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:
- 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.
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.)
- 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
- Underwear/bras/socks (including my favorite quick-dry Ex Officio undies)
- 1 North Face Agave fleece
- My Columbia Arcadia II raincoat
- 1 lighter-weight jacket
- 1 pair of leather sneakers
- 1 pair of walking sandals (though if I was going in autumn or winter, I would have taken a pair of fashionable boots instead)
- 1 pair of Crocs flats
- My colorful Columbia rain boots
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!
- Travel hair dryer (this dual-voltage one is great!)
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:
- Macbook Air 13″
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with 12-40mm Pro lens
- Kindle Paperwhite
- Electrical plug adapters for the UK (Ireland uses the same type of wall plugs as England and Scotland)
- A power strip for making charging easier
- A power bank so my phone never runs out of juice
- An Anker Soundcore mini, which is the perfect Bluetooth speaker for road tripping
- A reusable water bottle (I love my CamelBak Chute)
- A travel umbrella (I liked my rainbow umbrella for Ireland!)
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.
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.
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.
Some other things you might want to look into bringing include:
- Compression socks for the flight.
- An Ireland travel guide.
- A good travel insurance plan – because you never know what might happen! I recommend World Nomads for affordable basic travel insurance.
Have you been to Ireland? If so, do you have any other must-pack items?
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Amanda Williams is the award-winning blogger behind A Dangerous Business Travel Blog. She has traveled to more than 60 countries on 6 continents from her home base in Ohio, specializing in experiential and thoughtful travel through the US, Europe, and rest of the world. Amanda only shares tips based on her personal experiences and places she's actually traveled!