The Ultimate Ireland Packing List

My husband and I been traveling to Ireland for over fifteen years and I use this Ireland packing list every single time we go.

Ultimate Ireland Packing List

On our first trip, I wasn’t exactly sure what to pack. Apparently I wasn’t that good at it, because upon arrival I realized that I forgot my toothbrush. Luckily, toothbrushes are easy enough to come by. :-)

Since then, I’ve 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–the best little list for everything to bring and do before your 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 add or delete items as you need.

Also you may notice I’ve got a few links on some of the items. These are some of my favorite things that I personally use for our trips to Ireland. You can find out why I love them on my Resources Page.

The Ultimate Ireland Packing List

Some links below are affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you purchase with these links (the cost is exactly the same to you).



3 pants
5 shirts
2 undershirts or camis
2 sweaters or fleece
8 pairs of underwear
3 bras
8 pairs of socks
Travel scarf
Pair of gloves and hat if traveling in shoulder/winter season
Walking shoes (women) (men)
Hiking shoes (women) (men) (only necessary if hiking)
Waterproof jacket (women) (men)
Winter waterproof jacket (women) (men)


Wash cloth
Body wash/soap
face wash
Travel Size Containers (for said, Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash)
Shaving cream
Hair brush, ties, and products (e.g. Gel, Hairspray)
Chap stick
Hand sanitizer
Baby wipes for every day messes
Disinfectant for airplane surfaces
Compact windproof travel umbrella

First Aid Supplies & Other Toiletries:

Band Aids/disinfectant
Pain reliever (Tylenol/Advil)
Motion sickness medication
Vitamin C drops
Feminine hygiene products
Glasses/contact lenses/solution
Safety pins
Fingernail clippers
Prescription medications in original bottles with labels
Masks (not required except in medical facilities)
Covid Tests (not required for travel; only precautionary if you find yourself feeling unwell)

Travel Gear

1 Medium Size Suitcase
Daypack/Backpack or Purse
Luggage Tags
Collapsable duffle/Dirty laundry bag/extra souvenir bag
Packing Cubes
Extra plastic bags: Quart & Gallon

Travel Documents/Money:

Plane tickets
Copy of passport in separate safe location from original
Driver’s license
Health insurance information
Travel insurance information
100 euros cash
Credit/debit cards
Credit/debit cards contact info in separate location from original

Keeping You Organized” Ireland Packing List Binder:

Ireland Itinerary
Accommodation reservations
Car rental reservation information
Pre-booked experiences confirmation numbers
Road Map (note: this map is huge–you will have to creatively fold it while driving but worth it for the detail)
Travel journal/notebook
Receipt/brochure/scrapbook items folder
US & Irish emergency numbers
Business cards/contact info
Addresses for postcards home


Phone charger
E-reader/Notebook & charger
Phone Holder for car

Random Bits:

Travel Books/Guides
Empty Refillable Water Bottle
Airplane Entertainment
Walking Sticks (if hiking)
Small flashlight
Music for the Car
Cutlery for Picnics
Extra Space!

Your Ireland Packing List Additions:

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Ireland Pre-trip To Do List


In the Weeks Before You Leave:

Purchase Travel Insurance
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 you want you want to purchase euros before you arrive or grab them when you get to Ireland
Hold your snail mail
Set autoresponder on your email(s)
Pay all bills due while gone
Re-confirm reservations with bed and breakfast owners/indicate time of arrival/ask for correct address or driving directions
Utilize Google Street View of airport exits and accommodations. Look at landmarks, signs, and traffic patterns
Leave itinerary, contact information with loved one at home

The Day Before You Leave:

Clean-out wallet (no need to take everything)
Charge all electronics
Clean out fridge
Wash the dishes
Take out the trash
Pack food for airport and plane
Check-in for flights online

Double/Triple Check in the Moments Before You Leave:

Turn down thermostat
Unplug electrical items
Plane Tickets
Driver’s License
Accommodation & Experiences Reservations
Car Rental Information

Finally, a couple of quick Ireland packing list tips:

  1. “Pack half as much and take twice the money.” Ha! If you think you need to bring more, you very well may, but most people don’t.
  2. You probably won’t even need to take everything on this list.
  3. If you forget something, you can buy it in Ireland most of the time. It is always fun to run into a store and act like a local anyway.
  4. Even if you are traveling for more than one week, you won’t need any more than this. Drop off laundry at a launderette in town to pick it up clean at the end of the day.
  5. If you’re traveling during the off or shoulder season, you may want to take an extra layer, but you’re likely not going to need much more than what’s already on this list.

That’s it! The Ultimate Ireland Packing List. For a free printable version of this list, enter your email below. Happy packing, friend!


Are you about to travel to Ireland for the first time? Or, are you a seasoned traveler, but unsure of what to pack for your trip to Ireland? I have become a master packer! Get my ULTIMATE Ireland Packing List here.
Are you about to travel to Ireland for the first time? Or, are you a seasoned traveler, but unsure of what to pack for your trip to Ireland? I have become a master packer! Get my ULTIMATE Ireland Packing List here.
Are you about to travel to Ireland for the first time? Or, are you a seasoned traveler, but unsure of what to pack for your trip to Ireland? I have become a master packer! Get my ULTIMATE Ireland Packing List here.
Are you about to travel to Ireland for the first time? Or, are you a seasoned traveler, but unsure of what to pack for your trip to Ireland? I have become a master packer! Get my ULTIMATE Ireland Packing List here.

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  1. More questions from Sally.
    Since I have limited time to spend in each place because of travel package by car!!! All these questions refer to the Republic of Ireland.

    Would you pick Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula?

    Which 3 castles in the Republic are the best?

    Top 3 abbeys/cathedrals/monasteries other than the ones I am already planning on which is Cashel, Glendalough?

