Even for those of us with no Irish ancestry, Ireland is a destination that calls out to us. Blessed with beautiful countryside, compelling history and folklore, and a good presence in pop culture, Ireland is probably among the most well-known countries for American travelers.
Having visited myself, I can unequivocally state that Ireland lives up to the hype. I’ll never forget the rolling green fields or the sheep wandering down narrow two-lane roads. The fish and chips I had along the Wild Atlantic Way were so exquisitely good, they tasted like the first fish and chips I ever ate. Even a monsoon-like downpour that limited visibility and soaked me through couldn’t dampen my spirits about Ireland.
If you’re planning a trip, you might be curious what to pack. I’m here to help, but first…
What’s the Weather Like in Ireland?
Ireland has four distinct seasons, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you can pack exactly what you need given the season you’re visiting; it’s a curse because you have to try and figure out which season you’ll be in, and risk bringing the wrong items if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the weather each season:
- Spring in Ireland is from March through May. Average temperatures in this season range from lows around 39°F (4°C) in March to highs around 59°F (15°C) in May. This is a pretty big swing, so it’s best to assume that March weather is a bit more winter-like (thus you pack more winter items) and May is a bit more summer-like (thus pack summer items). April? Good luck! ?
- Summer in Ireland is from June to September. The weather is typically sunny, and average temperatures range from 63-69°F (17-19°C). By the end of September, temperatures are starting to drop, so don’t assume it will be as warm on September 30th as it was on September 1st.
- Autumn in Ireland is from late September to November. Temperatures start to drop, from the 60s°F (15°C) to the 40s°F (10°C). You can also expect the weather to turn a bit more damp, though to be honest, Ireland gets rain year-round in certain parts of the country.
- Winter in Ireland is from December to February. Get ready for temperatures in the 30s-40s°F (10°C and colder) on average, and some of the rainier months of the year. Some parts of the country will even see snow! ❄️ Pack layers to stay warm and rain gear to stay dry during these months!
With this in mind, let’s dive in.
What You Actually Need to Pack for Ireland
I’ll be honest: I pretty much pack 90% of the same things over and over… and I bet you do too. Also, most packing lists are about 90% of those same things, right? So instead of giving you a packing list that’s 90% of what you already know or are already planning to pack (yes, you do need 1 pair of underwear for each day…), here’s a packing list that’s 100% of things you need specifically for traveling in Ireland.
In addition to the items listed below, you might add other things based on the activities you plan to enjoy. For example, if you’re doing a lot of hiking, you might want to swap out the waterproof hiking boots I recommend for a heartier pair you’ve already broken in. If you plan to take a tip in the Atlantic ocean, you’ll need a swimsuit (and a brave soul!). No matter what though, these items won’t take up unnecessary space in your bag. Here’s my specific to Ireland packing list; Mr. V added suggestions for what men need to pack for Ireland too.
1. The Lonely Planet Ireland Travel Guide
I love the feeling of a guidebook in my hands, ready to be opened for the first time to start helping me plan my trip. Whether you need restaurant recommendations or pro-tips on scenic viewpoints, the Lonely Planet guide to Ireland is a worthwhile investment. You can read it on the plane over too!
If you’re uncertain what guidebooks are good for, here’s how to use travel guidebooks.
2. Wind-Proof Umbrella
Did you know that in some parts of Ireland, it rains up to 255 days per year?! It depends on the time of year you visit, but that means on average you can expect rain 2 days out of every three you’re in Ireland. ?
To combat this, invest in a good umbrella that can withstand the weather and won’t break the first second you step out to admire the view on the Wild Atlantic Way.
3. Black Rain Shell
Similarly, you’re more than likely going to need a good rain shell while traveling in Ireland. A good rain shell not only keeps out rain, it dries quickly and packs up small… bc we don’t check luggage round these parts!
4. Green Blanket Scarf
You already know I love scarves while traveling. (If you don’t know, now you know.) This one is perfect for travel in Ireland for several reasons:
- It’s a blanket scarf you can wrap up to stay warm.
- It has green.
- It also has orange and white, giving it a distinctly Irish vibe. ??
With black as the base color, you can get away wearing this every day of your trip and it’ll look great.
5. Waterproof Boots
I cannot rave enough about these boots from Teva. I bought a pair a few years back and they have held up so well. They are water resistant, have great traction, and are comfortable, making them perfect for any adventure.
They can handle whatever you throw at them, from plodding through soggy fields of clover to hiking along the Cliffs of Moher or on the Giant’s Causeway.
6. Moisture-Wicking Socks
Wet socks suck. Don’t let them ruin your trip.
These moisture-wicking socks will help keep your feet warm even if you step in a deep puddle or get a bit of rainwater inside your boots. I also love recommending socks because they’re my #1 most forgotten-at-home item!
I know it seems weird to recommend sunglasses right after all that rain gear, but you’ll thank me when you get to to the Atlantic coast and the sun comes out for two minutes and blinds you with its glare. Sunglasses also take up zero room in your bag.
8. Universal Adapter
Unless you live in the U.K., you’re going to need an adapter to plug in your electronics.
I’m a huge sucker for multi-use anything, and this universal adapter is perfect. It has USB and receives any kind of plug – plus it has the necessary “Type G” prongs for Ireland.
9. Phone Transmitter
If you’re a good reader taking all of my advice and planning to travel by taking a 10-day Ireland road trip, this will be your saving grace. This adapter plugs into the car, connects via Bluetooth and allows you to crank up your favorite Spotify playlist anywhere (may I suggest this Ireland Roadtrip one?). It also has a USB charger!
10. Irish Wool Sweater
Okay, so this one isn’t one you have to pack, but I would recommend leaving space in your bag for it if you don’t bring a sweater.
Irish wool sweaters are known the world over for their warmth and comfort. You can buy one when out traveling; if you visit the Cliffs of Moher, check for Aran Islands wool sweaters like this!
Bonus: Travel Insurance
I’ve recently become a convert to the travel insurance thing. It’s just helpful to know that if something goes wrong during your trip, you’re covered, ya know? I recommend World Nomads for travel insurance. Click below to learn more about what their insurance covers (pretty much everything you need it to!):
What Else to Pack for Ireland
I’ve put together a weekend packing list, which can help you see some of the basics I pack for every single trip. Additionally, here are a couple tips to help you pack for your trip to Ireland:
- What you pack for Ireland will vary a lot based on the season you visit. Ireland’s summer months are noticeably drier and warmer than winter months. As such, you may find you don’t need to pack as many long trousers or waterproof items. Be sure to check the forecast before you start packing – and throw in a rain shell anyway because it never hurts to have one!
- Don’t want to pack a guidebook? Snag a digital copy. Lonely Planet offers ebook versions of all their guidebooks, usually at the same price or cheaper. Here’s the link for the Ireland ebook.
- Adjust your packing list based on how long you’re traveling. Whether you’re only spending 3 days in Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or making a full 10-day Irish road trip, add one more top for every two days of travel, and one more pair of trousers for every 3 days. Don’t forget extra undergarments and socks!
- Pack for travel in Europe. Dublin and other Irish cities have a base level of fashion that’s slightly less casual than in the U.S. You can’t go wrong with black pieces and classic items from your wardrobe.
- Visiting Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day? I have a special packing list just for that!
- If you’re looking for travel flats, I always recommend Tieks. While these are an investment at $175 per pair, they hold up so well while traveling. I put over two million steps into my first pair! Read my review here.
I’ll add links to my master packing list and seasonal packing lists, as soon as they’re live!
Have any other questions? Let me know in the comments!
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