How I Packed For Travel for Ireland in August

It feels so good to be back home! I got back in yesterday afternoon and after catching up on some email and doing a bit of unpacking, I was sound asleep by 8:30 PM. That was 1:30 AM, Ireland time and was as long as I could force myself to stay up. I awoke at 4:00 AM and spent the day unpacking, washing clothes and picking up/sorting mail/packages that were being held. I have some delicious books to share with you very soon!

Ten days is the perfect length for a trip. We saw so much during those 10 days, I don’t think my brain has fully processed it all. I’ll create some posts over the next few weeks sharing those places/events that I think you’ll find really interesting or beautiful. If you were following BNOTP on Instagram HERE, I hope you enjoyed the 30+ photos and 3 videos that I shared there.

You guys were right! Everyone who left a comment on a previous post saying Ireland is a wonderful place to visit, was right! The people of Ireland are warm and friendly and they do seem to be happy to have travelers visiting their lovely country. I would love to go back again one day to see those things I missed. It’s impossible to see it all in just one trip, but we did see a lot!

Packing…A Request

Just before I left, I received an email from a BNOTP reader who asked that I  show exactly how I pack. She specifically asked if would show the clothes I’m takings “in stacks” ready to go in the suitcase and then show them in the suitcase. Hope she sees this post since I couldn’t find her email today when I looked for it.

Before I packed, I checked the weather one last time. It didn’t appear that it was going to be terribly cold, but I remembered the comments on a prior post where a few BNOTP readers had reported being super cold in both June and August, especially while in windy areas. Since I knew we would be visiting some high, windy places like the Hill of Tara and The Cliffs of Moher, I decided to bring lots of clothes that would easily layer.

My favorite way to layer is: soft t-shirt–like the ones I buy at Wal-mart in the fall/winter for $6-7 on sale, followed by a long sleeve shirt that the sleeves can be rolled up if needed, followed by a sweater, followed by a raincoat with a hood. I don’t like taking umbrellas when I travel since I’m always using my hands to take photos, unless it’s absolutely pouring.

 

This is the suitcase I always take: a plaid suitcase by London Fog, purchased long ago in HomeGoods. It’s been to Key West, Cozumel, Holland, Belgium, Morocco and now to Ireland. I can’t remember if I purchased it before the Italy trip or not. I may have…I think I did. So add Italy to that list. This suitcase is the largest size Delta Airlines will allow for a checked bag. I get one free checked bag since I have a Delta Skymiles Card.

 

This was what I planned to place inside. Starting on the left:
Stack 1: Sweaters
Stack 2: Jeans, jeggings, pair of dressy slacks and thermal underwear (just in case)
Stack 3: Eight shirts and lots of socks
Stack 4: Pajamas and three dressy shirts (in case I wanted to dress up a little for dinner) and one velvet jacket

Clothes I take for travel

 

I decided to wear this on the flight over, along with a pair of navy jeggings. I knew the jeggings would be comfortable since they are stretchy. Also, I tend to be cold on planes so figured this knit sweater would help with that. I was really glad I had it! I (and the couple sitting beside me) were freezing in our center bulkhead seats, even with blankets. I purchased the striped knit sweater with hood at Talbots HERE during their recent summer clearance sale just a few days before leaving for Ireland.

Comfy clothes for summer travel and vacation

 

These are the shoes I took on this trip: Waterproof Boots, Adidas Sneakers and my Sperry Duck Boots. I also wore a pair of Sperry Topsiders during the flight over.

Great Shoes for Travel in Rainy Climates Like Ireland

 

I later added this outfit to my suitcase, in case I wanted to wear a dress one night for dinner. The maxi dress I ordered from Talbots turned out to be a bad fit, but I found a very light, flowy, maxi dress marked way down on clearance at Steinmart for just $23. It was so light, it took up almost no room in the suitcase.

Tips for Packing for Travel to Ireland in August

 

I always pack one “outfit” in my carry-on bag, just in case my suitcase never shows up. For this trip it was a pair of jeggings, a shirt and a cashmere sweater.

