One of the many great things about dating Cazzy is that she is Irish!
Meaning I get to spend at least a couple months every year living in Ireland and taking time to explore the many incredible sites on offer.
Our biggest trip so far was our epic two week Ireland road trip that took us all the way around the coast of the island, discovering almost a dozen different counties and experiencing the true beauty that the country has to offer.
With such fondness for the country I figured it time to put together our own ultimate Ireland packing list.
Weather in Ireland can fluctuate pretty quickly, and it seems to have an altogether different climate to neighbouring countries of England, Wales & Scotland.
So here’s an overview at what to pack for Ireland, with a specific look at different times of the year you may be visiting and what extra essentials you might need.
So, first up ...
Before traveling anywhere, make sure you have your travel insurance in place. We recommend SafetyWing.
Here's a few reasons ...
For more info, check out my in-depth SafetyWing review.
The perfect bag for Ireland, really depends on what you’re planning on doing there!
Your two main options are to go for are:
If you are backpacking Ireland, then your best bet is a 60-75 litre backpack which will be able to hold everything you could possibly need.
When packing for countries like Thailand, you wouldn’t normally need such a huge pack unless you’re planning on backpacking for a few months.
However, because Ireland is typically much colder and wetter, you’re going to need to pack a few extra changes of clothes, as well as more warm weather gear like jumpers and jackets.
Based on our travels, the best backpacks to opt for are those made by Osprey.
They have an incredibly large range, and their backpacks are made to a very high quality, so they’re designed to last for years.
I’ve been using mine for all of our incredible backpacking adventures over the years and it’s still going strong.
Here’s my top 2 recommendations when choosing the best backpack for Ireland:
I have only used a few roll-on luggage brands in recent years, but Horizn Studios has to be my favourite!
In particular, the M5 Smart, which comes with a bunch of really cool bonus features that most other carry-ons don't have, such as a built-in portable charger.
You can read more about what sort of luggage they offer, in my in-depth Horizn Studios luggage review. Bottom line though, they are super top quality and built to last a lifetime.
If you're in the market for other premium luggage, then you can read my guide on the best luxury carry-ons.
Regardless of whether you are road tripping Ireland in a rental car, backpacking or going on an organised tour, a good day bag is essential for Ireland.
It needs to be big enough to carry around everything you need for a day of sightseeing; but also have a few practical essentials.
In particular, a rain cover!
Rain is very common in Ireland, even in the summer months and it can come out of nowhere.
So make sure that you pick up a rain cover (like this one) so you’re not caught unawares.
When travelling Ireland, we had one day bag each, and these are the same ones that have done us well when packing for India and dozens of other countries around the world.
My smaller Osprey bag is well suited for more adventurous activities where it may get bashed around more. Alternatively, the Endeavor of Lifepack backpacks from Solgaard could be a good fit as a sort of 2-in-1 backpack.
Tropicfeel's Shell backpack is an awesome second choice. It can actually be expanded if necessary and serve as an all-in-one main rucksack and day bag if you're keen to save space! We also use it as our go-to camera backpack whenever possible.
If you just want a lightweight anti-theft bag, I recommend reading my review of Loctote's bags here.
If you're looking for a backpack and daypack combination that's waterproof, spacious and practical, then we highly recommend the Salkan.
We've conducted a full review on the Salkan backpack and daypack which you can find here, but I seriously feel it's a fantastic investment that will last you a lifetime of travels.
We've been using it for a while now across Canada and the USA, and wish we had it for our trip to Ireland.
It's available a green colour too, so Irish themed ;)
Here’s a breakdown of the most important things to take to Ireland. Feel free to skip ahead to whichever section you’re interested in.
After these sections we dig into more of the fun stuff, like our photography equipment.
As I discussed at the start, you should expect there to be at least some degree of cold and rainy weather, regardless of which time of year you choose to visit Ireland.