    Top 3 stone monuments?

    Which cave to visit: Mitchelstown, Aillwee, Dunmore or Doolin?

    Brazen Head Food, Folklore, and Fairies night or Bunratty Castle Medieval banquet on one of the nights or just go to local pubs (which we will do on other nights)?

    Suggestion for an Irish music collaborative CD to play in the car? If they have a CD in car!?

    Does the cars have cigarette lighters to plug in Iphone charger?

    Is GPS worth it, since we are driving all over? I also have the Ordinance Survey map.

    Is Achill Island worth a visit? We are staying in Castlebar and then have to make it over to Kingscourt (Cavan) area, so I thought we could go visit Achill in the morning.

    Everywhere says avoid M-50 at all costs! How else do you get from the airport down to Wicklow? Also, since we have a rental car, should we still not drive into Dublin to visit? We are staying about an hour away from Dublin.

    Okay that’s my questions for now….I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your input!

    1. Hi Sally, I am traveling with my Mom this month in Ireland. Right now are near Enniskillen. I don’t know where you are from. We are from California. I find the GPS very valuable! We have taken the northern tour and now have a car. I’m finding it a bit stressful as we drive on the other side of the road at home.
      The weather has been beautiful! Don’t know what November will hold. Some are saying it will be a tough one as the swans are coming in already. The people here are very helpful and talkative. I would stick to the better known places for tourist attractions. Smaller places close down after October. Have a wonderful trip. The beauty is breathtaking!

      1. Cindy,

        Thanks Cindy. I am going to go ahead and get a GPS since we have a limited amount of time. We are preparing for rain…

    2. Hi Sally! You’ve got a lot of questions and of course I’ll answer them as best I can, but unfortunately with most of the questions you ask the answer is: it depends. Without knowing your route, your interests, where your staying, etc. it is really hard to recommend the best things because I might be sending you off on a wild goose chase–or giving you way more than you can tackle in the time you have. I want to help if I can so I am sending along some responses to your questions, but please don’t try to tackle all of these things I mention in one trip (or you might find it doesn’t feel like a vacation at all). :-)

      I prefer Dingle over Ring of Kerry, but that would only be if you are already headed to the Dingle area to begin with (and you should have at least one full day to explore).

      Castles are tough because there are so many and they are so different. Blarney, Kilkenny, Ross are great options that are relatively easy to get to. I quite like Kylemore, Clonmacnoise, and Jerpoint Abbeys.

      I can’t give you personal recommendations on caves as we haven’t visited any yet (another thing on my list!).

      The Brazen Head has less music and more storytelling–so depending on what you prefer to listen to should be the determining factor.

      You can’t really go wrong with the Dubliners or Christy Moore for Irish tunes in the car (which you may more may not be able to play depending on car) We’ve got this set which has quite a few great tunes:

      Cars will have the typical cigarette charger.

      Most first-time visitors like a mixture of GPS and good maps (take all the help you can get when driving on the left!).

      I wouldn’t recommend going to Achill in the morning if you are headed to Cavan in the afternoon in November. You won’t have anytime there and you’ll be using up your precious daylight driving.

      The best way to get to Wicklow is definitely the M-50. You won’t want to drive through the city to get there. It really isn’t too bad–I think the reason most people try to avoid it is because of the toll.

      I hope this information is helpful (and doesn’t make you feel even more overwhelmed). Just remember, the less you plan as “must do’s” the better. Armed with lots of information is great, but the ability to be flexible on the ground sets you up for a fantastic trip. Have a great time Sally!

      1. Again thanks for all the info. I bought the CD and am enjoying it already!! Yes, I like to be armed with lots of information, then just go with the flow. I like the info, so I know ahead of time what is worth seeing or not.
        We are only 2 weeks away!!

          1. Soooooo, the Killaloe Light Festival was cancelled…oh well, not like I don’t have a ton of other stuff on my jam packed list. Just going to go with the flow, but I am armed with information!

  2. Hi Stephanie!

    Thanks for all of the helpful tips and tricks. My friend and I are traveling to Ireland 11/6 – 11/12.

    Do you have any insight as to the best way to travel around if we don’t have a rental car? We heard that driving can be a bit tough and so we were hoping to use the rail or something else. Are there any services you recommend?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Manisha! You must be getting so excited. Your trip is so close!

      There are few different ways to get around in Ireland. You can use the rail system is which most handy between the major cities rather than small towns. If you go this route, I’d suggest basing yourself in a couple cities and take day trips from there (either with an organized group, taxi or local bus service).

      You can also use Bus Eireann to get from place to place instead of rail. This might be a little tricky only in that you will have to look-up timetables and figure out how to get to your next destination (because you might not have a direct route). There are some express links between larger cities so you can still do the hub method above.

      Of course renting a car is optimal (and it isn’t that bad–honest!), but if you really don’t want to do that or go on a tour, these will definitely work.

      Here are some links that should help though:

      Have a great time!!

    1. Just an adaptor. When plugging it into yhe outlet you may have to play around with it a bit. I move it around a bit until it gets a good connection.

  3. Love the details on the packing list, but when you say “shirts” and “undershirts” are you referring to literally “undershirts” like a man might wear under a dress shirt, or casual t-shirts, or short-sleeved t-shirts or T-tops and the “shirts” something perhaps with long sleeves (a button-down, pullover), etc? We’re traveling in mid-late May and want to be sure we’re planning properly. Also have a reversible rainjacket – lightweight fleece on one side and water/wind repellent on the other, with pockets on both sides. Should I plan on bringing a sweater as well? Thanks!

    1. Hi B&J! Yup–for undershirts, I literally mean undershirts for guys or cami’s or light shirts for women. Shirts are usually a button down, polo, etc. I would definitely still plan on a sweater in May (or July for that matter!). You might find you have great weather and don’t need it, but you also might want it everyday. It’s hard to know how the weather will be so it is much better to have it just in case.