 

With the outfit I wear on the plane and one spare outfit in my carry-on, at least I’ll have two outfits to wear during a trip (until I can purchase more) if my suitcase goes missing. So far, my suitcase has never been lost, hope that continues to be the case!

I also packed my laptop, mouse, voltage converter, hair curler/dryer, toiletries and other such items in my carry-on bag.

Carry-on bag with spare outfit in case luggage is lost

 

This was the outfit I wore when I traveled back home: Navy jeggings, t-shirt, plaid, shirt-jacket and topsiders. I almost wore it on the flight over, that’s why the buffalo-plaid, shirt-jacket isn’t in the original stack of clothing.

I love wearing topsiders when traveling/flying. I always take at least one pair when I travel.. They are super comfortable and are great for walking on non-rainy days while traveling. I’ve learned to not wear boots while flying on long flights, even ankle boots. If you’re feet swell even a little, they quickly become very uncomfortable.

Comfortable Clothing for Travel

 

These are the pajamas I took. I had planned to take another pair of my P.J. Salvage pajamas but these arrived right before I left. I washed them the night before and packed them the morning of the trip.

P.J. Salvage Pink Sheep Pajamas

 

They are hilarious! So many funny scenes across them, my favorite being the ones where sheep are knitting sweaters right on their fellow sheep. lol Pefect for Ireland!

I found these on eBay and it appears there are a few still left here: Sheep Pajamas  and here: Sheep Pajamas. For reference, I always buy a small…they are pretty generously cut, I think.

P. J. Salvage Sheep Pajamas

 

I also packed a pair of light-weight thermal/long underwear. In the photo below, you can see how sheer they are. I wanted something super lightweight that I could wear under jeggings or straight legged jeans. I love these!

I purchased a medium since they are quite thin. I didn’t want to risk tearing them while putting them on and I don’t like thermal underwear to be even the least bit snug in the waist. They were perfect…maybe a tad big, but very comfortable.

I only ended up wearing them one day…I think the day we visited the Hill of Tara. It was super rainy and I was worried I’d be cold. Unfortunately, it appears they’ve gone up from $29.99, which is what I paid on August 17th, to $38.99. You’ll find them here: Thermasilk Pants. Maybe the price will go down again.

I also took THIS pair of thermal underwear, I wanted to be prepared after reading all your comments about freezing in Ireland! lol The price is still the same for those, $27.99 and it includes a full set, not just the bottoms. They are very light-weight, also–and super comfortable.

Very Light-weight thermal underwear

 

So here’s how I packed: My duck boots and the stack of pants went in first. Notice how much room is still left above the pants.

Large Suitcase, Packing for Travel

 

The sneakers and the stack of sweaters went in next. Oh, and I also did what I always do, I stuffed all my boots and shoes with underwear and socks to: 1. Use that available space and 2. To keep the shoes/boots from being squished out of shape.

How I pack for Travel

 

I ended up moving the sneakers to the space on the right of the sweaters to fill that small spot. I placed my P.J.s atop the pants stack. Then the shirt stack went across the back of the suitcase, in front of the duck boots.

Pack Your Suitcase for Travel

 

I added my little fleece slipper socks atop the tennis shoes. They are still available here: Slipper Socks. I also have them in this pattern: Slipper Socks. It’s my fave with the cute deer.

See that heavy, cream-colored sweater in the middle? I never wore it, but I took it in case we had a day that was super cold. Really, light-weight cashmere sweaters are ideal if you have them. They don’t take up much space in a suitcase. I took two with me (a pink one and a lavender one) and I ended up wearing both.

How I Pack my Suitcase for Travel

 

There was still room for another layer of clothing and I ended up adding in a few more things after I took these photos…mostly more sweaters.

 

Here’s everything gathered together: the big suitcase that would be checked at the curb when I arrived at the Atlanta airport, my rolling carry-on bag and my travel handbag. I ended up not taking my new Frye Leather Bag because the rainy forecast had me worried. I didn’t want to risk it getting wet since I hadn’t yet taken the time to treat it with the Frye weather-proofing cream.

