A road trip is the best way to visit the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Unlike many European countries, trains are scarce in rural areas. From the USA, you can fly into Shannon (County Clare) in the west or Dublin airport in the east.
At first, the thought of driving on the right side of the road was intimating until a taxi driver in Dublin advised. “Follow the guy in front of you. Make wide left turns and close right turns.”
Busy roundabouts were other stressors. Learn the roundabout rules – cars in the roundabout have the right of way and move to the inner lanes if you are exiting at the 3rd or 4th turn.
The best piece of advice I can give you about renting a car in Ireland is buy full insurance coverage on the rental car. Spend the money on vehicle replacement costs. The rental agency associates examine every inch of every returned vehicle. A few scratches from a roadside bush, or a mirror shattered hitting a fence post to avoid a tour bus on the Slea Head Drive could cost you more than the insurance.
Slea Head Drive is a scenic coastal drive near Dingle. The road is narrow and most of the sites (famine era cottage, stone huts, and feeding the animals) are a steep walk uphill.