      I hope this helps! -Stephanie

  4. My sister is going to Ireland for a few months to study abroad, so I am making her an Ireland Care Package. This is super helpful! Thank you

  5. Also, is there anyway to prepay for her train tickets, even if we don’t know what route she’ll be taking?

    1. Hi Nicholas! I am so glad the site has been helpful. I think the answer depends on what type of rail she’ll be needing. If it is withing the Dublin city systems, I think she can get a Leap card and load money on it to use the DART, Commuter Rail, LUAS and Dublin Bus. If she is studying in and around Dublin this would be great.

      If she is planning rail across country then I think she’ll need to buy an actual seat on a train: Of course, you can contact the Irish rail and see if there is any other options for her too. I hope she has a great time (and I hope you get to visit!). :-)

  6. Reading about the VAT taxes. Is it worth it putting in all the paperwork and keeping track of purchases if we will only buy randon souvenirs and maybe a sweater or two? Nothing real expensive for sure.

    Also, will I need a converter for my straightener. The straightener is dual voltage so I think I only will need an adaptor. I just don’t want it to get fried…

    1. Hi Sally–this is one the better posts about VAT if you haven’t read it yet:
      We actually don’t worry about VAT because we rarely buy much that is actually taxed. If the straightener is dual voltage you should be ok–I usually stay away from taking anything that produces heat so I don’t get fried (or start a fire–ha!). Just watch for signs of heat at the outlet and you’ll be good. :-)

  7. Stephanie,

    Your site is wonderful! I’ve spent many hours reading your lists and posts as well as the comments and your replies.

    My husband and 18 month old son and I are headed to Ireland from November 20-December 2, so we’re only a few weeks out! It is the first trip for us all and we booked a package to celebrate our anniversary. We land in Dublin, stay 4 nights (though first day we don’t arrive till mid afternoon so likely a wash), pick up a car on Thursday to head to Killarney for 3 nights, then head to Dromoland castle for 4 nights and fly out of Shannon.

    Weather wise I’m anticipating cold and rain (I consider anything below 75F cold, ha!), so am planning to layer. I was planning to bring wellies, tennis shoes, and waterproof boots… too many shoes? The wellies are certainly not light but as we plan to be out and about walking/exploring I thought they might come in handy?

    Also, other than our hotels, we have no set plans. With the minimal daylight, is it feasible to visit the Cliffs of Moher from either Killarney on our way to Dromoland or as a day trip from the castle? The only other thought I had while we’re on the west side was that I’ve heard Galway has a Christmas market which is something I’d love to see. Do you know of any other markets/Christmas celebrations like that where we’ll be? Of course in Dublin we plan to visit the Guinness storehouse and Jameson distillery. My husband loves scotch, so any other recommendations would be lovely.

    Lastly, we’ll be bringing our own car seat as the rental car company informed me they didn’t have any available and I trust my own a bit more, having known its history! My son is still rear-facing ~ here we used the LATCH system to install but we plan to use the seatbelt in the rental car (compact, Opel Astra or similar) ~ any advice? I’ve read up a bit but am still a little confused. I’m also a little concerned as both my husband and I are over 6ft tall, and with a car seat and luggage I hope we’ll all fit!

    Thanks so much!

  8. I’m from Ireland but live in Australia, were coming home for Christmas and i will be bringing our nearly 2 year old daughter any tips on what to bring for her as she has never experienced cold like this before, and i have no clue what to pack for her!

  9. Stephanie – we will be in Ireland Good Friday and Easter weekend. Will anything be open at that time. Will there be special festivals or events to attend. We are staying at Tralee for that weekend then going to Dingle for 7 days. thank you

  10. Stephanie,
    I just want to thank you again for your website and all the information it is filled with. I scoured over it before our trip and used many of its resources AND asked you many questions along the way. My daughter bought me the trip for Mother’s Day. Ireland package with flight, accommodations and a car thru Great Value Vacations. It was for 6 days not including travel and it covered all areas of the Republic! We drove 1919 km (1192 miles) of Ireland roads!!!

    Day 1: Flew in to Dublin and headed straight to Powerscourt Waterfall, then to Wicklow Mtns and Glendalough and Kildare staying in Killenard. Day 2: Next day head south to Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral, then to Rock of Cashel thru Glen of Aherlow and up to Adare for 2 night stay. Day 3: Next day to Killarney National Park and then around Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head and back to Adare. Day 4: Next day head to Cliffs of Moher and on to Doolin and the Burren and Kinvarra, thru Galway to Kylemore Abbey and up to Castlebar for night. Day 5: Next day head east to Achill Island and went all the way to Keem and back along the north end of island then head across the entire country to Kingscourt for 2 nights (an hour north of Dublin!) Yikes that was a drive at night! Day 6: Ardee to Monasterboice to Mellifont Abby then to Dublin to Trinity College and back to Kingscourt for the night. Next morning fly home. Evenings were experiencing pubs and the wonderful trad music.

    Since it was a package we didn’t have a choice on the where and when. So we knew it was going to be tons of driving and not much of strolling around and in each place. I was just thankful that I was given such a gift and we made the best of seeing all we could since I don’t travel much.

    We went the second week of November and EVERYWHERE we went we had NO CROWDS at all. There were about a dozen people at Kilkenny Castle, maybe 25 people all over at Cliffs of Moher, less than a dozen people at the Rock, and zero people at Monasterboice, Mellifont Abbey, and Achill Island. So I know November isn’t ideal for travelling but the weather and minimal rain we encountered never deterred any of our walks and travels.

    It was perfect and magical. And we LOVE Ireland and LOVE the people.