Oh, and I did take my yellow, Barbour rain coat…it was folded and in the large. zipped, outside pocket on the outside of the suitcase. I wore it for the first 4-5 days of the trip and the tan coat you see on the suitcase the last few days. I absolutely loved wearing both. I could probably have left one at home but I really wanted to try them both on this trip.

Update: I’ve had a few emails asking where I got my rolling carry-on bag. I purchased it here and love it…have used it on every trip! Rolling Carry-On Bag. By the way, the measurements they show at Amazon for this bag are wrong. It’s measures 18 inches wide x 16 inches tall and is 8 inches in depth from front to back. The padded computer pocket inside easily holds my 13 inch laptop that goes with me on all my trips…so it’s obviously larger than the 13.5 inches they state on Amazon. They need to correct that misinformation.

Packing for Travel

 

Before I added more sweaters later, the suitcase was at 33 lbs. I should have probably stopped there because I purchased a good many souvenirs/sweaters on this trip. Note: when traveling to a country that’s known for making/having something you LOVE like sweaters/scarves, etc…, leave some room in your suitcase for those goodies! I should have known I would buy several fluffy sweaters! lol

Weighing Suitcase Before Flying for Travel

 

Inside my travel handbag, I had my travel pillow, phone, phone charger, sunglasses, Bose headphones, passport, credit cards/cash, travel insurance documentation and a few other things that I knew I’d need on the flight over.

Tip: Never, ever pack anything in your checked bag that you would be in major trouble if it were lost or stolen–like prescription medications, laptop, camera, jewelry, eye glasses, ID’s, important documents or valuables.

Travelon Handbag for Travel

 

In the airport, I purchased these in the Kiehl’s store. I thought it would be helpful for those windy days in Ireland when lips can become chapped. I LOVE this stuff. It goes on so smooth and adds a small amount of color to your lips. And it has sunscreen! Will definitely buy more when this gets used up. It’s available here for the same price I paid at the airport: Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment. It comes in a non-tinted version here: Non-tinted Butterstick.

Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment with Sunscreen, Touch of Berry & Pure Petal

 

Hope this post proves helpful for anyone contemplating a trip to a locale where the temperature is unpredictable and sometimes rainy/cold. Can’t wait to share more of Ireland with you, especially the castles! 🙂

See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!

 




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Comments

  1. Welcome home, Susan! I can’t wait to see all your pictures and hear about this wonderful trip. Thank you for this packing info.
    I know it feels good to be back home and in your own bed. Sleep tight tonight.

  2. Carol Cottrell says:

    I have loved following your trip. We leave for Ireland in three weeks. Now I want to know what you did not need that you took. I’m trying to pack and a small carry-on and following most of what you church. I just don’t want to take anything unnecessary.

    • Carol Cottrell says:

      Following most of what you took, not Church.

    • I wore all the shoes I took and almost all the shirts/pants. I didn’t get around to wearing my white jeans and the a couple of the shirts I took to go with those. It just felt a bit too fallish/wintry with the rain we had at the beginning of the week, to wear white pants. I would stick with neutral pants like black, navy, grey or khaki.

      I also didn’t wear two of the dressy shirts I took, although I should have. I was just too busy/tired to change for dinner and wore what I had worn that day. Most days we would get in around 30 minutes to an hour before dinner, so there wasn’t much time to change. I usually spent that time uploading some photos to Instagram since I had been without Wi-fi the entire day.

      I did wear my flowy, maxi dress one night. If you’re going to a be staying in really nice hotels, take along a couple of light-weight maxi dresses or dressy shirts to change into for dinner. Several folks on our trip did change each evening. I haven’t seen that a lot on other trips, but this trip we were staying in 4 and 5 star hotels, so it was completely appropriate.

      I’ve stopped taking my travel hair dryer on trips because all hotels seem to have those available now. If I think of anything else, I’ll leave another comment for you, Carol. Don’t stress because almost everything you need, you’ll be able to buy if you forget it at home.

