What to pack for Ireland
What to pack for Ireland largely depends on what season you're travelling in and what type of holiday you want to have but there are a few essentials that should be packed regardless - namely weather-appropriate clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a reusable drink bottle, and a camera. The Republic of Ireland is internationally known for its rolling, green hills, fields bursting with wildflowers, dramatic coastlines, legends and fables full of leprechauns and faeries, and of course, for its Guinness.
With so much to explore and learn about, it's little wonder travellers from all over the world flock to its extraordinary landscapes like the Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park in the Republic's south and vibrant cities such as Dublin and Galway. To ensure your trip is as stress-free as possible, use this list to pack the clothing and accessories you'll need, all the essentials you don't want to leave behind, and those nice-to-have items that you can never remember to pack but make all the difference once you find them in the bottom of your suitcase.
1. Waterproof jacket
While there are generally no extreme temperatures experienced in Ireland (either hot or cold), there is an abundance of rainfall expected throughout the year so packing a waterproof jacket or raincoat is necessary regardless of the season you're travelling in. The waterproof jacket you pack should be of good quality to keep you both dry and warm, but at the same time, you don't want to be packing something that's super heavy or bulky. Try to find one that's reasonably lightweight but thick enough to still do the trick.
2. Durable, quick-dry clothing
Packing these items also makes sense if you're to experience some light showers or heavier rainfall during your holiday in Ireland, especially if you're going to be spending a large amount of time outside. Unfortunately, if you're hiking through Killarney National Park or walking the Wicklow Way and it starts to rain, there's nothing you can do about it but keep on going. But, if you're wearing clothing that's quick to dry, hopefully, you won't feel cold or wet throughout the rest of your hike.
3. Scarves, beanies & gloves
It's fair to say your body will be warm when you're out and about (thanks to your waterproof and weather appropriate clothing) but what about those areas where the wind seems to hit extra hard? To avoid feeling the cold, pack a pair of gloves, a few thick scarves and a beanie or two. Trust us, your hands, neck, and head will thank you for it.
4. Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
Because of Ireland's immense natural beauty, it makes sense that you're going to be spending (at least) a little time outside. In order to witness as much of Ireland's breathtaking landscapes as possible, packing a pair of comfortable walking/hiking shoes is a must. But these can't be any old walking/hiking shoes. These shoes must have been worn a handful of times already to ensure they're super comfortable and won't give you blisters half an hour into a 4-hour walk.
5. Backpack/day bag
There's nothing handier when you're out exploring (and not coming back to the hotel for the rest of the day) than having a backpack or a day bag with you to carry all of the necessary items you'll need for the day's activities. Not only does bringing a backpack mean you won't have to carry everything with your two hands (bonus), but it's also more convenient than bringing a tote bag or a bag with one strap as the weight in your backpack is evenly distributed across both shoulders. Besides, you'll need a backpack if you plan on packing all of the below items.
6. Collapsible travel umbrella
As already mentioned, the weather in Ireland is prone to being a bit rainy (and often unpredictably so), so packing a travel-sized umbrella that can be folded away neatly and placed inside your backpack is a must. This ensures you'll still be able to enjoy Ireland's extraordinary scenery (even if it is drizzling a little) while remaining nice and dry.
7. Power adapter
There may be nothing worse than travelling across the other side of the world and realising you don't have the right adapter to charge your phone for the holiday ahead. The outlets in Ireland aren't the same as the ones in the United States or Australia so if you're travelling from those countries, you'll need to purchase an Ireland specific adapter. If you're travelling from the United Kingdom, the outlets in Ireland are the same so you won't have to buy different ones. If you plan on doing some more travel after you leave Ireland, it's probably best to purchase a universal adapter so you don't keep having to buy new ones in every country you visit.
8. Reusable & filtered drink bottle
If you're planning on spending a considerable amount of time in the great outdoors while you're in Ireland (and why wouldn't you?!?) then packing a reusable drink bottle with you is necessary. The tap water in most Irish regions (and some cities) is considered undrinkable and should be avoided, however, if you have a reusable drink bottle with an inbuilt filter this is something you don't have to worry about. A filtered drink bottle means you'll always have access to clean, filtered water and this will come in handy when you're in need of some hydration but can only get to a drinking fountain or tap.
You can't go all the way to Ireland and not take some incredible photos of all the amazing things you've seen for you to look back on after you arrive home. While it might be nice to have the latest and most expensive camera on the market, on most occasions your phone's camera will work just fine (and sometimes even better). Regardless of whether you're using a camera or your phone, make sure it's fully charged. You'd hate to get to the idyllic Cliffs of Moher and realise your device's battery died an hour ago.
Just because it's overcast and rainy outside, doesn't mean the sun's UV rays aren't high enough to give you sunburn so packing sunscreen with you (even if you're travelling to Ireland in winter) is still worth doing. Be sure to pop some sunscreen on every morning before you go outside and keep it in your backpack so you can reapply it throughout the day.
11. Portable charger
Those of you who are super organised may not need to pack portable chargers but we know it can be hard to remember to put your phone or camera on the charger before you go to bed, especially if you're exhausted from spending a long day traipsing through the Irish countryside. Packing portable devices with you ensures you can still have a full battery even when you're out and about (and not going back to the hotel for hours).
12. Destination notes/visitor guides
If you're going on a group tour like our Northern and Southern Ireland adventure, then your expert guide will already have all the necessary information on currency, customs, the best things to do, etc. However, if you're travelling alone or with your family, you can never have enough information on the country or region you're travelling to. If you want to be extra prepared, pack some destination notes or visitor's guides with you so you always know what to expect.
13. Extra pair of socks
Regardless of how many pairs of socks you've already packed, pack another one. For some reason, extra pairs of socks always come in handy.