  11. Stephanie,

    Once again, thanks for all the good advice on packing. One question though: (I assume that the list is per person as I find little use for two bras!) We are planning two weeks and my usual travel plan is to take clothes for one week and hit a laundromat. How hard is it to find a laundromat or the Irish equivalent? Also are washcloths not usually found at the B&Bs?
    As an aside, I travel a lot by motorcycle (alone) so am pretty adept at packing small and light. I think that will come in handy for this trip (my wife is a light packer too.)

    1. Laundromats are not as available as in the US, but in my trips to Ireland and Scotland, I have found it easier to leave my laundry at a cleaners. Drop off in the morning and, generally, you can pick up later the same day. Not terribly expensive–figure 10-15 euros depending on the size of your washload. Another suggestion: consider a short-term apartment rental. Although this doesn’t work so well during the tourist season when minimum rentals are generally a week, in the offseason, you can find rentals for two or three days. Almost all of these will have a washer/dryer single machine combo. You may need to Google the operating instructions for the model in your unit, but I used one in April in a rental in Castlerock, Northern Ireland and as a result, I was able to pack everything I needed for a ten-day trip in an 18x12x7 personal item bag.

  12. Stephaine,

    As others have said – wonderful site and Thank You for all of the tips and suggestions.

    My fiancé and I are planning our first trip to Ireland for our honeymoon this July (2016). We’ve just booked all of our accommodations (2 nights in Dublin, 2 nights in Camross, 3 nights in Doolin, 2 nights on Inishmore, then 1 last night in Dublin before we fly back). We are renting a car when we’re done with our first 2 days in Dublin so that we can explore and keep our schedule fairly open (though I realize we won’t see it all).

    One of our day trips from Doolin will be up to Newport to visit Rockfleet Castle. My first question is this: do you think that’s a reasonably accomplished goal? Google tells me that the drive time is just a little over 2 hours. I imagine it could strech out longer than that, of course. We would like to have time to explore the castle, then stop at Westport House on our way back south to see the museum exhibits. If at all possible, we’d like to stop in Galway for dinner and then make it back to the pub that we’re staying at in Doolin for music in the evening. Is that too packed for one day with the drive times factored in?

    My second question is regarding rain boots (wellies). I live in them here in Seattle. (In fact, I’ve gone through many pairs). I’ve seen some web sites suggesting that you bring them and others saying that they aren’t typical or practical. I am bringing a pair of hiking shoes for hiking the Slieve Bloom Mountains when we’re in Camross, and for all of the other hiking and walking that we’ll do. But I’m so used to using my wellies in coastal areas (beach/tidepool/tall wet grass). What are your thoughts?

    1. Doable, but here are my rules for the road in Ireland after a half-dozen trips there. 1) More than 40 miles from Dublin, don’t expect to average more than 40 mph on Irish roads, even if they are main highways with 100 kph (62 mph) speed limits (TL; DR–don’t expect Irish roads outside of Dublin to be better than secondary roads in the US–think narrow, ridiculously winding roads with stone walls bordering closer than Jersey walls in the US). 2) Don’t drive more than 4 hours per day. 3) Don’t expect to be able to drive significant distances on Irish roads after dark. 4) If you’ve never done right-side driving before, expect to drive slower and drive less than set forth above. In July, you won’t violate the hirdod rule since the sun will be up well past 9 p.m.

      Your itinerary may violate the first two rules, however. It looks like your want to do a two-hour drive to Rockfleet Castle. Then a two-hour drive to Westport. Then a two-hour drive to Doolin through Galway where you’d like to stop for dinner. In other words, in 24 hours, six in a car on what should be a fun trip for your honeymoon–not a forced march through the Irish countryside.

      If that’s the only day you plan to do that while based in Doolin, you’re probably OK, but if you have significant plans on your other days in Doolin, I’d consider scaling back. I think you’re probably younger than me, but I’d still be hesitant to spend that much time in a car for one day.

      Regarding the wellies, I’m partial to waterproof shoes of any type. I’ve been happy with Rockport HydroShield street shoes–which I’ve worn while playing Irish links courses walking through high dunes in the rain–but as Stephanie has noted in her posts many times, packing for Ireland (and I’ve found true for many destinations) requires choices of what to take and what to leave. I’d rather have shoes that I could easily wear in the sunshine that could double for protection in the rain than carry an extra specialized pair. I’d at least recognize that carrying a specialized pair of shoes probably means leaving something else at home that might prove more useful. No one right answer, just possibilities that need to be considered.

  13. This list is really helpful I am taking my daughter’s to Ireland in December over Christmas and New year’s this is their graduation present. We have always wanted to see and be in Ireland at Christmas so figured why not stay thru New years. So I am hoping that the weather won’t be to terribly bad, but then again we will be in Ireland so either way we won’t be complaining.I was just wondering if you had any tips for trips in the winter we will be there for 16 days.

    1. What an amazing graduation present April! We went to Ireland over Thanksgiving this year and I suppose the best tip I can give you is wear that winter jacket, pack the gloves and hats, and hope for the best. :-) We were really glad to go during the off season because it gave us the chance to see places without many other visitors around. A few sites were closed, so be sure to check the dates and times your “must-see” attractions will be open (especially around Christmas). Have a wonderful time!!

  14. Stephanie,

    My husband and I are going on a 12-day CIE tour in mid-May to the end of May; our 30 Anniversary and first trip abroad. Your packing list will certainly come in handy. I don’t recall seeing anything on the list about charging electronics. Do I need to take a converter for charging my e-reader and cell phones? I am an avid reader at night and want to make sure I can keep my e-reader well-charged. Also, how much money would you recommend since it’s all inclusive except a few meals and souvenirs? Thank you.

