Travel Tips

There are some very important issues which must be kept in mind when travelling abroad. Please take note of the following and refer to them in the future before you travel!

Passports

A passport is an internationally recognised travel document confirming your identity and nationality. In addition to confirming your identity and nationality, you passport essentially is a request from the Irish government that other governments abroad permit you to travel or stay in their country. While your passport is an internationally recognised travel document, it DOES NOT GIVE YOUan automatic right to enter other countries, you may also require a VISA to enter some countries. Check with the consulate of the countries you intend travelling to whether you require a visa.

From 1st October 2004 all children, regardless of age, must obtain an individual Irish passport in their own name.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid for the full duration of your holiday. In addition you should note that some overseas countries have an immigration requirement for a passport to remain valid for a minimum period after the date of entry to that country. If your passport is in its final year of validity, you are advised to check the requirements of the destination before you make your final travel plans. If you need to obtain a new passport, you should do so in good time. It can take up to 12 weeks to obtain a passport by post but this may vary depending upon the time of year.

All passports must be valid for up to 6 months after the date of return.

For more information CLICK HERE

Machine Readable Passports

All Irish passport holders must carry a machine readable passport when travelling to the U.S. If you don’t hold a machine readable Irish passport, you must obtain a visa to enter the U.S. Look at the bottom of your Irish passport (the photo page) for two lines that are typeface lines. These lines have letters, numbers and hatch marks. The two lines at the bottom of a machine-readable passport look like the following:

  • LINE 1:
    P COUNTRY LAST NAME<<FIRST NAME<MIDDLE NAME<<
  • LINE 2: 
    PASSPORT NUMBER COUNTRY DOB<<<<<<<<<

When read, these lines electronically provide information about your name, date of birth, address, nationality, etc. If you are a citizen of another country then you must obtain details from the embassy of that country detailing the requirements for travelling abroad from that embassy.

For more information CLICK HERE

Visas

Your Irish passport does not automatically allow you to enter some countries without a Visa whether you are going there on holiday or to work. Check first with the Embassy/Consulate of the country/countries you intend to visit and enquire in plenty of time before you travel as some visas can take weeks to issue.

For more information CLICK HERE

Enrty requirments when travelling to the USA

As of January 12th, 2009 all visitors from Visa Waiver countries (which includes Ireland) must apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). This replaces the green I-94 form. Please note this is a compulsory measure which has been implemented by the US Government. Failure to comply means that boarding maybe denied. Please be aware beginning September 8th, 2010 there is a $14 fee when applying for your ESTA number. Payment can be made on through the website listed below.

For more information CLICK HERE

Insurance

It cannot be stressed strongly enough how important it is that you have adequate Travel Insurance and that you are adequately insured. You must tell your travel agent about any health condition which you, those travelling with you, or someone on whose health your travel arrangements depend. If you don’t the insurance you have bought could turn out to be worthless.

For more information CLICK HERE

Vaccinations and Health

If you intend to travel to a tropical region or country where the conditions exist for the spread of infectious diseases, consult your doctor to discuss possible health risks. Certain diseases are prevalent in certain regions of the world, and can be contracted from consumption of contaminated water and food, especially in regions where standards of hygiene are low. If you are visiting such regions avoid certain foodstuffs like shellfish, salads and untreated water.

For more information CLICK HERE

DVT & Air Travel

There has been recent and extensive publicity highlighting the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or clotting of the blood in the legs. DVT has been quite incorrectly labelled “economy class syndrome”. The term “immobility syndrome” would be a much more accurate description.

The following advice has been obtained and you may find it useful:

  • Passengers who suffer from heart disease, lung disease, cancer or have a family history of DVT, are recommended to seek advice from their GP prior to flying. Other risk factors include malignancy, hormone treatment, recent surgery, recent trauma involving lower limbs and abnormalities of blood clotting factors.
  • If swelling occurs in the leg following a flight, medical advice should be sought -particularly if symptoms occur while on holiday prior to the return flight.
  • Purchase a pair of elastic compression stockings to wear for the duration of the flight. They promote the flow of blood through the legs.
  • Wear loose, baggy clothing during the flight.
  • If you can take aspirin, have one tablet on the morning of travel. This decreases the risk of a clot developing (please ensure that you consult your doctor first).
  • Drink plenty of water during the flight to dilute the risk of a blood clot. Too much alcohol tends to cause dehydration, which can increase the risk of clotting.
  • Doing a few simple exercises regularly from your seat during the flight, such as stretching your arms and legs and rotating your feet, helps to promote the flow of blood.

