The Ultimate Ireland Packing List

Luggage

The Ultimate Ireland Packing ListPhoto courtesy of Flickr user Cake Walk

When going to Ireland for the first time, I wasn’t exactly sure what to pack. And apparently I wasn’t that good at it, because upon arrival I realized that I forgot my all-important toothbrush! Since then, I have become a master packer. I am pretty sure I could pack us up and be ready to go in under an hour.

Outlined below is the Ultimate Ireland Packing List. This is the one we actually used for the past three trips. It has everything that we could possibly need for a trip to Ireland.

I should mention however that an Ireland packing list is personal. Everyone has different needs. Use this one as a guide and write-in anything that you think you would need to add.

A couple of packing tips:

“Pack half as much and take twice the money.” If you think you need to bring more stuff, you very well may, but most people don’t.
You probably won’t even need to take everything on this list.
If you forget something, you can buy it in Ireland most of the time. It is always fun to act like a local anyway.
Don’t buy new if you don’t really need it—See something on here you would like but don’t already have? Improvise.
If packing for more than week, you won’t need any more than this. Drop off laundry at a laundrette in town and pick it up clean and folded at the end of the day.
Travel light. It makes things much easier in the long run.
And now…The List  (or see the PDF version of The Ultimate Ireland Packing List).
Pants!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Strawberrykoi

Clothing:

  •         8 Pairs of Underwear & 3 Bras
  •         8 Pairs of Socks
  •         1 Sleepwear Set
  •         3 Pants
  •         6 Shirts & 4 undershirts
  •         1 Sweater/Fleece
  •         2 Sets of Comfortable Shoes (or 1 Walking & 1 Hiking)
  •         1 Belt
  •         1 Hat
  •         1 Scarf
  •         1 Waterproof jacket
Travel size toiletries

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Atache

Toiletries:

  •         Toothbrush
  •         Toothpaste
  •         Floss
  •         Wash cloth
  •         Shampoo
  •         Conditioner
  •         Body Wash/Soap
  •         Deodorant
  •         Razor
  •         Shaving Cream
  •         Hair Brush
  •         Hair Ties
  •         Hair Products (e.g. Gel, Hairspray)
  •         Make-up
  •         Chap Stick
  •         Tissues
  •         Hand sanitizer
  •         Baby wipes
  •         Earplugs
  •         Cotton Balls (For Windy Conditions)
  •         Sunscreen

Photo courtesy of Flickr user fragglerawker_03

First Aid Supplies & Other Toiletries:

  •         Band Aids/Disinfectant
  •         Pain Reliever (Tylenol/Aspirin)
  •         Imodium/Pepto-Bismol
  •         Motion Sickness Medication
  •         Vitamins
  •         Vitamin C Drops
  •         Feminine Hygiene Products
  •         Contact Lenses
  •         Safety pins
  •         Fingernail clippers
  •         Q-tips
  •         Tweezers
  •         General Medications in original bottles with labels
Packing for the Field

Photo courtesy of Flickr user anikarenina

Travel Gear

  •         1 Medium Size Suitcase
  •         Daypack/Backpack or Purse
  •         Luggage Tags
  •         Money belt
  •         Dirty laundry bag/trash bag
  •         Packing Cubes
  •         Extra plastic bags: Quart & Gallon

Travel Documents/Money:

  •         Plane Tickets
  •         Passport
  •         Copy of Passport in Separate Safe Location
  •         Driver’s license
  •         Health Insurance Information
  •         Travel Insurance Information
  •         Wallet
  •         100 Euros cash
  •         Credit/Debit Cards
  •         Current Bank Statement
  •         Front & Back Copies of Credit/Debit Cards including Contact Info in Separate Location
passport 003

Photo courtesy of Flickr user ds598

Keeping You Organized” Ireland Binder:

  •         Ireland Itinerary
  •         Directions
  •         Bed and Breakfast Reservations
  •         Car Rental Reservation Information
  •         Michelin or OSI Ireland Map
  •         Key Attraction Information and Coupons
  •         US & Irish Emergency Numbers
  •         Journal/Notebook
  •         Pens
  •         Receipt Holder
  •         Business Cards/Contact Info
  •         Addresses to Mail Post Cards

Electronics:

  •         Cell phone & Charger
  •         Camera & Charger—If Batteries are Required Bring Extra!
  •         Memory Cards
  •         Ireland Adapter
  •         Alarm Clock Device (Cell Phone/iPad)
  •         E-reader/Notebook
  •         Associated cables

Random Bits:

  •         Travel Books/Guides
  •         Snacks
  •         Empty Refillable Water Bottle
  •         Airplane Entertainment
  •         Walking Sticks
  •         Small flashlight
  •         Umbrella
  •         Sunglasses
  •         Music CD or 2 for the Car
  •         Plastic Cutlery for Picnics
  •         Extra Space!

Write Your Additions: 

  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________
  • _______________________________________________

Ireland Pre-trip To Do List

In the Weeks Before You Leave:

  •         Check passport does not expire within the next six months
  •         Check credit/debit card expiration dates
  •         Call credit card/banks & set travel notification to Ireland
  •         Check out what hospitals are covered by health insurance and understand claim process
  •         Decide if travel insurance is right for you
  •         Get about 100-150 Euros from your bank
  •         Hold Mail
  •         Pay all bills due while gone
  •         Re-confirm reservations with bed and breakfast owners/Indicate time of arrival
  •         Leave itinerary, contact information with loved one at home

The Day Before You Leave:

  •         Clean-out wallet (no need to take everything)
  •         Charge all camera batteries
  •         Clean out Fridge/Wash the dishes/Take out trash
  •         Pack food for airport and plane
  •         Unplug electrical items at home
  •         Check-in for flights online
US Airways Jet Plane

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Concert_Photos_Magazine

Double/Triple Check in the Moments Before You Leave:

  •         Passport
  •         Plane Tickets
  •         Driver’s License
  •         Camera
  •         B and B Information
  •         Car Rental Information
  •         Map

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73 Responses to “The Ultimate Ireland Packing List”

  1. mary miskell January 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    thanks, wish i had had this when i went to ireland last year. you should market this list for all travellers. you would make a fortune.

  2. Stephanie January 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Hi Mary–Thanks so much for the compliment. I hope it helps for your next trip!

  3. stone huts January 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Don’t bring CDs. always listen to the radio, National and local. you will get a great sense of the country if you listen as you travel. Irish radio is very different to radio in the U S, make it part of the experiance.

    • Stephanie January 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      Great Suggestion! We listen to the Irish radio too. It is uniquely different from the US and really fun to hear local news, events, etc. We also like to have a CD or two to bring with us. On each trip, we have listened to only one or two that we broght with us. Now, everytime we hear a song from that CD, it takes us right back to Ireland! We love the nostalgia it creates for us later. Thanks for the comment Stone Huts! :-)

  4. Kit March 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Thanks for the list. I start packing next week and your list is a good guide. The question for me is how heavy a coat should I bring for our late March trip?

    • Stephanie March 10, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Kit! The temps in Ireland in March are usually upper 40′s or low 50′s. My suggestion would be to not bring a heavy coat, but rather a nice rain coat that you can put a few layers under. If you get a sunny day you will feel the warmth and won’t need too much insulation, but if it is rainy and windy you will be glad you packed a some extra layers. Perhaps a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt/sweater, and a solid rain jacket might work for you. Enjoy your trip! It is coming up so soon!

  5. Amber March 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi, Great list. Seems a bit much though for leaving extra room. Do European cars have ports to connect ipods? And is taking a umbrella and poncho a must? We are traveling this summer. I don’t really want to bring things I don’t need.

  6. Stephanie March 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Hi Amber! I believe some cars do have ports, but we haven’t had any luck yet. We usually get the smallest economy available without many bells and whistles. You would need to check with the rental agency you are working with to find out specifically for your rental. I have found most are responsive by email.

    I would not say an umbrella and a poncho are an absolute must. However, it most likely will rain sometime during your trip, so just be prepared to get wet and have a good rain jacket, and you should be just fine.

    If you don’t want to bring too much, pack lighter! You can always pick things up along the way if you find you really really need them. Plus, its kinda fun to shop like a local. Enjoy your trip this summer. Sounds like it will be a blast!

  7. Shelly June 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Will be travelling in July, is a coat still necessary? Last 2 weeks of July. 1 week outside of Dublin and second week in Connemara. Any suggestions of things to do while in these areas? :)

    • Stephanie June 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      I would suggest a layer-able raincoat. It will likely be warm some days and chillier on others, but almost definitely it will rain. There are many many things to do outside of Dublin and in Connemara! You will really enjoy your time there. Don’t miss Powerscourt House and Gardens http://www.powerscourt.ie/ or Kylemore Abbey http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/–both are lovely!

  8. Donna June 25, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Stephanie,

    We leave this Friday, and will only be there for the first week in July. We’ve rented a house in Tipperary, so most of our sight-seeing will be in the southern portion of the island. We will be going to the Cliffs of Mohr then over to the Aran Islands, and hopefully going up to County Donegal for a day. We want to see Blarney, will be taking in a medieval meal at Bunratty Castle, going to the Rock of Cashel, will spend a day and a half in Dublin. We arrive in Dublin and depart from Shannon – any suggestions for what else to see? There will be five of us – my husband, our 20-year-old son, my father-in-law, my mother, and me, so we’re a diverse group and this will likely be our only trip to the Emerald Isle.

    Thanks so much for this packing list suggestions!!

    • Stephanie June 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Hi Donna! You seem to have a very ambitious trip planned! You have suggested a lot of really great things to see in Ireland. May I offer a few suggestions?

      Don’t underestimate the time it will take to get from point A to point B. While, indeed, the roads look short on a map, once you arrive you will find them to be narrow, full of curves and possibly sheep! :-) I would suggest using http://www.aaroadwatch.ie routeplanner to get driving times for each leg of your trip (I always add extra time (an hour+) for ooohh and awww stops!).

      Also, because you have such a diverse group, you may find that different age groups have different levels of energy. Staying in a town can allow for some to stay out longer and others to stay in and rest. I usually suggest at least two nights in one location to really explore the area and to allow for some relaxing for those who need it. It doesn’t appear that you will have a lot of extra time for the number of places you would like to visit, but perhaps this can help?

      Day 1: Arrival, Dublin (stay in Dublin)
      Day 2: 1/2 day Dublin; Drive to Cashel via Kilkenny (Stay in Cashel)
      Day 3: Rock of Cashel, Hore Abbey, Cahir Castle (stay in Cashel)
      Day 4: Drive to visit Galway City (stay in Galway city)
      Day 5: Day trip to Aran Islands via Rossaveal (stay in Galway City)
      Day 6: Return to Shannon Airport via Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, and Cliffs of Moher; Bunratty Banquet in evening (stay in Bunratty).
      Day 7: Return flight home

      While this itinerary does not include Blarney or Donegal. I think you will be the better for it. A week is surprisingly short and you are traveling some pretty good distances. Try not to get in the mindset of seeing everything—unfortunately there will always be things you need to cut out, but you will truly enjoy the things you do get to see.

      I hope this was helpful! Please let me know if I can clarify anymore!!
      Stephanie

  9. Rosemarie July 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. It is exactly what I was looking for and it will be a great guide. I will be traveling with my husband’s family, first week will be a bus tour from Dublin to Galway. The second week will consist of a big family reunion and visiting family in Ballinasloe for the second week. There is a total of 11 of us making the trip and it is my first trip overseas.

    Thanks again.

    • Stephanie July 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      I am so glad this helped Rosemarie! I have always wanted to take a big family trip abroad! Sounds like you are doing it right with a little bit of time with your family and a bit of time “reunioning”. Hope you really enjoy your first trip abroad!

  10. Robin July 10, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    You know how every tourist town and airport in America sells sweatshirts with their name on it? (I live in Vermont, and you can buy “Vermont” sweatshirts EVERYWHERE!) Well, I was wondering if Ireland was the same way?

    You see, I was thinking that instead of packing a sweatshirt, I could buy one when I got to Ireland – clothing and a souvenir all in one! What do you think?

    • Stephanie July 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      Yup! Lots of shops sell Ireland sweatshirts/jackets. Particularly in more tourist centered towns like Killarney. I am pretty sure you won’t have a problem at all. Happy shopping!

  11. Mariann Fuca July 14, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    What a wonderful list! We’ll be leaving on Thursday for a 12-day CIE Tour. This is our first trip to the Emerald Isle and we are so excited! I read that Ireland is going through a sort of heat wave. I had planned on taking two pairs of jeans and two capris but was wondering whether or not to pack shorts? (BTW, my husband and I are in our late 50s)
    I have read everywhere that most people dress very casually. Do you have any advice?

    • Stephanie July 14, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Surprisingly, Ireland is seeing quite a bit of warmer weather at the moment! If you want to pack a pair of shorts and have the room, there is no harm in hoping! :-) Ireland’s weather is notorious for changing momentarily, which is why it is always suggested to have layers at the ready. You can absolutely dress casually, unless you happen to be attending a restaurant that requires fancier attire. You will have a great time and I will cross my fingers that the weather holds out for you!

  12. Margaret Doheny August 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you for this great list! My husband and I will be on a CIE 9 day Folk & Pub tour beginning Sept. 7th. Do you have any advice on packing for the weather at that time of year?

    We start out in Dublin and will be travelling to the south-east, south and western seaboard, then back to Dublin.

    Thank you, Margaret

    • Stephanie August 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Margaret! You are going at our favorite time of year. September is often delightfully void of large crowds and summer weather is still hanging on. I would suggest having a few things to layer as there may be some chilly or windy days and of course have a rain jacket. I would be expecting temps in the 60′s (sometimes a little warmer, sometimes a little cooler), so if you have clothing to cover that range you should be good!). Enjoy your trip!

  13. Brian September 15, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Stephanie: Thanks for the list. My brother, sister-in-law, mother and I leave for Ireland on Wednesday, September 18th for 10 days. This will be my 1st trip abroad and I’m really looking forward to it. My dad’s side of the family comes from Ireland and I find that I’m very drawn to the music. Flying into Dublin and heading south along the coast, west to Killarney, Limerick and then back to Dublin. Looking forward to fun pubs, good music and fresh seafood. Any suggestions for traditional Irish dishes?

