Ireland Vacation Packing Tips: What to Take & What to Leave Home

When it comes to packing for your Ireland vacation it is easy to pack way more than you will need. The old adage of ‘lay out everything you think you need then leave half of it at home' stands true.

Not only does it lighten your load but realizing you've been lugging around a bunch of unnecessary items when you're trying to find space to pack souvenirs is frustrating.

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Ireland Vacation Packing Tips

Deciding what is necessary and what can be left at home can be difficult.

Once you've determined what clothes you need for an Ireland vacation, the next step is to determine what you use daily, what you can't be without, and how to make it all fit in your luggage (and maybe in your rental car).

Toiletries

Large bottles of hair products, cleansers, and creams take up lots of space in your luggage (and they are heavy!).

When possible, downsize your products into refillable bottles or purchase travel size items.

TSA Approved refillable bottles

If you are checking a suitcase pack only the necessities into your carry-on bag, remembering that all liquids must fit into a single quart size clear bag.

Packing items in your checked luggage? Put anything that could cause a mess into a sealed plastic bag or leak-proof toiletry case in case the change in air pressure causes a spill.

Medications

Essential medications should never be put into checked baggage.

If a medication is prescribed by your doctor keep it in the original packaging with both the doctor's and traveler's names on the label. Bring enough medicine to last your entire stay in Ireland.

You may wish to bring a letter or prescription from your doctor in case you need to consult a pharmacist during your trip.

If you take over-the-counter medications daily you may wish to bring these with you, though many can be found in Ireland under a different name. Most towns and villages have a pharmacy with helpful staff who can offer advice or help you choose the correct product.

Sleep apnea (CPAP) machines may be carried on and do not count as an additional item. Be sure to check with your airline to confirm your machine is allowed to fly.

Makeup

I recommend simplifying your makeup routine for your trip. Tinted moisturizer, mascara and a lip color will get you through most days.

If you need to bring more try to pare it down to just the essentials – there's no need to bring your full makeup kit.

Jewelry

Bring simple pieces that can be worn with both casual and dressy clothing. Do not bring large, flashy, expensive jewelry.

Never put jewelry in your checked bag.

Electronics

Before you pack all your gadgets think about what you will really use – and what will just weigh you down.

Then consider the electricity in Ireland.

Electrical Adapters vs Converters for Ireland Travel

Quick overview: an adapter changes the outlet configuration so your power plugs fit the wall socket in the country you are visiting (in this case, Ireland). A converter changes the electricity so you can use your non-dual voltage electronics in a foreign country.

Ireland plugs are type G (the same as the UK) with a standard voltage of 230V.

Any dual voltage electronics you bring to Ireland will require an adapter. I recommend an adapter with multiple outlets, including standard, USB, and USBC, for charging.

If your electronics are not dual voltage you will need to invest in a converter. Converters are bulkier than adapters and usually have multiple pieces. Do not confuse an adapter with a converter – you will melt your electronics.

If you opt to purchase a converter be sure it is equipped for the country you are traveling to and is compatible with the electronic you plan to use it with.

Computers

Evaluate how much you need your computer. Unless you are working remotely can you get by without it for the duration of your vacation?

If you do bring your computer don't forget your charging cord.

Consider cloud storage instead of bringing an external drive or purchase a small thumb drive. This one has 1T of storage and has both USB and USBC compatibility.

Cameras

If you enjoy taking photos with more than the camera on your phone don't bring every lens in your kit. I find that a couple of lenses can handle most photos.

If you have a GoPro it does come in handy as a dash cam – but only if you have the space for it.

Unless you are a professional photographer, I recommend leaving your drone at home. They are bulky, are restricted in many places, and can be easily lost or damaged if you fly them at the coast (those winds can be strong!).

Don't forget charging cords, batteries, and SD cards for your cameras and recording equipment.

Reminder: spare lithium batteries must be packed in your carry-on bag. They are not allowed in checked luggage.

Hair Styling Tools

Trust me – you won't style your hair as often as you think you will.

If you bring a curling or straightening iron be sure it is a dual voltage appliance. Look for a tag that shows 110/120v to 220/240v or states ‘dual voltage'.

Do not pack a hair dryer for your Ireland vacation. They take a lot of space and most accommodations will have them available for your use.

Books

I love to read, but books are heavy!

Ireland travel books on my shelf

Instead of taking every guidebook snap a photo of the information you want and put it into a digital folder for reference. Or purchase the digital copy.

If you're a voracious reader like me use a Kindle or the Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet (and don't forget a charger).

Money

I don't know why you would, but if you travel to Ireland with €10,000 or more in cash you must declare it on arrival.

Never put cash in your checked bag.

Related: How & When Should I Get Euros?

This is what we packed for 6 weeks in Ireland. We had to change our car rental at the airport. (OUCH!)
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How to Pack for Your Trip to Ireland

No matter if you travel carry-on or check a bag, organization is key when packing your suitcase.

I like to pack outfits together- especially when packing for children- so I know I have everything I need.

Luggage

When choosing luggage for your Ireland vacation I advise planning to travel carry-on only.

If you can't make that work (I totally understand) and are checking a bag, I recommend packing at least one outfit, an extra pair of shoes, and any toiletries you might need, into your carry-on. Just in case your bag doesn't arrive at the airport when you do.

If you are traveling with family pack a few outfits for each person in each checked bag. Then, if one gets lost, there will still be clothes for everyone. And make sure everyone has their own carry-on (see above).

I do recommend taking as few bags as possible. Our family of 4 usually packs one personal bag and one carry-on per person plus one large checked bag that we all use. (We will use two large checked bags if I stay in Ireland longer for work.)

They type of luggage you buy is very much personal preference. I like hard sided luggage to check and soft sided for carry-on.

Any luggage locks, built in or attached, need to be TSA approved. If the TSA can not access your luggage they will cut the lock or hold your luggage until you can open it for them.

Related: Carry-On Necessities for Your Flight to Ireland

Jody Halsted
Follow Along

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