What to bring to Ireland
1) A Week’s Worth of Outfits: Men and Women – You don’t need to bring more than that because having more than you need will weigh down your suitcase. After all, most hostels and hotels have somewhere that you can wash your clothes for a small fee. Besides, the cost of washing several loads of laundry istypically cheaper than paying for extra carryon bags.Just make that all your clothes are able to be safely washed together in the same laundry load. Or prepare to leave out those bright red socks that could turn everything pink.
View on Amazon.com ➜
View on Amazon.com ➜
4) Durable Luggage – You’ll want to bring along sturdy gear that is big enough to hold all your belongings but fits the luggage requirements of your chosen airline. Most types of luggage will be fine as long as the items in question can hold up to the beating they’re probably going to have to take. Flimsier suitcases aren’t going to survive being tossed in luggage compartments on buses, stuffed in the back of the train, and so on. A backpack might be a good option here because you’re not going to be forced to part with it on long rides.Give yourself bonus points if you’ve got luggage that is at least water-resistant.
View on Amazon.com ➜
6) Hygiene Products – Whatever you need to stay presentable on your travels, be sure to bring it along for the ride. Don’t forget things like soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, dental floss, shaving razors, hair products, hand sanitizer, face wipes, face wipes, deodorant, makeup etc. You can probably leave the hairdryers at home though, since most places provide these for their guests.
View on Amazon.com ➜
8) Cold Weather Clothes: Women and Men – Irish weather isn’t known for its warmth, even during the summer months. While the temperatures can be pleasant, they can just as easily turn cold all of a sudden. So don’t forget to take warm weather clothes along, such as a sweater or a coat, to avoid having to hunt up new ones during your stay.
9) Small bag or satchel – You’re looking for something that can serve as a daypack and/or a purse. It should be able to hold your passport, credit or debit card, tickets, snacks, and any extra money you want to bring along. It should also be big enough to serve as a shopping tote since most stores will charge you a small extra fee for the plastic bags that come standard with your purchases in the United States. The one I brought along even folded up into a small square so that it could be placed stowed in my other bags and didn’t count as another one on flights. Something similar would be great to have on hand.
View on Amazon.com ➜
Other possible packing list items for Ireland
Reusable Water Bottle
Solid Shampoo and Conditioner
Soap Travel Tin
Journal or Notebook
Pencils or Pens
Spare Flashlight Batteries
TSA Approved Locks
Books or Kindles
Flip Flops Women’s and Men’s
What to wear in Ireland
1) Durable, seasonally appropriate clothes. Having garments that can withstand lots of outdoor activities is important here. Jeans are very useful.You also want to be sure to have clothes that will keep you warm and dry because the weather can change quickly.
2) Rain gear. The country is well-known for being a bit on the rainy side of things.
3) Shoes that are comfortable and have good traction. A lot of places you’ll want to see require some climbing around as a matter of course.
4) Thick socks. These will help keep you from having blisters from all the climbing and walking around that you’ll probably be doing.
5) Swimwear, but only if you plan on getting in the water at the beach or your hotel has a pool.
What NOT to take to Ireland
1) Anything expensive: It’s really easy to misplace expensive items or have them stolen en route to wherever you’re going. Violent crime might not be as prevalent in Ireland as it is in some other countries, but there are still plenty of people that would be happy to walk off with that new computer you weren’t watching.
2) Heavy items: This could be large books, extra shoes, or even your suitcase itself. The more your luggage weighs, the more likely you’ll have to temporarily part with it while you’re en route to your destination. This makes it easier to lose or misplace.Unattended bags could easily be stolen or even confiscated in the name of public safety at places like the airport or train station. The best way to prevent this is to take lightweight bags that are easy to carry so you don’t mind carting them around at all times.
3) Camouflage: It’s best to leave the camouflage clothing at home. Wearing it could lead to you being mistaken for a member of the military and subsequently being treated with hostility in most of Europe.
4) Fanny packs: In this case, it is best to just say no. Ireland might not be the style capitol of the world but do you really want to stand out as the most unfashionable tourist that ever roamed the earth? I thought not.
5) Very fancy clothes: You can get by with business casual in most places that you’ll be going. Pub wear is normally jeans, a shirt, and a jacket. However, the main attraction in Ireland is the scenery so there’s really no need to bring along a lot of formal clothes.
6) Items with Sentimental Value: It’s a good rule of thumb to never pack anything that you would greatly regret losing or that can’t be replaced. Inevitably, that’s the only item that’s going to disappear. Leave it home and save yourself some heartache.
FAQs about travel in Ireland
1) About how much money will I need on a daily basis to enjoy Ireland?
While prices tend to fluctuate along with the current exchange rates, a basic daily budget of $75 per day should be enough to cover most expenses. This amount allows for three meals a day, admission to some attractions, a dorm bed at night, and the occasional bus ride between major towns. Travelers who want to stay in private rooms will obviously need to allot more money per night. Keep in mind that accommodation costs as a whole are naturally higher in cities like Dublin and lower in small towns and villages.
2) What’s the Irish policy on tipping in restaurants?
