It has been almost six months since Sean and I went to Ireland, and we think about our time there every day! I have realized how different of a trip this was to pack for. I have spent my entire life heading places that are warm and tropical – and never going anywhere that would be colder than when I leave New Jersey. So, traveling to Ireland and preparing for the weather was a first for me.
There will be essential travel items included in this post as well that will work for any trip you are planning, but Emerald Island here you come!
I start preparing by checking the average temperatures of the time I will be visiting. This way I am not waiting for the week before to get my outfits ready. As the trip gets closer the more accurate the weather will be, but it most likely wont deviate from the average temperatures too much.
I can not stress this enough – pack layers, layers, layers!
Also, I will be writing a Ireland Travel Guide blog post, so I am not going to share a lot of photos from our trip here, but they will be in that separate post.
Packing/ Airplane Essentials:
Invest in a travel neck pillow. You may not always use it, but if needed you will be grateful you have it. Also, purchasing them in the airport they are way overpriced.
I promise you will not regret getting yourself good quality noise canceling headphones. Especially for us Americans, when we fly to Europe it is generally the red eye flight. For us this trip we left at 7:30 pm NJ time and landed in Ireland at 7:00 am local time. Noise canceling headphones will help you to try and get some sleep.
I love this carry- on bag, it has a spot in the back where it slides onto the handle on your luggage and sits perfectly on top – so convenient.
I have spent way more time in my life than I care to admit having to check our passports to see whose is whose! These adorable custom passport holders make it easy for me to identify our passports.
When I purchased this Diaper Bag Back pack it became a game changer for travel. No I do not have children, but what I do have is a need for organization! This backpack is the perfect carry-on. It also doubles for daily use while traveling to hold all of your essentials. Why I love this bag so much is there are pockets and compartments for everything. The entire inside is organized, it is waterproof, has a side holder for wipes (a travel essential) and water bottle holder.
I always travel with multiple travel size hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes – perfect for on the plane and anywhere else on the go you may be.
Don’t chance your toiletries on making a mess in your suitcase – get this easy to use hang able toiletries holder and travel size bottles to fill.
After a lot of research I learned if we wanted to go to a grocery store – we would have to use our own bags. I ordered this bag with my backpack, it is light weight and lined inside perfect to pack if you need to grab some groceries or just need an extra bag.
*I like having bags that match/ have my monogram so they are easy to decipher as mine.
Investing in a good luggage set is essential. I like using semi-hard luggage, cloth gets dirty too easy and hard cases are too heavy to begin with.
When I bought packing cubes my life was changed forever. They keep everything organized and prevent it all from being squished when you get luggage out of the airport. Depending on the trip I either pack by outfit or by clothing item. I also like to use these bags that remove the air from clothes to keep things more organized and tightly packed.
**Pro tip, when traveling with someone else split your clothes up 50/50 in your suitcases. Chances are not both of your luggage will be lost, and if only one is you each will still have essential items.
Insect repellent and fitness wipes are another must have for me. The Cliffs of Moher are very buggy, fortunately this was the only place we experienced a lot of bugs. I like to be over prepared when it comes to having insect repellent, because mosquitoes love me.
These fitness wipes were great to freshen up on the go. After being on the plane or in the car for a few hours you may not always have access to your accommodations right away, or maybe you went on a hike before heading to a different place. Fitness wipes are a great essential to pack.
A small travel size umbrella, perfect for going anywhere! And this camera strap was super cute, I loved having it instead of the standard one that comes with the camera. Also made my camera distinguishable if needed.
Don’t forget your electrical adapters! We bought two of these, they work with multiple outlets in multiple countries and have plenty of USB space as well. I also found it to be very convenient to have a travel combo straightener and curling iron. Instead of bring separate full sized tools these got the job done and were so much easier to pack.
Clothing & Shoes:
When I pack for a long trip I like to pick a color scheme to stick to, this makes my clothes easily interchangeable. I tend to stick to neutrals grey, green, black, brown/beige, white and denim. I will add some color, but this way all of my clothes can be mixed and matched and I can bring less shoes as well.
For this trip, I knew I needed to pack layers, lots of layers. It is really true what they say about Ireland, you can experience every season in one day. It will be chilly in the morning, warmer in the afternoon and then chilly again at night. You may get rain and some snow mixed in too depending on the time of year. Thankfully, a lot of time rain comes in and rolls out, other times it just rains all day. Being prepared with layers and waterproof items is best.
*I still can’t believe during our two weeks there we only saw rain one day, and it was only for a few hours. It also was above normal temperature, they were having a heat wave while we were there. It was in the high 60’s the entire time, which was lovely to us. We are pretty certain we will never get this lucky with the weather there again.
I like to pack clothes that I am comfortable in, my favorite pairs of jeans and leggings for example. I also don’t like to pack new shoes – just in case they are not comfortable. When traveling to a place like Ireland, you are going to be doing so much walking. Having comfortable clothes and shoes is essential.
Vest like these are the perfect layer, they can be easily taken on and off and don’t take up a lot of room when packing. As I said before, I like to monogram things so they are easily identified as mine, but these can be purchased without monograms.
Capes and wraps are great layering pieces as well. I love this reversible wrap, it comes in so many colors but I went neutral.
Jumpsuits are great because they are an easy entire outfit, less items to pack and comfy for travel days.
I packed a lot of plain, white, black and grey t-shirts both long and short sleeve. They were essential for the entire trip.
Cardigans are always a must!
Here are some examples of tops I brought. I found myself dressing comfy and cute during the day and dressing things up with scarves and jewelry at night.
Jeans, chinos and leggings all essentials!
I did bring two cotton dresses and tights which were very easy to throw on for day or night!
I wore A LOT of activewear. Everyone has their own favorite brands of leggings and activewear. I suggest wearing and packing items you love. We did a lot of walking, exploring and small hikes. All reasons to be comfy!
This Patagonia fleece and Cole Haan rain jacket were my favorite two items I brought. This coat is packable and comes with a small back it folds into, so perfect.
A good utility jacket is a great layer that isn’t heavy and easy to pack.
Waterproof shoes will be the best thing you bring, even if it doesn’t rain. There are a lot of places you walk through dirt and mud, you need something easy to clean that also won’t soak through!
Do not forget your sneakers !
I also made sure to pack one pair of black boots and one pair of tan booties. These helped to dress up items I brought.
One pair of casual but cute black and white sneakers were also perfect to pack and easy to slip on and off.
Neutral colored light weight flats – essential!
Scarves are really helpful to bring, they are an extra layer and add to the outfit! The grey and white thin striped scarf is a bug repellent scarf, this was the best thing I brought!
Don’t forget to pack your bathing suits! Regardless of the time of year a lot of places have indoor pools and hot tubs, but if you are there during the warmer weather the beaches are busy!
These are just a few examples of what and how I packed for our trip to Ireland. I knew the entire time we were there we would be doing a lot of exploring and I needed to pack for that. As much as I wanted to be cute and trendy every day, I knew it was more important to make functional cute work – and I feel like I really did!
This post was specific to Ireland because it is the first place in Europe I have been, but it can be used really for any European trip you plan on taking within reason. If you are doing a trip to the Amalfi Coast, obviously this list will not be helpful.
I do hope this helps some people when it comes to packing for their trip to Ireland or wherever else they may be going.
Let me know in the comments below your favorite/must have items when you travel!
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