    1. A converter won’t be necessary, just an adapter. I’ve found an adapter like this,, which is small and infinitely adaptable, to work just fine. Plug one of these multi-port USB charging units into it,, and you can charge several phones and tablets overnight. I like this kind of combination because in many Irish and European accommodations, you’ll find the electrical outlet in an extremely inconvenient location–perhaps under a bed or desk–and it’s nice to just plug in once and have the USB charger on top of a desk or night stand.

      Regarding money, I’m very partial to using credit cards without foreign exchange fees. I’ve done several trips using only my credit card. Some cash is nice, though, and if you have a bank that doesn’t charge for use at out-of-network ATMs, I’d take some cash when you get there, but I’ve managed to make 40 euro go a long way because most places you’ll visit with a tour group will likely take credit cards. Keep in mind that you’ll still probably pay a foreign exchange fee for the use of your ATM card–contact your bank to get that information.

      1. Hi Angie–Sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier, but Lee has you covered!

        As far as money is concerned, it really depends on what kind of spender you are. If you’re the type that has an entire extra suitcase for souvenirs, you might need more than most. But if you are planning to buy one or two special things for yourself and a few things for others, you can probably get by with a $100-$200 souvenir budget. If you find you want to eat in pubs mostly, I’d plan for 20 euros per person for a dinner and a pint (more if you want a few pints!). I hope this helps! Enjoy your tour!!

  15. Hi Stephanie,

    We were suppose to go to Ireland last October but had to change our itinerary due to a family emergency… So we are now going in April.

    Question regarding medication. You mention to have prescription medications in original bottle with label. Have you ever needed a doctors original prescription on paper as well? I read on the U.S. Passport & International Travel website that you should “Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription”.

    Thanks so much!! :)


    1. Hi Kelsey!
      I’ve never traveled with the original prescription by my doctor. I’ve been comfortable original bottles with the name of the person taking them clearly identified. Since most prescriptions these days are issued electronically to a pharmacy, you’d have to contact your doctor for a letter or receipt instead. If you want to be extra sure (or if you need to refill while you are there) contact your doctor and your health or travel insurance company and they will tell you how to do this (especially since some prescription medications have different names abroad). I hope this helps!! Have a great time!

      1. Thank you Stephanie! This is very helpful. There are so many little things to think of when traveling abroad for the first time. I figured the prescription bottle with my name and doctors name is enough but I’ll probably just ask to be safe. We are so excited it’s coming up!!

  16. Have you had any problems with the 6-month expiration on the passport? Mine is only good for 2 months after return, but I have been advised by our State Department people and Irish consulate that Ireland only requires that the passport be valid through the entire stay. Can you comment on this?

  17. Stephanie,

    Four of us girls are planning a trip in June for a week. We have several places we would like to visit. Is there a tour company you would suggest if we wanted a private tour to specific locations?

  18. Stephanie,
    Laura here. My fiance and I are getting married this May of 2016 and then leaving for our honeymoon for Ireland May 23 through June 9. We will be camping and backpacking for most of it. We will have a rental car to get to the main towns but will be doing a lot of exploring on foot. I have been to Greece, Italy, Spain, and Canada, but this is my first time in Ireland and my fiance’s first time out of the U.S. Do you know what the temperature should be like around then? I understand rain is a possibility at any moment, but because we will be camping in a tent, we want to prepare for the coldest and warmest temperatures. We will definitely pack layers either way! Also, I have a rough itinerary and I wanted your input on it. It is probably too packed full for the 17 days we have, so any advice helps! We will be sleeping in a hostel/B&B/hotel once every few days if a room is available and affordable, otherwise we are perfectly fine with using the laundromat and public showers at a campground (assuming there is a shower house there). A little side note- we LOVE the Irish culture, castles/history, music, and beer so if you have any recommended pubs and any other fun traditions/activities/occasions/celebrations that they have going on at that time of year, we would definitely be interested!
    Day 1) Fly into Dublin in morning. Check in with rentals and reservations. See sights.
    Day 2) See everything possible in Dublin. Drink beer!
    Day 3) Drive through Wicklow Mtns, Glendalough, stay overnight in Kilkenny or surrounding area.
    Day 4) See more in Kilkenny and drive to Waterford and Dungarvan. Sleep in Dungarvan or surrounding area.
    Day 5) Spend the day in Cork and night in Kinsale
    Day 6) Drive to Killarney, see major things and stay overnight.
    Day 7) Spend half day in Killarney and then drive through Dingle Peninsula and stay in/around Tralee.
    Day 8) Tralee to Limerick.
    Day 9) Half day in Limerick, then drive to Doolin and spend night somewhere between Doolin and Galway unless we make it all the way to Galway.
    Day 10) Spend day in Galway
    Day 11) Galway to Sligo (any major attractions on the way?)
    Here is where it gets messy.. We are REALLY interested in the Giants Causeway so after Galway we are just finding the best route to see G.C. and then return back to dublin on day 16 to fly out on day 17. Here is my rough draft and I would love your advice.
    Day 12) Sligo to Letterkenny (find attractions/pubs)
    Day 13) Letterkenny to Giants Causeway. Spend night in surrounding town.
    Day 14) Bushmills to Belfast
    Day 15) Belfast to Boyne Valley
    Day 16) More time in Boyne Valley as needed and then back to Dublin.
    Day 17) Fly out of Dublin early in the morning.
    Please give me your opinion on if this is even feasible. If there is no way we could make it up to G.C., we could just mosey along from Sligo to Dublin in a more relaxed route without going to N. Ireland.
    Any tips are welcome!

    1. Temperatures in Ireland in the spring/summer seem to correlate to the presence of rain and wind. In other words, if it’s rainy or windy or both, the temperature generally drops. Once the rain/wind moves out (which it might do several times per day), the temperature goes back up, especially if it gets sunny. You’ll rarely find a warm rain.

      You may find temperatures in the upper 70s in the southwest, but the rest of the country rarely gets that warm–when I was in Dublin in June 2013, everyone was commenting how warm it was when it was in the low 70s.

