What to Pack for a Trip to Ireland

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Ireland is an island, and its weather patterns are largely influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The good news is that Ireland doesn't have huge temperature swings from season to season; it's pretty mild year-round. But the less-good news is that, because of its location, the weather in Ireland can (and does!) change frequently.

When it comes to packing for a trip to Ireland, therefore, there are basically two essentials you'll need:

  1. Layers
  2. Rain gear

Don't let this scare you off, though! As the Scandinavians often say, “There's no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing.

I've visited Ireland four different times now, ranging from trips in the dead of winter to mid-summer. Based on these trips, I've put together the ultimate Ireland packing list.

Amanda in Westport, Ireland

Complete Ireland packing list

Here’s a look at what was in my bag for my latest trip to Ireland. My last two trips to the country have been during the summer months, but you can tweak this list for any season.

In my main suitcase

My go-to bag these days is my Osprey Sojourn rolling bag. It's a 60-liter bag with sturdy wheels and removable backpack straps (though I've literally never used the straps).

I've now used this exact bag for more than 4 years of traveling, and it STILL is holding up great; Osprey makes great bags! (Though if you want to see more of my luggage/bag suggestions, check out this post.)

I utilized my favorite packing cubes (GREAT for keeping tops and bottoms organized) and my new SegSac (perfect for socks and undies) and packed the following:

Clothing

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 3 pairs of leggings
  • 1 hooded sweatshirt for layering
  • 2 sweaters in different lengths
  • 1 lighter-weight layering top
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 1 long tunic top
  • 1 tank top
  • 1 dress
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear/bras/socks (including my favorite quick-dry Ex Officio undies)
  • North Face Agave fleece
  • My Columbia Arcadia II raincoat
  • 1 lighter-weight jacket

Shoes

I usually don't travel with 4 pairs of shoes (3 is usually my max), but because I was combining my most recent trip with weeks in Scotland and London, too, I made an exception – and I actually did wear all 4 pairs of shoes on this trip!

Making Irish Wolfhound friends at Ballyseede Castle

Other

In my carry-on

My go-to carry-on backpack is usually the Pacsafe Camsave V17 when I'm taking camera gear and my laptop with me, but another good option (for those not so concerned with photo gear) is the STM Haven bag. This bag isn't too big or too small (it will fit a 15-inch laptop), and I love the “floating” pockets inside to hold laptops and/or tablets. It has plenty of other outer and inner pockets, too, including one on the side for a water bottle.

In this bag:

My travel handbag

I usually recommend traveling with an over-shoulder bag for most of Europe, with the Travelon Bucket Bag being a good pick. On this trip, though, I mostly used my Pacsafe Citysafe CX Backpack, which is a cute backpack that can actually be converted into a regular over-the-should handbag, too.

Amanda in Cobh, Ireland
Me and my Pacsafe bag in Cobh

What was I glad to have?

For a trip to Ireland, I was especially glad to have packed the following:

My raincoat – You can't really go to Ireland and NOT take a good raincoat. Even in the summer months (when Ireland generally sees its best weather), running into at least one rain shower a day is very common. Rain doesn't always last long in Ireland, but when the clouds open up you definitely want to make sure you'll stay dry! My Columbia Arcadia raincoat is my absolute favorite for any sort of wet destination, and it kept me dry in Ireland, too.

Amanda at the Cliffs of Moher
Your raincoat can double as a windbreaker at places like the Cliffs of Moher, too!

Rain boots – Because of Ireland's propensity to be wet, I took a pair of dedicated rain boots for this trip. I bought my colorful boots from Columbia, and they performed even better than I expected. Not only did they add an extra pop of color to my Ireland wardrobe, but they also have some arch support – AND kept my feet nice and dry.

An umbrella – Yes, you'll probably need one of these, too! If you want to buy a rainbow umbrella like mine, look here and here.

Gardens at Ashford Castle

Some other things you might want to look into bringing include:

Have you been to Ireland? If so, do you have any other must-pack items?

 

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What to pack for Ireland

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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4 Comments on “What to Pack for a Trip to Ireland

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  1. Great pack list! This would be a good list for most countries in Europe, as weather can change from sunny to rainy within seconds!

      Definitely! And especially a good list for northern Europe, like the UK and Scandinavia.

    I was trying to find the hooded rain jacket that you have listed in the Dublin winter packing list. The link doesn t look anything like the picture

      Hi there. The link works just fine for me and links to the Columbia Arcadia II rain jacket, which is the one I have. (They come in different colors, so that’s the only difference I can imagine you’re seeing?)

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