If youre planning a trip to Ireland, you need to know what to pack. Since the Emerald Isle lies in the oft-temperamental North Atlantic, the weather can change in a heartbeat. You can literally experience all four seasons in a single day.
For your trip, then, youll need to take along outfits that work well in layers. Layered clothing gives you the option to remove layers when its feeling summery, yet when the rain and chill sets in, you can add a warm woolen sweater and some rain gear to keep you toasty.
We hope this guide will help you pack for your trip to Ireland at any time of the year. Dont forget, theres plenty more to remember to pack than just your wardrobe, but we think weve covered all the bases!
Pack Clothing that Keeps You Comfortable
Since clothing often takes up the bulk of the room in your luggage, lets start packing with your wardrobe.
Pack for a winter trip
Average temperatures during Irish winters range from 45 degrees F in December down to 41 degrees in both January and February. Though relatively mild compared to the northern United States, keep in mind, youll likely have plenty of cold, rainy days during the winteran average of 23, so your winter wardrobe should include plenty of choices that ward off the damp.
- Stave off the cold with Aran wool:Theres a reason why Aran wool is such a popular choice among Irish people. Not only does it insulate against the cold, but it also keeps you warm even when youre wet. Therefore, youll want to pack aclassic wool jacketor astylish ponchoand a couple ofhand-knit fisherman sweaterspack a couple ofAran wool sweaters for the kids, too!
- Accessorize with warmth: Since your extremities are more vulnerable to the damp and the cold than the rest of your body, keep your head toasty with asoft, cozy hat. Packwarm glovesand socks to keep your hands and feet comfortable, even on long hikes along Irelands breathtaking cliffs and shore. Kids, especially, can get chilled quickly, even if theyre active. Make sure they have hats that cover their ears as well as warm wool gloves and socks to keep their extremities warm.
Enjoy the Irish spring in pure comfort
Springtime is when youll see the magic of the lush Irish landscape come to life. Even though the earth is warming up from its long winter slumber, youll still have some cool days to contend with, along with the spring rains. Temperatures range from an average of 45 and 46 degrees in March and April to sunny May, when average temperatures rise to 52 degrees.
- Keep warm with sweaters:ThickAran wool sweatersare a must for men, women, and children when youre taking your spring vacation in Ireland. Keep a poncho handy, too, for the cooler, wetter days.
- Lighten up on your accessories:Switch your cap to alighter oneto keep your head warm and dry without the bulk of thick winter hats.Wool socks, though, are a must to keep your feet warm if its a drizzly day.
Prepare for the summer weathers ups and downs
Summers in Ireland are cooland often wet, with August usually being the rainiest month. Be prepared for whatever Mother Nature dishes out with a wardrobe that keeps you comfortable in all kinds of weather.
Outerwear thats perfect in form and function:For warmer days, you cant beat acotton T-shirt or polofor its moisture-wicking properties. Blend in with the locals with shirts that tout your beverage or university of choice. Swap your heavy sweater for alight cardiganthat buttons up for warmth and is easy to remove altogether when the suns rays beat down on you. A cotton summer wrap keeps you warm yet never overpowers as it wicks away sweat to keep you comfortable. Women should bring at least one dress that can double as a day and evening dress, while men should pack a tie and a dress shirt, in case you get an invitation to a more formal event.
Wick away moisture and fend off the chill:Irish summer evenings can be a bit chilly, as can rainy days. A loosely knitwool scarf in a summery coloris just the thing to take the chill off even as it wicks away the damp. For kids, a light woolen poncho might be a better choice. You can layer it over a cool cotton shirt on brisk mornings or evenings. It's then easy to remove when it warms up.
Enjoy falls crisp mornings with a wardrobe to rival Nature
Nothing beats autumn in Ireland. With incredible foliage, spectacular scenery,whale-watching at its peak, and off-season hotel rates, you can enjoy Irelands best for less. Average temperatures range from 57 in September, cooling off to 52 and 46, respectively, for October and November.
Channel falls colors with sweaters and jackets:The perfect top for chilly fall days, a womensDonegal wool-blend sweater in deep burgundyprovides stiff competition to Mother Nature. Nothing says fall like tweedso be sure to pack astylish tweed jacket in autumn plum. For kids, nothings better on chilly fall days than acozy neutral-colored sweaterthat goes with almost anything.
Keep the fall theme going with autumn accessories:Nothing says autumn in Ireland like a classic wool patch cap for men. Not only will it give you an authentic look, but it will also keep your head warm, even on Novembers coolest days. With your fall-themed wardrobe, carry anautumn-brown tweed bag, large enough to carry everything youll need on a long stroll through the countryside or down one of Dublins charming streets.
Other Useful Essentials
Along with your wardrobe and accessories, youll need to pack some travel necessities.
- Travel documents:Keep your passport with you as you travel. Dont forget to print out your airline tickets and tickets for shows, tooif youve booked seats at the Gaiety or Bord Gais Theatre ahead of time. If you have a chronic medical condition, bring a doctors note in case you have a health issue while traveling. If you plan to drive, its a good idea to apply for an international drivers license well before you leave. If youre from North America, remember that Irish drivers drive on the opposite side of the road. Brush up on Irelands rules of the road beforehand to avoid any nasty surprises.
- Gadgets:If youre from the States, be sure to bring apower adapter If you plan a side trip to the rest of Europe, get a universal power adapter that has both European and UK settings. If youre only visiting Ireland and the UK, just get a Type G adapter. If you have a cheap international roaming plan, turn it on before you leave. If not, you should pick up a cheap cell phone or an Irish SIM card at the Dublin airport after you land. Whatever device you bring, buy a waterproof case for it. With rain in the forecast and kilometers of beachfront, why take a chance? Remember that temperatures in Ireland are measured on the Celsius scale and distances with the metric system. You might want to install a measurement conversion app on your device to keep you informed.
- Credit cards, debit cards, and cash:Before you leave, exchange some of your own countrys money for a little cash for your first couple of days in Ireland. That way, you wont have to rush around to find a currency exchange when you land. Inform your bank and credit card providers that youll be going abroad so they wont flag your card for possible fraud.
- Toiletries and medications:Pack your favorite fragrance, toothpaste, and all needed medications in your bag before you leave. Those familiar things will help you feel at home even when youre an ocean away. Many travelers pack a small first aid kit so they wont have to stop at a pharmacy for minor injuries and illnesses.
- Extras:If youre visiting long-lost relatives, you might want to bring along some photos of your extended family to compare notes with your Irish cousins. Limit jewelry to only essentials. If you have valuables, bring along a small safe to keep them in at the hotel while youre out. Finally, dont forget the keys to your own home. You wouldnt want to have to spend your first night back home in another hotel!
When youre traveling overseas to Ireland or anywhere else, for that matter it pays to prepare well beforehand. Packing is a big part of that preparation. When youre prepared, you can relax and enjoy your trip without a worry in the world.