      On that same trip, however, I was in Sligo when a front moved in. Unlike most of the showers that Ireland sees, this was an honest storm with high winds, heavy rain, and clouds–and temperatures right at 50 all day long.

      I think if you’re prepared for 50-75 degrees as your temperature range, you should be fine.

      Your itinerary looks busy but doable for the amount of time you’ll be there. While in Dublin and drinking beer, keep in mind that the Guinness Storehouse tour concludes above the brewery in a circular, almost all glass bar with a free pint of the local product. The view from there is spectacular with all of Dublin below and the Wicklow Mountains beyond. BTW, the Storehouse tour is self guided so it’s possible to do it in an hour if pressed for time or be more leisurely if you want.

      Just a few brief comments about the remainder of your itinerary. I suspect you’ll find Galway more enticing than Sligo. I first visited Sligo in 1998, and it was fantastic, a very vibrant town. Then somebody came up with an urban renewal plan, and it was a disaster. The central pub district was ripped up and in its place, a modern hotel, the Glasshouse was built. Sligo is still worth a visit–it’s the home area of William Butler Yeats and there’s a museum and statue in the center of town and Benbulben, a subject of some of his poems, and his grave site to the north of town, but Galway is vastly more alive as a pub town today. It’s only a couple of hours from Galway to Sligo, and the coastal area to the west of the direct path is part of the area designated as the Wild Atlantic Way (Google it). Might be worth taking the long way around.

      In Northern Ireland, you’ve probably picked a decent route. I’ve driven by but not gone into Londonderry/Derry. It looks as if it could be a neat town, second biggest in the north, its central part perched up on a bluff. Once you’re near the Giant’s Causeway, you can choose to stay in several coastal towns just to the west, Portstewart and Portrush. Portstewart is probably prettier as Portrush seems to me more of a beach arcade kind of town. Another option is a town a little farther inland but equidistant to Portstewart and Portrush, Coleraine.

      Belfast is worth a night but maybe not more. I stayed there for a weekend last April and found that it was nowhere near as lively as Dublin. The Titanic Museum was fun, if a bit touristy, the studios where Game of Thrones does a lot of interior shooting is nearby (but last I checked, not open for tours), and the Belfast City Hall is an architectural statement of turn of the 20th century British supremacy.

      In addition to the Giant’s Causeway, try to leave time for the nearby Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge and a drive through the Glens of Antrim. Both are spectacular. Google both. And in the Boyne Valley, I’m assuming you’re make a trip to Drogheda.

      I’m heading back in about 10 days for a quick trip through Dublin and then the south and southwest. Hope you have a great time on your honeymoon trip!

      1. Lee,
        Thanks for all the awesome advice! This is very reassuring that we will be able to cover most of the agenda. 50-70 degrees is my favorite temperature so that will be great!
        I agree, Sligo didn’t seem as appealing as Galway when doing research so we will probably stay in Galway a little longer. The reason I chose Sligo is because it looked like a bigger town to go through to get to Giants Causeway. If you would recommend a different route to getting to G.C. I would love to hear it! We could avoid travelling up to Sligo and Londonderry/Derry and go on a more southern route to get to G.C. I need to do some research on them, but do you have recommendations on going through these towns more inland to get to G.C.? Athlone, Longford, Carrick-On-Shannon, Enniskillen, Dungannon, up to Bushmills and then down on the eastern side to go through Belfast, Louth, Drogheda, Meath, and back to Dublin. Which route would you take? The Londonderr/Derry route or the more inland route? In the Bushmills area, do you know if it is more expensive for sleeping options or about the same as anywhere else? I am wondering this because I am assuming G.C. is more touristy and may have higher prices.
        Carrick-A-Rede looks very interesting, we will definitely add that to the list! Thanks for that! When Googling Glens of Antrim, I got multiple areas- are you meaning Ballygally and Larne area? To my understanding, Glens of Antrim reaches 80 miles so I am just wanting to make sure I have the right area!
        Also, one more question, who do you rent your car from? We have non-paid reservations with Hertz through our flight recommendation, but the driver is 22 years old so we are unsure if we can even go through that company. Most companies have age limits of 25 and older, but since he has had is DL for 8 years, we are hoping we fall under the exceptions. What company would you go through?
        Thank you SO much for all your helpful insights. I’m glad to have spoken with someone who has personally been there as opposed to a general website of the places. I hope you have an awesome trip! If you have a chance, let me know how it goes and the places you went!
        Thanks again,

        1. In regards to rental cars, definitely check out Stephanie’s check list and company recommendations. I rented through last year and was pleased with my experience. They arrange a Hertz rental, but their prices, which included all coverages (information about this is in Stephanie’s article about renting a car in Ireland which is absolutely essential reading because Ireland’s rental policies can be extremely confusing), was below Hertz and any other company I checked.

          You may be right about the problems with renting 25 and below, but I noticed that Easy Tour Ireland only states that a renter must have held a license for a minimum of six years in order to rent. The car class you can rent is restricted unless you have had a license for 12 years, but I suspect that won’t be a problem since you’re probably looking for the smallest and cheapest rental possible–which is a good thing in Ireland because of the narrow roads (see below) so long as you pack light because the smallest cars really are just a little bigger than the Smart 2-seater that was sold in the US for awhile.

          I hope my comments don’t dissuade you from going to Sligo–it’s worth a visit, but I now stay only for a night as opposed to 15 years ago when I stayed two separate times on the same trip, 3 nights and 2 nights. If you’re not likely W. B. Yeats fans, then you might skip it, but it is a good way station for a trip into Donegal and the North. It sounds as if you’re doing a fair amount of coastal Ireland/Northern Ireland so if you wanted a change of pace, driving through Athlone (the only town you listed I’ve visited) would be fine. One of Athlone’s highlights is Sean’s Bar, allegedly the oldest pub in Europe and open since the 800s. I thought Athlone was a good stop but again wouldn’t make it more than a night. The scenery through Donegal is probably more dramatic, and it is much more likely that you will run into some true Celtic experiences up there as they seem to have the highest percentage of road signs in Ireland in Gaelic and you’ll even run into some folks speaking it. I don’t think you’ll make a mistake going either way.

