The Perfect Packing List

Overpacking for any trip is something to be avoided. If you are renting a car, remember that European cars are smaller than American vehicles. Additionally, if you want to hand carry any gifts back home, you will want to have enough room. Everything that is available at home is most likely available in Ireland (perhaps under a different brand). For walkers, hikers, and bikers, read the slightly different thorough packing list.

From the experts who travel to Ireland often, the following items are a few essentials you should bring along. Any item without a number beside it indicates that only one of those articles is recommended.

  • T-shirts (6)

  • Nice shirts (2)

  • Regular pants (2)

  • Hiking pants

  • Pajamas

  • Shorts

  • Underwear (5)

  • Socks (5 pair, not cotton, see “Fabric Types,” below)

  • Walking shoes/light boots (1 pair)

  • Dress shoes (only if needed)

  • Sandals (for bathroom use)

  • Rain jacket

  • Fleece/sweater

  • Light gloves

  • Light scarf

  • Warm hat

  • Bathing suit

And here is a list of essential materials and gear:

  • Travel umbrella

  • Watch

  • Travel alarm clock

  • Backup glasses/contact lenses

  • Sunglasses

  • Money belt

  • Water bottle

  • Daypack

  • Earplugs

  • First-aid kit

  • Any medications (labeled with prescriptions)

  • Sunscreen

  • Notepad

  • Toiletries and a towel

  • Travel clothesline

  • Emergency contact details

  • Insurance details

  • Extra credit/debit cards

  • Passport

  • Airplane ticket(s)

  • Driver's license

Fabric Types

For some of the gear, such as T-shirts, socks, and underwear, avoid bringing cotton garments since they are heavier and take longer to dry. Light merino wool for socks and moisture-wicking products for T-shirts and underwear work nicely. For pants, bringing jeans along is fine, but you should also consider one or two pair of comfortable, quick-drying pants. Additionally, rain, bog, and wet grass are inevitable; bring breathable and waterproof (not simply water-resistant) shoes or light boots so your feet will stay dry.


Medications are allowed in the country as long as they are properly labeled in the correct container. Consider bringing along your doctor's prescription (detailing generic drug names) and a contact phone number. Pharmacies in Ireland are excellent sources of information. Should you need to purchase prescription drugs, your doctor will need to fax the proper forms. Or, you will have to visit a local physician to obtain one.

Additionally, women travelers should bring ample supplies of birth control if they are taking it. Men should consider bringing their own supply of condoms. Obtaining these items in Ireland is not as hard as in the past, but it is much easier to bring your own.

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