3 Week Countdown Checklist : Ireland Here You Come!

Planning Your Ireland Vacation

You’ve planned everything.  You know where you’re staying, how you’re getting around and even have a rough idea of what you want to see.  It’s almost time to leave for Ireland and you feel like you should be doing something…  Here’s how to get rid of the nervous, excited energy and get things ready for your trip to Ireland.

Three Weeks Before You Leave (or more)

  • Buy a Scottevest item.  Really.  Not only is it like having a second carry on, it will keep you warm, or dry, or just organized.  I used a SCOTTEVEST Ladies 22-Pocket Classic Travel Vest ( $56.40) during a recent trip and absolutely loved it.  For my next trip I fully plan on having one of their trench coats.

Two Weeks Before You Leave

Euros & an Irish 20 Pound note

Euros. Sadly that note is only useful as a souvenir.

  • Call your bank and order your Euros.  Many banks don’t have them on hand, but they can get them for you.  It can take up to 10 days for some locations, so don’t put this off until the last minute.
  • Contact your credit and debit card issuers and let them know you will be traveling.  With fraud so rampant, many issuers will freeze your card if they see overseas activity without notification.  Many credit cards can be set for this online, while bank debit cards are best notified with a phone call.
  • Begin sitting aside items that you plan to take.
  • Stock up on travel toiletries and items that you need and can not purchase overseas.
  • Make copies of your passport.  Keep one with you (either digitally or paper copy) and give one copy to a trusted relative.  While it’s unlikely you will lose such an important item, it’s never a bad idea to have a copy available.
  • Schedule your mail to be held at the post office or arrange for a neighbor to pick it up daily.
  • Reconfirm car rental information, lodging reservations, house and pet sitters, and any other services that will need performed while you are away.

One Week Before You Leave

  • Pull out suitcases and check any carry-ons against your airline’s size allowance.
  • Put your electronics with your suitcases- or make a list of the items you can’t forget.
    • camera, cords and memory cards
    • phone charger and spare battery (or battery charging pack)
    • laptop or tablet and cords
    • earphones for the flight
    • fully charged Kindle/Nook/ ereader
  • Wash all laundry and put items you want to take with you to the side.
  • Look at everything you put to the side and begin paring down.
    • Plan outfits that can mix and match.
    • Plan to do laundry at least once during your trip.
    • Bring no more than 3 pair of shoes- one for hiking, one for casual walking and one for cute (if necessary).  Don’t forget to use all available packing space and tuck items inside your shoes!
    • Remember to pack items that will layer well.  Ireland’s weather is unpredictable- raining and cold one minute, with warm sun the next

Two Days Before You Leave

  • Finish packing everything but what you must use until you leave.  For peace of mind I usually have everything that can’t be packed, but must go, sitting out.
  • Empty your wallet of all but the necessary items.
  • Move everything to your carry on bag.  (If you must take a purse, pack it in your luggage.  Be sure to fill it with clothes!)
  • Confirm flight details, check you airport transportation.

24 Hours Before You Leave

  • Check in for your flight.
  • Finish as much packing as possible.
  • Set vacation messages on email and voicemail.
  • Try to sleep.  (I know it’s difficult- I’m usually too excited to rest, too!)
  • If you can’t sleep, watch The Quiet Man . You’re sure to have verdant dreams filled with lovely brogue and images of Connemara after.

Do you have any tips to share?  Leave them in the comments and help other Ireland travelers!

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