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Women's Packing List Ireland & Scotland June 2022

Hi everyone!

The last time I was in Europe, I was in college (now in my 40s) and I decided I needed a vacation so I'm super excited to start planning!

I booked a tour to Scotland & Ireland for 10 days (June 28-July 7) and will be traveling by bus with a tour company to various locations for the most part - I believe at least one ferry will also be involved, from Scotland to Ireland.

I looked in my closet, and sighed.

I've been researching packing options- and am quickly becoming overwhelmed (I have never been to either country).
Women who have been to these countries during this time-frame, any tips?

I was told it will be anywhere between 50F and 70F during my trip.

What should I wear during the day, and for dressier occasions at night (group dinners or dinners on my own in Edinburgh, Dublin and Kilarney)? Recommended footwear? How many kinds of shoes do I need to bring with me? That's definitely something I'll need to purchase before I go.
I want to be warm but also fashionable if possible! (The struggle is real)
I purchased a Columbia "Pardon My Trench" coat as I was told there would definitely be rain. I'm sure most of the things I already own would be suitable, but where to start?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Posted by
2939 posts

First of all, yes, there will be rain. Second, traveling light is possible. Third, my personal preference is to avoid the "safari" look that broadcasts to one and all that I'm on vacation.

Footwear: For 10 days, I'd bring just one pair of outdoor boots, leather "fashion" boots with a flat heel, suitable for jeans and also nice enough to wear with tights and a dress in the evening. Indoors, though, my life saver is a pair of foldable shoe-slippers so I can avoid walking around in stocking feet and feel appropriate going down to the lobby for a newspaper or whatever. I wear them on the plane too.

Outerwear: You've got your trench coat and that's a great choice. If it doesn't have a hood, get a rain hat that easily folds into your pocket. It probably won't be cold enough to need fingerless gloves, but they're nice to have. I wouldn't bother with an umbrella; it's useless in sideways rain and is just an extra thing to carry.

Layers: My life saver, in addition to the aforementioned slippers, is a silk camisole. Any sweater or blouse feels better with this inner layer, IMO. Cashmere sweaters are great because they're warm without bulk. For a non-rainy day of sightseeing in 50-ish weather, I wore the aforementioned boots, thin wool socks, jeans, silk camisole, V-neck cashmere sweater, wool blazer, and a lightweight wool scarf (well, and underpants and a bra, of course). I carried the trench coat & rain hat but didn't need them that day.

Hope this helps!

Posted by
795 posts

I pretty much do what epltd does, although I do wear hiking shoes and bring quick dry pants because I hike. Also, Dublin, Edinburg and especially Killarney are not nearly as fashion conscious as London, Barcelona, Rome, etc. I would also anticipate higher day time temperatures than what you were told. I was in Dingle in May 2018 and it was 80F.

Posted by
9673 posts

I would want waterproof shoes - either the boots mentioned upthread or since I am not a boot person, I go with my usual athletic shoe in the waterproof style. I wear my waterproof shoes on the plane and take a back up pair of non-waterproof athletic shoes. On occasion I've also packed ballet slipper type shoes but really don't wind up wearing them much so I've dropped them. No more than 3 pr including the one you are wearing. Get them soon so you can make sure they are comfortable!

I looked at the details on the Pardon My Trench and it's only water resistant not waterproof. I'd look for another outerlayer, preferably gortex or the similar store brand fabric. I have never been as wet as I was in late June in Scotland a few years ago. Really, you need water proof. Can you return it or will it be useful anyway for where you live?

I 100% agree with the advice about having a hood or rain hat. Umbrellas are useless. I was glad I had glove liners for the day we went to Iona which was lashing wind and rain but we hit a bad patch of wet weather. I got rid of those glove liners I had for that trip because they seemed to absorb water instead of repel it, lol.

Are you sure they will dress up for dinner on the tour? On Rick Steves tours, people generally just have on what they've worn for the day. Ditto the Road Scholar tours I've been on. IF they do dress for dinner, I'd just have a nicer black top to wear with whatever black touring pants you have and pack a couple of scarves.

