Do you have an upcoming trip to Ireland but no idea what to pack? One of the questions I get asked many times in America is if it rains all the time in Ireland. I think most Irish people will answer with a resounding “yes” but in truth, it doesn’t! We definitely have our unfair share of cold, overcast and dreary days which monopolize any memories of sunshine. We certainly do have unfortunate spells of wet weather but ‘all the time’ seems like an exaggeration to me. Ireland is a beautiful country and when the sun shines it is out of this world!
You could arrive in Ireland and be greeted with a miserable period of wet weather or a stretch of brilliant, warm, sunshine but more than likely you will experience a whole range of weather systems in one day! Packing for all eventualities and a variety of different activities can be hard work. Add in the complications of carry-on luggage if you aren’t the type to check a bag. Whether it’s an extended stay touring Ireland or the first leg of a larger European trip, I will provide you with some tips to make packing for Ireland stress-free, practical and stylish!
What To Pack For Ireland
VERSATILITY. Choose versatile, mix & match items of clothing. If you’re traveling during the Winter then shorts and sun dresses clearly won’t be required. I find it an awful lot easier to dress for cold weather. Choose neutral colored sweaters or cardigans to wear over jeans or trousers. If you’re visiting during milder times then these items can also we worn with capris and shorts.
LAYERS. Layers are key when packing for volatile weather. In Summer pack tank tops, tees and shirts to layer over shorts/jeans. In Winter, thermal long sleeved t-shirts are exceptional at keeping you warm under lightweight sweaters but still allowing you to wear a warm jacket and scarf without looking and feeling like the Michelin man.
RAIN COAT. Invest in a good rain coat. Don’t scrimp on your style, there’s a vast quantity of trendy, practical rain coats on the market. Bad weather doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck wearing an ugly pac-a-mac a-la the 90’s. I can only dream of the Burberry Trench Mac!
BOOTS. I wear boots from probably October to April in Ireland. I won’t even tell you how many pairs I own. If you’re not into boots then splash out on a comfortable walking shoe. The Cliffs of Moher or Giant’s Causeway won’t be kind to your $15 Forever 21 ballet pumps. In fact, in a shower of rain they will probably disintegrate. If you’re more casual and prefer the likes of Converse or athletic shoes then I suggest something leather rather than fabric. Even if it doesn’t rain you might find yourself walking through grass, dirt or sand.
GET PHYSICAL. Pack your fitness gear if you’re that way inclined. There are endless hiking and biking opportunities throughout the country, not to mention gym facilities at your hotel it would be rather annoying to have to repurchase that stuff.
ACCESSORIES. Accessories are your best friends. No I don’t mean oversized earrings or a feather boa. I’m talking about hats, scarves and gloves! Whether it’s a peaked cap, wool beanie or stylish fedora – Ireland can be breezy. A lot of the most beautiful things to see here are in mountainous areas and along the coast or bodies of open water, it WILL be breezy even in the Summer. As for scarves, light ‘summer scarves’ can more or less always be worn and come in handy on those windy excursions. During the Winter a chunky knit scarf will not go astray.
ESSENTIALS. Always and I mean always have a compact umbrella tucked away in your bag. You might pull it out for 5 minutes or 5 hours but either way you’ll be dry. You can probably leave the insect repellent at home but always pack sun cream and lip balm – you’d be surprised how sneaky the sun can be even when it’s freezing out and the elements are never kind to your lips. I like to take my camera everywhere and also utilize the camera on my phone. Power banks are handy little gadgets for long days on the go. Google maps is a must have f you rent a car in Ireland or even if you just wander around cities.
I hope this post makes choosing what to pack for Ireland easier, check out my other post on Packing Your Bags Like A Pro for additional packing tips!