Croissant Craic Travel Tips - #1

Exciting news!  Well, exciting for me anyway.  My parents have booked their flight to Ireland; and shortly after their visit my Aunt Jane and Uncle Jim are also planning on coming over!  None of them have ever been to Ireland before so the pressure is on to be an excellent hostess and tour guide. The hostess part I'm pretty sure I can handle, it's the tour guide part that scares me.  We have only been here for five months and have barely scratched the surface on all Ireland has to offer, so I'm not sure how well we will fare as guides. 

I have been assisting my parents with their travel arrangements and accommodations and it got me thinking about a few things they should know before they go! So I have been compiling a list specific to Ireland, but I would recommend researching these things before you take a trip just about anywhere outside of your own country. 

Rather than bore you with one long post of my top ten travel tips, I am going to bore share with you ten short post over the next few weeks! 

The first tip is about exactly that, tipping!

Adam and I always find tipping customs to be different from place to place and if you are in a situation and not familiar with what is customary it can be awkward. We have totally been there before! When in doubt we revert back to American tipping standards, which we have learned are a little bit different than things here in Ireland. What we have learned about tipping here in Ireland is this: 

Chowing Down
Unlike in the US where waitstaff only make minimum wage, here they are paid a living wage and do not rely solely on tips to survive.  This is not to say that tips aren't appreciated.  In a full service restaurant leaving a 10% tip is fairly common assuming the service and quality of the food were good.  However, we've been in a few restaurants where the service was as the Irish say "shite" and did not feel badly about not leaving a tip behind.  In the states I don't think I could ever do that, even if the service was not stellar.  I've been a waitress before (not fun) and it's just hard not to leave at least a little something.  

Out at the Pub
It seemed so odd to me when I first heard this, but it is completely normal to not leave the bartender a tip. Tips are simply not expected. Ordering my first few pints I couldn't break the habit of leaving behind a euro for the bartender, but as we have adjusted to life here I'm finding it easier and easier not to. So, unless they tell a great joke or give you extra special service do not feel badly about not leaving a tip. Adam ninja edit-don't worry, you still pay that tip in the end with €4.60 pints (~6.75 USD) of 4.5% beer

Getting a Lift
Much like the bartender situation it struck me as odd that taxi drivers don't really expect a tip here.  You can typically just round up the fare. Of course if your driver was particularly helpful, engaging, and courteous a 5-10% tip would surely be appreciated. Interestingly it is not uncommon for the driver to actually round the fare down, something a US cabby would never do!

Sleeping Over
If you are staying in a small or family run B&B, (and believe me there are a million of them here in Ireland!) tipping for food service or housekeeping is not expected. Unless of course you're staying at Chez Croissant, we gladly accept tips (in liquid form anyway. That means you can buy us a beer!)  In a larger hotel a small tip left for the maid is acceptable, but not required.

Hopefully that helps for those of you planing  a visit to the Emerald Isle. If it is somewhere else you are heading, consider researching their tipping customs ahead of time; it might just save you an awkward moment or two!


  1. Great points, CC! This is one of the many things that trip up visitors here. Have fun with your visitors! :)

  2. Hi Kristin! I finally read all of your blog, and I love it. My favorite parts are the food and home decorating posts. Guess what? I finally found a job! I will be working for National Starch in Bridgewater, NJ as a sensory technologist. I can't wait to get started, but now I will have to find a place to live! I might have to ask you for cheap decorating ideas. Oh, and if you send me those biscuits and tea, I will send you jewelry! :) Tell Adam that I said Hi!

  3. Thanks for the tips! (pun intended) I'm traveling to Ireland in a few weeks and I can't wait! Do you know what kind of Ireland plug adapter I'll need? I've never been, and I want to make sure I'm able to use all of my electronics. Thanks!

  4. Kelly, it's as if you read my mind! The next travel tip is in fact about electricity! I started working on it a few days ago and plan on getting it posted early this week, so stay tuned! Good luck with your upcoming trip! I'm going to cover weather also, but just a heads up light layers are important here. You can get all four seasons in one day!

  5. Katie,
    I'm so glad to hear your enjoying the blog, thanks for reading! Been toying with tackling quinoa sometime soon as a What's Cookin' post, so if you have any recipes that you particularly love let me know!
    Best of luck with the move and your new job! Keep in touch!

  6. “I would recommend researching these things before you take a trip just about anywhere outside of your own country.” It is true; researching does make a difference. It makes you more equipped in terms of what to find or what to do in a certain situation. Anyway, it would be interesting to read another entry if ever you or your parents would have another trip. :)

    Trudi Thorburn