Planning Your Irish Vacation
It’s tempting to take many, many items along on your travels to Ireland. Technology has, fortunately, helped to lighten our load without leaving much behind.
Once you’ve planned your clothes to pack for a trip to Ireland, it’s time to look at the gadgets and accessories you may need.
Handy Gadgets for Driving in Ireland
First tip- don’t forget your driver’s license! The majority of foreign licenses will allow you to operate a motor vehicle in Ireland- plus you will need it to rent your car.
While it is fun to listen to Irish radio, bring along some of your favorite music to help pass the miles. Don’t forget to load your preferred device with some favorite Irish tunes. No favorites? I highly recommend Makem & Spain Brothers, Gaelic Storm and the Killdares.
Half the fun of driving in Ireland is getting lost. The map you receive with your rental car should be enough to get you from place to place, and most car rental locations will also rent SatNav or GPS devices. (Alternately, consider renting a personal wifi unit and using your phone navigation system.)
Handy Gadgets for Sticking to Your Ireland Itinerary
Gone are the days of lugging half a dozen travel guides. Buy your favorites on Kindle. Just want a few pages of a paper guide? You can scan and load documents to your Kindle, as well. Create an “Ireland travel” collection to keep everything easy to access. Lonely Planet also offers individual chapters of their Ireland guides.
Of course the Kindle also makes it easy to read the latest novel on your flight, or even play a few games.
If you have an international plan on your smartphone, or have rented a personal wifi device you’ll want to have a couple apps on your front page.
- The ‘Ireland- Are We There Yet’ app (iPhone, Android) is your travel essential for quickly finding kids friendly places to play or the local sweet shop. You’ll also be able to research sites and learn a bit of Irish trivia. $2.99
- Not sure where your travels will take you? The B&B Ireland app (iPhone) connects you to comfortable places to lay your head across the country.
- Georgina Campbell is synonymous with great Ireland travel. Her free Ireland Guide app (iPhone, Blackberry) recommends the best places to eat, play & sleep.
- The Ireland Travel Guide by Tripso (Android) is free and works offline- which is really nice if you don’t have an international smart phone!
Gadgets for Recording Ireland Travel Memories
Though the green of Ireland is never as vibrant on film as it is in person, you’ll want to do your best to capture it.
- The Canon ELPH is the best pocket size camera I’ve owned.
- If you want digital SLR abilities without the bulk, the Olympus PEN features interchangeable lenses, manual settings and a wonderful variety of artistic settings, as well.
- If you aren’t bringing along a laptop to download photos daily be sure to buy the largest memory card your camera will allow (your manual will tell you) and change your photo quality settings, or bring additional memory cards.
- Consider an Eye-Fi SD card which uses wi-fi to automatically send your images to your iPad or Android device, or one of 25 popular photo sharing sites.
The craic in Ireland is beyond measure. Don’t forget to utilize the video on your camera!
With all these electronics you don’t want to forget an electrical converter!
Toting Your Gear
Most Ireland vacations are active. You’ll find yourself doing a lot of walking, maybe a little hiking and possibly a bit of horseback riding. You’ll want a bag that will easily tote what you need without being too big and heavy.
The Lowepro Photo Sport Sling is lightweight, roomy and is specifically made for SLR cameras. It also has a rain cover (very handy for Ireland!)
- If your items are small, you can’t beat a ScotteVest jacket. This line of clothing has carefully created pockets, perfect for wallets, phones, cameras and even iPads.
- A lightweight day pack is handy for toting snacks, small activities and necessities for your day.
Getting those Souvenirs Home
Unless you plan to buy luggage in Ireland, or ship souvenirs home, be sure to bring a collapsible carry on bag! If an item is delicate be sure to have it well wrapped and carry it on if at all possible.
Planning to get a bottle of Mead or Whiskey? Invest in an inflatable or specially padded wine bag to get it home safely.
While this list may seem large, only a few, well chosen, items are necessary to help make your Ireland vacation hassle free and filled with terrific memories.
Do you have a travel gadget you never travel without? Share your tips in the comments!
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