Not sure what to pack for Ireland? Are you getting stressed about over packing on unnecessary items? We have broken it down into the essential items to pack.
What to Pack for Ireland – before you leave
We have covered everything you may need to pack for your trip to Ireland, including things you may not have even thought about:
Documents to pack for Ireland
One of the most important things to pack, are the correct documents. Not packing the essential documents, could prevent entry to Ireland. Here are the important documents you will need to pack:
Passport/National Identity Card
Don’t forget to pack your passport or National identity card and make sure it is in date and has more than 6 months before expiry.
Most will pack the passport, but many will forget to check the expiry date on the passport.
You should check this regularly and some months before your planned trip. Renew it if required.
You’ll also need to make sure you have at least one spare page in the passport for any stamps that might be required.
Non-European or EEA (European Economic Area) citizen will require a visa before entry to Ireland.
All visa applications must be done in advance and can be applied for online.
Just follow the steps online and using the official application form. Once you have submitted your application, you’ll get notified via email if you have been granted a visa or not.
You can check the visa requirements and eligibility criteria by visiting Ireland’s Department of Justice.
Always make sure you have cash and debit/credit cards with you. AND make sure you have enough money for your trip, plus some for emergencies.
Before any trip to Ireland, make sure you are organised, planned your trip and set a BUDGET.
Set a realistic budget that you can keep to. That way you won’t overspend and you’ll still have an incredible experience but won’t have to break the bank to do it.
The currency in Ireland is the (€) Euro.
If you do intend to use your credit card/debit card, check with the card provider regarding the interest rate for foreign transactions. It may not be too expensive.
If you intend to cross the border to Northern Ireland, then you’ll need to make sure you have £ (GBP) as well as € with you.
Driving License/International Drivers Permit
Planning a road trip in Ireland? You’ll need a vehicle for the road trip, but you’ll also need your driving license and an international drivers permit.
To obtain an international driver permit, apply from within your home country or from the country you’re in before heading to Ireland.
European driving license holder will not require an international driver permit. But will require their European driver’s license.
It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance prior to your planned trip.
Travel Insurance will cover you in most eventualities. Check the full terms and conditions to find out what is and isn’t covered under your policy.
We have also written a detailed post on why you should get travel insurance.
When driving in Ireland, you’ll need to have the minimum level of car insurance cover.
All hire companies should include the car insurance cover, when hiring a vehicle. You can check this when hiring the vehicle.
If you have driven your own vehicle, make sure you have the minimum level of cover.
Car insurance, depending on the level taken out, will cover you for any accidents, fire or theft of the vehicle.
With all insurance policies, always check the terms and conditions and what you are and not covered for.
Medical supplies to pack for Ireland
This is just as important as the documents you should pack. What happens if you become unwell or injure yourself? If you don’t have these essentials, you’ll have to seek medical attention or the local pharmacy for the medication.
Here are the all-important medical supplies to pack for Ireland:
This is a seasonal item to pack.
During the winter months, it really isn’t worth packing any sun protection, as the sun won’t be strong enough to burn the skin. Plus, vitamin D is good for you.
There isn’t much point packing it to take up space in the suitcase during the winter months.
In the spring, summer and autumn months, then you’ll need to pack the sun protection. This will prevent you from burning when exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
Even if it’s a cloudy day, you could still burn if the sun is hot enough.
Don’t risk sun burn, not only is it painful, but could lead to skin cancer. Not only pack the sun protection, but apply the protection regularly.
Sun protection comes in different forms, from cream, to the spray that you rub in, to SPF lip balm. If you are light skinned, you’ll need a high SPF, always pack this and we can’t stress this enough, apply it regularly.
The sun can be very bright, sunglasses, hat and protective clothing will help with keeping the sun from your face and from burning.
Do you have a medical condition that requires medication to be taken on a daily basis?
If so, pack the medication in both your main luggage and in your hand luggage.
