Packing for Ireland is easy … if you know what to bring. While being an experienced traveler always helps, it’s also important to take into account that packing for Ireland is a bit different. It’s an island. And we don’t mean the tropical kind.
We mean the kind of island where the Gulf Stream keeps Dingle very warm (perfect for a new Ireland whiskey distillery), but turns the Aran Island into a frigid mess. So, make sure you know what you’re getting into … or out of … while you’re packing for Ireland. Here are six of our best tips:
Know your itinerary.
Will you be mostly in the city of Dublin? Or traveling to the Western most point of Europe (Dingle)? When you know where you’re going, you can accommodate your wardrobe.
You may want to pack nicer clothes for outings in the city, whereas spending time in a country settings means it doesn’t matter what you wear. Pub tours, for example, simply require jeans and t-shirts since you’ll be indoors with plenty of Irish whiskey to keep you warm.
Pack in layers.
Always focus your packing for Ireland on layering pieces. These are thin clothes you can put on top of each other to adjust your body temperature to the elements.
Start with an undershirt or tank top, then t-shirt, then a few long sleeve pieces. For coastal travel, always bring a wind-blocking jacket and something to act as a layering piece under it for warmth (in case it’s a cold wind), like a light sweatshirt.
Prepare for rain.
Ireland has lots of rain. Opt for an ergonomic rain jacket with a hood that will keep water out. Oh, and take it from me, Ms. Bright Red Koolaid, you should choose a neutral color so you won’t be self-conscious in the city. (At least my group never lost me!)
Multi-purpose your wardrobe.
Nothing is more useful when it comes to packing for Ireland than plain colored t-shirts. Experienced travelers at Tenon Tours rave about black t-shirts in a few different styles. You can wear them to a nicer restaurant, or throw one on for a day of touring. Throw in a pair of khaki pants or neutral colored skirt in case you want to dress up, too.
Save room for souvenirs.
Never over pack your bags before you leave. Always keep at least one or two pouches open so you have the option of bringing back a great souvenir. You never know what you’ll find in your travels of Ireland, like the perfect Aran sweater (which is a little bulky.)
Bring the right bags.
Best tip ever: you’re looking for expandable pouches that allow you to carry back bulky items. These give you flexibility to stuff your bag. Also, consider what you’ll carry during the day while you’re touring Ireland so personal items always stay with you.
You might want to use a book bag as your carryon luggage so you can throw it on your shoulders while walking in the cities. If you intend to move around a lot with a private itinerary, consider bringing a hiker’s big backpack, especially if you’ll be staying in hostels. A rolling suitcase works great for a group tour to Ireland.
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