Packing lists are usually what everyone looks for after finalizing plans for any type of trip. Usually, they’ll get long lists and end up not needing half of it! As a backpacker or luxury traveler, there are things that happen that you don’t plan, and things you plan for way ahead of time which can sometimes shape your packing list. Therefore, I specifically titled this post “GUIDE to packing for Ireland…”.
As a fellow traveler and Googler, I know that it can be infuriating when an item on the packing list turns out to be nothing but a space filler. So, I am gifting you not a list, but a GUIDE.
I am a cheapo, but when it comes to comfortability and staying dry, that’s more important to me so I splurge on quality, long lasting (I’m talking 5+ years) items. We might have completely different price ranges, temperature tolerances, and wardrobe preferences. You might be going for a different amount of time, therefore I can’t tell you how many t shirts to bring. Only you can do that by following this guide. So, again, this is a GUIDE and you can easily find less expensive items similar to those linked in the rest of this post!
This article contains links to the stuff I love and have used. I may receive a commission for them at no extra cost to you!
Some things to remember:
- You can wing your plans, but always have a backup so you aren’t disappointed if something is cancelled.
- Don’t let the rain ruin those plans. If they aren’t cancelled, continue them!
- Rain will happen.
- There will be rain.
- It will rain.
It’s probably not going to rain constantly. Out of two weeks in Ireland, it rained a total of 3 days. It’s very sporadic and not very heavy. Except one time, I got DRENCHED riding my electric bike. I can’t speak for your vacation, though, so don’t hate me if it rains the whole time. My guide is to help you avoid disappointment if that happens! But honestly, Ireland is beautiful when it’s misty and cloudy. Some of my best pictures are “moody” and misty.
Summer Weather on the Emerald Isle
August can be hot and sunny, chilly, rainy and windy, being the end of the Summer season (June through August). One day you will be leaning over the Cliffs of Moher being held up by the wind. The next, it will be sunny and 65F. Sometimes it will be both within five minutes. Literally. I know that because that’s how it was. It sprinkled/rained 3 times in 1 hour. Get the idea? Be prepared for anything.
Someone I met showed me a video of herself and her mom basically levitating from the wind. I went the next day and the weather was absolutely perfect! It rained for half a second but it’s Ireland.
Rain is inevitable here, but it’s not a bad thing, it’s actually the reason you are coming to Ireland. The scenery is only as beautiful as the amount of rain they get. If you wanted to see Ireland without rain, you would go to Arizona.
Alright, now that you’ve got the August weather in mind, let’s get started with that packing guide.
Outdoor Activity Essentials
You will NEED & USE:
- A warm layer because it’s pretty chilly at night. I brought a sweater and a cardigan! Even when it’s sunny it can be windy, which will add some chill if you aren’t used to cold summers.
- An umbrella/rain jacket everywhere you go.
- Zip lock bag (my cheap ass wasn’t buying a wet sack) or SOME kind of water resistant/proof protection for kayaking, hiking or horseback riding in the rain, etc.
- Hiking/outdoor pants like these from Columbia. I hiked in them in Alaska on rainy days and they were fantastic, as well as wore them casually in Ireland as part of my outfit.
- Convertible hiking pants – When it was chilly on my bike, I used the pants extension. When it was hot or sunny, I would unzip to the shorts!
- Water resistant hiking boots and/or duck boots. I wear the Merrell hiking shoes and Sperry duck boots; they are the most comfortable on my foot and are waterproof and DURABLE!! Make sure whichever shoes you end up with are pretty versatile. If you’re pinched on luggage room, you’ll want shoes that go with just about everything. It’s totally fine in Ireland to go out in your hiking shoes.
This is NOT New York and you don’t need to be dressed to the nine when you’re hiking or hanging out in the pubs and restaurants.
General/Optional Packing Suggestions
- When you aren’t or won’t be hiking, you’ll need good walking shoes! I don’t know what your foot prefers so I can only suggest what I love which are my Brooks tennis shoes, but I know Vans and Converse aren’t gonna get you through an entire day of city walking comfortably.
- Plastic bag or something to put your dirty clothes in your suitcase.
- Shower shoes (flip flops) – Unless you’re staying in a 5* hotel, I highly suggest bringing some. You never know what stepped in the shower before you, especially if people wear their street sandals in there AS shower shoes! Yuck!
- Microfiber shower towel – I was SO grateful for having this since I stayed in hostels, which offer towels at an expense! It takes up almost no room in your bag!
- Waterproof/resistant day pack – I used this one. It has a water bottle holder and holds a LOT more than you think it does! It’s not super water resistant like it says but it worked in light rain! To make it waterproof, stick a plastic bag over it. I couldn’t seem to find a completely waterproof, affordable one. If you do, please post it in the comments or email me! Unless you want to just spend the money to get an Osprey pack and rain cover!
Tools and Electronic Essentials
- Padlock – Most hostels don’t have secure luggage lockers so you definitely, definitely need to have a combination lock to at least secure your zippers together or tie it to your bed post!
- Wall plugin adapter – You will 100% need this if you aren’t from there. This adapter works for Ireland as well as the UK and Hong Kong.
- VPN – This is important if you plan to use public wi-fi for browsing and streaming. Advertising themselves as the most trusted VPN in the world, PrivateVPN will give you confidence that your connection is secure. The minimum is usually a month but it’s around $7/mo. as of this writing for quality protection.
Don’t forget you are traveling to Ireland, it’s not called Emerald Isle for nothing. It’s absolutely beautiful and I had some of my favorite experiences in the rain on the Aran Islands. You just have to be prepared for the rain, and don’t let it deter you from staying on track with your itinerary or guided trips!
I hope this August packing guide finds you well in Ireland, because it was useful to me every single day. I actually used every article of clothing more than once.
You need protection from more than just rain! Travel insurance is a rain jacket for your wallet. If your trip is cancelled and you have non-refundable airline tickets and hotel rooms, you can kiss your money-back goodbye. That’s why I use World Nomad’s travel insurance, EVERY time I travel (no, that’s not a sales pitch, it’s true. I use it every time – I’ve heard too many horror stories).
Why travel insurance is important:
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- Covers if you’re sick or your family member is sick and can’t go.
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