Every year Joe asks me what I want for Christmas. He seems to think I am difficult to buy for. I think he’s crazy.
Hello! anything travel related is gonna get him a gold star (or a cookbook, you can never have too many cookbooks).
I thought I would make it easy on him and all the other spouses/children/siblings/friends who are lucky enough to have an Ireland lover in their lives. So I put together the ultimate Ireland gift guide.
Joe proof reads all of my posts, so you know he is going to read this (blame any typos on him). Joey–anything on this list will do. You are welcome. ?
A quick note before you get into the goodness below. Your trust is the most important thing I can earn in this crazy online world. I would never ever want to do anything to jeopardize it so I am super transparent.
Some of the links below are followed by the world “affiliate” which means if you buy through this link, I get a small commission (it doesn’t cost you any extra). Another link right next to it will say non-affiliate that will lead to the same product without the small commission to me. I want you to get to choose whether you support me.
Of course, I am forever grateful for those of you that do click on the affiliate link and I promise that these items are either my favorites already or are on my wish list (read: it really is my not-so-sneaky way of dropping hints to my hubby ?).
Now The Ultimate Ireland Gift Guide…
Ireland Gift Guide for the Practical Planner
1. Cash money! Not just any money though. Euros. They are cool looking, super practical and easy to get (stop at any local bank or AAA to order). I always leave the US with about 100-150 euros on hand and top up at local ATMs as I need throughout my trip.
2. Waterproof Jacket (affiliate) (non-affiliate). I love, love, love my Columbia waterproof jacket. Mine is big enough I can layer underneath and the hood has a drawstring so it actually fits my head (my head is small so most hoods simply slide off). The best part is the extra lip on the hood that keeps the rain out of my face. (Joe I already have this–but you need one too so you have my permission to buy yourself one (affiliate) (non-affiliate)?).
3. Packing Cubes (affiliate) (non-affiliate). This thing happens every time I check in to a new place. My suitcase somehow opens itself and explodes all over the floor, the bed, dresser, TV stand–basically every surface in the room. I don’t know how it happens. Cue packing cubes and somehow it doesn’t happen (well, at least not as much). A lifesaver while traveling.
4. Road Map. If you are driving in Ireland, you must have a really good map. This is non-negotiable. My favorite brand is OSI (ordinance survey Ireland). They are the national mapping agency of Ireland so they’re basically the best.
5. AirBnB Gift Card. I love AirBnB. It’s great for finding inexpensive stays or self-catering units, and almost all the independently owned castles are on AirBnB. Give the gift of a castle. Need I say more?
6. Universal Travel Adapter (affiliate) (non-affiliate). Super useful and pocket-sized. Stocking stuffer, perhaps? If you have electronics (phone, camera), this is what you need to make sure you are charged and ready to go.
7. DK Eyewitness Travel Books (affiliate) (non-affiliate). These are my favorite guidebooks for first-timers just beginning to plan, not knowing anything about the country or where to go. Sit and read this (or just look at the amazing photos) to get a sense of which areas draw you in the most (post-it notes are great for quickly identifying the areas that stick out).
8. Ireland Travel Coaching Gift Certificate (not an affiliate, but it’s my service ?). Is it too forward to say you should gift Ireland Travel Coaching? Nah. I don’t think so either since I wholeheartedly believe that those who invest in their trip have a better experience. It’s peanuts compared to the cost of the whole trip and you get so much more in return.
Ireland Gift Guide for the Creative
9. Custom Journal (affiliate) (non-affiliate). I think everyone going to Ireland should journal their trip. I wish I could shout it at the front of every airplane leaving for Dublin or Shannon. It is the best souvenir you could give yourself. I love these custom journals with cutouts of the country and your name or whatever you want inscribed. I think The Chastain Family’s Ireland Adventure sounds great…hint, hint.
10. Build Your Own Tiny Ireland (affiliate) (non-affiliate). This may be the coolest, most unique thing on here. They are paper model kits to cut out and build your very own Ireland landmarks and townscapes. A woman from a small village in west Cork makes them. I want them all.