Swimming Pool & Water Safety

Swimming pools and indeed any water reserves present an inherent danger for children and poor swimmers in particular, but sometimes for even the most experienced swimmers. We ask that you remain extra vigilant in relation to members of your party, but also in relation to other holidaymaker’s, in and around the swimming pools in your holiday accommodation and in the sea.

Please pay particular attention to the following:

  • Most holiday complexes do not have dedicated life-guards and, even if they do, it is essential that you exercise extreme caution and particularly that you keep children under constant supervision in the pool and surrounding area.
  • It is important that you familiarise yourself with the pool depths and layout at the earliest possible opportunity after arriving at your accommodation, paying particular attention to any sharp drops in gradient or hidden obstructions which are a feature of some pools.
  • Tiles around some pools can become slippery when wet so take care not to run in the area.
  • Ear infections are commonplace, particularly amongst children, on holiday. Doctors advise that the main cause of ear infections is prolonged exposure of the ears to water and that children are particularly prone to developing ear infections when the ear is submerged in water within 48 hours of flying.
  • If there is a “No Diving” sign displayed, or if the water is less than 1.5 metres deep, please do not dive or jump into the pool.
  • If swimming in the sea, do not swim out of your depth and be aware of currents.
  • Do not swim in the sea when a red flag is being flown.
  • Avoid swimming after drinking alcohol or eating.

Sun Safety

Please be aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun.

Some of the following tips will help to ensure that you stay safe in the sun:

  • Avoid being in the sun when it is at its strongest – between 11am and 3pm.
  • Regularly apply a high factor sun cream (at least SPF 20+) and if dipping in and out of the pool or sea, ensure that your cream is fully water resistant and that you reapply it when you come out of the water. Alternatively, choose one of the creams that you can apply first thing in the morning (at least 1.5 hours before exposure to the sun) and that lasts for the entire day. These are particularly handy for children and people who are very active.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and be extra vigilant in relation to children’s heads and necks being well covered. Where possible stay in the shade rather than in direct sunlight.
  • Keep hydrated in hot climates by drinking plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Ensure that your eyes are protected by wearing sunglasses (wraparound if possible) with high UV protection.
  • Keep young babies out of the sun as much as possible.

Packing Tips

  • Put everything you are taking on the bed or floor, look at it carefully, and then eliminate 10-20% of it. You will probably be able to purchase whatever you need at your destination. You may want to leave room in your baggage for gifts purchased while in transit.
  • Pack the toiletry kit, valuables, essential documents, tickets and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag.
  • Pack all fluids in leak-proof containers and, if necessary, put the containers in Ziploc bags. Your luggage may experience pressure variations in transit. If possible, pack all fluids in your carry-on bag.
  • Colour co-ordinate clothes using one basic colour like black, brown or blue.
  • Reduce wrinkling by packing suits, shirts, dresses and blouses in plastic dry cleaning bags and packing everything tightly. 
    Do not allow airport security to X-ray bags containing exposed or unexposed film that is ASA 400 or greater. To pack film cartridges, take them out of the plastic cans and put them in a clear bag. At the airport checkpoint, hand the film to the security guard and request a hand check. Lead-lined storage bags are not effective against modern airport x-ray equipment.
  • Attach luggage tags with your name, home address and phone number to all baggage, including carry-on items. For extra safety, attach additional tags containing contact information at your next destination before each plane trip. Another good thing to do is to place tags inside your luggage (to facilitate recovery of stolen bags).
  • Fragile items (ceramics, glass, artwork, etc.) should be packed in carry-on luggage. If you must pack them in checked luggage, wrap them in plastic bubble wrap or Styrofoam chips. There should be at least 10 centimetres (4 inches) between the item and the sides of the bag or box. Newspaper wrapping is usually not effective against the rigors of modern baggage handling methods. Lock all checked luggage.
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