Pack enough medication in your hand luggage for about four days. That way you are protecting yourself if your main luggage is lost or delayed.
You may wish to take the packaging for the medication with you, in the event you’re stopped by security.
Tissue will help to prevent the spread of germs, will mop up any spillages, etc.
Pocket sized packs of tissues are great. They are small and compact but still do exactly as you need them to do.
Tissue boxes or pocket-sized tissues are available to purchase in the local grocery store or pharmacy.
Ireland do have mosquitoes; however, we didn’t encounter any mosquitoes or get bitten by any.
Having said this, to protect yourself, you may wish to consider packing mosquito repellent, to prevent bites.
Please note, that malaria and other mosquito carrying diseases are not prevalent in Ireland. But after being bitten by a mosquito, your skin could get irritated causing skin rashes and itching.
We use Jungle Formula roll on mosquito repellent, which has to be the best product we use to stop us from being bitten.
It is so easy to apply, dries very quickly and leaves no strong smells.
We have used other products, such as the spray, or the electric plugs, but we still got bitten by mosquitoes. Jungle Formula roll on has changed all that.
If you don’t want to get bitten, then you should include this in your luggage.
You should pack your basic toiletries such as toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream and razors/electric razor, make up (but you don’t need too much, just the basics), etc.
In our experience, hotels and accommodation will only provide the basic soaps and shower gels. If you require your usual toiletries, then you’ll need to pack these.
We have already mentioned this, but don’t pack everything you would use at home, you just need to bring the basics.
First Aid Kit
In your little first aid kit, make sure you have plasters, painkillers (with any medication, it is always a good idea to keep the box or instructions, in the event you need to provide these to authorities), antibacterial hand sanitizer etc.,
Please note, whilst we have never encountered problems taking painkillers with us. It has been known for tourist to be jailed for taking painkillers into a country, that ban certain drugs.
If you have any concerns about the type of drugs you will be taking with you, then consult the relevant agency or government website to get clarity.
Electrical items to pack for Ireland
Do you want to take the best pictures? Or stay in touch with family and friends? Update your latest photo to social media? Then here are the electrical items you must pack for a trip to Ireland
Do you want to take some really awesome pictures or videos of your holiday?
If that was a yes, then you will want to make sure your camera is packed.
There’re a few options on cameras that you could take on holiday to Ireland with you.
Firstly, you could pack a large DLSR camera, along with multi different lenses and accessories, to take some incredible photographs. The only caveat, they’re large, heavy and can take up a lot of space in your hand luggage.
What about a compact camera. We love Cannon, so rather than taking our large Cannon DSLR camera, we will pack our Compact Cannon.
Our compact Cannon can take some unbelievable images and videos, but the key is that it is COMPACT. It’s lightweight, small and still takes some great shots just as a DSLR camera does.
It would be practical to pack the compact camera, but what camera will you pack? Leave a comment below.
Do you need ideas on what camera gear you should purchase for your next big adventure to Ireland, then check out travel equipment and accessories ideas post. We have you covered in this post of everything you could possibly need while travelling.
A mobile phone is a must if you intend to stay in touch with family and friends, use Google Maps to navigate, or just to book a taxi or tickets.
Before you leave your home country, check with your provider that you have roaming and that it isn’t too expensive to use.
If you’re in Ireland for longer than a month, it’ll be worth purchasing a local sim, which can be purchase in the local mobile phone shop.
Don’t have a camera, or don’t want to fork out on a camera? Your phone will be able to take some really good pictures and videos too.
If you know how to set your phone camera, you can still take some awesome photos.
It’s inevitable that the camera and phone battery will decrease the more it is used.
So, you’ll need that all-important camera and phone charger, to bring the battery back to life again so you can continue using.
Travelling internationally to Ireland? Then don’t forget to pack the plug adapters, or the chargers will be useless.
Ireland plugs are the three-square pins, at 220V/50Hz
Now, don’t forget to pack them!