          There are seven Glens of Antrim, and yes, you’ll drive a lot of miles through there. I should mention at this point that not only in the Glens but in much of the remainder of Ireland, you shouldn’t expect to average whatever the posted speed limit is. It’s a combination of multiple photo ops and the state of many roads in the Republic, accurately summarized by this quote from, the website for the Irish Road Safety Authority: “many local roads are still very narrow and have no ‘hard shoulder’ – extra road space to the side.” This is sometimes even true of what would be the equivalent of US-designated highways (they’re called “N” roads as in the N1, N2, etc.)–they have a 100 kilometer per hour speed limit (62 mph), which only Irish residents probably can maintain. The problem is undoubtedly more acute when you start driving on local roads. The motorways out of Dublin are the equivalent of interstates in the US, and I recommend to many who have never driven on the right side of an automobile that their first driving experience be on the M1 from Dublin Airport into Belfast. Although the road speeds are higher and there can be some confusing roundabouts, the road is wide and mostly straight, allowing a driver to get comfortable driving on the other side of the car.

          Two more warnings about driving. Because of the narrow, twisting, turning roads, I wouldn’t drive after dark. That probably won’t be too much of a problem given when you’ll be in Ireland as it’ll probably remain light sometime after 9 p.m., but you don’t want to drive on those narrow roads when you can’t see the sudden curves. Also, be aware that despite the image that sometimes arises of Irish drinking (maybe because of it?), Irish drinking and driving laws are severe–.05, not .08 is the limit over there, and the Garda, the Irish police, regularly do spot checks.

          Again, please read Stephanie’s summary on renting a car in Ireland–it really is the best thing I’ve seen on the internet about this particular topic and will introduce you to the issues that you need to address. Unlike renting a car in the US, where the standard advice is to waive collision and damage coverage, you should probably consider taking absolutely full coverage for your rental (remember those narrow, twisting roads? Most have stone walls for borders!) or if you have a credit card that will provide coverage in Ireland (many don’t), make sure you have the documentation rental car companies will generally require–many will not rent you a car based on your oral assurance that you have CC coverage.

          Good luck!

          1. OK, here’s the followup from my latest trip to Ireland, completed last Sunday, 4/24. I think my earlier comments regarding the extent of good roads outside Dublin needs to be revised. There are significant improvements to the roadway system heading south from Dublin, in the southeast up to Cork, and in the middle of the country. I traveled from Dublin to Rosslare on Saturday, 4/16, in about 2.5 hours with much of that drive on modern motorways. From Rosslare to Cork, I found the roads to be very good as well although perhaps with not as much mileage covered by motorways.

            It started getting a bit dodgy to the west of Cork, however, as the main roads to and in and around the Kerry and Dingle peninsulas were similar to those I’d encountered previously. Cork to Killarney was OK, but there were stretches that were extremely narrow. And once outside of Killarney and for the remainder of my trip until the following Friday, with the exception of a motorway near Shannon/Limerick, I was on the barely two-lane roads that can slow your progress when trying to estimate driving times. In addition, just as if on cue, it seemed almost every time the road got narrow and curvy, I’d encounter a lorry (the Irish/UK word for tractor-trailer truck) or a huge tour bus driving the other way and almost forcing me off the road.

            The most comical instance of this occurred on a one-lane road near Dingle Town. I had turned up this road and knew I had to drive about 1.25 miles before I arrived at my destination. About a quarter mile from the end, I saw a lorry facing in my direction. It looked parked, and I assumed it was making a delivery. Then, I realized it was backing up and going forward in a very small turn area and was getting ready to come my way. When the driver finally got the lorry moving in my direction, the little turnoffs on the side of the road were insufficient to avoid a collision–I had to back up until I found a driveway I could get into and completely off the road so the lorry could go by.

            So, my overall assessment is that you can probably make pretty good time up to about 100 miles outside Dublin and then from there, you can’t always make a good guess about your average speed, especially west of Cork and in west and southwest (I ended up in Lahinch). In addition, I found the M7 motorway from Limerick to Dublin almost uniformly excellent and much like any interstate in the US. An unintended highlight of this portion of the trip–one of the exits had a rest stop/gas station/food emporium called “Barack Obama Plaza” that was apparently so named after the President visited this part of Ireland in 2014 (honest, Google “Barack Obama Plaza exit” and you’ll find lots of information).

            My second experience with an Easy Tour Ireland rental was good, especially because I really had a chance to test the customer service when damage occurred. On my first experience last year, I had some wheel damage that was considered so minor that no one bothered with it. This year, I had some significant scraping on the lower part of the vehicle just below the door line. When I returned the car, I went into a trailer with the returns agent, briefly provided my name, address, email address, and a quick description of how the damage occurred, and I was out of there–start to finish was no more than five minutes. The agent told me, “no worries, you have the full cover” and sent me on my way. I haven’t seen any additional charges on my credit card since my return so I have to say that my rental experience with Easy Tour has been excellent and everything that was promised.

            My trip also showed the vagaries of weather in Ireland: rainy and cloudy when I arrived at Dublin airport Thursday morning, 4/14, sunny later that afternoon, rainy all the next day, a round of golf in Rosslare on Saturday, 4/16, that started with clouds, produced two quick hail storms, and then was warm enough by the end of the round that I felt like removing my sweater, and then almost perfect weather Sunday through the following Friday–uniformly sunny with temperatures in the 60s during the day and upper 30s at night. My last full day in Dublin on 4/23 was cooler, back in the low 50s and with a couple of showers. I learned from several conversations, however, that it had rained a lot this past winter and that the southwest had seen some snow the week before my arrival. And checking the weather this past week, it’s been cooler and rainier than at any time since that first Friday of my trip.

