Back in November, one of my best friends planned a trip to Ireland + Scotland for her spring break and as soon as she told me about it I decided to tag along.
You might be thinking to yourself, how did a group of college students (+ recent grads ;)) afford to vacation in Europe? STA Travel’s how. STA Travel is a travel agency specifically designed to get the best deals possible for college students and people under the age of 26 – aka all the broke people. Can I get a hallelujah?!
Our ROUND TRIP flight only cost $417 – that’s NOTHING when considering how far you’re going! And, we split AIRBNB’s between the six of us so that cut the cost down too.
Long story short, our trip was super affordable and I could not be happier that I decided to go. Traveling the world and seeing different cultures, places and all the beautiful people God’s created is the best thing anyone can do – especially while you’re young and have the chance!
So, if you ever make it out to Ireland (which I highly recommend!) here’s what you should do:
- Cliffs of Moher: If you are going to Ireland you MUST see these cliffs – hands down one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen (and I’m lucky enough to have seen a lot so trust me on this one!). We stayed in Dublin, which is on the complete opposite coast but they have amazing public transportation over there so getting to the cliffs is a piece of cake. And you can even leave a message in a bottle for a lucky soul to find!
- Kiss the Blarney Stone: Because what’s better than leaning backwards over a 4-story ledge and kissing a germ-infected rock with a strange old man holding onto you? NOTHING. You have to do it and when you do you’ll get the ‘gift of gab’ (whatever that means). Plus, the Blarney Castle is located on acres of beautiful gardens, stone castles and the best Irish coffee – it’s a win-win!
- Go to the Guinness Factory: I don’t even like beer and I loved the Guinness Factory. You start at the bottom of the factory and slowly make your way up seven floors as you walk through tons of interactive rooms learning about how beer’s made and the history of Guinness. Then, you end at the “Gravity Bar” where you drink a pint of Guinness in a glass bar overlooking the city of Dublin.
- Eat LOTS of food: Irish people eat a lot of meat, potatoes and bread so you should too (the treadmill will be there when you get home but their delicious food won’t)! Here’s a list of my favorite foods from the trip:
- Shepard’s pie from The Pie Maker in Galway – the trendiest, most hipster mom + pop shop I’ve ever seen
- Fish + Chips from Leo Burdock – this place has been in Dublin since 1913 so you know it’s good!
- Irish Coffee – you can get it wherever your heart tells you to but you must get it somewhere!
- THE BEST THING I’VE EVER EATEN (I ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture)! Before I devoured it, it was an “O’Flynn’s gourmet Irish sausage” with garlic mayo, crispy onions, sweet and sour sauce and caramelized onions – praise Jesus for that creation is all I’m saying
- Last but not least, visit Cork: While I was in Ireland, I was lucky enough to see so much of the country and it’s safe to say that Cork was my favorite city. Located in southern Ireland, Cork is filled with the most colorful buildings, the cutest markets and the sweetest people!