Here is a TR from my RS tour to Scotland which may or may not help.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/tour-report-best-of-scotland-june-6-june-15-2018

My capsule wardrobe packing list for this trip which included 2 tours is in this TR:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/tour-report-villages-of-southern-england-5-21-6-2-18

I took way more for this trip which was a month than I would take for a 2-week trip.

Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
14 posts

I ordered the raincoat from Amazon, so yes, luckily I can return it if I need to. I have never owned a raincoat in my adult life (but so many people told me to get one for this trip). The reason I chose it is because one of the very first reviews was from someone who took it with them to Ireland, but I will defer to people here who do significantly more traveling that I've been able to do up to this point.

I'll have to go check out boots/shoes this weekend. I own Sketchers tennis shoes that are very comfortable to walk in, but you think I need a waterproof shoe instead, and a dressier shoe when I am out at night? Or boots? Will it still be cold enough for me to wear tights in June/early July? Wow!

Please keep suggestions coming, and any tips for the free nights to explore on my own in the cities mentioned above.

Packing cubes: worth it, or no?

Posted by
9673 posts

I love packing cubes because they keep me organized. If you are going to go for them, try the Eagle Creek compression cubes. I use a kind that isn't sold any more but the Eagle Creek ones were the previous ones I liked, lol.

If you can return it, I would. Do you have a big outdoor store where you live? Like an REI? Sometimes it's good to go try on things. I liked the Marmot brand of waterproof jackets but decided they were cut too slim for my old dumpy shape, lol. My current jacket is a store brand of waterproof fabric from Cabelas. Even if you don't use a waterproof at home, if you start traveling you should plan to take it every time you go to Europe. Also, as indicated above, do get one with a hood. I'm sure Columbia has a waterproof jacket that is not too heavy (not winter weight - just a "shell").

If your Skechers are comfortable, I'd plan on taking them. Do they have a waterproof style? Just looked on Zappos and they do have some styles in waterproof. I, personally, would not go with the big hiking boot they have because they are heavy and big to pack. I'd want to wear them any time I was transiting. I do have waterproof hiking boots but I just wear the low-cut athletic shoes in Europe because that's what my feet like.

I am pretty cold tolerant and I would not need a base layer or tights the end of June/July in Scotland but someone who is from a warm climate might need the layers others list.

Do you mind sharing where you live? That might help us help you figure out what you need.

I'm glad my trip reports were helpful!

Posted by
3175 posts

Yes Gortex with hood and preferably long enough to cover your rear end(for sitting on wet benches). I do have a Cabelas jacket for trips because I don't want to risk losing my beloved Gortex jacket. ( Birmingham thinks its in the Pacific Northwest) Gortex boots. I'm a fan of merino wool sweaters- I got some inexpensive ones at Uniglo in Dec 2019. And we can't travel without our packing cubes!

EDITED: I take silk long underwear anywhere except Greece or Italy in the summer. It takes very little space and provides another layer that fits easily under all clothes.

Posted by
795 posts

Whether you need a real waterproof shoe really depends on what activities are planned. Will you be outdoors a lot will you be walking on unpaved surfaces which might be muddy or boggy? Whether or not you bring waterproof shoes I would bring a second pair of walking shoes in case your first pair get too wet from puddles and the like. The second pair could double for evening events or bring a pair of sandals or ballet flats.

I never wear tights (personal preference) but I can see how they would be useful if it’s cold or windy. Plus they take up no room.

Posted by
14 posts

So I just canceled the raincoat order from Amazon (it left the shipping facility so we'll see how that goes) and I'll look for another one. I live in the DC area and I'm not one to really wear raincoats (until this upcoming trip/potential Future Trips). This weekend will be looking for proper footwear (my least favorite kind of shopping!) and see if I can get some good long sleeved tshirts or a light cardigan on clearance since I'm guessing places are going to start bringing out spring clothing soon if they haven't already started.

I don't know if I'm breaking any rules by saying the tour I'm going on (I will remove it, if so) but if you're curious about the itinerary, it is this: https://www.cietours.com/tours/ireland-scotland/taste-of-scotland-ireland.

