Travel hacks

There is a lot of different travellers we get in the hostels– people looking for a party weekends, groups of friends celebrating birthdays or other special occasions, people attending events, families looking for a budget friendly options, backpackers who are taking their time and exploring Ireland (and Europe, and World) or long term hostel people who decided to make our hostel their home for few weeks at the time. Sometimes, we see people with massive suitcases for a long weekend getaway. And sometimes we see travellers who have been on a road for a year with one backpack. Over the last 20 years or so of running a hostel, we have picked up a thing or two that might help you with travelling better! These are ultimate travel hacks you need to know:

Packing hacks:

The best travel hack ever? Roll your clothes! You will be able to fit more in the suitcase! It’s true and it works! Actually, some more cool packing tips are here

Then… Make sure to scan your passport and email it to yourself and screenshot your travel confirmations so you don’t have to search for WiFi in a foreign country to get them! Same with directions & maps – make sure to have offline versions so you can find your way without spending money!
Extra power pack is always handy. And if you have things that use batteries (like cameras for example) – pop batteries into fridge as they retain far more charge that way. Crazy, eh?

Flying hacks:

Budget airlines are the way to go! Make sure to check airfares with search engines like Skyscanner, kayak, momondo or similar. Subscribe to their alerts to see how the prices for your destinations change. Get on the airlines newsletters for the best deals – pro tip: open new email address to subscribe to all airlines you normally use and their deals so they are not all clogging your main mailbox. 

Check out airlines you normally don’t fly with for cool and unexpected stopovers. WOW air flies between Europe and USA with stopover in Iceland. Who wouldn’t want to go to Iceland for a stopover?! Norwegian flies from small airports in New York and Boston to Ireland from like $100 per way. That is a great deal! 


Dublin at around 6am this morning…

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Don’t just book a flight before checking deals and dates close to your intended dates of travel. Tuesday used to be the cheapest day to fly – check it out 🙂
Ryanair is probably the cheapest when it comes to flying into Ireland from Europe, so do keep it in mind. It always pays to book as much as possible in advance and clear your cookies before booking to get the current deal, rather than deal you already checked.
Have you ever pretended you are on the honeymoon just to get upgraded on the long haul flights? Yes, so did we! And it works! 

Sleeping hacks:

Hostels are obviously the way to go! More than just lines of bunk beds in the rooms, modern hostels are urban meeting places with wide variety of accommodation to fit any budget!
In Barnacles hostels, we have range of dorms from 12-4 beds; these are perfect for the budget travellers or groups & families that want their own rooms. We also have private twin and double rooms which are perfect for couples looking for budget place to stay but still have their own privacy. As we have two hostels, one in Dublin and one in Galway, you can get discount when travelling to both.


Galway on a sunny day! Stunning! When are you visiting?

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And there are things like free breakfast (with pancakes!!!), free Wi-Fi and free tours that will make it easier on your wallet! Also, especially if you are on the longer trip, buy food in the supermarket and cook it yourself. You will save ton of money on eating out and you can splurge that on really special meals or indeed, more travel! Not sure how to cook? Start with mug cakes – you will find most of the ingredients on our free food shelf anyway!

Travel hacks in Ireland:

Never pay for expensive water at the airport – find €1 water bottles if you don’t have your bottle. Bring empty bottle or fold-able bottle you can fill in after clearing security. In fact, don’t pay for food either – bring a sandwich & snacks!
Check for the best pubs to go to with guys working hostel’s reception – their recommendations will be better than any guidebook will ever give you.

In Ireland, museums are free of charge, so if you want to get cultured pop to one of the museums and explore Irish history. When you are at it, make use of the free walking tour which goes in both Dublin & Galway daily – it will give you a great overview of city and great tips on where to continue with your explorations. 
Use public buses, ask for discounts and flash your student card everywhere! You may get more then you through you would! City passes are usually good value if you are planning on a lot of sightseeing, and your airport transfers are usually included in these. That’s a good saving right there! Oh, make sure to check deals sites like Groupon for discounted tours and activities, just make sure they are valid for your dates!

Remember, the best way to get a deal & discount is to ask for it! Check out our offers page to get started with  money saving on your next trip to Ireland!