These will tend to be items that do not form as part of the above, such as:
Pack a great book or a few to take to Ireland with you in your hand luggage.
You’ll want to pass some time while you’re in the departure lounge of an airport or ferry terminal, or while you relax on a sunny beach.
You could pack a physical book, but this isn’t always practical. Why? Because it will take up too much room in your bag.
What about a Kindle?
Download as many books as you like onto a Kindle and read them while you’re relaxing or passing the time.
A Kindle will take up far less space than any physical book will.
A phrase book may only come in handy if you are not fluent in English.
Guide books are a great source of information about a country.
We love using guide books to help us plan our holidays from, where to stay, what to do in a country and useful information while travelling.
Lonely Planet Guide book are our favourite sources of information and helped us plan our road trip in the Wicklow Mountains.
We are currently planning our next trip to Ireland.
Note pad and pen
If you like to keep a note of your travels, then a note pad and pen/pencil must be packed.
Although, we need to keep things to a minimum while packing the least number of things to keep space and weight.
So, what better way to keep a note of your trip, than with your smart phone.
Most smart phones these days will have a notepad, or notes, or some app so you can keep a note on your phone.
By using your smart phone, you’ll be packing one less thing, which will keep space in your luggage for any souvenirs you may wish to purchase.
Padlock and keys
Are you checking in any bags at the airport?
If so, you’ll need to make sure you have a padlock and key to secure it.
Plus, it should deter offenders from stealing your belongings.
We can’t leave the house without our bum bag.
A bum bag can store cash, credit cards, phones, keys and more depending on the size.
The bum bag is strapped around the waist and can be hidden by clothing. This should prevent the contents of the bum bag from being stolen.
Food to pack for a trip to Ireland
As you travel to and around Ireland, you must remain fueled and hydrated at all times. Here are just some suggestions on what food to pack for your trip to Ireland:
You must remain hydrated at all times.
Air travel can make you dehydrated due to the pressurisation in the cabin.
Have some empty water bottles that you can fill up once you have past security. We may add, that some airports do not include water fountains.
If this is the case, you’ll have to pack the water containers in the main luggage and purchase water in duty free.
Once you’re in Ireland, use the water bottles you have packed and fill them up as you go, or purchase bottled water should this be your preference.
However, we would strongly suggest avoiding plastic water bottles.
Firstly, plastics are harmful to the environment and wildlife. Purchasing bottled water will only add to the problem.
If you’re on a budget, buying bottled water doesn’t come cheap and will only start eating into any budget that you have set.
What we would recommend is purchasing plastic free reusable water bottles or a camelback pouch and refill with water as you go.
Tap water is safe to drink in Ireland and most places will give you free water.
Ask at your hotel or accommodation before you leave, to fill up your water container before heading out for the day.
Pack some healthy snacks and comfort food from your home country.
Snacking is a great way to continue to fuel your body, whether that’s travelling to Ireland or out sightseeing all day, you’ll need something to keep you going.
You could also purchase snacks in Ireland from the local supermarket.
Depending on the time of year that you planned your holiday, will depend on what type of clothing to pack. In the winter, the climate is mild, during spring and autumn, it is slightly warmer and mainly dry. The summer is the better months to travel, as the weather is hot, with the occasional wet day.
With the weather conditions in mind, you must always ensure you have the correct clothing for your trip. Here are the important clothes to pack for Ireland:
Make sure you only pack the essential items for the time of year and where you are visiting and do not over pack on unnecessary things.
Pack enough clothes for the number of days or weeks, plus a few extra as spare.
Alternatively, wash the clothes as you go, that way you won’t need to pack quite as much clothes, leaving more space and reducing the weight of your luggage.
As mentioned above pack clothes for the seasons:
Packing for Ireland in Winter
While Ireland’s weather conditions are mild, it can feel very cold in the winter.
Make sure you have packed thermal underlayers and layer up when you go out.