Posted by
1772 posts

We did the RS Ireland tour, as well as some time in Scotland during the time period you are talking about. There had been a heat wave in May that year, but not while we were there. There were lots of rainy, breezy days to remind us why Ireland is so green. I usually take some kind of base layer, whether it’s silk long underwear , work out leggings or tights. I used them frequently during this tour. I was also thankful for waterproof shoe and then had a backup pair of shoes while one or the other dried out. I always have pair of foldable flats as well. My jacket was a Columbia with a lining that looked like a space blanket. It would have been perfect if it had a hood. I also took 2 pashmina type scarves that show up in lots of our pictures.

My last trip (Southern Italy) I took a “fashionable” water-resistant raincoat and found out the hard way it didn’t really keep me dry. Wet arms and thighs are miserable. However, RS tours do a lot on foot, so waterproof is important. If your tour does more on the bus, it makes a difference.

Posted by
3680 posts

In general, it will be wet and cool, in spite of potential temperature spikes.

For real weather data, use https://www.timeanddate.com/

You can put in your location(s) and dates to get the details for several years. Neither averages nor anomalies are the best predictors of what the weather will be like when you are there.

Timeanddate.com also has weather forecasts. You should check those as late as you can before you leave to see if you need to make any last-minute packing changes.

Speaking of packing, it would be a good idea to explore the packing section under Travel Tips here on the RS website. In fact, if you haven't been to Europe in over 20 years, there are more travel tips that would be useful for your trip planning. Here's the link to the packing part: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light

There's also a Packing Forum where we share discussions about all things packing. There's lots to be learned here, too: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/packing

Good shoes are the most important part of my travel wardrobe. I'm significantly older than you are, but anytime I've tried to be fashionable or worn any footwear that lacked ankle support for daily trip activities, it's been a mistake. That was true on my first trip to Europe in 1977 as well as on an RS tour in 2017, the last time I did that.

Especially for Ireland and Scotland, I'd highly recommend waterproof ankle boots. No matter what your tour is like, supportive and comfortable shoes are a must and the last thing you want is to depend on shoes that will get wet inside.

Like others have said, dressing up for dinner is not a thing for most of us. Walking on uneven, often wet, cobblestones or unpaved surfaces (gravel, mud, grass) is. But even for interior hard surfaces, I find my ankle boots to be the best option for lots of walking and standing on trips.

My current favorites are Keens like these:
https://www.rei.com/product/163064/keen-terradora-ii-waterproof-mid-hiking-boots-womens

And Danskos like these:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08QJRCCVT/ref=twister_dp_update?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true

I wear Sockwell moderate lifestyle compression socks with those boots. These are not your grandma's socks. Their designs are cute and their colors are fun. They are practical for their fatigue-fighting support. They are not cheap. This link should take you to an idea of what they are like: https://sockwellusa.com/collections/lifestyle-compression-socks?gf_58942=84&gf_58955=50

I must confess that I stubbornly still take a pair of lightweight (12 oz for the pair) and comfortable Mary Janes or flats as an evening alternative. I rarely wear them, but they are useful to slip on if I need to go someplace in the hotel.

Posted by
42 posts

I wear a lot of ath-leisure stuff when I travel because it is usually quick drying and comfortable (think Athleta, Lululemon, Smartwool). I've invested in just a few key pieces as they are pricey but the quality holds up very well. Not yoga pants but more of a trouser or jogger - and in black, they always look a touch above casual. They also have great layering tops. These, paired with my Sorel waterproof slip on boots and a scarf keep me as stylish I need to be on trips. We are heading to Ireland in April - I got a Patagonia waterproof rain jacket and will also be taking a pair of Hoka trail running shoes that are waterproof - these are not that cute so they are mostly for days when I know we'll be walking a lot in varied terrain. I always bring a cheap pair of flip-flops for walking around my hotel room and when my feet need a break from other shoes. Packing cubes are a must have. We are also going for 10 days and I plan on 2-3 pairs of pants, 2-3 short sleeves, 3-4 light long sleeves, 2 heavier long sleeves, 2 scarves, jacket, 2 shoes. I'll probably do one small load of laundry half way through.

Posted by
9673 posts

Thanks for the extra info. Advice can sometimes differ if someone is from Miami vs Maine, lol.

