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Packing for Ireland in winter can be intimidating. Since I hate packing at the best of times, preparing to visit a nation with infamously bad weather during its coldest season terrified me more than my Introduction to Public Speaking class at university.
After spending a fabulous, if somewhat damp and cold, week road tripping Ireland, I now know which items I was glad I packed, which ones were space-wasters, and what I wish I would have taken.
If you’re headed to Ireland this winter, these are the things you should pack:
We recommend packing waterproof hiking boots. Ireland is best explored on foot, and hiking paths and trails can get wet and muddy in winter.
These are the ones I wore.
Though my Merrell boots are highly practical, they certainly won’t win any fashion contests. I also packed a pair of cuter boots I wore when walking around cities like Dublin and Galway.
These ones are similar to the ones I took.
A good quality winter jacket is essential when visiting Ireland in winter. We recommend choosing one that has a hood, is completely waterproof, and is roomy enough to fit over several layers of clothing.
This is similar to the one I have.
The wind in Ireland can get pretty intense, especially along the coast.
To stay warm, I wore silk leggings under my pants. I prefer silk to other materials because it keeps me warm without adding bulk and can easily fit under my tightest skinny jeans.
My hands get cold easily, so I wore gloves whenever I went outside in Ireland. I wish I’d packed touch-screen gloves like these so I didn’t have to take them off any time I wanted to take pictures on my smart phone.
UK Power Adaptor
To avoid frying our electronics, we always pack a power adaptor/converter when traveling internationally.
Ireland’s outlets are the same as those in the UK (which differ from most continental European nations).
The converter we use is unavailable, but it’s similar to this one.
Ireland’s reputation for rain is well-founded. We experienced rain off and on throughout our whole trip. For that reason, it’s a good idea to pack a travel-sized umbrella like this one.
The weather in Ireland is unpredictable. Clear skies can quickly turn into a downpour and vice versa.
We traveled with a dry bag so we could protect our electronics whenever we found ourselves in a freak thunder storm.
These are like the ones we used.
Packing hiking/athletic clothing is a must for a trip to Ireland. On days we spent driving or hiking up cliffs, my Patagonia leggings were a lifesaver. Not only are they way more comfortable than blue jeans, but they also dry much quicker. I also wore them on our long-haul flights. Unfortunately, Patagonia discontinued my leggings, but they are similar to these from Prana.
We always take a guidebook to use as an on-the-ground reference when we travel. We used Lonely Planet Ireland and found it to be quite helpful.
What are your must-pack items for winter travel?
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