So the start of this travel packing list includes the things that I would pack for Ireland at ANY time of the year.
Afterwards, I’ve included a couple of bonus sections for summer and winter.
Since I grew up in Ireland, I have a pretty good idea of the type of clothing and accessories you need to pack for an epic adventure.
Unfortunately, Ireland is prone to a bit of rain, BUT, that’s why everything is so green!
We do get lots of nice sunshine too though, so it’s always a good idea to pack something warm and waterproof, just in case.
Because of the nicer temperatures, summer packing for Ireland should include light and airy clothes, like summer-style dresses, or shorts and t-shirts. But it can still get cold in the evenings, so I would recommend a jacket and a pair of jeans too.
It can get very cold and wet in Ireland in winter (which does add to the romance!), but you need to be prepared. The best clothes to pack for Ireland in such conditions a warm coat, warm socks, and hat, scarf and gloves. I would make sure your coat/jacket is waterproof, or bring an umbrella with you too.
A good first aid kit is a key part of any Ireland packing list, regardless of whether you’re backpacking or roadtripping.
Just in case of any minor injuries or ailments.
We take ours with us on all trips and it’s come in useful all the time.
For any more serious injuries, then there are of course plenty of hospitals everywhere (if you’re from Europe, be sure to pack your EHIC card).
Here’s the basics that are in our first aid kit ...
If you don’t yet own a travel first aid kit, then here’s a good option to buy.
It contains the majority of what you need and you can then just add in any other items you want to take with you.
Plus, it’s small enough to tuck away in your backpack and not take up much space.
Prices for toiletries in Ireland are relatively average compared to most European cities and you can get everything below pretty cheap from big supermarkets (Tescos, Lidl, Aldi). Here’s what we took with us on our road trip.
Ireland is definitely NOT one of the cheapest countries to visit.
Even by European standards, things like hotels, car hire, fuel, food and alcohol are very expensive.
That’s why it’s important you at least have a way to help get the most Euros in exchange for your home currency.
That way your hard-earned travel money will go as far as possible!
Almost everywhere in Ireland takes card payments, so you don’t have to worry about having much cash on you.
And even if you do need to draw money out, then ATMs in Ireland don’t charge any fees for use.
Just make sure you have a travel card with you that offers the best possible exchange rates.
When we visited Ireland, we had 4 travel cards with us (2 each).
We always travel with 4 as we can separate them across my wallet/car/baggage, so that in case something gets lost or stolen then we always have backups.
Monzo and Revolut.
We’ve been using these ever since we started travelling and have never had any issues with either.
In fact, they’ve only gotten better over time as they’ve each started rolling out their own cool features.
As of writing, Revolut is available in both the UK and America, and Monzo is available in the UK (soon to launch in America).
Check their websites/app as they have plans to roll out to more countries soon and are definitely worth checking out.
For a detailed breakdown of each, check out my guide ...
Both are free, and offer the best possible exchange rates + 0% fees on withdrawal up to £200 a month in foreign currencies.
They are free to use and sign up for, all you need to do is go ahead and download the app ...
We have no favourites as they all work absolutely fine with both Monzo and Revolut and none charge any fees.
The same goes for Northern Ireland (they use £GBP up there, not Euros).
Here’s a look at the final travel essentials for Ireland ...
Now that’s all out the way, here’s a look at all the cameras and other tech that we took to Ireland to help capture all those awesome pictures you see plastered across our Ireland travel blogs!
