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Travel Tips for Your Trip to Ireland – USI Affinity

Ireland: The Land of Golf, Pubs, and Much More!

By Chaitanya Bala

IrelandIn honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve decided to give you guys the 411 on the motherland that started it all: Ireland! I got the chance to sit down with USI Affinity’s CMO, Mike Murphy, and discuss his many trips to Ireland. He accredits his grandparents to being his initial inspiration to go to Ireland back in 1994. “I’m of Irish descent, so of course I wanted to visit one day,” he says. His grandparents grew up in an orphanage in County Cork in southern Ireland, after which they immigrated to the United States. After having gone back to the country of his ancestors a few times now, Mike has one thing he absolutely loves about Ireland: the plethora of amazing places to play golf and the beautiful countryside. But he has a full list of things you need to check out if you plan to go to Ireland anytime soon. So keep reading to get the inside scoop on everything you need to know for your trip to Ireland!


What to Pack:

First things first. Before heading out of the country, you need to pack. So what are the most important things you’ll want to take with you to Ireland? Aside from the obvious, such as clothes and toiletries, these are some of the special items you’ll want to pack in your suitcases:

Golf Clubs

If you’re planning to follow Mike’s advice and enjoy a few rounds of golf on the many golf courses in Ireland, this one’s pretty obvious. Pack your best golf clubs and head on over!


Ireland does get plenty of rainfall, which means there’s a high chance of you getting drenched at some point during your trip. That being said, it’s definitely a good idea to pack a couple raincoats, especially if you’re planning to explore those amazing golf courses!

“Discover Ireland” Guide

You could go old school and purchase the physical guidebook, or you could just download this awesome app before you head off to Ireland. It breaks down all the must-visit attractions for you, from historical landmarks to popular restaurants.


What to Eat:

A good vacation always requires great food. That goes without saying. And Irish food is the epitome of home-cooked comfort. When I talked to Mike, he recommended everyone check out two key places: John Kavanagh – The Gravediggers, a very traditional pub that’s been around since 1833, and O’Flaherty’s, an amazing pub that features live music and plenty of Irish fare. What to actually eat in Ireland, though? We’ve got the list right here:

Traditional Irish Breakfast

Irish-breakfastWhat’s a trip to Ireland without the staple full Irish breakfast? Make sure to wear comfy, loose clothes! With all that bacon, pork sausage, fried egg, white pudding, black pudding, toast, fried tomato, baked beans, hash brown, and soda bread, you’re going to need the extra waist room!

Bangers & Mash

A traditional staple in the British Isles, you need to try out this rather simple, yet popular dish. It’s basically just pork or beef sausage with mashed potatoes. You can garnish with onion, gravy, and peas.

Irish Stew

This is pretty much the heart and soul of Irish cuisine. Filled with hearty potatoes, juicy lamb, and other veggies, this stew is perfect for one of your rainy days in town.


Where to Go:

Per Mike’s recommendations, if you’re going to Ireland, you definitely should relish in two things: sightseeing in the beautiful countryside and other historical sites, and all the amazing golf courses. The countryside contains some of the greenest grass you’ll ever see. “When they say Ireland’s got 40 shades of green, they’re not lying!” says Mike when commenting on the countryside. And why not check out the greens of Ireland’s golf courses? Let’s dive in a little further to see where you should go!


Some of the historical and nature-oriented places you can check out throughout Ireland include:

Kilmainham Gaol

A prison and a museum all in one! The prison was first built in 1796 and housed prisoners until 1924. In 1971, it was renovated as a museum. It’s got creepy dungeons, and still has the actual prison cells of famous revolutionaries. Check out more information here.

Trinity College Library

Trinity College LibraryThis library is absolutely epic. Even if you’re not an avid reader, it’s still worth checking out this place. Remember the Jedi archives in Star Wars? Yeah, that entire setup was based on the Long Room in the Trinity College Library. It’s one of the grandest libraries you’ll ever encounter!

Blarney Stone

Okay, you can’t go on a trip to Ireland without kissing the Blarney Stone. It might sound like a bunch of blarney, but legend has it that if you kiss the blarney stone, you become an expert sweet-talker. Why not take your chances? Once you’re done, visit the historic Blarney Castle, dating back to the 1200s!

(Golf Courses)

Being a huge fan of golf, Mike has his go-to courses all marked up and ready for you golf lovers:

Waterville Golf Links

With a very fitting name, Waterville Golf Links allows you to play the challenging course as you overlook the beautiful North Atlantic Ocean. Rated the #1 golf course in the city of Waterville, this course is well-renowned for its amazing service and friendly employees. Don’t miss out!

Ballybunion Golf Club

Ballybunion Golf CourseRated as the #1 thing to do in Ballybunion on TripAdvisor, this golf course is an absolute treat. Golf lovers insist that this course is a must-visit. With an immaculate green setting to play in, you’ll feel like royalty. Mike recalls his most memorable moment at Ballybunion: “I eagled the par 5 in the 5th hole,” he says. “It was a great achievement at a challenging golf course.”


So there you have it – a great beginner’s guide of things to do and places to visit during your trip to Ireland. But don’t just stop with our list. There are many more things to do there, so research, always make sure to get insured before any trip, and do a bit of exploring on your own. And as Mike says, “Go play golf and enjoy the great people!”


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nice article, I really want to try this "Traditional Irish Breakfast"


Very nice and informative article. Ireland is a brilliant destination no matter if you're solo traveling,diving into the adventure with the family,friends or a big group. It's one of the greenest countries in the world. The scenery and landscape will make your jaw drop.
If you packing your luggage now, or just planning a trip to Ireland, we wish you the best holiday ever :)


There is so many things to do in Dublin and all Ireland. Dublin offers plenty of free attractions.You can discover so much about Ireland before you even reach your wallet-all National Ireland Museums offer free entrance for everyone. There are so much to see and do.And what could be better if you can have fun without any price-tag attached? Come and visit Ireland, its a very friendly country :)

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