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Tips for Overseas Visitors
Alternative Airlines If   you   are   traveling   from   North   America,   there   are   a   number   of   new   airlines   to   check   out   with   flights   to Shannon,   just   45   minutes   from   the   Gathering,   and   Dublin   Airport,   which   is   3   ½   hours   drive   or   5   ½   hours   by     bus. Norwegian Air Air fares are available for the period covering the Gathering for $436 round trip to Shannon, Wow Airlines Wow is based in Iceland and has a fare to Dublin from Newark covering the weekend for around $460. There are a number of other low cost airlines that can be found online. Flying with Your Instrument If   you   are   a   bass   player   we   can   try   to   arrange   for   a   bass   at   the      Gathering.   All   hand   carried   instruments, guitars,    banjos,    fiddles,    etc.    must    be    allowed    on    board    for    all    US    airlines    based    on    FAA    regulations implemented   in   2014   state   that   if   there   is   space   on   board   in   the   overhead   or   closet   when   the   passenger boards .   Thus   it   is   important   to   be   at   the   gate   early   and   get   an   early   boarding   assignment.   This   may   involve paying   a   surcharge,   using   an   airline   charge   card   to   purchase   your   ticket   or   what   ever   else   is   necessary.   It   is worth it.  Click on FAA and print out the attachment, Rental Cars Rental   cars   are   available   at   Shannon   and   Dublin Airport   for   as   little   as   $1   -   $5   a   day   for   the   period.   While   this is   a   great   price,   there   is   a   catch..insurance.   If   you   are   not   a   Hertz   Gold   or Avis   President’s   Club   you   will   have to   put   a   €5,000   hold   on   your   credit   card   to   cover   damages   if   you   use   the   insurance   that   comes   with   your   credit card   or   current   auto   policy.   The   alternative   is   paying   an   outrageous   daily   fee   for   local   insurance,   It   is   also   a good   idea   to   request   a   “Certificate   of   Insurance”   from   your   credit   card   or   insurance   company.   You   may   be asked for it. The   roads   in   West   Clare   tend   to   be   quite   narrow   and   many Americans   get   spooked   by   the   large   tourist   buses coming   at   them.   Remember   those   drivers   are   experts   and   they   will   never   cross   the   center   divider.   Simply   stay on   your   side   of   the   center   line   and   you   won’t   blow   a   tire   on   the   passenger   side   of   the   car.   Typical   shoulders   in Clare are 6” and then you hit a stone wall. Currency Exchange The   best   way   to   take   cash   with   you   is   with   a   credit   or   debit   card.   A   US   card   works   in   any   Irish   ATM   and   you get    the    best    possible    rate.    Some    banks    charge    additional    fees    for    foreign    transactions    which    includes accommodation,   car   rentals,   etc.   Check   with   your   bank   and   find   out   if   there   is   a   charge   and   the   rate.   One   of the cards you carry may have a better rate than another. Cell Phones If   you   are   on   AT&T,   T-Mobile   and   any   other   US   based   GSM   carrier   your   phone   should   work.   Make   sure   you have   an   affordable   roaming   rate   for   Ireland   or   leave   your   phone   in   Airplane   mode   and   use   readily   available wifi.   You   can   get   some   excellent   deals   on   a   local   sim   card   for   around   $20   but   probably   not   worth   it   for   just   the weekend.   If   you   are   on   Verizon   or   any   other   CDMA   network,   your   phone   may   work   if   it   is   a   current   smart “world phone” like the Iphone or the Samsungs. More overseas travel information to come.