11. Printable Irish Saying (affiliate) (non-affiliate). For those on a budget saving for their trip (us, too). There are a ton of Etsy shops with beautifully made printables. Search for your favorite Irish blessings, you will find one. Download, print at CVS (or wherever), buy a five dollar frame and voilà! Instant inexpensive gift. I’ve bought several over the years (mostly just for me).
12. Cannon DSLR Camera (affiliate) (non-affiliate). For most people, using their smart phone camera is all you need to take decent photos in Ireland. But if you’re looking for that WOW factor (and not-so secretly want someone else to take amazing photo souvenirs), this is totally the way to go. (Joey, I have the camera–but I’d love a new lens (affiliate) (non-affiliate).
Ireland Gift Guide for the Bookworm
13. Aran Sweater. To me, Aran Sweaters just scream cozy. This one is from my most favorite shop for wool products, Ó’Maille’s, in Galway. Every nook and cranny of this place is just stuffed with the most amazing sweaters, hats, and scarves. They aren’t inexpensive, but they’ll last forever and are so lovely.
14. Finfarran Book Series. I finally got around to reading House on the Irish Hillside (affiliate) (non-affiliate) during our trip to Dingle this year and I loved it. I am now itching to start Felicity Hayes McCoy’s Finfarran fictional series, which is supposedly charming, heartwarming and joyous. I’d say that’s perfect for Christmas.
You can buy them all on Amazon, The Library at the Edge of the World (affiliate) (non-affiliate); Summer in the Garden Cafe (affiliate) (non-affiliate); and Mistletoe Matchmaker (affiliate) (non-affiliate), but if you want to support your local bookstore, the first one was just pushed to US bookstores this week.
15. Belleek Tea Cups (affiliate) (non-affiliate). I am not sure you should read a book without a cup of tea in hand. Love the design on these ones from the famous Belleek Pottery company. Simple, yet shouts if I can’t be Ireland I might as well look like I am. Ha!
16. Slippers (affiliate) (non-affiliate). No bookworm should be without a pair of cozy slippers. I usually get the moccasin-type slippers, but they always have laces that inevitably become permanently untied. I’m giving them up. No lace slippers for me. Joe (size 6 if you please).
17. McCarthy’s Bar (affiliate) (non-affiliate). The most hilarious book about a man traveling around Ireland. I am actually a hard girl to get to laugh. Unless I am tickled, most of the time you’ll get a ha! and a big smile. But seriously, this book got me to laugh out loud several times. I was going to pull this off the bookshelf to read again, but I can’t find it. Not sure if I let someone borrow it or I gave it away (or I just simply can’t find it among Joe’s huge collection). Regardless, a new copy is in order.
Ireland Gift Guide for the Nostalgic
19. Custom Irish Pub Mirror (affiliate) (non-affiliate). I mean Chastain isn’t an Irish last name at all. It’s old French for chestnut. But, I just love the idea that we could have our name inscribed in a pub mirror to make it look like we owned one. I was actually thinking Chestnut’s Irish Pub sounded pretty good. ?
20. Ireland Necklace (affiliate) (non-affiliate). I think I’ve already mentioned on the blog that I am a minimalist jewelry wearer (more by laziness than anything else). That being said, I just love these necklaces and the little heart you can have at any place in Ireland. Problem is I wouldn’t know where to put it. Depending on the day I have different favorite spots. Multiple necklaces, perhaps?
21. Ireland Photo Album (affiliate) (non-affiliate). On our first few trips, we used to print out every picture we took in Ireland. We have huge photo albums of hundreds of pictures that get pulled out only every few years. More recently, they live on folders on my computer, which get rummaged through when I am trying to find photos for a blog post. A little photo album would be so nice to actually have out all the time and showcase my favorite pics when I want.
22. Shamrock Sign (affiliate) (non-affiliate): One last item in this Ultimate Ireland Gift Guide, a little shamrock sign or one of dozens of decorated signs and woodburnings from the Emerald Post Etsy shop. I just bought two signs (one for my Irish Fireside Secret Santa, and another for a local raffle basket I’m putting together), but I didn’t get any for me. I think we should remedy that.
A note of Thanksgiving: Thanks for reading the ultimate Ireland gift guide, but more importantly thanks for being a part of our little Ireland travel community. I say it all the time, but I truly have the best job in the world. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.