More preparing and Ireland sightseeing ideas

Irish Flag

Since my last post about my upcoming global studies, I did some more browsing for items I’ll need for traveling to Ireland. Sears, Boscov’s and Macy’s gave me a few ideas regarding price ranges on their websites. It was better that I see the features in person. So while visiting a friend in the King of Prussia area, I decided to see what the stores there had to offer.

Looking at luggage at one store, I saw prices that were well beyond my budget. Even on sale! That did reflect very stylish options and impressive features. One carry-on could expand to fit more, than be pushed back in to take up less space. Many sections were arranged in easy-to-access fashion. However, I had to pass for the moment on purchasing it. There were smaller items I found for which I might return to Bag’N Baggage, such as a handy charging tool and cord wrap.

Charge Tool BB KOP 1

Cord Wrap BB KOP 1

At The Container Store, I found a good cross-body bag by Lug, for the everyday excursion. It’ll be great for the business side of the trip as we make stops at several companies and also has room for an iPad. I also bought a new USB cord that came with a wall adapter, but would have with or without the upcoming trip. One day, my old one was working fine. The next, I was getting errors such as “could not recognize device” when trying to charge my phone from either computer.

Now, added to my list of what I need to take care of and what to pack:

  • Phone service set up for travel abroad (to avoid extra fees for use)
  • Cord wrappers
  • My headphones

I decided to bring my DSLR camera with me as well; I’ll just need to make enough room in my carry-on. So, with that, I add to my list:

  • Camera charger (I’m glad it just plugs directly into an outlet; one less cord)
  • Battery
  • Memory cards
  • Zoom lens

Canon DSLR

Regarding the camera charger, I have to look into universal ones and what is needed based on the type of item to be charged. It seems like an odd question, if the camera would need a separate universal charger than my phone / laptop / iPad. However, I just want to cover everything, being new at this. Of course, that also means medical items to remember:

  • Have a record of any Rx info
  • Proof of Rx being for me
  • Check CDC website info
  • Get country-based facts from local hospital on vaccines needed
  • Make appointment for vaccines

I’ll be glad to get those out of the way. For any travel abroad in the next few years, that’s one less thing to check off of my to-do list.

Although I bought some travel guidebooks for both Dublin and Northern Ireland, I probably won’t bring those. I think that Belfast is the most likely place we’ll have the chance to see in Northern Ireland. I may just download an app for handy reference. In the meantime, the books are a great pre-trip resource!

Ireland N Ire Books

I also read a lot of blog posts by different travel bloggers and love to learn about the places they visit. Some pursue a life of exploring, with tips on financing round-the-world adventures. Whether or not I were ever to do that, even just once, I don’t know. Heading into my first international travel experience, I’ve found there has been a great deal to learn as I prepare. It’s been very interesting and I’m so glad for this opportunity due to the many travel firsts involved for me.

As I closed my last post, I wrote of this upcoming trip inspiring me. In reading about those other travel bloggers’ worldwide journeys, I wanted to do what they do. I’ll be getting a taste of that during my time in Ireland. With my departure to Dublin gets closer, I’ve begun to imagine where I’d travel to next.

I would love to go to Scotland, whether as a quick side trip from Ireland or on a return visit to the British Isles. We’ll have some leisure time and depending on the schedule, maybe going to Edinburgh and checking out a festival would work out. If so, it would be another travel goal to check off: being in the right place at the right time to attend a world-famous annual celebration abroad. Caernarfon, across the Irish Sea from Dublin, is one area in Wales that I’d try to visit if time allows. I’ve got so many sites around the U.K. that are on my must-see list, I’ll definitely make plans to return.

Back in Ireland, part of the way through its countryside between Dublin and Galway (mapped on Google), is a castle I mentioned in a previous post. I first saw Charleville Forest Castle featured in a TV show segment and thought its architecture stunning! Ever since, I thought that if I had the chance to visit Ireland, this would be one castle I’d try to see. Among others, of course. I love castles and have a number of books on them, covering many throughout the British Isles.

A few other books I have on my shelves, specific to Ireland include:

  • Castles of Ireland – Brian De Breffney (text), George Mott (photos)
  • Spectacular Ireland – Peter Harbison (text), multiple photographers
  • Irish Houses & Castles – Desmond Guinness, William Ryan
  • In Ruins The Once Great Houses of Ireland – Duncan McLaren (text), Simon Marsden (photos)

Reading through my guidebooks, I’ve learned helpful info on going by train between Dublin and Belfast. It seems that an overnight stay could be required, especially if any of us wants to head up to where Dunluce Castle is located. Within Belfast, however, my main interest is the Titanic Quarter.

Whatever sites are explored, it will be exciting to me and I’ve already set up a Flickr album for any photos I take along the way (with just one placeholder photo for now – check back soon). In Dublin alone, I’ll join my group following the steps of literary greats. Maybe I’ll even spot some places linked to my ancestors, a large number of whom came from a country I love from afar.

During my stay, I’ll take note of any experiences from which I can share tips and build them up for a summary post. Once the trip is behind me, I’d like to reflect on it in such a way that will help others who wish to visit Dublin.

About caroldwyer

A freelance photographer and blogger, I'm also a non-traditional graduate of Cabrini College with a B.A. in communication, minor in English and concentration in film studies. As a student, I was a staff writer, photographer and copy editor for the Loquitur. In my final semester, I assisted in promoting campus literary events for Woodcrest Literary Magazine. I love travel, historic places, nature, wildlife and the arts. I hope to be involved in some way with one of those areas throughout my media career. Currently, I'm pursuing my M.F.A. in creative writing and publishing. Read my film blog at - and my literary blog at
This entry was posted in Air Travel, Belfast, British Isles, Cameras, Castles, Dublin, Flickr, Global Studies, International, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Photography, Scotland, Shopping, Study Abroad, Tours, Travel, UK, What To Pack and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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