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Airfares \Airfares for mid February from the US are currently running between $400 and $650 round trip. United is currently one of the least expensive of the major carriers and I have never had any issues putting a banjo in the overhead, 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 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.