      Don’t forget your phone charger, I had mine in my purse for use in airports, on the plane and in the evening at the hotel.

  3. Nancy Carr says:

    I enjoy all your posts. Thank you for sharing your trips and tips.

  4. Glad u enjoyed ur trip. I look forward to all your Ireland posts!

  5. I think you packed very smart. I am packed and ready to cross the pond on Friday. I had to go to my 29 inch suitcase since I had so many sweaters. Hope I still have room for some souvenirs. If not, I will do as I did on our Italy trip last year and buy an inexpensive bag for the souvenirs. Then use it as a carry on and check our dirty clothes. Works for me.

    • That’s a great idea! My suitcase was so full, there was almost no room after adding a few sweaters. I managed to get it all back…barely!

  6. I’m glad you got the silk long under wear. I bring them with me on almost every trip because they’re feather weight and I’ve been in hotel rooms where the A/C won’t stop, and in B&Bs that have feeble heat. The Winter Silks seem to go up in price in the summer. I guess they know if you’re willing to buy them in the Summer, you really want them!
    Glad you had a great trip. I always say, “With a passport and a good red lipstick I can take on the world!” It’s a big old world, have fun on your continuing adventures!

  7. rebecca dexter says:

    Can’t wait to see what you bought…I didn’t buy as much as I would have liked…kept worrying about getting it home and if I would see something I liked better later on the trip…I did buy a Celtic silver charm for my Pandora bracelet that I love. I am sure that you bought way more fun things. Hurry and post…although I know you are really really tired. I find that it takes longer to get over jet lag coming back rather than going over. Sleep well!

    • Thanks, Rebecca! I will share the souvenirs very soon…I took pictures today so will get that post written soon. I bought than I have ever bought on a trip before. I loved Ireland so much, just wanted to bring some of it home with me. 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your great adventures with us. Glad you are home safe and sound. (did you check the dishes in the garage yet? just teasing) I have to ask-you don’t use shoe covers ? Sometimes I put shoes in plastic bags that later hold dirty clothes.

    • Ha! Funny you should ask. It was a nice feeling to see those cabinets when I arrived home and opened the garage door. 🙂
      I have some bags that typically use but they were too small for both pairs of boots. I was wearing the topsiders, so that just left the tennis shoes. I need to find some larger bags. Maybe the clear ones that folks roast turkeys in would work. lol

      • I use clear shower caps on my shoes when I travel. You can usually buy a package of 10 or 12 and they are inexpensive too!

  9. Looks like it was a wonderful trip! Susan, you should try packing bags. I absolutely LOVE them. I bought the ebags brand off Amazon. I purchased the small, medium, and large for me and three large for my hubby. I use the small bag for undies, t-shirts, sleep pants, and socks, the medium bag for shirts and sweaters, and the large bag for pants and jeans. When you need to get an item out, it’s so easy to locate and doesn’t mess up the other clothes. When something is dirty, you can put it on the bottom of the suitcase to separate it from the other clothes. Check them out online. They come in all sorts of colors and zip up easily. Glad you had fun!!!

    • Thanks, Terri! I actually do have some…purchased them several trips back…but when I tried to use them, I couldn’t pack as much. If I don’t pack so much, I think they would work well. I think I ended up giving them to my dil since they weren’t working well for me in my huge suitcase. I do love the concept though, especially for unpacking of a cruise ship or someplace where you’ll be staying for a while.

  10. A few questions. Do you know how far you walked each day? I have a fitbit and I am trying to condition myself to see if I am tough enough for a trip/tour? What Walmart teeshirts? Did you have any issue with your computer?