I don’t work for REI, lol but there are a number of locations in the DC area in case one is near you.

https://www.rei.com/stores/map

I suggest this not to actually buy one there but to try things on and check the fit. You’ll want it loose enough that you can layer under it. I like to be able to layer a puffy vest under mine, some slimmer folks would layer a puffy jacket. You can also check out how the fabrics feel. It drives me nuts to have a real “crinkly” sounding fabric.

And to me I think posting your itinerary from another company is OK. I often discuss traveling with another company along with my Rick tours.

Posted by
32 posts

My list is pretty much included in everyone else's lists. I do pick one accent color for each trip, and make sure any colored tops, cardigans, and scarves fit into that theme. everything else is black, white, or gray.

Athleisure pants: ankles or long or combo, always in black or dark gray

Other pants: One pair of comfortable nicer black pants, my current favorite is a pair of Anne Taylor stretch ankle pants

Tops: Comfortable t-shirts in nice materials that can be dressed up with a scarf, one cardigan light or medium depending on the season

Vest: one or two (weather dependent) Eddie Bauer vests to help with layering

Jackets: For most trips, I take just a weatherproof jacket, an old Eddie Bauer style, that is rated to 50 degrees. It packs super small, and with layers is good to upper 30s for short periods. I ordered a tall, so it covers enough, just to my upper thighs. Another favorite is Uniqlo blocktech series. They pack small! My old one, though, is not breathable and gets stuffy when it is warmer. They claim the new version is highly breathable.

Shoes are always the hardest part and differ each trip. Our next Ireland trip will have several kayak outings, so I am bringing my thickest sole Keen sandals. Those are so comfortable, I plan to use them for back up day walking. To make room, I will leave out my thick sole loafers I usually bring for evening and alternate day time shoes. My point is that I need shoes that fit multiple uses, and need two options for daytime. My Astra hikers will definitely come and are passible for casual nights out. My fall back is a pair of thick sole, comfy tennis shoes like the Keds ortholite series. They work for light daytime walking, and are cute enough with my ankle pants for nighttime outings.

It may sound weird, but figuring out my packing list is as much fun for me as other trip planning tasks. I am always looking for that perfect combo of taking exactly what I need - nothing more and nothing less.

Posted by
5106 posts

You have already received a great deal of good advice. Waterproof jacket should be in everyone's wardrobe. You don't have to buy it at REI, Columbia makes some great ones. You just need to pay attention to the waterproof vs. water resistant rating. I often bring a rain hat with a brim that I put under my hood. It gives the hood structure and keeps my glasses from getting drops all over them.

I do think that you should have fairly nice weather for your trip and that many of the clothes that you already have should work just fine. I think the biggest challenge you may face is not overpacking. I'm stricter than Pam on shoes, just two pairs and I wear the heaviest (my waterproof hiking shoes) on the plane.

I agree that "dressing up" usually isn't a thing on tours. Someone might put on a nicer top or add a scarf to her current top for dinner, but that is about it. If you want a dress for dinner, make it knit and easily packed in a small space then change it up with accessories.

I have some friends from my previous work that went on the tour that you linked and really enjoyed themselves. They talked about it for months afterwards.

Posted by
14 posts

Can I just say how amazing all of you are? You're making this significantly less overwhelming with all of your tips and advice.

I'm going to look at REI next week, just to try things on in person and see what they have - not necessarily buy, but to review options. I usually buy most of my shoes from DSW, and like most of you, I'll probably only bring 2 pairs of shoes with me -- whatever is on my feet, which I am guessing will be the waterproof ankle boot (so weird to think about that for late June/early July!) and then a different pair of equally comfortable shoes to wear if I go out at night (my feet are something else and I'm recovering from a sprained ankle so support and comfort are an absolute must for me no matter where I am). And I'll start looking at waterproof raincoats in person.

Tomorrow I am hoping to score some deals on a few short and long sleeved tshirts at one of my fave stores - they're having a sale and I need to go see what's what, considering this season's clothes may well be what I'll be wearing in Scotland and Ireland. I will want to buy some smartwool socks based on your suggestions.

