When you attend college in Dublin you will invariably have to travel in one form or another during your studies. Whether you commute to Dublin or just travel around the city by bus or rail, we have some handy tips and information for you.
We also understand that the Summer break can be an opportunity for you to spread your wings and explore the world- be it on a J1 or couple of weeks in Asia, we have some handy hints for travelling abroad too.
If we haven't covered something, or are looking for further information, do drop into your local SU office and ask us.
Q. Within Ireland
Pros: Healthy, free and theres pretty much nowhere you cant walk to in Dublin.
Cons: Those occasional times that it happens to rain here in Ireland you may get a little wet! In certain areas, late night walking might not be the safest and you need to have your wits about you on the street. Best tip - never walk and talk. Put your mobile phone away when on the street. Be mindful if you have your headphones in.
Conclusion: Invest in a light rain jacket and a little umbrella for your bag and youll be set. Always keep safe late at night, let someone know where you are going and try to avoid walking alone.
Pros: Even healthier and not very expensive (get a Long term hire card €10 year- long subscription to Dublin Bikes or check out the DITSU Ents App when it goes live for some great student bike deals). Good in a hurry with the cycle lanes. Every college has a bike rack, ask the local Porters about the arrangement on your DIT campus.
Cons: Weather may be an issue and not all drivers are as mindful as they should be of cyclists. Theft can be a problem if your bike isnt locked up well.
Conclusion: A rain-jacket, a helmet, a reflective vest and a good lock and youre set to be in good shape and good time. Lockers are useful and available in each college if you wish to store some cycle gear, contact your local SU for more details.
Pros: With over 5000 stops youre never too far from a Dublin Bus. RTPI (Real Time Passenger Information - the sign that tells you how long the bus will be) are becoming more common and more accurate. Last bus by tradition leaves town 11.30pm. Nitelink services are available too on a Friday and Saturday night for those of you looking for a bus after hours.
Cons: A little expensive and with so many numbers it can all be a little confusing. Wont take notes - coins only, and no change given, just a receipt for you to go collect that 20c or whatever change you are due.
Conclusion: Get to their website or app to help plan your route and calculate the fare. Or use the Bustxt service.
Pros: Very regular, very punctual and not too expensive.
Cons: Can still leave you a bit of a walk to the college. Getting caught without a ticket is a definite bummer. Very handy for commuting to major Train stations, Bus Aras and the O2 Arena.
Conclusion: An easy way to travel if youre fortunate to live near a Luas or DART stop.
Pros: Come and go as you please. Pack in more luggage and passengers.
Cons: Lots. Driving to and from college every day means rush hour traffic, paying for petrol and parking. It is not cost effective for a student to drive to college. There is no car park space in DIT for students. DIT is striving to be a greener campus, especially as we move to Grangegorman where there will most likely not be parking available for students. If you must drive we encourage students to car pool. The Smarter Travel at DIT team will be promoting other options on throughout the year.
Conclusion: If you can avoid driving to and from college - do. Check out the DITSU Ents card for car parking discounts.
Get a Student Travel Leap Card right away. It’s only €15 from Bolton Street or Aungier Street Student Union shop, has loads of discounts for shops and services as well as gets you cheaper prices on the DART, Luas, Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and CIE buses and you can even use it to pay on the Dublin Bus, Luas and DART.
Top Travel Apps
Google Maps. Cost: Free. See the shortest routes and never get lost around the city again.
Dublin Bus. Cost: Free. Shows you what stops are close by, gives you real time bus info for every stop and lets you plan your routes all from your phone. Never miss that bus again.
Luas. Cost: Free. Gives you real time info for luas arrivals and departures from every stop.
Hailo. Cost: Free. Lets you hail or schedule a taxi to pick you when and where you want.
Top Travel Websites:
Google Maps and Dublin Bus websites are fantastically easy to use.
HitTheRoad.ie is a great site for planning a journey around the city, pulling together walking routes, Luas, Dart and Dublin Bus.
GetThere.ie For those that are commuting into college or heading home for the weekend, this website pulls together nearly all the public and private transport timetables so you can plan your route exactly.
National Journey Planner. Does the same thing as GetThere.ie but includes Dublin Bus and Luas too and shows your journey on a map. It can be a little more complicated to use however.
Q. Outside Ireland
Before you leave:
Read up on the countries you plan to visit, this gives you a taste of what you are about to experience.
Get a good rucksack and bring essentials with you. Clothes, sun cream, condoms and sunglasses.
Make photocopies of your passport, tickets and insurance: keep one set of copies in your luggage separate from the originals and keep a set at home. If you do lose the originals then at least you'll have those.
Talk to others who have made the journey before to see what specific advice they might have.
The Erasmus programme is an amazing chance for you to spend a semester or two studying somewhere in Europe. To see what options are available to you talk to your Schools Erasmus Corrdinator or Caoimhe Mulhall in the DIT International office for more information.
There is a grant available for students going on the Erasmus programme; check out the details here.
Some courses offer chances to study even further than Europe; talk to your Erasmus Coordinator about these opportunities.