    • No, I didn’t wear anything that kept track of that. We walked a lot less on this trip than I ever have on any trip. There was a lot of riding to get to places, but really not that much walking. There was some stair climbing for those who wanted to do that…like when we climbed to the top of Christ Church to ring the bells…and for those who climbed up to the Blarney Stone. I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to stand in a 1-2 hour wait/line to kiss a stone. But those things were optional and some people didn’t do the things that required climbing a lot of stairs.
      No, no issue with my computer but I ALWAYS use an adapter AND my favorite voltage converter. I don’t ever trust not using it because my laptop was pretty expensive to have built and I don’t want to risk damaging it.
      The Wal-mart t-shirts are just long sleeve shirts they have them almost all year around…in all colors. I just looked and all the light colored ones say “No Boundaries” in the neck and the darker blue/navy/green/burgundy ones say “Faded Glory” in the neck. They last a long time, I still have the first ones I bought two years ago. They are super soft, great to wear under shirts in the winter.

    • Madonna, you can see one of the t-shirts (a blue one) in the photo showing the buffalo plaid shirt-jacket, jeggings and Topsider shoes.

  11. Great packing tips–you looked prepared for most any weather. Sounds like a whirlwind tour; can’t wait to read more about it.

  12. Welcome home Susan!!!…I have always loved seeing the way you pack…I have become so fond of my “packing cubes” … used them when I traveled to France. We were was only able to bring a one small suitcase due to room constraints in the van we were traveling in. Rolling the clothes in the packing cubes really worked well…you are truly the “super packer” !! Glad you had such a wonderful time and looking forward to your posts on the trip!

    • Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use those, just always pack way too much. I bought some, but ended up giving them to my dil since I couldn’t pack as much using them. I do love how they work, though!

  13. Jan Evridge says:

    This was a really helpful post. I’d be interested in how you pack toiletries. That’s always a challenge for me.

    • Jan, I’ll have to get that bag out and photograph it. It’s a flat bag, probably around 12 inches by 9 inches…that came with an older set of luggage I bought many years back. I’ll photograph it and share it in a post.

  14. Elizabeth Roderick says:

    Thank you for sharing your packed suitcase. So glad you’re home safe and had a great time. I think Ireland would be my first choice for overseas travel.

  15. MaryEllen says:

    You are one amazing packer! I must learn from you. It all looks so neat and organized. When I’ve traveled Internationally with that large suitcase, I have to sit on it to get it closed! Ha, ha. There is definitely a trick to it and you have it down to a science. Looking forward to stories and pictures of your trip. Where is your next adventure to?

    • lol Love that image MaryEllen of you sitting on the suitcase. 🙂 This was the most I’ve packed, it weighed 47 before I left. It’s hard packing for such mixed weather and for both casual and dressier events. I didn’t leave a lot of room for the souvenirs! Thanks, looking forward to sharing some more photos. I’m not sure, yet. Don’t have any set plans. Will probably watch for a good deal or something that really catches my interest like this one did since it involved staying in castles and manor homes.

  16. Welcome home! I loved this post and have so enjoyed following you on Instagram. We leave for Ireland in a little over 5 weeks, so your tips have been so timely for me. I, too, can’t wait to see what you purchased! Did you find that some things could be mailed to you in the states? It takes me about a week to readjust to our time after traveling. Sweet dreams!

  17. Cyndi Raines says:

    Well done Susan! So glad you are home safe and sound. What an adventure, seeing castles! It will stay with you forever. I still love reflecting on my Holland /Germany trip and going down the Rhine River. Wonderful memories. Eager to see your posts. 🙂

  18. Carolyn Anderson says:

    I see that you have a new travel pillow instead of the 3 prong pillow. Do you like the new pillow? I have really enjoyed my 3 prong pillow, worked well for long flights to India and then Egypt.

  19. Welcome home . I can’t wait to see your pictures . I have a fear that my suitcase will pop open at the airport and I won’t be able to fit it all back in before the plane leaves.

  20. Welcome home Susan! Thank you for keeping us updated during your trip! Can’t wait to see your souvenirs and hear about all the beautiful sights. Remember to scratch off Ireland on your travel map! You’re such an inspiration at so many levels, Susan.