    • Stephanie September 16, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      Hi Brian! If you happen to be headed to Kinsale, a lovely coastal village west of Cork, don’t miss Fishy Fishy, an excellent seafood restaurant. You won’t be disappointed. http://www.fishyfishy.ie/ Killarney is chock full of good restaurants with trad music most nights all over town. You could check out Quinlan’s Seafood Bar (http://www.kerryfish.com/index.php/seafoodbar/) for good seafood and Danny Man’s for dinner or drinks and music (http://www.dannymannpub.ie/). Hope this helps a little. We often stumble upon great finds in Ireland without knowing much in advance, part of the adventure. Hope you find some good things too! Do let us know when you get back.

      Hope you have a wonderful time!

  14. Kymberly January 6, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    I am traveling to Ireland on the 19th of this month any helpful suggestions on what to bring

    • Stephanie January 6, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Kymberly,

      Ireland has been having some pretty awful weather lately. With quite a bit of flooding in the west. However weather can change a moment’s notice so I wouldn’t dispair too much. Just remember to bring lots of layers and very sturdy rain jacket. Don’t be dismayed if it does rain everyday. Get out there and get a little wet (it won’t hurt and the warm up in the pub is even better then). Enjoy your time–it is still incredibly lovely in January!

  15. Kay January 10, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    We are a family of 4 going to Ireland in this summer. What kind of electrical outlets adapters would you suggest, we’ll mainly use it for phones, ipads, camera.

    • Stephanie January 10, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      Hi Kay! We use a international adapter you can find in any travel store or even wal-mart to charge the types of things you are describing. The Ireland plug looks the BS 1363 (Type G) found on this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets. On our adapter and many others, the Ireland setting is also the UK setting. Hope this helps!

  16. Gina J January 19, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Hi Stephanie, I will be traveling to Cork, Ireland the first week in March. Do you have any recommendations for things to do, places to eat and where to shop? Thank you so much!

    • Stephanie January 20, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Gina! We absolutely love Cork. It’s such a great city. I feel like you get a bit more authentic “Irishness” in Cork than perhaps her sister, Dublin. We really enjoyed our dinner at Reidy’s Valut. For great craic, head to An Spailpin Fanac–fantastic trad nights and they pour a good pint! Don’t miss a walk about in the English Market (pick up some cheese and crackers and have a picnic–perfect mid afternoon pick me up!). We love cathedrals and St. Finbarr’s certainly did not disappoint. Fellow blogger did a pretty great write about one day in Cork with all sorts of other ideas too: http://www.fromchinavillage.com/2014/01/one-day-in-cork/

  17. Lisa February 7, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Hi!
    We are going to Ireland for 3 weeks this summer. I love your packing list. Do you travel with just carry on luggage or do you check a bag? What size luggage do you use? I think I can get everything in a 21 in carry on but not sure my husband can. Any tips for what size luggage?

    • Stephanie February 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Lisa,
      3 weeks would be wonderful! We each usually have a carry-on (actually, we use backpacks instead of suitcases) and then between the two of us we check one regular size suitcase that has an expandable zip (great for holding unfolded laundry and souvenirs on the way home).

      I just measured and the checked suitcase and it is about 25″ by 15.” We probably could fit everything into two 21″ carry-ons, but I tend to not like to lug a rolling carry-on in the airport. Although, I do feel like I am tempting fate since our checked luggage has yet to be lost going to Ireland. :-) Enjoy your trip!

  18. Sonya March 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Stephanie, your Q&A has been very helpful! There will be 4 of us traveling the first 2 weeks of June. The first 6 days we are with the CIE tour company all necessities have been paid for. Then we take off on our own. We plan to travel by train to Belfast. Do you have any suggestions on what train and reservations? Once in Belfast we plan to stay a few days and then head to Edinburgh. Have you been there and have suggestions? I am really stumped as to how much money I should bring in Euro and Pounds… when calculating from your list and with the exchange rate I am thinking probably cashing in $1500 for foreign currency. Does this seem completely outrageous?

    • Stephanie March 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      Hi Sonya. So glad the site has been helpful for you! You will just love your time in Ireland. I am sure of it! If you are planning on rail to Belfast from Dublin, check out this site: http://www.irishrail.ie/ You will likely want Dublin Connolly Station to Belfast Central. It should be a direct ride and take a little over 2 hours. I haven’t been to Belfast or Edinburgh (unfortunately!), but of course they are on the bucket list.

      How much cash you will need for the trip really depends on what you plan to do, but if you calculate in everything (food, lodging, extra expenses) having a little over 100 euros or pounds a day should be plenty and give you a some cushion.

      Also, I would be sure not to bring $1500 in euros or pounds with you. The best way to get cash while you are in Ireland or Edinburgh is with an ATM. You will get the best exchange rate and you will be able to take out what you need. Be sure to tell your bank where you are going and for how long. We usually only carry about 100 euros with us on the plane ride over and take out money as we need it. Securing it in various places just to be safe. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!!

  19. Kate March 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks so much for the wealth of information on your site. It has been so helpful in planning our first trip to Ireland. Hoping you could give us some tips on what not to miss while we have 1 and 1/2 days in the Burren (staying at Orchid House in Fanore, looks beautiful!).

    Any tips not the rest of our itinerary would be welcome!
    Fly into Shannon,
    Fanore (arrive early am, booked 2 nights)
    Galway 2 nights-explore the Connemara region and the city
    Cong 1-2 nights (more Connemara and Ashford castle)
    Co Leitrim 2 nights(husbands family immigrated from here, explore the area, staying near Lough Rynn Castle in Mohill)
    Dublin-2 nights. Non negotiable for my husband. ;)
    See Rock of Cashel, onto Bunratty 1 (2?) nights
    Fly out of Shannon

    Any tips would be helpful. Thanks so much. I have learned so much from your blog!

    • Stephanie April 1, 2014 at 9:32 am #

      Hi Katie! So glad to hear the has been helpful. Sounds like you have a fantastic itinerary for your upcoming trip! I really hope you love the Orchid House. We thought it was the perfect peaceful start and couldn’t have had a better experience.

      You have a pretty good pace, staying two nights in most places. I think that you will find this helps you explore more than most. I am sure you have a trip to the Cliffs of Moher planned during your time in the Burren. It’s not to be missed! Driving to Galway you will certainly want to take the coastal route which is beautiful. There is a great little tea shop in Ballyvaughan, http://www.tearoomsballyvaughan.com/.

      Galway is a fantastic city, which you could easily spend several days in, but I would concentrate the one full day you have for the city. Then the next day (if you don’t mind a bit of a drive) get an early start and make your way to Cong via Clifden, Letterkenny and possibly Kylemore Abbey. You’ll see the best of Connemara and should even be able to get out and explore some of the National Park. They have a great wooden trail that you can hike up to a look out point over Connemara.

      I don’t have much advise on county Leitrim, as we have yet to explore the midlands (oh so much to do!!). But I think you’ll find the area to be delightfully less crowded than some of the other places your visiting.

      On your way back from Dublin you will likely drive through Kildare, which has a few cool things to visit like the Irish National Stud Farm and Castletown House. This all depends on how much time you have or what you would like to do of course, but just a couple ideas to get you thinking for things along the way.

      I hope this helps! Enjoy planning and your experience. I am sure you will love it!

  20. Meg April 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Hi Stephanie,

    My husband and I are planning our first trip to Ireland for this September- I’ve learned so much from your website already… thank you!

    Odd question: Do you have any recommendations for a good camera? Your pictures are beautiful.

    Thank you!
    Meg

    • Stephanie April 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

      Hi Meg! Thanks so much for the compliments! We use a simple point and shoot camera for our pics. It’d be great to have a dslr, but they are pretty expensive and bulky. So we just never upgraded. We have a Cannon PowerShot SD780 IS Elph. It is a couple years old now, but we have had a couple of Elphs and really think they are great. It is super tiny and can fit in my back pocket. There are certainly better cameras out there, but for the price, we’ve been really happy with it. Hope you get some great shots!

  21. Kate April 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Stephanie,

    Thanks for the wonderful advice! We are including Clifden now in our itinerary and are considering changing our accommodations there from Cong. I really want to see Kylemore Abbey as well as hike Diamond Hill. Thanks again for all your suggestions. It was your website that inspired us to make this trip a reality! (We also booked Corrib house in Galway, I just saw you had stayed there also. It looks fabulous!)

    • Stephanie April 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Kate! We just loooved our time in Connemara. Clifden and Kylemore…please take me back with you!! They are fantastic.

      Diamond Hill is a relatively easy hike if you take it slow. We had several serious walkers pass us, but we were enjoying the view and taking it all in. When you are at Kylemore keep your eye on the mountain across from the car park looking away from the Abbey. You’ll see tiny people walking up top and that’s Diamond Hill! We were at Kylemore the day before we climbed Diamond Hill and thought, hey, how’d they get up there? Not realizing that was Diamond Hill, one of the things we were contemplating on doing the next day. So glad we did. It was really neat to look down on Kylemore and Connemara.

      Corrib House is simply lovely. We can’t help but gush about that place every time we talk about our trip to Galway. The food–oh my. You will know what I mean. Delicious!

