One of the best aspects of studying abroad is the fact that you have the opportunity to travel to so many different countries! You learn very quickly how to plan worthwhile trips. However, sometimes the best way to travel is through travel agencies. There are so many student-centered travel companies out there these days that streamline your planning while still giving you an amazing travel experience. I will be sharing my experience with a student-centered travel company with you all today, as well as my thoughts and whether or not I would use their services again. Come along for the ride!
My friend Jessa and I first heard about Bus2Alps while we were in London. One of our friends used their services and verified that, yes, they are a legitimate travel company that specializes in student group tours of different cities and countries. We decided to check out their Ireland: Coast to Coast itinerary and were pleased not only with the planned excursions, but the price, as well. We booked our Bus2Alps trip and our flights that night!
The weekend of the trip came and we were so excited! Included in our trip package was our hostel accommodation, breakfast daily, all excursions, all transportation to and from excursions, and a Dublin city tour. Things that weren’t included were our flights, transportation from the airport to our hostel, and lunches and dinners. The itinerary offered something for everyone: history, shopping, beautiful views... I could go on! It also left room for free time to explore Dublin, which was amazing. We got to meet locals and truly experience the city.
I’ve written about the hostel we’ve stayed in before, but let me say it again: if you’re looking to save money and want a clean, comfortable place to sleep, definitely consider staying at Jacobs Inn. The rooms looked like they had been renovated within the last few years, were clean, and certainly served its purpose.
The excursions planned for us took us from the eastern coast of Ireland to the western coast. Our hub was Dublin, which to this day is one of my favorite places in the world. We had our own tour guide take us around the city and teach us about Irish history. As an Irish gal, I was in Heaven! We also got to go to the Guinness Storehouse and have the freshest pints of Guinness in the world, where I learned that I’m more of a Jameson person. One day, we had lunch at the infamous O’Neills—vegetable soup, please! Theirs is the best. The excursions were so fun! I learned so much about Irish culture (re: Guinness, ha) and the land my family come from on this trip.
We also took a ride to the Cliffs of Moher (see above) and Galway. The Cliffs were absolutely gorgeous. The day we went was a bit foggy and misty, which added to how tragically beautiful the scene was.
Mini history lesson: many people have died at the Cliffs throughout the years, including many international tourists. There is a memorial stone honoring the lives that have been lost. Much of what we see today at the Cliffs of Moher is due to the work of Cornelius O’Brien, whose voluntary efforts during the Famine helped save many Irish lives, provided education to the children of the Cliffs, and brought life to Liscannor, Co. Clare.
TL;DR: Please don’t pretend to fall from the Cliffs. This is a historic landmark that is incredibly meaningful and special.
I’m a Healy by blood. It was my grandmother’s maiden name. Our family primarily lived in the Muenster region of Ireland generations ago, which is fairly close to Galway. Healy was EVERYWHERE in Galway: Healy bus tours, Healy barbershop... you name it, it was Healy. It felt like she was with me on this trip. Beyond trying Irish foods and learning more about the history, I felt even more connected to my family’s past in such a personal way. This trip reignited my interest in genealogy and I’ve been tracking my family tree ever since. I’ve gotten to the late 1700s on my Irish side!
Back in Dublin on one of our last nights, a group of us (including one of our awesome Bus2Alps tour leaders!) went to the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland. I ended up trying the burger and steak fries (pictured above) and they did NOT disappoint. Irish meats and cheeses are some of the best in the world. (If you’d like a taste of that yourself, go to your local grocery store and look for Kerrygold products — thanks to my Aunt for getting me hooked on them!) It was so fun getting to know the tour leaders and hang out with them. It truly embodied the spirit of Ireland—we’re all friends!
There‘s so much more about my trip that I could tell you about, but I’m sure you’re wondering how I feel about Bus2Alps (hence the title). Would I recommend booking a tour through them?
I cannot recommend them enough! They know how to plan amazing trips at really good prices. I believe my trip was about €248, with €69 flights. Total, I paid less than $400 USD for the entire trip. Considering everything we did, the meals that were included, the transportation to and from everything, all the history we learned about, and how much fun we had, I definitely think it was worth the price. If Jessa and I had booked everything separately, it would’ve cost us more money and would’ve been quite the hassle to organize on our own. I almost booked a trip to Morocco through them, but other trips were happening and I also wanted weekends to spend in London.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip to Ireland, as well as my review of Bus2Alps! Thanks for coming along for the ride. x
FTC: This post is not sponsored. I’m not affiliated with Bus2Alps. All opinions are my own.