    • Thanks, Rosie, I did remember! 🙂 I need to go to Canada or Russia or Australia or China…someplace really big. lol The map would get more colorful very fast that way! I’ll have to take a photo of it to share. I think they could have done a better job with the image underneath. They focused everything on the Guinness Factory and beer. No shamrocks or cute leprechauns.

  21. Thanks for sharing. I leave on Sunday for a month visiting London, Scotland and northern Ireland. It is fun to see how others pack. I am scrambling trying to get things together and not over pack.
    I look forward to future post about your trip. It looks like you had a good time

  22. I always enjoy reading your post and this one gave me some good ideas for my next trip. I too enjoyed visiting Ireland and also was cold on several days. Glad you’re home and glad you had a great time. God bless

  23. Very helpful. Been reading your blog for a long time. I fell in love with your carry on with roller bag. Can this fit under the seat on the plane or not. Thanks.

  24. This was such a helpful post. We just got back from Canada, and I feel that I pack better each time we go on a long trip. I appreciate all of your specific information, photos, and links to purchase items. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

  25. So glad to hear your trip went great, Delta treated you well, and you loved Ireland and the Irish people as much as I do! I should have told you a flight attendant trick when you’re cold on the plane. Ask a flight attendant to fill up one of the small water bottles (they have them in first class) with hot water for you. Just lay it in your lap and you will be toasty warm. Still shaking my head at the amount of clothes you brought (2 jackets, 2 boots) but you have to do what’s comfortable for you. Where are you off to next?

  26. Enjoyed your packing, but, like my niece, you do take too much–and you’ll have it if you need it–haha. Good sharing.

  27. I really enjoyed the post Susan, and am glad you had such a nice time in Ireland. It has always been on my list to visit. I need to start planning! Great packing ideas, especially keeping room for things you’ll bring back!

  28. Glad that you are home safe and sound and that you had a lovely trip. I really enjoy all of your posts. This one has great packing ideas, thanks for sharing. Thanks for taking the time to add links to the things you like; very helpful. One question – tell me how you handled your suitcase as your trip progressed? How to you keep dirty clothes, for instance? I’m also interested in how you pack your toiletries (I think another reader mentioned this). I’m a fan of BNOTP!

  29. You have a great blog. I enjoy it very much. I want to go to Ireland! Your packing tips, advice and info is amazing. Thankyou for all the time you put into sharing with us. Question about your boots , did you wear both pairs? Or, if you had to choose what pair was favorite in Ireland? Looking forward to your next post.

    • Thanks, Rhonda! I did wear both pairs. I love the duck boots because they can get really messy/muddy and it washes right off. I love the black suede Teva because they are waterproof (like the duck boots) and look great with any pants. If I had to just choose one, it would be the Teva boots since they do go with everything and are waterproof. They clean up well, too…despite being suede. I really enjoy using both though. Every trip I go on where it may rain, I take my Teva black boots and a pair of duck boots…and I wear them a lot. We had a few days of rain on this trip so both pairs were worn a lot, even on the non-rainy days since we never knew if it was going to rain again.

  30. Susan, sounds like a great trip! I’m going to Italy in January and was going to buy the converter kit you bought. (I think I’m going to splurge on your carry on too…don’t need one but it’s so darn cute!) When I went to Amazon it says not to use with hairdryers. Did you have any problem using it with a hairdryer? I saw in another comment that you didn’t take it this trip but how about on other trips? I just can’t be without my dryer…afraid hotel might not supply one.

  31. SO HAPPY that you too fell in love with Ireland, its beauty & its people. We have been twice so far and would go again if opportunity permits. We are dreaming of a 2018 trip to Scotland, England, & Paris. Fell in love with your pink sheep pj’s. Went to order a pair but they’re flannel. We both sleep “hot” so no flannel for me. Hope you had your Belleek pieces shipped. Wondered why you packed the cream Cable knit sweater when you were on your way to the land of the Irish Fisherman’s sweater. We went to the Aran Islands and their store had too many choices so I came home with several throws instead of a sweater. Eager to see more pictures!

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