Packing for Ireland in Spring and Autumn
During spring and autumn, the conditions will vary. Some days it could get lovely and warm, while other days, the temperatures could really drop.
You’ll need to pack clothing for the warmer days and for the days that are cold.
Packing for Ireland in Summer
During summer in Ireland the weather conditions can get hot.
You’ll want to pack clothes that will keep you feeling cool.
It would also be a good idea to pack something to keep you warm on a cold evening in Ireland.
Yes, that’s right on a summers evening, it can feel chilly. So, make sure you have something that’ll keep you feeling warm on a chilly summer’s night.
Don’t forget your underwear.
If you wear PJs in bed, then these should be packed in the suitcase.
You only need a few pairs of shoes for your holiday to Ireland. I mean, how many feet do you have to justify packing more.
We understand that certain shoes will only go with certain outfits. But do you really need to pack that many shoes. Of course, you don’t.
The most important thing to remember is that you can’t over pack. If you do, you won’t have enough room for all your essential belongings and you could exceed the baggage allowance.
Only pack a few essential shoes that’s appropriate for the occasion, i.e if you are hiking, take proper hiking shoes, if you are visiting a beach, take beach shoes.
It’s easy to say, I need this pair, I need that pair, but take it back to what you’ll be doing and only take one pair of shoes for that activity or occasion.
You can use the same pair of shoes more than once. Use the same shoes for different activities and occasions.
Waterproof shoes should be included to prevent your feet from getting wet, on those wet and rainy days.
Wet Weather gear
The rain doesn’t have to stop you from getting out and exploring Ireland, although it doesn’t make it pleasant.
Wet Weather gear will prevent your clothing from getting wet, so you don’t have to stop sightseeing in Ireland.
What are you going to pack your belongings in when out sightseeing in Ireland?
A backpack or a bag will keep all your belongings you intend to use for that day somewhere safe.
You’ll want to good sized reliable backpack that will store these items.
We would highly recommend Osprey, as the backpack we purchased has been reliable, but also a well-known brand.
We could also recommend an anti-theft bag, a great back pack, which have the zip that can’t easily be seen and could prevent your personal belongings from being stolen.
During the summer months you’ll want swimwear to relax back by the seaside.
If your accommodation has a swimming pool, you’ll need your swimwear to go swimming.
Only pack this, if you actually intend to use it.
What should I pack for Ireland – in your day bag
Once you have arrived in Ireland and checked into your accommodation, you’ll need to plan what you should pack in your day bag.
What you will pack, will depend on the activity you’ll be doing for that day.
Here are some of the things you should pack, no matter the scenario.
- Sun protection
- Mini first aid kit
- Mobile phone
- Guide book
- Phrase book
- Note pad and pen/pencil
- Pack lunch
- Wet weather gear
What to pack for Northern Ireland
Are you crossing the border into Northern Ireland?
Then what should I pack for Northern Ireland?
There isn’t anything more or less that you should pack for Northern Ireland than if you’re travelling to the Republic of Ireland.
Now that you know what to pack for your holiday to Ireland, but what about where to visit, and what to do? We would recommend visiting Ashford Castle! Want to know why? Then you really should check out The ultimate guide to exploring Ashford Castle in Ireland
While this may seem quite a large list, but you want to pack the right balance for your trip to Ireland. You’ll need enough for the trip, but you don’t want to over pack your bag with things that are unnecessary.
Depending on where you’ll be flying from, will depend on what baggage allowance you will have when entering the country, in accordance with the airline.
Please also check the airlines T & C’s (terms and conditions) and then pack and book accordingly.
It also depends on the activities and time of year you’ll be travelling to Ireland. It is likely that you won’t need everything on this list.
Being sensible about packing, will help you pack economically and with the least amount of weight and effort.
Have you visited Ireland? Where did you visit? Was there something you packed that you can’t leave home without? Maybe you have plans to visit Ireland. Let us know, by leaving a comment below.
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