Engaging Ireland News

Current news and information about Ireland and Irish travel

Packing Tips for Your Trip to Ireland (Part II)

Don't skimp: Get a good-quality electrical adaptor with surge protection.

In our previous article, we discussed what kind of and how much luggage you should bring, what types of clothing and footwear you might want to pack, and how to be a bit prepared for the weather in Ireland. In this article, we continue our discussion of what to pack for Ireland with a look at some things you might not think about when making your packing list (and you should use a packing list).

Most people know that they’ll need an adapter for the electrical outlets. Don’t buy the cheapest one you can find. You will be sorry when your blowdryer, curling iron, rechargeable batteries, or (worst case scenario) laptop are fried! Spend the extra $10-15 and get a good-quality adapter with hi/lo settings and surge protection.

You will probably want to bring extra memory cards for your digital camera as well. Unless you have a laptop or other storage device available to which you can upload your photos, it’s a good idea to have extra storage available. To hold your memory cards in one place, you might consider purchasing a case that can hold several cards. For around $10, we purchased (from one of the office store chains) a hard-sided case that can hold up to a dozen SD memory cards.

Whether you are driving in Ireland or using public transport, you should purchase a good map. Our favorites are the Michelin Ireland map – not the one with Ireland and Britain; the one with just Ireland – or the Ordinance Survey Ireland (OSI) maps. We have found that these maps, along with a GPS with a current map (for those of you who will be driving), have saved us from being hopelessly lost many times. On the other hand, they also have helped us be more brave about driving off on those smaller, unmarked roads that look like they may lead to a wonderful adventure, because we are assured that we will be able to get back to where we need to be…eventually! If you’re exploring Ireland on a tour or only plan to stick to major roadways, almost any map of Ireland will suffice.

Small LED flashlight.

Pack a small torch (flashlight) for you trip. You might not see why you would need one, but we can tell you from experience that there are many times this will come in handy. If you get a flat tire late in the day or at night, if you end up out walking/hiking/exploring later than you had planned to, if you lose an earring under the bed, if you come across a rarely-explored cave or castle, you will be very happy to have a flashlight. It may sound ridiculous to say, but Ireland becomes black as pitch after the sun sets, if you’re not in area that has streetlights (which is most of Ireland). You can get a very small LED version for just a few bucks. If you don’t want to bother with carrying batteries, you can purchase a wind-up model for a few dollars more.

If you wear contact lenses, be sure to take extra lenses with you and/or back-up glasses. If you have worn corrective lenses for any length of time, you probably already realize you should do this, but sometimes the most obvious items get left behind!

First-time visitors to Ireland should be aware that many lodging accommodations do not provide a facecloth/washcloth. If you can’t live without one, be sure to pack one in your carry-on. We have noticed that department stores and stores that sell towels generally have them available for sale (in case you forget one), and some hotels and spas that cater more to foreign visitors may have them, but you might just have to ask for one.

Something else you’ll want to think about while you’re traveling: How will you keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones? Unless you’re planning to wash clothes every day (and are sure that they’ll be dry by morning, if you’re moving from one accommodation to the next each day), you’ll want to keep them separate. What we’ve learned to do is to pack a few gallon-sized zipper-top plastic bags to take along until we find a place to wash the clothes. If you’re staying in self-catering that has washing facilities in the unit, you don’t have to worry about this so much, but you might want to take some long in case you get wet socks or clothing and don’t want them to get anything else wet! (Take an extra pair of socks and change of clothing along in the car or your daypack if you’re going out walking or hiking…just in case it rains unexpectedly.)

Carry a journal or sketchbook...

We also suggest that any traveler to any destination carry a journal/sketchbook and a glue stick, so you can document your impressions and memories of your travel as they occur. If you aren’t journaling several times a day as you go, take a few minutes out of each morning or evening to write in your journal. While we are artists, we don’t generally consider ourselves to be artists who draw or paint especially well, but we have taken to stopping at places we visit to try to sketch what we see: people, animals, plants, buildings, whatever… Doing so provides us a different perspective on places that we may have visited many times. Give it a try!

In our third, and final, part of this series about packing for your trip to Ireland, we’ll take a look at some other things you’ll want to think about with regard to paperwork and traveling with medications. Until we meet again, slán abhaile!

Posted 7 years, 5 months ago at 11:38 am.

Add a comment