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 – if not a complete itinerary – 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.
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Three Weeks Before You Leave (or more)
- Do you have everything you will need?
- Valid passport (be sure you have at least 6 months until the expiry date!)
- Adapter to charge your camera/ phone/ computer/ electronics – and don't forget your charging cords!
- Water-resistant shoes or boots if you plan to do any outdoor activities.
- Jacket for layering – I like SCOTTeVEST (and personally use the Molly Jacket), so many pockets!
- Call, or email, and re-confirm your lodging, car rental, and any activity reservations.
Two Weeks Before You Leave
- If you want Euros in hand when you land, call your bank and order them. Many banks don't have them on site, but 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. More on how & when to get Euros
- 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.
- If your credit card is covering your car rental insurance call or email to request your letter of coverage. You must print this to present when you pick up your car.
- If you plan to withdraw money from ATM machines in Ireland be sure to have a 4 digit PIN number.
- 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 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. Read this: Carry On Necessities for your Flight to Ireland
- 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/iPad/ 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!