The best things to take for a cozy, comfortable time in Ireland
You don't need the luck of the Irish to enjoy a visit to the Emerald Isle. You can make your trip more carefree and comfortable, though, with smart planning and packing. These essentials will help ensure a happy-go-lucky Irish adventure no matter what the weather fairies get up to or where you may wander.
Come prepared for seasonal weather
You won't have to worry about weather extremes in Ireland, but it can be capricious with quick changes between sunny and stormy skies.
- All seasons: Pack a waterproof jacket, an umbrella that folds to compact size and sturdy, waterproof shoes for walking.
- Spring and autumn: Add a warm cardigan to your luggage. You can button it up as a barrier against chilly winds, but wear it stylishly loose and casual when the sun comes out during still somewhat cool temperatures.
- Winter: It rarely snows, but temperatures occasionally drop below freezing. Bring a warm scarf, gloves and a heavy coat to wear onto the plane and remove when you get to your seat.
- Summer: High temperatures typically range in the mid- to upper-60s, but daylight hours last up to 18 hours due to Ireland's northern latitude. Shorts and T-shirts are comfortable attire for summertime sightseeing and trekking in the countryside, but bring long trousers and long-sleeved shirts along, too, for chilly mornings and evenings. Also, pack and use sunscreen, which will need to be in a 3.4-ounce – or smaller – container to comply with TSA liquids regulations.
- Power adapter and converter to use for your blow dryer, laptop, phone and any other electrical devices. Without this, you won't be able to plug into Ireland's three-prong outlets or you might burn out your electronics: Ireland's 220V power supply is double that of the U.S. 110V standard.
- Euros are the currency used in Ireland. Order a sufficient amount from your bank to carry along for transportation fares and incidentals when you arrive. Credit cards can be used for most purchases, and you can get cash from ATMs.
- Travel documents and identification. You do need a passport to enter Ireland, but if you're a U.S. citizen, a visa is not required unless the visit will exceed 90 days. To rent a car and drive, obtain an International Driving Permit before going.
City, country and seaside considerations
Fine-tune your packing plan by the locations you plan to visit in Ireland.
- The cities: You can't go wrong in cosmopolitan Dublin and other larger cities in Ireland if you pack casual to business-casual clothes. Add something dressy for an evening of Irish pub music, a bit of fine dining or a service at one of the awe-inspiring cathedrals.
- The countryside: Hiking boots are a must for walks through rugged terrain, by the shore or on trails through forests and fields. Wear them on the plane to save space in your luggage and slip them off mid-flight, if necessary, for a toe-wiggling stretch.
- Coastal areas: In addition to warm clothes and a waterproof coat, bring a hat and scarf to cover your ears when the winds blow. Walking shoes with good traction should offer enough stability on wet surfaces if boating is planned. Otherwise, you'll need a pair of deck shoes.