      Really, really enjoy your time! #jealous :-)

  22. Ethel April 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    I am going to Ireland April 20 thru April 29. My passport expires august 14. I was told that that was ok. Are you sure it needs to be 6 months and not 3?

  23. Rosemary Hood April 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    We are leaving for our first trip in exactly one month: May 6. I have been advised it would be in the 50′s-60′s and that the Irish Day Tours are very good. We are staying
    in Powerscourt and all four of us are 71!!! We do have a car rental (automatic) but I confess I am nervous about driving on the left!!! Can I see enough of Dublin on the
    “off and on” bus? I’m very excited as you can tell as I have “Irish roots.” Your tips are fabulous and I have printed them all.

    • Stephanie April 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      Hello Rosemary! Thank you so much for commenting! I am so glad to hear you are excited about your upcoming trip! Less than 1 month now! :-)

      I can certainly understand being concerned about driving on the left. I would like the car in a garage or at the rental office until you leave Dublin. The ‘off and on’ bus will just fine for getting around. Plus even if you don’t want to get off, it is a lovely ride around Dublin with lots of information. If you muster up the courage to take your car out on the road, I would designate a “navigator” (typically my job) to help you identify on coming traffic, hazards, and simply say left!, a lot. Also, one of the best tips I can give for driving in Ireland is this: when local drivers come up behind you and clearly want to go faster than you are comfortable with, just simply, pull over. No need to be worried or feel rushed. They will be grateful for you pulling over and it will make you much less apprehensive about driving.

      I do hope all four of you enjoy your time in Ireland and have fun exploring your roots! ~Stephanie

  24. Sarah April 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi Stephanie,

    So glad I stumbled across your website, so much helpful information. I am starting to plan my first solo trip to Ireland! I was hoping you might be able to suggest the best time to visit. I know July/August are the summer months and tend to be warmer but I wasn’t sure if a November trip would be awful weather wise. I don’t have any certain month that I need to plan for.
    Any suggestions on best things to do while traveling alone. Also renting a car? Take public transportation/buses?

    Thanks!! :)

    • Brian Conklin-Powers April 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      Sarah: I’ll just throw my two cents in here…I visited Ireland last year for 10 days beginning September 18th. We had fabulous weather, only one partial day of rain. We did rent a car. It took a bit of getting used to, but you pick up driving on the left pretty quickly. I wasn’t a fan of driving in Dublin and would suggest public transportation in the city. If you plan to travel any of the peninsula’s on the southwest coast, find out which direction the tour buses travel around the peninsula…and drive in the opposite direction!

      Have a great time! I’m jealous.

      Cheers. Brian

      • Sarah April 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

        Brian,

        I appreciate your input! After reading some more I’ve decided that I too might try to plan my trip for September, seems to be a perfect time as the days aren’t too short and the weather is still decent. It will definitely be 7 days but I’m hoping I can manage 10!

        I wouldn’t be too nervous about renting a car and driving on the wrong side except that I’ll be by myself. Might be dangerous! Haha

        And love the advice about traveling opposite the tour buses! Perfect! :)

        Thanks!
        Sarah

        • Brian April 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

          Sarah: Just curious…What’s your draw to the Emerald Isle…and I’m curious, too, about travel by yourself. Have you done this before…and if so, to what countries? I’ve been thinking about a future trip to Scotland and thought about venturing on my own.
          Cheers. Brian

          • Sarah April 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

            Brain,

            Visiting Ireland is something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I have an Irish background but not anyone who has been born there for generations. I guess it’s just a fascination that I have.
            As for going by myself… I am a single mom and most of my friends have had new babies in the past year and are not up for traveling right now. My daughter is 7 and I have a good support system so I’ll be able to leave her home and be able to explore on my own. I would love to have someone to travel with but I also like the idea of being able to see everything at my own pace and how I want to. Something very intriguing about that. :)

            Sarah

          • Brian Conklin-Powers April 10, 2014 at 9:06 am #

            Sarah: I am happy to provide more details of our trip if you want to contact me directly: bconklinpowers@roadrunner.com

    • Stephanie April 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      It looks like Brian has taken good care of you and all your questions bellow. :-) I agree with hi assessment of September. That is our absolute favorite time to go. Typically the best weather we have ever had and a lot less crowded in the primarily touristy areas. Also I encourage you to rent a car too! I know you’ll be alone and that is certainly daunting, but the best part about being alone is there is no one from stopping you to pull over and look at the map every two seconds. :-) I would certainly have a good handle on where you are going roughly before you leave, but wrong turns can make delightful side trips! I think you will love the freedom a car gives you. Plus you can build in visits to some great towns to explore for car free days too. Good luck and enjoy your trip!!