The accent color thing is a great suggestion. Most of the tops I tend to own are black, so I can probably accent those with burgundy, which I also seem to have a lot of.

So a few different shirts, a hoodie, and I have a pair of (black) fleece lined workout leggings I will bring with me, probably another pair of leggings, a light sweater, a few pairs of jeans, a basic casual black dress I can accessorize, and also wonder about rain pants (my neighbor who is from Sweden suggested them)? i don't want to spend a lot of money on things I won't use again...

Will look at the packing cubes suggestions as well and get something on order soon.

Posted by
8763 posts

Jeans can be worn multiple times between washing, so 2 pair should be plenty. You are only going for 10 days. I bring a pair of dark wash blue and a pair of black that can pass as my dressy pants. We usually don’t go to fancy restaurants. I’ll also pack a pair of black Eddie Bauer pants that are stretchy and water resistant. I’m leaving next month for a 6 week trip and I’ll bring those 3 pair of pants and a nicer pair of black joggers that can be worn outside if desired and to have something comfy wear when relaxing or doing laundry. When I take my 10 week trip in the fall I’ll bring the same.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you about the tip about the jeans -- I can downsize to 2 pairs with no problem!

Posted by
5106 posts

I pack rain pants if I expect to be outside hiking for extended periods of time and don't pack them if I am not.

Posted by
3618 posts

We've been to both countries several times and think you've been offered really good food for thought. The only thing I will add is this: take a pair of dry socks with you every day in your day pack. You may never need them, but if you do, they are worth their weight in gold.

Posted by
94 posts

I would die in a pool of sweat if travelled with some of these suggestions as the basis for my wardrobe at that time of year! :)

Admittedly, it's been a while, but my recollection of Scotland in June was of pleasant day time temperatures with relatively high humidity.

Enclosing my feet with socks and boots would be a recipe for blisters and overheating. Fleece lined leggings and silk underwear again seems overkill. I'd be more keen to reduce all the 'what if's' of boots, jackets, thermal layers etc. to make room for more lighter layers.

For sure, a rain jacket will be useful, but from a quick scan of the itinerary there's not going to be huge amounts of time spent lingering outside. I would be happy for possible wet days with a decent packable lightweight rain jacket and a travel umbrella (I may be an oddity in that I find mine quite useful) , enclosed shoes (sneakers, trainers, whatever - personally I'd have 2 - one for 'nice' and one Merrell type for 'outdoors') and avoiding wearing jeans on those days that it looks like I'm likely to be in the rain for long periods.

Otherwise, I'd just be taking what I'd normally wear on a weekend to do weekend stuff - which tends to be casual anyway. I'd also include sandals because if it does get warm something lighter on your feet will help you keep cool.

Maybe I'd be a bit optimistic, but you're staying in hotels not camping, and touring by bus not hiking. And at worst, be prepared to buy something to solve the problem you find yourself in if needed.

Posted by
21026 posts

I spent 26 days in Scotland during July 2019. I admit to being quite cold-natured. The temperature was generally not bad at all, but there were several really wet days in western Scotland (Oban and Skye) when it was cool enough that I would not have been happy being soaked to the skin. For me, it makes a lot of difference if your clothes get soaked through. I was really glad I was traveling with lightweight merino wool long johns. I wore those under 97% nylon slacks (the type sold by PrAna and Eddie Bauer, among others). Those slacks shed water pretty well but are definitely not waterproof. I did have a waterproof rain jacket with a hood and a brimmed hat. I found that combination of clothing OK for an hour or so at a time while it was raining steadily, but I felt it would be inadequate for lengthy rural walks in areas without cover, so I missed out on some things I wanted to do.

If I was traveling only to Ireland, Scotland or a combination of the two, I'd probably be inclined to take a pair of waterproof rain pants, but those things are way too heavy to cart around on a multi-month trip that's mostly not in such rainy country.

Posted by
9673 posts

I think the weather in Scotland is a cr*p shoot. I'm very cold tolerant and can often get by with long sleeves and a puffy vest when others have on big jackets.

On a Rick Steves tour we took the ferry from Oban to Mull, bus to the end of Mull, ferry across to Iona. It was rainy and so windy the ferry was going to make it's last run of the day at 3PM so we had to sprint thru the Abbey to be back at the dock in time. I have never been as wet as that day even with my waterproof jacket. Umbrellas were being turned inside out. By the time we got back to the hotel in Oban I was soaked down to my underwear. Shoes which were not waterproof were soaked but dried in front of the heated towel racks. It's the only day on 11 Rick Steves tours and 12 Road Scholar tours that I wished for rain pants. Our Rick Steves guide did have her rain pants with her and when she started putting them on I thought - ruh-roh....

That was on June 13, 2018.

Do I think it's always like that? No. I do think it's a possibility I'd plan for should I ever return to Scotland, particularly those Island areas.

Posted by
3680 posts

Like ADC said, " It may sound weird, but figuring out my packing list is as much fun for me as other trip planning tasks. I am always looking for that perfect combo of taking exactly what I need - nothing more and nothing less."

The pack-for-one-week-no-matter-how-long-I'm-gone formula I've developed over the years seems to work well for me, with a little tweaking specific to location. All must be sink wash friendly.

These are the numbers and descriptions, including what I wear on the plane. My style is definitely more casual than fashionable. I limit my total 2-wheeled roller bag weight to <=22 pounds. If it's over according to my luggage scale, I remove things until it isn't.

Basics that show:

•1 inspiration scarf with which all other exterior garments coordinate.

•6-8 Tops. A combination of SS and/or LS tees and LS button up shirts. From Land's End and Eddie Bauer.

•3 bottoms. Full length pants with decent pockets. All from Eddie Bauer and none are noisy.

•2 pairs of shoes. As mentioned up thread, 1 pair of ankle height lace-up boots, which I wear 95% of the time and one pair of flats.

•2-3 pairs of color coordinated over-the-calf Sockwell socks. I've worn these for years and I have never had a blister. That may be due to their typical fiber content: 32% Merino Wool, 31% Bamboo Rayon, 31% Stretch Nylon, 6% Spandex.

•Outerwear definite. An Eddie Bauer Rainfoil Packable Jacket. I love the colors. Although I do have a black one, I prefer the ones I have in (loden) green and in (deep eggplant) purple.

•Outerwear maybes. A zip up fleece with or without a hood. Or a zip up puffer coat with or without a hood. With a hood? A billed cap. No hood? A watch cap (beanie). Lightweight fleece gloves.

•Purse. Very small cross-body. Current options are black or green.

Basics that don't show:

•3 bras.

•2 shapewear camis.

•8 panties.

•Long underwear. 1 LS low cut top. 1 full length bottom. These can double as sleepwear.

•Real capri pajama bottoms with pockets and sleep tee. These are for lounging around the room as well as for sleeping.

•Shower shoes, non-slip. Easy off and on for foot washing. Dry unbelievably fast. Fold up to fit in a 1 quart ziploc bag.

•Money belt. Step in like this StashBandz one. Obviously it's worn under my clothes, not like the picture.

Sidebar: My non-fashionable, boringly practical self is being sorely tempted by these non-waterproof, non-laceup, adorable slouchy Abeo Vennie booties. It will be very difficult to resist them if they go on sale.

Posted by
1654 posts

Great advice so far. Re: the waterproof jacket, consider buying something that you can use on many trips in the future. I have traveled with a jacket like this and it's almost perfect - basic black, waterproof, pit zips, built in hood. I bought a size up to allow layers underneath. I'm from the Pacific NW so wearing it with a tshirt underneath is plenty warm for me when it's 50 degrees outside, your results may vary. Also RE: your shoe selection - buy those puppies asap and break them in for the next few months. You want to take something that you know works for your feet, and you need to start now in case what you test doesn't work out and you have time to find something else.

Posted by
14 posts

I love, love, LOVE Abeo shoes. Would those booties that you linked work on my trip? I own Abeo work heels back when I used to dress up for work, and wedge sandals for the summer that i adore, and they are like walking on clouds.

Thank you for linking all the other options! I have a small purse but a lot of people are suggesting cross-body bags vs regular purses - those are better? I need a money belt in addition?