            So, all of the advice you’ve heard about being ready for changes in the weather holds–anything may and probably will happen during your time in Ireland!

  19. My husband and I are going to Ireland from May 26 to June 9th. We are going with a seniors tour group, departing from Canada, arriving & departing from Dublin. Our itinerary is Dublin, Waterford, Blarney, Killarney, Ring of Kerry/Killarney, Westport, Letterkenny, Derry, Giant’s Causeway and Glens, Belfast, Trim and back to Dublin. 1) What clothes should we pack for this time of the year? 2) Everything is included (even the tipping) except for the liquor. What % or amount should we tip for the liquor? 3) Any suggestions for shopping?
    Thanking you for your kindness.

  20. Wow – so glad I stumbled on this site! My husband and I and our two teenage children are traveling to Ireland the first week of July – we plan to stay 3 nights in Dublin (we are visiting friends). From there, we are renting a car from Dublin on Saturday July 2nd and will stay 3 nights in Killarney and will have about 4 days to explore and on the fourth day, we travel to a hotel near the Shannon airport. What do you suggest for a 4 day itinerary? Thank you!

  21. My husband, our 8 yr old son and myself are leaving next week for a 6 day trip to Ireland. I’ve been once before about 10 yrs ago and did a guided group bus tour. This time we’re self-driving and I’m a bit worried that our itinerary is packed too full. Please offer suggestions/insight.
    Day 1: Arrive in Shannon via overnight flight at 10:00am, drive to Blarney Castle then to Killarney for the night.
    Day 2: Ring of Kerry bus tour
    Day 3: Hopefully squeeze in a morning jaunting car ride before heading to Doolin. While in Doolin take a 1hr boat tour of Cliffs of Moher. Head to Galway, stop in Adare on the way.
    Day 4: Day bus tour of Kylemore/Connemara/Quiet Man village
    Day 5: Head to Dublin
    Day 6: Dublin – would like to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Jameson, Book of Kells, St.Stephens Green as well as walk the streets/shops/pubs
    Day 7: Departure

    Are we doing too much? Anything we should add? All suggestions welcome and appreciated!
    Thank you!

    1. So long as you’re flying out of Dublin rather than having to return to Shannon for your departure, I think you’ll be OK. Day 3 seems a bit packed to me, but I think even dropping one thing–not the boat tour of the Cliffs which I imagine would be spectacular!–would make your day easier. You’re effectively looking at 1.5 days in Dublin, which although not quite enough, should be fine.

      If you’re not already locked into the Ring of Kerry bus tour, I’d consider driving it yourself. Driving the route yourself will give you a chance to take detours that tour buses won’t while missing some of the tourist trap stops the buses invariably guide you to.

      You have two choices: go clockwise or counterclockwise. The bus tours go counterclockwise, which means you may get stuck behind a slow-going bus. On the other hand, while going clockwise you can maintain a better speed, you’ll also encounter those buses driving towards you on a narrow, twisting road, which can be a bit harrowing. You can always take a stop if you get behind a bus that’s going too slow (don’t even think of trying to pass!) so for a first-time driver, I’d probably suggest going the counterclockwise route.

      And, if you’re not locked into the Ring of Kerry itself, consider a drive around the Dingle Peninsula. I was there in April and found it fascinating and almost as scenic. Dingle Town would make a nice stop for lunch.

      1. Thank you for your reply to my post! We will be departing from Dublin so hopefully the 1.5 days will suffice for what we want to see/do there. The Ring of Kerry tour is not booked yet so it’s possible we may instead do the Dingle Peninsula as we’ve heard great reviews on that as well. We really don’t want to drive either of them ourselves only because we would like a “day off” from driving and be able to relax. Day 3 is really just Doolin for the Cliffs of Moher boat tour and the rest is driving to our next overnight destination (Galway), we just thought we would break in Adare along the way. A jaunting car ride is something we would like to squeeze in sometime if possible! :) Thank you for your suggestions!

  22. My mom and I will be leaving for Ireland in a week. We will be staying in Dungarvan for a week and plan on doing day trips from there. I was in Ireland 3 years ago with a friend and we drove the whole island in 4.5 days. Yes, a little crazy, but also a lot of fun. Any ideas of can’t miss places? I was thinking of doing the Beara Peninusla, since I’ve done the Dingle. Any thoughts? Also, I’ve been to Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny. Appreciate any insight to what I shouldn’t miss.

    1. If you and your mom like restaurants and shopping, I can definitely recommend Cork and Kinsale. Cork is somewhat of a mini-Dublin–river running through the center of town, lots of restaurants and pubs, decent shopping. I was there for a night in April and wish I’d stayed a second night. Kinsale also has good shopping and restaurants, including one that many consider as good as any in Ireland, Fishy Fishy. I went to Kinsale about 10 years ago but didn’t get to Fishy Fishy. I’ve heard good things though from people I trust.

      If the Titanic is of any interest, Cobh has an attraction there about the ship since Cobh was the last port of call before it sank. If you would consider touring a whiskey distillery, check out the Jameson Experience in Midleton.

      None of these trips would be more than 90 minutes from Dungarvan and Midleton should be less than an hour. For mountain scenery, you could go to the Wicklows to the northeast but that’s closer to a 2-hour trip.

      1. We like scenery and cute shops. I’d say up to 3 hours in one direction is good for us, as we often take day trips here in Michigan and are gone from morning to after dinner. She wants to see pretty scenery and really has no agenda. I like ruins and scenery. Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll take them all.

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