You can leave a bit of change on the table if you received good service at a pub or restaurant. However, waiters in Europe aren’t dependent on tips to augment their salaries like they are in America so it’s perfectly fine not to leave a tip.
3) What are some of the best sights in Ireland?
Even if museums aren’t your forte, the Titanic Museum in Belfast recently received an award for being one of the world’s best museums and it’s certainly worth a visit. However, the natural and historical sites in Ireland tend to have more universal appeal. The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher are very interesting places to visit. The Giant’s Causeway is likewise intriguing but it’s certainly not as large or extensive as photographs would lead you to believe. Of course, there are castles everywhere in the country, some of them very famous and others simply ruins. If you want to get away from the mainland, islands like InisMórnear Galway and SkelligMichael are great options. Other popular sites to see in Ireland include the Dark Hedges, Newgrange Tomb near Dublin, The Dingle Peninsula, and Blarney Castle.
4) Where are the main airports in Ireland located?
The main airports that North American travelers will probably pass through are near Shannon (SNN) and Dublin (DUB). Dublin’s airport is located a short ways out of the city but it is well equipped with everything travelers could possibly need. It can be found on the upper eastern side of the island. Meanwhile, Shannon Airport is much smaller and there aren’t many facilities available at the airport itself. However, it can be cheaper to fly into Shannon instead of Dublin if you’re visiting from the United States. The trouble with using this airport is that the nearest small town is a good thirty minutes away and there’s not much there. A couple of larger towns can be found if you’re willing to stay on the road for another half-hour. This airport nonethelessprovides easy access to a lot of popular destinations as it is located on the midwest coast of the island.
Other Irish airports can be found near Belfast (BFS), Cork (ORK), Waterford (WAT), and Kerry (KIR).
5) What is the best way to get aroundIreland?
Private cars are widely considered to be the best way to get around the country. However, this is only an option if you don’t mind being on the opposite side of the road and you are a good driver. There are trains available to some areas but they’re limited in scope and cost more than the buses, which go everywhere. In fact, the bus is the primary mode of transportation and it’s very reasonably priced. Just be sure that you don’t get on the Airport Express bus if you’re really trying to get from Galway to Dublin city. It simply doesn’t stop in town first, a factor that can be particularly frustrating during rush hour traffic.
While you can also get budget flights between the regional airports, they often connect somewhere else first. As a result, they aren’t usually the most time or cost effective option for getting around Ireland.
6) When should I visit Ireland?
The shoulder season months of April, May, September, and October offer the best compromise in terms ofgood weather, affordable prices, and uncrowded sites. At such times, the Irish weather may be slightly more rainy or cold than travelers would like but the upside is lower prices and less people at popular attractions.
Despite the fact that the warmest, sunniest weather occurs during the summer month, the crowds are also at their thickest and prices are at their highest.However, winter’s probably the worst time to visitIreland since the weather is at its coldest and most attractions are operating under reduced hours at such times. The upside to winter travel is that prices are at their lowest and most of the cities are still fully functional.
7) What are some ways to save money while traveling through Ireland?
Here are some ideas:
- Split a private room with a friend or two if staying in a hostel dorm doesn’t appeal to you.
- Make your own meals. If you don’t have the time, you can still save a little bit by opting for takeout food. After all, most places in Europe charge an extra fee for sitting down and eating in the restaurant.
- If the place where you’re staying provides you with a free breakfast, take advantage of the fact.Some of the Irish hostels have very good breakfasts. If you luck out yours might even have freshly baked goods and homemade jellies on their menus. Toast with toppings, cereal, and basic beverages are available pretty much everywhere.
- Take the bus instead of the train in places where this is an option.
- Drink water instead of soda or wine when eating out.
8) What’s flying on Ryan Air really like?
We’ve all heard horror stories but there’s got to be a reason they remain in business, right? For short flights to other places in Europe, using Ryan Air is actually not too bad as long as you follow the baggage restrictions to the letter and remember to print out your ticket before showing up at the airport. The company has good safety ratings but the aesthetics of the cabins are somewhat lacking and the seats aren’t the most comfortable. It still can be fun to walk out to the airplane like you’re in an old fashioned movie rather than go through the connecting tunnel that’s used by most major airlines.
These flights don’t have anything in the way of onboard entertainment so you’ll need to bring your own. But they do make up for it by offering very reasonable prices to elsewhere in Europe. On longer flights, you might want to bring along something to eat and upgrade yourself to a reserved seat so you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of the row for long periods of time. However, I’d probably opt for another carrier if the flight I was looking at was in the air longer than a couple of hours unless the price could more than make up for it.
9) What’s the best way to see out-of-the-way places if I don’t want to bother with a car?
Although they cost a bit extra and don’t offer as much freedom in terms of sightseeing, group day tours are the best way to get a taste of everything in a short period of time. The downside here is that if you’re traveling with a large group, it can sometimes spoil the ambiance of a place and mess up your chances at taking people-free photos. On the positive side, traveling with a group keeps you moving if you’re prone to lingering in spots. The guides can also be great at pointing out interesting spots, suggesting places to eat, and helping you see in most attractions in a limited amount of time.
You may also like these other packing lists…