A DSLR is the first step to take in upping your photography game. And what better place to test your new gear than Ireland! Many of the best places to visit in Ireland are outdoors, so there’s tonnes of chances to take scenic photos and capture those green rolling hills and ancient Irish castles. As well as a top quality DSLR, you will want to pick up the right lens for the sort of photography you intend on doing. For more info, check out our lens guides here: Sony a7 / Sony a7ii / Sony a7iii / Sony a7riii / Sony a6000 / Sony a6300 / Sony a6400 / Sony a6500 / Sony a6600 / Sony z6 / Canon M50 / Canon 80D / Canon 90D / Canon 6D Mark II / Panasonic GH5 / Nikon D750 / Nikon D850 / Nikon D3100 / Nikon D3200 / Nikon D3300 / Nikon D3400 / Nikon D3500 / Nikon D5600
We’ve taken our handheld video camera with us everywhere around the world and it really is an awesome little camera! It takes high amazing quality travel photos and videos, and does a great job of picking up on sound. So if you’re planning to create some travel videos and vlog your adventures, then this is a great tool to have. It’s also much smaller and more compact than a DSLR, so perfect if you’re out for the day and don’t have too much space. For a better rundown of options out there, check out our guide on the best cameras for blogging. These are just as good for non-bloggers too!
We took our GoPro with us to Ireland but didn’t get very much use out of it. The GoPro is an amazing tool, and one that we love when doing more adventurous things, such as surfing or paragliding. So if you plan on surfing in Ireland or doing something a little more wild, then definitely take a GoPro with you, or at least an alternative to GoPro if you're on more of a budget.
Without a doubt, my favourite piece of tech that I took to Ireland was our DJI Mavic Pro drone. We bought this to take to Sri Lanka and in the last couple years it’s allowed us to capture some truly stunning photos (at least in my opinion) that would otherwise have been impossible without it. Drone laws in Ireland are fairly reasonable, you just need to be sensible. Many of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland have signs clearly displaying when you are not allowed to fly a drone, so keep an eye out. To help make your choice, check out our detailed guides on the best travel drones as well as a rundown of the best affordable alternatives to DJI drones.
Here's a few final things to pack for Ireland to help make for a truly epic trip!
Now that we’ve gone through all the things to pack for Ireland, here’s a look at a few things you don’t need to take.
When packing, we always like to keep as many expensive things as possible in our day bags.
For example, we keep our travel laptops and cameras on us almost all the time.
It just gives us peace of mind, and can also avoid them getting bashed around when being put in the hold of the plane.
If you are particularly worried about doing this, I recommend picking up one of these anti theft travel bags, specially designed to keep your valuables safer.
Especially if you plan on flying with Ryanair!
Yes, they are a low-cost airline, but they have extremely limited baggage policies and you have to pay for everything else.
For example, you are no longer allowed a normal piece of hand luggage on the flight unless you pay for it.
The only bag you are allowed must be very small, so that it can slide under the seat in front of you.
This is a great packing tip for any country!
Before you start stuffing things away in your bags, it’s best to lay out everything on the bed or floor.
That way you can see exactly what you’ve packed and mark off anything from your personalised Ireland packing checklist that you’ve forgotten.
Another great reason for laying everything out before packing is that you can see just how much you are preparing to take and ask yourself if you honestly need it.
If you’ve got just a week or two driving across Ireland, then you won’t require 17 pairs of pants and 20 t-shirts.
Instead, be smart and only pack what you’ll really need.
The great thing about Ireland is that if you do forget anything then you’ll be able to pick it up when there.
When packing, think carefully about what to wear on the plane to Ireland! If you’re coming from a hot country, then you may be surprised by how much colder it is there. Especially if you’re landing late at night or early in the morning. In such cases, take trousers, a jacket and a coat with you on the flight to change into.
Ireland really is an amazing country to visit, and we had the most wonderful time exploring all of it in 2019.
We continue to revisit every year, and have travel plans for another epic road trip to see the middle of the country in the very near future.
As such, we will update this Ireland packing list with any additional travel tips as we discover them!
For now, you should have a pretty solid idea of what to pack for Ireland.
If you think there’s anything else we forgot to include, then drop a comment below and it might be worth a spot in the post!
When planning the rest of your visit to Ireland, here’s some posts you may find useful ...
For help planning the rest of your Ireland adventure, here’s some other guides you might find useful: