I hope you are having an AMAZING summer! I won’t lie–the time I’ve taken off posting has been much needed. It’s been so nice being able to be more present with my family and soak up the summer as much as possible! (Planning to come back to regular programming here in a few weeks–but I’ll be posting here and there until then!)
Per popular demand though, I’m here today with my Ireland packing list–just in time to turn around and go to Lisbon with Whitney on Wednesday! 😆 (Which of course, I will have a packing list and recap for when I return from that!) Don’t worry, I’m also working on my Ireland trip recap as well, but this post was the most requested topic–so getting this published first! Whether you’re carrying on for a quicker trip or checking a bag for a long-haul adventure, I think you’ll find this a helpful place to start!
Why we decided to carry on: I’m typically always a fan of carrying on for international trips, especially if you’ll be moving around from place to place. (Exception to the rule would be if you’re going to be in your first destination for several days and you want to have plenty of room to go shopping). With the checked luggage craziness happening in Europe right now (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about) we decided we couldn’t afford to have our luggage lost seeing as we were hopping a train straight to Killarney as soon as we landed in Dublin and didn’t want to be doomed with no luggage for our time in Killarney if they ended up losing our bags.
Another reason we wanted to carry on is because we wanted to minimize our time at the Dublin airport. Heads up: you have to through security *TWICE* flying from Dublin to the states–once for regular security, the other for TSA security, because you go through US customs *in Dublin* instead of when you land in the U.S. Unfortunately having global entry does NOT get you to a pre-check/fast track lane as it does in the states. We got there about 3 hours ahead of time and we were fine, but would’ve needed even longer had we needed to check luggage. You can read more details here.
Luckily, carrying on is very easy to do in summertime when you don’t need many layers! As Ireland is typically a pretty laid-back culture, I also didn’t feel like I needed anything dressy with me. Even when we went out to a nicer dinner one night in Dublin, I still wore casual clothes. (Don’t bother bringing heels–you won’t wear them!)
My suitcase: If you’re in the market, I’ve been a lover of my Delsey Chatalet 21″ spinner suitcase for many years–which you can typically find at Macy’s or Amazon. I also have the 24″ version should I need to check a bag.
Tip if you are NOT carrying on: Get an Apple AirTag and put it in your luggage so you can track where it is via FindMy. If it gets lost, you’ll at least be able to know where it got left and where to tell the airline to look for it!
Packing color scheme: Neutrals (use accessories for pops of color, if you like!) I’m always a big fan of packing neutrals because everything goes with everything else! It just makes it easier that way! Also, Ireland can be pretty rainy–I wasn’t dying to wear my bright colorful summer dresses and tops like I would’ve been if, say, we were going to Capri. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in dark, cozy pubs, so don’t feel like you need to bring anything crazy!
What I packed for Ireland in the summer:
(Also including some outfits, granted, not very many of them were documented. But I’ll include the best I have! 😂)
The biggest tip I can give, which you’ve likely already heard, is pack layers! It was supposed to be chilly and rainy our entire trip and I think it rained maybe twice 😆 Don’t put all your trust the weather report because it changes constantly! You’ll want to have a jacket on you (a lighter one for day, a warmer one for night–I’ll get into that in a second!) and I could’ve easily gotten away with my one pair of sneakers the entire trip. Seriously! Casual layers are the way to go.
Timeframe: For reference, we went mid-July and had very typically Irish summer weather. (We missed the heatwave by a week!)
Tops + Tees:
Faherty Willa top: Probably one of my most-worn blouses of all time. It’s cute night or day, is super lightweight so it’s great for hot weather, but has sleeves if you need the extra warmth. I wore this both day and night. (Wearing this top in the above photo + last photo!)
White tee(s): I brought a couple white tees and wore them several times throughout the trip! I love Everlane’s box cut pocket tee, Faherty’s puff-sleeve cloud tee, and ABLE’s Mae drapey tee. Highly recommend all of them!
Black tee: I wore my black tee several times throughout the trip because I think a formfitting black tee like this one gives a jumpsuit-type vibe and therefore is very easy to dress up while also being casual–a great thing to wear out at night! If you prefer a boxy tee, Abercrombie has a cute one!
Graphic tee/striped tees: I love a good graphic tee–can be a more fun alternative to a basic white or black tee! Abercrombie has lots of cute ones right now like this, this, or this! I also love a striped tee for the same reason–I brought my ABLE Maria striped tee–I love the boxy fit!