      • Sarah April 14, 2014 at 9:39 am #

        Stephanie,

        Thank you very much for your response. I have decided that I am definitely going to book the trip for September. The renting of a car does make me nervous but I’m going to attempt it and make the best of it!
        I believe that I will fly into Shannon and then depart from Dublin so that I can visit a few sites in between and then return the car once I get to Dublin.
        Any other advice you might have?

        • Stephanie April 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

          Hi Sarah,
          You won’t be disappointed with your itinerary at all. Starting in Shannon and ending in Dublin offers some of the ‘best of the best.’ Not really knowing how much time you have, you could certainly hit a lot of spots. I would probably do a mix of coastal time (Dingle, Kerry or Beara Peninsulas) and fantastic towns (Killarney, Kenmare, Kilkenny). You can through in a few good historic sites along the way (Rock of Cashel, Glendalough). Now, you wouldn’t be able to do all of those likely, but a good mix can make for a great trip!

          The best tip I can give for a first time driver is to pull over when it is clear a local wants to get by you. They’ll thank you for it and it will make you feel much less anxious to go at your own speed.

          Other than that–enjoy enjoy enjoy! :-)

  25. Rikki April 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi Stephanie – this is GREAT…I have been looking for the short list of what to pack so thank you!!
    I am taking my aunt and my mom on their Irish Bucket List trip in July (1 week in Dublin and 1 week in Ardgroom – I rented houses for us for each week so we can “live like the locals” ha ha) and I have a pretty good itinerary for Dublin but am wondering what your thoughts are for the southern end of the island? They both have pages of things they want to see but I am being their reality-check and I know we’ll have to whittle their list down to the bigger ticket items…suggestions?

    • Stephanie April 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Hi Rikki— How fun it will be to play tour guide for a couple of weeks. :-)

      You have picked an awesome spot in the South with Ardgroom. I can think of a few things that would be on the top of my list. First would be Skellig Michael: http://www.skelligexperience.com/skellig-michael/ Assuming that everyone can walk up the steps, it is an amazing place to spend the day (pack a picnic but don’t drink tea for breakfast–no bathroom breaks!).

      I would also probably choose Mizen Head (http://www.mizenhead.net/) as another bucket list item. Beautiful!

      Stick to exploring towns like Kenmare, Killareny and Bantry. There are also great things to explore on the Beara Peninsula like Healy Pass.

      Good luck with the planning and have a great time!!
      Stephanie

  26. Kathy April 28, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    This is a great list Stephanie, thank you. I just did a ‘dry run’ of packing the bare minimum of clothing etc. as your list suggests, and to my delight it all will fit in my small piece of roller luggage! This will, I’m sure, be a help as we leave in two weeks for an 18 day stay, staying two to four days at each location. Our second trip, and we are getting quite excited!

    • Stephanie April 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      Ooohh! How lucky you are!! I am so glad the list has helped you pack for what I am sure will be an amazing trip! I do hope you enjoy it (pretty easy when you are in Ireland).

  27. Christine June 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Thank you for your great list. We leave tomorrow for 8 nights and are very excited about our itinerary as we celebrate our 25th anniversary and turning 50 in the same year. We land in Shannon, stay in Doolin (Daly’s House) 2 nights, to Killarney (Earls Court House) for 2 nights, then one night at Ballymaloe House, and one night at Old Head/Kinsale followed by 2 nights at Derrymore House in Glendalough before departing from Dublin. We are wondering about the best route from Kinsale to Glendalough…hope to drive for 2 hours or so then stop for a bit, then finish the drive later (taking advantage of the late sunset!). Should we head through Kilkenny, or Waterford/Wexford? Thanks for any help

    • Stephanie June 15, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Christine! I am so sorry for the delay! We were traveling Ireland too and just returned home. I am sure you have already figured out which way to travel through from Kinsale to Glendalough. My advice would be to use Kilkenny has your stopping point. It is such a great city with so much to see and do. Kilkenny has a castle, round tower, fantastic pubs and really great sense of hospitality. I hope you were able to find your way around!

  28. Rachel June 12, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    Hey Stephanie! I am leaving in a few days for a study abroad trip in Galway. I’ll be staying there for 5 weeks, so any recommendations for food/things to do would be awesome!

    • Stephanie June 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi Rachel! You have hit on my other passion–study abroad. When I am not working on Infinite Ireland–I am a study abroad coordinator and I love sending students to Galway! You will have such a great time in the city. I would certainly take some time to get to know the city. Wonder around a bit and get a little lost even. We really loved our time at the Corrib House. It’s a cafe and B&B, but if you want a cool place to get a good cup of coffee or a spot of tea and study I can’t really think of a better place in Galway (just across the river from the cathedral/university). I know when studying abroad it is easy to want to jet off to a bunch of other countries during your 5 weeks. However, if you can (and have nice weather) take a few day trips around Ireland. Particularly–head up to Connemara, Clifden, and Westport or Achill. All are accessible by bus from Galway. You can’t go wrong with a day trip to Cliffs of Moher either. I hope you really enjoy your time in Ireland!

