Ireland Trip 1: Trip Overview

I am so excited to share my first of three posts that I will be writing about my recent trip to Ireland! This post will be a general overview of the trip including how we got there, how we traveled around Ireland and everything I packed. Later this week I’ll be sharing details about all the locations we visited. This post has three sections 1. Getting to and around Ireland, A few random things I suggest you bring and my packing list.

To give you a quick overview of our itinerary, we flew into Shannon and drove straight to Killarney from the airport. We spent three days in Killarney. Then we went onto Galway for two days and ended the trip with three days in Dublin.

Getting To & Around Ireland

I was surprised at how easy it was to get to Ireland. From Chicago a direct flight to or from Dublin is a little less than 8 hours. On the way there we had a connecting flight through Boston. The major downside to this was that our flight from there was only 6 hours which made it really difficult to get a solid amount of sleep. We landed at 7 AM Ireland time so we were really out of wack. That’s just something to think about and consider when booking your flights!

The tricky part of traveling around Ireland is that if you really want to see the entire country, you’ll need to rent a car – oh and remember, everything is on the left side over there!  My Dad did all the driving for us (bless his heart) and I felt really bad for him the entire trip. Not only was he driving on the other side of the road, but the streets are all incredibly narrow. He said it just took a lot more concentration which made it mentally exhausting. If you are thinking about driving around its definitely very doable just make sure whoever is doing the driving is a very comfortable driver and that they have a really good navigator to help with directions. Also, don’t start any long drives (ie. The Ring of Kerry) too late. The sun goes down much later there but you don’t want to get stuck on those roads when its dark!

A Few Misc. Items I Suggest Bringing

  1. Outlet converters: Definitely something you don’t want to forget! Ryan and I bought these and brought a power strip so we could plug several things in at once. For those who haven’t traveled to Europe, you can not plug a blowdryer into a converter! I did pug my curling iron into the converter and didn’t have an issue with it!
  2. Cell Phone Data: Most people probably would already plan to do this, but if you’re someone who doesn’t typically purchase an international plan I suggest doing it for Ireland. You can get set up with unlimited calls and texts and 1MB of data a day for $10 a day. Its really helpful to have access to google maps, yelp and trip advisor at all times.
  3. Portable chargers: Being on the road exploring all day while taking lots of photos, using maps and checking Yelp for restaurant recommendations will drain your battery. Ryan was so smart and brought a couple large portable charges for the car. You can get really great ones like this one or this one that can provide a full charge to several phones.
  4. Rain equipment: This is a given and I’ll give more detail in the packing section below, but you’ll want more than just a rain jacket. I suggest bringing a small umbrella as well as some good water proof shoes. We really didn’t have a lot of rain when we were there, but I was definitely happy to have water proof options.
  5. Pedialyte: This is kind of a joke but not really. If you plan on hitting up the pubs in Ireland and still want to cover a lot of ground across the country, I highly suggest bringing some Pedialyte powder packs. We tried Ireland’s version of Pedialyte and it tastes so horrible.

Clothes I Packed

I had such a hard time packing for Ireland because I heard that they were having a slight heatwave in some parts of the country while other parts of the country were going to be cooler and rainy. I ended up packing lots of layers which is probably why my suitcase was 17 lbs overweight!! Here is a rundown of what I brought.

Jeans: I planned to wear jeans for most of the trip so I brought 3 different pairs so that I wasn’t wearing the same pair every day. These AG Jeans from the Nordstrom sale and these J.Crew jeans are both incredibly comfortable making them prefect for travel and exploring around Ireland.

Shorts: Since we were expecting some warmer weather, I also brought a few pairs of shorts. I only wore one pair one morning and change out of them because I was too chilly!

Basic Tees: I packed tons of basic t-shirts and long sleeves which were the items I got the most use out of. These comfy t-shirts and these long sleeves from the Nordstrom Sale were the perfect layering pieces. J.Crew’s fun graphic tees are also great for a trip like this.

Sweaters and Jackets: This sweater blazer from J.Crew was perfect for the trip. I always had it handy as an extra layer if I needed one. I also brought a rain coat and this waterproof jacket, a ruffle khaki jacket my white Patagonia vest and this light weight cardigan. I made sure to have lots of options. I did wear all of these pieces at least once and felt like I was really prepared for the varying weather.

Shoes: I brought these hunter boots, which I didn’t need as much as I thought I would but I had fun wearing them! I will say as far as hunter boots go I love this short, refined pair so much more than the tall original pair. They are so much more comfortable and easier to walk in. I also brought this pair of converse, these Nikes and a pair of sandals. They all came equally in handy. I like having a few different pairs especially when doing a lot of walking I think its important to be able to switch it up.

Misc: I brought two scarves and bought a third one while I was there. These also came really in handy. I highly suggest bringing one or two neutral blanket scarves. They are the easiest extra layer that you can bring with you every day.

You can shop everything I mentioned in this post here!

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