Tops for going out: These are totally optional and you really don’t NEED going out tops–you’d be perfectly fine in a cute tee, leather jacket, and sneakers–but I brought a white puff sleeve top (my exact one is sold out, but that link should lead you to tons of nearly identical ones!) a black tops similar to this one and this one!
AGolde Riley jeans: The only jeans I brought for the trip! I chose these because they’re cute, trendy, and comfortable–and they make a basic tee look a lot cuter due to the distressed hem/straight-leg cut. They also make ballet flats look a little less “proper” because of their edginess and I love that juxtaposition. (My best style trick! Read more about the “juxtaposition rule” here!)
ABLE Shirley utility jumpsuit: I have this jumpsuit in two colors and it’s so versatile–cute, comfortable, doesn’t wrinkle too easily but if it does wrinkle, they’re easy to steam out with the iron from your hotel room. I wore this once during the day on our Ring of Kerry tour and once at night! It’s very low in stock in most sizes so I would snag it soon if you’ve been eyeing it! (Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off!)
Leggings: My favorite Aerie Offline Leggings were what I wore on the plane, along with a tee and jean jacket.
ABLE black Maha leather jacket: I wore this during the day on our chilliest days and pretty much every night! (Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off!)
ABLE Bailey jean jacket: This was my go-to daytime jacket as it’s lighter weight than the leather jacket. I love both ABLE’s jackets and could’ve just as easily brought my Merly jacket as well. (Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off!)
Lightweight rain coat: Mine is old so can’t link, but love this version and this version! I actually didn’t end up taking this out of the suitcase as we ended up having really good weather, but I thought it was still worth including here just in case–had I been doing anymore activity or hiking in the countryside (i.e. if there was a chance I’d get caught somewhere in the rain where I couldn’t quickly duck into a shop) I would’ve wanted one on me!
Lots of tourists will tell you to bring rain boots. You do not need to bring boots of any kind. I would have been hot in boots, also, it’s just odd to me to wear boots in July when you’d be perfectly fine wearing sneakers. Even in winter or spring, you definitely do not need rain boots unless you plan to be in the countryside.
White leather sneakers: I’ve owned my Everlane leather court sneakers for many years now, and they’ve gotten me through a LOT of trips and a lot of walking–many times in rainy weather. Any leather sneaker is going to be naturally water resistant, especially if it’s made of a stiffer leather like these are. (I.E. Veja, Madewell, etc–all very similar!) I wore these 99% of the time, day and night, and could’ve easily just worn these as my one pair the entire time.
Rothy’s flats: If you want another type of shoe, Rothy’s are a great pair! I love my cap-toe Rothy’s flats and I wore them once during the day and a couple times out to dinner! They feel a little more chic than a sneaker, but also Ireland is super casual and you definitely don’t need anything “chic.” I also brought/love their classic round flats (I have them in red)–it just depends on your style preference!
*I also brought one pair of flat sandals, but it wasn’t hot enough to wear them!*
Neck/hair scarf: All of mine are old but will link similar–I love to travel with two types of scarves: a larger silk/silk-like scarf (can be tied in your hair or worn around your neck) and a bandana (more casual, smaller, lighter, worn around your neck). Both really add a lot to just a basic outfit and can make the difference between looking back at your photos thinking “what was I wearing?” and “aw! I looked so cute!”
ABLE Abera backpack purse: My go-to travel purse–I can’t emphasize enough how great it is to always be hands-free when you’re out and about traveling all day. I much prefer a backpack to a shoulder bag, and it’s roomy enough to hold my camera AND a jacket, so I don’t have to be schlepping around an extra layer if the weather ends up heating up in the afternoon. This bag is really high quality and the leather wears beautifully over time. You’ll want to apply a leather conditioner every so often to keep it looking its best! (Use code JESSKEYS15 for 15% off!)
ABLE Karla belt bag: This bag is another favorite from ABLE. This bag is perfect for when you only need your phone, a lipstick, and a couple credit cards. It will hold literally NOTHING else but it’s great for when you need next to nothing and you forget you’re wearing it, it takes up so little space. You won’t mind wearing it in a crowded pub or hopping around town all night! (Note my discount code doesn’t work on this one!)
Packable umbrella: Always helpful to have on you if it rains!