  29. natasha June 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    yes this is crazy but my hubby, 6 year old son and i are going to be in Dublin for 5 days. I think 1 day in dublin and then venture out for a couple of days maybe 3 fly out early on the 5th day.

    Any suggestions what to do? Want to see a unique castle, countryside, experience what we can, this is a spare of the moment quick trip.

    thanks

    • natasha June 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      I was looking at the railway….going
      day 1 dublin to galway (maybe rent a car for the day if needed)
      day 2 railway to limerick (again rent a car if needed to get around for the day)
      day 3 railway to cork (again rent a car if needed to get around for the day)
      day 4 back to dublin and enjoy dublin before we fly out the next day…yes world win tour but enough to get a taste…we will be back, just need a break from life.

      What to major things to see in each area???

      Or do you suggest anything else or less???

      • Stephanie June 20, 2014 at 8:45 am #

        Hi Natasha–what fun! You’ll have a great time on your quick trip. Ok–my two cents (take it or leave). Don’t do the rail and don’t go so far. If you are willing to rent a car for a couple of days then why not rent it for the entire time outside of Dublin. You will have a much better experience and much more control over the few days you have. You can easily check off most of type of things you want to do by not driving or riding in a train for most of the day. My best advice? Head to the south east after Dublin.

        Here is an idea…
        Day 1: Dublin (arrive get your bearings, see some sites).
        Day 2: Pick up rental car head for the south east (must see sites–Powerscourt–Gardens, House, Waterfall; Sally Gap, Glendalough)
        Day 3: Kilkenny (Castle, Black Abbey, shopping, restaurants, pubs)
        Day 4: Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, back to Dublin

        This will really give you a great taste of Ireland, but will also give you some time to be spontaneous, talk to B&B owners see what else they suggest in the area (there really is a lot to do). Good luck with planning!!

        • natasha June 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

          This is great thanks for the info! We decided to rent a car. Curious is it easy to find places to stay on route or must book? Kind of want to see where the car takes us.

          • Stephanie June 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

            It all depends on what time of year you are going. Check to make sure there aren’t any holidays or big events where you are headed. If not, you shouldn’t have much problem finding places along the way.

  30. Kathy June 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    Hello,
    We are getting ready for our trip of a lifetime! We will be flying into Shannon on July 2nd in the morning. We currently have reservation at a B&B in Dublin for the night of the 2,3 &4 after which we will return to Shannon to meet the rest of our family for a week long family reunion. My question is, is it relatively easy to take the irish rail to Dublin? We will have all our luggage with us.

    • Stephanie June 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Hi Kathy,

      What fun! There isn’t a rail station at the Shannon Airport so you will need to get to the Limerick train station first (taxi is the easiest option but can get expensive). Irish rail can also be expensive, but probably the most comfortable. You could get a bus to Dublin for a little less comfort and less money. http://www.buseireann.ie Neither are difficult, but both require getting to Limerick station first. Enjoy your trip and your family reunion!

  31. lucie July 9, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Hi Stephanie
    Thanks for the list. I am going to Ireland for 19 days in august to see my dad and his wife and children. Do you think I would need more than what is on the list? Thanks xxx

    • Stephanie July 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Hi Lucie!
      I don’t think you will. And if you think you have forgotten anything, you can always go shopping! When in Ireland look out for Dunnes and Tesco stores which often have most things you might need. Have a great time visiting your family!

  32. Terry July 19, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I have enjoyed reading you advice to people and the list is so helpful.I am arriving in Shannon 9/1/14. We are taking the bus to Kilarney for three nights at the Old Weir hotel,Kinvara to the Clarehouse,for two nights,Asheford Castle for three nights,Recess to fly fish for one night,Gannons bed and breakfast in Clifden for two nights , and finishing with three nights back in Kinvara or Galway City.you feel for one person a med bag is sufficient? I want to bring gifts home to my family and felt I may need a large bag. Please let me know what you think. Terry

  33. Laurie M July 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    Stephanie, the amount of information you know about Ireland is really incredible. I’m going on a Pub & Music tour through “authentic Ireland.com”. A couple of people I know used them and said it was wonderful. They have been great so far. We leave 8/7-8/17. We start in Dublin & stay for 3 days. Then we move onto Galway and County Clare for Killarney for 2 and then Kilkenny for 2 and then back to Dublin to Depart. All hotel & rental car is included. I’m wondering if $1,000 would be sufficient for that amount of time. I’m hoping to play some golf somewhere on the cliffs of Moher and/or hike. Can you suggest any places? Thanks again for all the great information. Very informative and helpful. Laurie

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