I also have a cute backpack that I love and thought I would bring along. I actually purchased it when I thought I was going to Germany pre-pandemic from a blog recommendation and I use it a lot in regular life, and several of my friends bought their own after seeing mine. I got mine in a lavender color that doesn't seem to be available anymore. It's this one, in case you're curious: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078SMDFSB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

I bought another raincoat from Amazon that should arrive today and made sure it's waterproof this time! It's not as expensive as the ones from REI and Land's End but I hope this is better choice: Arthas Women Light Rain Jacket Waterproof Active Outdoor Trench Raincoat with Hood.

Heading to look at some shirts this afternoon and hope to score some good pieces on sale.

Posted by
42 posts

I think a crossbody purse is key for traveling when you are doing so many other things with your hands -taking photos, shopping, managing other luggage, climbing off and on public transportation. I use one that is small enough to fit inside my backpack and that counts as my personal item on the plane - then when I get to my destination I usually use them separately based on the day's activities. Mine is very small - wallet, phone, hand sanitizer, sunglass case. For Ireland though, I will probably mostly carry a black faux leather backpack so I'm able to carry an extra pair of socks and so I'll be able to stuff shedded layers into if the day get warmer. Little crossbody will be for going out to the pubs at night.

Posted by
8763 posts

I have the packable Eddie Bauer raincoat mentioned above. I can layer my EB fleece jacket under it. I also have an EB down jacket that is super lightweight and I can stuff it into a small bag. I can wear it under my waterproof raincoat if it’s cold and wet. I get cold easily. Apparently EB no longer carries the fleece jacket I have, but other companies have lightweight fleece jackets. You can also get the jacket in the link below with a hood.

https://www.eddiebauer.com/p/20612407/women's

Posted by
21026 posts

It's not a good idea to have all your bank cards, credit cards and cash in your purse (or backpack) on days when you're changing hotels and can't leave the excess back in your room. That's what something like a money belt is for. There are other options. Although I'd rather use a neck pouch, the strap of the pouch would be visible with many of my travel tops, and I don't think that's a good idea. There are hidden pockets that can be used as well. It's a matter of what you're comfortable with.

Wearing the money belt while I'm sitting on trains, buses and planes doesn't really bother me, but it creates bulk around (or near) the waist. I'd rather live with that than risk having all my valuables stolen.

However: You cannot wear a money belt (or probably any of the alternatives) through airport security these days. It will get you a pat-down, and you'll have to remove the money belt in public and put it on the X-ray belt, which defeats the purpose of a money belt. After two such experiences, I now think I'll be able to remember that the money belt must live in my purse until I clear security.

Posted by
88 posts

I have been both warm and cold in Ireland in June. Layers are key. I usually travel with a silk undershirt, a variety of tops, jeans, a pair of dressier black pants, a cashmere sweater, light jacket, gloves, a ball cap and Marmot waterproof rain jacket and pants (the Marmot rain jackets run small; I sized up two sizes so I could layer it). Everything coordinates color-wise and a scarf or two can dress an outfit up. For shoes I take waterproof Merrills and some comfortable Mary Janes. All fits in a carry-on case. Even in the bigger cities like Dublin and Edinburgh, I never felt the need for anything dressier than black pants and a nice top / sweater and scarf. Enjoy!!

Posted by
8763 posts

For deep secure storage of valuables (extra cash, credit cards, passport) I use a neck wallet. Like acraven said, it can show under your clothes. That’s why I wear it over one shoulder and secure the strap with a safety pin to my bra strap. It’s silky and lightweight and I forget it’s there. Of course you wouldn’t access it during the day while out and about. While in transit if I will have to show my passport I have it in a secure place in my purse. I return it to my neck wallet as soon as possible. I use a small crossbody purse and never take it off from the time I leave my lodging in the morning to when I return at night. While traveling it’s easy to get distracted and leave things behind and pickpockets are very stealthy.

Posted by
7573 posts

Stef, you are getting such great replies to this question !

I went to bookmark this post — only to find I had already bookmarked it yesterday !

Thanks to all who are providing such good information in your responses !

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you guys for all of your help so far!!

