Perhaps it’s the ease of travel, the friendly people or the gorgeous, green scenery that attracts so many people to Ireland. Or maybe it’s the pub culture and flowing taps of Guinness…
You’re ready to set out for this adventure, but you’ve heard the island’s weather described as “where all four seasons can happen in one day,” and you’re unsure exactly what to pack for Ireland. As a budget-conscious backpacker, you’re limited to fitting all of your Ireland packing essentials into a backpack – so packing smart is the key!
And that’s why we’re here – to help guide you through your what to take to Ireland checklist – step by step. We’ll make you the smart packer you need to be by arming you with all the information you need.
Well, let’s dive right in, shall we?
The Ultimate Ireland Packing List
Whatever the weather, we’ll make sure you’re well prepared for it with our what to bring to Ireland guide.
The Backpack and Luggage: Nomatic Travel Bag
Before you even take on the task of figuring out what to pack for Ireland, you’ll need an amazing backpack to pack it all into. For all types of travelers and destinations, our number one recommendation is the Nomatic Travel Bag.
The Nomatic travel bag covers every detail to make backpacking travel the best experience. Because of its smart design, it manages to provide loads of packing space in a convenient, carry-on size package! Its handy built-in pockets make plenty of room for all the necessities on your what to pack for Ireland checklist – you’ll find separate compartments for important items like shoes, water bottle, electronics, underwear and socks. As an added bonus, there’s also an RFID-safe and cord management pocket.
You have a choice between backpack or duffel bag carry, and extra carrying comfort for your back thanks to its innovative strap system and detachable sternum strap. And its black, waterproof material is every bit sleek and modern as it is durable and tough. There is a reason why most Broke Backpacker staff swear by this backpack.
Alternative Luggage: AER Travel Pack 2
Our number two selection for an epic travel backpack is the AER Travel Pack 2. Like the Nomatic Travel Bag, this AER backpack is fully featured, big enough to hold an extended weekend of clothing, and tough enough to last years of travel abuse.
I have taken the AER Travel Pack 2 on multiple trips and since then it has risen has in the ranks of my go-to travel backpacks.
Check out our AER Travel Pack 2 review to learn more.
A Suitcase: Nomatic Carry-On Pro
Backpacks not your thing? That’s ok. Our friends at Nomatic are back again with a great alternative to their badass Travel Bag; the Nomatic Carry-On Pro.
This suitcase is ultra-durable, sleek, and comes with a handy tech compartment for transporting your laptop and other electronic bits. Nomatic has been an industry leader when it comes to travel gear and that reputation is reflected in the quality build design and functionality of the Carry-On Pro suitcase. If you do plump for this option then you will be able to take full advantage of the insanely cheap budget flights to Ireland. Liverpool to Shannon or London to Dublin for $30 is pretty common!
Check out our Nomatic Carry-On Pro review to learn more about this epic suitcase.
The Camera: GoPro Hero9 Black
For most of us, our smartphones now feature cameras with stunning photo capabilities.
But… if you are an aspiring photographer who wants to take next-level photos and video beyond iPhone selfies, I recommend going with an action camera like the GoPro Hero9 Black.
It does deliver pro-quality video and gives you a bunch of a different angle options and shooting speeds to work with for photos (including a selfie-mode).
Think of a camera purchase like this as a long term investment that will have you capturing epic shots well beyond your time exploring here.
If you are looking for something cheaper for video specifically, check out these epic GoPro Alternatives.
What To Pack for Ireland: Personal Gear
Now we’ve sorted the bag and camera, let’s take a look at personal gear including what to wear in Ireland (hint – make it waterproof). That said, note that there are 4 distinct seasons and the temperature and amount of precipitation does vary.
That said, the stuff you need for a boozy weekend in Galway is not the same shit you need for camping in the Burren. Therefore, not everything on this list will be quite right for you.
We’re not going to tell you how exactly to dress but instead will concentrate on some key items you do not want to be without when packing for Ireland.
Good Shoes – Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero
Visitors to Ireland may underestimate the amount of walking that is part of the day to day experience. Shuffling between bars, city sightseeing or exploring the countryside all make the miles on your feet add up.
I admit that most shoes that are also good for hiking are not the most attractive pieces of footwear. But they are some of the most comfortable and deliver good ankle support for a long day of walking about town. I mean, your body is already going to be suffering enough from all of those 2-for-1 shots and bottomless mimosas you will be drinking, so do yourself a favor and buy some good shoes.
Ireland offer some excellent day hiking opportunities, so packing a pair of hiking shoes gives you the option (and eliminates excuses) to go head for the hills when the city becomes too much.
Check out the women’s Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero.
Good Rain Jacket – Arcteryx Beta AR
Did you know that the surface of the earth is % covered in water? And you know how that water got there? Yep because it tends to here rain here on planet earth quite a lot! And sandwiched between the UK and the wild Atlantic, Ireland is one of the rainiest places you can go. Even in summer, expect some rain.
There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wing gear for it. Don’t let a bit (of a lot) of rain ruin your trip and make sure you are ready with some top notch rain gear.
This is our pick of the many rain jackets we have tried. It’s reliable & stylish and looks good worn out in the mountains or in city bars.
Tent – MSR Hubba Hubba 2p
Ireland has some beautiful countryside and it would be a real shame not to make the most of it and get some camping time in. This is more the choice for those in the market for budget backpacking gear. It’s got all the perks of a top-notch backpacking tent without all the freakishly high numbers on the price tag.
Yeah, it may not quite make the cut as ultralight backpacking gear but think of what you’re getting! The MSR Hubba Hubba 2p is mega-roomy and has multiple of pockets for keeping your self organized when settling in for the night.As far as budget backpacking tents go, this is one of the best. It’s a happy medium between the ‘prepared for anything’ mode and the ‘I wanted to go for a trek so I bought this for 2000 rupees’ afterthought.
