Nine Ireland Travel Essentials That Make Great Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Can you believe it? I am actually done with my Christmas shopping this year.

I am a classic type-A, everything in a very orderly, timely fashion. But Christmas shopping? It is my Achilles heel.

For whatever reason, I am always making a mad dash to the store to finish (erm, start?) my shopping at the very last minute every year.

Not this year. I vowed to have as much as I could done early so that I could spend some time with these two little bugs.

I am happy to report shopping is complete and even mostly wrapped. :-)

Now,  since I am not usually the one so far ahead (and often just beginning to look for ideas right around this time), I thought I would send out a little list of great last minute Christmas gifts for those of you planning a trip this year.

These are my tried and true favorite things for travel. And to prove it to you, you won’t find any stock photos here. This is all our stuff (stained cedar chest the photos were taken on not included ?).

Some of the links below are affiliate links (meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through them, but the cost is exactly the same to you). Please know building and keeping the trust of my readers is invaluable to me. I only link to items that I truly use—no one has (or ever will) pay me to put a link on my site. Affiliate links are always followed by the non-affiliate option so you can choose to support this site or not.

As much as I like buying things as local as possible, most of these items are still available to ship before Christmas on Amazon right now.

Nine Ireland Travel Essentials That Make Great Christmas Gifts

  1. Travel Journal (non-affiliate)–I think the best souvenir you can bring home with you from Ireland is a travel journal.  I am a pretty picky about the type of journal I like. I want space to write down what we did, what we ate, how much we spent for every day and extra special moments. Some day I will design my own, but until then, this one comes in pretty close. Travel Journal
  2. Packing Cubes (non-affiliate)–If you want to be organized and be able to see all your things while you live out of a suitcase, then you need packing cubes. They are a life-saver.  But here’s a tip, you don’t *need* to buy packing cubes. You can use gallon or larger zip lock bags or, like me, save those plastic bags with zippers that sheets and curtains, etc. come in. They work pretty well. If you want to get all fancy or be a super thoughtful gift giver, I can 100% recommend the brand Eagle Creek, I like just about everything they make.
  3. Travel Pillow (non-affiliate)–If you sleep well on planes, then go ahead and skip this one. If you don’t, this travel pillow is wonderful. It’s expensive for a pillow, but a little extra shut eye on a long flight is totally worth it to me.
  4. Adapter (non-affiliate)–If you’re traveling to Ireland, then you need to get a “G” adapter, (non-affiliate) but usually I recommend simply getting a universal adapter (non-affiliate) so that if you ever plan to go anywhere else in the world, you have an adapter that will work there too (for basically the same cost).  I’d show you a picture of our universal one, but after almost 15 years, it finally bit the dust on our last trip. So here’s a photo of our also pretty old G-type adapters–the new ones have USB slots too (so handy!).
  5. Luggage Tags (non-affiliate)–Every one needs luggage tags. Until very recently, I was always digging at the bottom of my miscellaneous travel accessory bin to find the free tags you get from conferences and vendor tables. They generally last about one round trip before I don’t trust that they’ll stay on for another.  Then Joe got me this one from an Etsy seller for Christmas. Of course, you know I loved it. It’d be a little expensive for multiple luggage tags, so if you need more these are great option (non-affiliate). Luggage Tags
  6. Water Bottle (non-affiliate)–One great travel tip I have learned over the years to combat jet lag is drink water. And lots of it. Flying is really dehydrating and as much as I loathe airplane bathrooms I really try to drink water throughout the flight. Those little cups of water you get from the flight attendants are not going to cut it. I love my Hydro Flask Water Bottle. It’s heavy duty–withstands all sorts of abuse and keeps my liquids cold or hot for a long time (when you’re at the airport ask one of the quick service restaurants to fill it for you before you take off since you can’t take a full water bottle through security). 
  7. Guide Books–Yes, yes, a little obvious I know, but depending on where you are at in your planning stage I have different suggestions on which books you should check out. If you’re just beginning I love, the Eye Witness Guides (non-affiliate). They are colorful and fun and have just the right amount of information to whet your appetite for Ireland. If you’ve got your route figured out then I’d recommend a walking guide (non-affiliate) or detailed list of things to do along the Wild Atlantic Way (non-affiliate).
  8. Travel Scarf (non-affiliate)–My mom actually got me this scarf a couple years back and I’ve used it every trip since. It has a great little pocket you can throw a couple small things into like cash, credit card and passport without carrying a purse around. I wouldn’t put a whole wallet in here otherwise it does look a bit bulky, but for someone who rarely wears a purse this is great! 
  9. Travel Coaching–Shameless plug? :-)  Think for a minute about how you want to feel after you return from your long-anticipated trip to Ireland. Do you want to say, “That was nice, but I don’t know why everyone looooves  Ireland so much?” or “That was literally the BEST vacation I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to go back!” If you said the latter, let’s chat. I have been crafting itineraries since 2015 and I promise it will be a trip of a lifetime.  :-)

Happy Christmas everyone!

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  1. On item no. 9, I think you might have meant “…the former…” since if they came back with “…the best vacation I ever had…..”, they probably don’t need a travel planner. That said, some great ideas here, whether for gifts or for ourselves! And on a different note, reservations are made for my daughter and myself for June. We have a little house reserved in Listowel, our base of operations and home to many of our cousins. Also with my Hertz Gold Club points and other discounts, got the best deal on a car at Shannon Airport. I used your ‘rent-a-car matrix’ too!

    1. Hi Russ!! Hooray for having your reservations already done. And Listowel! Lovely! You’re lucky to have family in such a beautiful area of Ireland. :-)

      I am so glad the rental car matrix was helpful. Woop, woop! Good deals are great. :-)

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