to do math, the Brits have done it for you! If it says 5.95 - it means 5.95. Loved that part!

Oh. Not sure if it's this way in Eire. But in London, the "look right" signs? MOST ingenious. Foreigners, huh. Don't know a thing about getting about. If in doubt at a crosswalk - look down. You see what I'm talking about. Helped make me look superior more'n oncest.

Cheers

Rich


1977 T-140V
1973 T-140V
2011 Bonneville SE
Author of "Relics and Reminiscing."
Re: First trip across the big pond [Re: Mike Baker] #701602 07/13/17 2:27 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,866
ricochetrider Online Content
Moto Mojo
Online Content
Moto Mojo
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,866
cars come from the right.... and they come FAST! not sure why but it always felt like they came a lot faster from the right than they do from the left. Problem for me, cuz I tend to step off the curb, THEN look. shocked

Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/13/17 2:28 am.

"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."


Moderated by  Alan_nc, Graham Ham 

Home | Sponsors | Newsletter | Regalia | Calendar | Bike Project | BritBike Museum | Spiders Cartoons | DVD- Manuals & Parts books
Upgrade to: Premium Membership | Premium Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3