A Sleeping Pad – Thermarest NeoAir XTherm
If you are going to camp, then don’t forger to consider a sleeping pad as the ground in Ireland can be rough. Camping out under the stars is great, but what is not so great is spending night after night in rough ground. If like me, you value your spinal functionality then invest in a canny sleeping pad for extra comfort.
The NeoAir Xtherm ditches the mainstream rectangular shape for a contoured build. This makes it overall more weight-effective, without compromising comfort and it’s a seriously comfortable, seriously lightweight sleeping pad – as an all rounder, the Xtherm is hard to beat, but it ain’t cheap and there are some better value options out there.
Travel First Aid Kit
You don’t need to tote around half a pharmacy, but a well-stocked first aid kit should be in all our backpacks. Stuff happens on the road and it’s inconvenient and embarrassing when you can’t manage small situations like a cut finger or hangover migraine.
You can tuck this lifesaver away in a forgotten pocket – and it’ll be there when you need it.
Tip: Add a few bits and pieces to the first aid kit after you purchase it, like extra headache medicine, any personal meds you need (like allergy pills), whatever you take to calm your stomach and a few more plasters.
Travel Insurance From World Nomads
Ok, you can’t pack travel insurance in your backpack, but you can take out a cheap policy to insure yourself against theft, flight cancellations, accidents, etc.
I admit I traveled for many years without having travel insurance. Because of it, I paid the price a few times in foreign hospitals. Ireland is quite an expensive country and being faced with an unexpected medical bill could come as a shock to your wallet. Whilst the country is safe, crime does happen so it is better to consider getting yourself insured.
We use either World Nomads or SafetyWing. You’ll be happy you did if the time comes to use it.
Another backpacker/traveler favorite for staying organized is a hanging toiletry bag. It’s extremely helpful to have all of your accessories neatly gathered in one bag that you can hang for easy accessibility, especially when counter space isn’t plentiful or even available. A well-organized bag is worth having whether you’re tree whilst camping or a hook in the wall – it helps to have quick access to all your stuff.
Historically, I have been the guy who has my stuff all over the bathroom, so getting one of these things really changed the toiletry game for me. Plus they are not too expensive either. A no-brainer essential. Great for use in your Dublin hostel dorm.
Your Passport or Other Government ID
Ireland is in the EU and the Schengen zone. EU citizens can come and go with an EU Citizen card but everybody else will need a valid passport. ID will also come in useful for going in bars and pubs as they can be strict about enforcing age checks.
Incidentally, I have 2 passports and 1 of them is Irish on account of my ancestry – I use it every time I visit.
Money Belt – By Active Roots
Whilst Ireland is not particularly dangerous, crime can still happen and tourists are sometimes targeted.
Therefore it is always a good idea to use a money belt to hide your cash just in case something does go wrong.
Let’s face it; for the foreseeable future, COVID 19 risk is just going to be a part of travel. How do we do our best to mitigate the risk while still traveling and experience life’s pleasures? Pack the right PPE gear.
Ireland did take Covid very seriously. As such you can expect masks to be mandatory on public transport and indoors for the foreseeable future.
- Bring a Mask.
- Bring Hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.
- Consider disposable gloves for slot machines or other when touching other stuff that hundreds of other people have also touched that day. From an environmental point of view, these types of gloves are fuc**** awful. Use these only when necessary and keep in mind these things are very polluting and will end up in a landfill after one use.
Waterbottle – Hydroflask Vacuum Bottle 32 oz.
Packing a reusable water bottle is probably the best thing you can personally do to combat single-use plastic bottle use whilst traveling. There is simply zero need to buy plastic water bottles. Everywhere in Ireland from drinking fountains to the water coming out of your bathroom sink, the water is safe to drink. Fill up your bottle each time and carry it with you when you go out in order to avoid buying water throughout your day.
We love the Hydroflask Vacum Bottle for its quality and because it keeps cold water cold for many hours and vice versa for hot beverages. This bottle is the ideal water bottle to get not just for your Ireland trip but for daily use. Please don’t be that person buying plastic water bottles. We are all judging you…especially mother earth.
If you go with the Hydroflask, you’ll probably never need to buy another waterbottle again.
The Basic Stuff To Pack For Ireland
On top of the essential items listed above, here is an additional suggested checklist of what to pack for a trip to Ireland.
- 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans
- 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer/late spring)
- A few pairs of socks
- (Sexy) underwear x 2/3
- Ladies: a few dresses, pants, outfits, or desired lady apparel for a night on the town. Whatever makes you comfy!
- Dudes: A few collard shirts or something half-way decent for a night on the town. Whatever makes you comfy!
- Smartphone with a good camera for photos if you are not bringing an actual camera
- Portable power bank for charging your phone on the go
- Phone charger
- Amazon Kindle for reading by the pool
- Copy of your passport just in case
- Cash (not too much, there are ATM machines everywhere
- Packable Towel
One of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.
Buy your travel adapter on Amazon now.
Final Thoughts on What to Pack for Ireland
Ok, lads and lassies, that’s it! You have your Ireland survival guide for what to pack for Ireland with our top-22 needs Irish checklist, a seasonal breakdown with recommendations on what to wear in Ireland accordingly – including special packing suggestions for women and men, what NOT to pack, and the best backpacking travel bag for your Irish venture.
The stories you’ve heard about Irish weather probably had you worried about what to pack – but no need to worry. Stick to the layering items we discussed, pack a multi-purpose waterproof jacket, an amazing pair of boots, and you’re all good.
Now all that’s left is getting yourself to the Emerald Isle and seeing for yourself why Irish eyes are always smiling!
Also – don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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