06.01.2016 Travel Insurance
St. Patrick’s Day has become a global celebration of Irish culture and heritage when everybody gets to be Irish – for one day at least. Whether you are planning on visiting one of the many St. Patrick’s Day parades on offer around the country or just enjoying a singsong in the local pub, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind to keep the festivities cheerful.
The St. Patrick’s Day festivities bring a lot of tourism to Ireland and most cities and towns are much busier than they normally are. This is particularly true around the time of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. When in a crowd you should always stay alert and be on the lookout for signs of trouble. Have a plan for how you will exit the crowd and get to safety if things become unruly. If you have children with you, make sure to keep them close at all times and ensure they know how to get help should you become separated. Make sure to keep your possessions safe as pickpockets and thieves thrive in crowded environments.
Unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day is often accompanied by an increase in the number of drunk drivers on the roads. Incidents of arrests, injuries and even deaths on the roads are much higher on St. Patrick’s Day than most other days. It should go without saying that you should never ever drink and drive but just because you are sober doesn’t mean you are completely safe. Be on the lookout for other road users who may be driving erratically. If you are uncomfortable with a car driving in front of or behind you, pull over and let it pass. You may also consider avoiding unnecessary journeys, especially late at night when there is a higher chance of motorists being under the influence.
Some of the best fun to be had on St. Patrick’s Day can be found in local pubs and bars. The festive spirit is often most noticeable here, with singsongs, music, and dancing through the night. Pubs are likely to be incredibly busy on St. Patrick’s Day so make sure you don’t let your guard down. Always keep your drink in view and do not accept a drink from a stranger. Keep your possessions close by and do not leave a mobile phone on the table or a handbag by your feet as this is an invitation for thieves.
Whether it’s a pint of the black stuff or a drop of whiskey, there is no doubt that alcohol has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But if you do decide to indulge, make sure you don’t overdo it. Pace yourself while drinking and don’t try to keep up with others in your party. Make sure to have something to eat before and during so that you are not drinking on an empty stomach. Never mix your drinks, especially those you are not familiar with. And most importantly, know your limit.
Wherever you decide to go and however you decide to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, make sure to have a plan to get home safely. If you are going to use public transport, make sure to plan this in advance and know your route. If public transport is unavailable, arrange to be picked up or make sure to bring some cash for a taxi ride home. If none of these are possible or if you have had a few drinks too many, stay at a friend’s place and make your way home the next day. And as always, never ever drink and drive.
Instead of heading outside and dealing with the crowds, you may decide to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home this year. If you are having some guests over to celebrate, try to make it a safe one. Provide food and snacks for your guests so they don’t have to drink on an empty stomach. Have phone numbers for local taxi companies ready and prepare to let friends stay the night so that no one has the urge to drink and drive. Don’t leave any drink containers lying around and empty out cups and glasses, especially if there are curious children and pets in the house.
Hopefully these tips can help to make sure that you, your friends and family have an enjoyable and safe St. Patrick’s Day this year. Of course, if you are looking to venture out and celebrate in another country, our last tip is that your purchase travel insurance. AIG travel insurance includes some great benefits including personal baggage cover, passport and travel document cover and 24/7 emergency assistance from just €4.93*. Find out more by visiting our travel insurance page now.
*Cover for one individual aged 18-54 travelling for 1 day to Europe, Budget Cover.