I struck out on any shoe-buying today. Probably because I keep thinking about those boots from the Walking Company posted up-thread.

My raincoat arrived. I guess it's fine?

I did buy a short sleeved black tshirt and a black long cardigan with sparkly buttons (I'd just wear it open over jeans/tshirts) but not sure if it's too heavy?
https://www.loft.com/jeweled-button-v-neck-pocket-cardigan/575174?skuId=32376111&defaultColor=8900&catid=catl000012&selectedColor=2222

Posted by
127 posts

I’ve been on several escorted tours like this, first, don’t fret, there will be a variety of styles among your traveling companions but more towards casual. Usually on escorted tours like yours you can bring a 25-26in suitcase up to 50lbs so you have room for error! And your tour has several 2-night stops so if you need/want to have something laundered you can as long as you turn it in on the day you arrive at that hotel, you should have it back the next day. I try not to do this as it can be expensive but occasionally needs must. It took me a few trips to figure out what I really needed and didn’t. One thing I like to do is look at the day to day itinerary and think of what I would want to wear that day and go from there. I’ve even started to make a day-by-day “clothing menu” and pack according.
I love my waterproof Clark’s Wave Andes walking shoes. I also take a second pair of slip-ons or clogs for evenings, around the hotels etc. Since my walking shoes are black I usually take a tan color for my second pair.
For a trip like this I’d probably take 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of khakis and at least 1 pair of capris (it’s summer and I’d hate to end up in a heat wave and not have something cool to wear). Also, I really like my Lands End Active pants. I originally bought a pair of the Active yoga pants for the gym and liked them so much I bought a second pair just for travel. They are more of a pants style, not leggings or tights, so they can double as slacks for evenings out. I would wear them on the northern Scotland part of the trip, especially the day you do the boat ride on the loch. (I see they now have a 5-pocket style but I haven’t tried them yet.)
For tops I prefer nicer cotton T’s in short and 3/4 sleeve lengths. On the evenings you eat in the hotel most people will wear what they wore that day. I usually add a necklace or a scarf. I also like to bring 1 open style cardigan in either black or heather gray, which seems to go with everything. Maybe 2 nicer tops for dinners out.
As far as outerwear, I’ve not been north of Edinburgh but I’d probably just bring a fleece jacket and my waterproof rain jacket. I’d take the fleece on the plane too, I find them a little cold. My rain jacket is a North Face Venture which I like because it is not a fitted style and I can layer underneath but I do like the idea of a mid-length trench style for your trip. I also take a small Totes travel umbrella, it fits in a quart size zip lock bag which is nice so when I go into a restaurant or museum it goes back in the zip lock and doesn’t get anything wet.
Well, have fun shopping and enjoy your trip!

Posted by
3680 posts

A little more information on outerwear. Up thread I mentioned fleece and puffer jackets, both hooded and not. Having lost a substantial amount of weight over the last couple of years, I had to replace almost all my clothes, including outerwear.

Being an Eddie Bauer frequent flyer, I started there, but I don't do down and after several tries and returns, I just could not find any synthetic puffer jackets that fit right. The same thing happened with fleece ones.

Somewhere along that journey, someone on the forums mentioned Amazon Essentials. I was totally ignorant of that source. So I took a look that resulted in getting the garments linked below. They fit me perfectly in a size Large. There are great colors. They have both exterior pockets that zip and interior ones that don't. They are cheap and they easily fit under my Eddie Bauer rain jackets.

Hooded zip up fleece. I have this in white, gray and purple.

Zip up fleece without a hood. I have this in yellow and black.

Hooded puffer jacket. I have this in yellow and olive.

Puffer jacket without a hood. I have this in red.

Posted by
1 posts

Don’t be shy about checking Instagram in your destinations! It gives you a clear sense of what people are actually wearing — which is good way to guess how the weather actually feels and how to dress as a globetrotter and not a dorky tourist.

Posted by
21026 posts

The cardigan is pretty, but it's not the sort of thing I'd take to Europe. Too bulky. I find extra length doesn't really contribute much warmth, but it does add weight/bulk. All my tops are fairly short (no tunics). I like fleece for my warm layer. I have a lightweight merino wool sweater (purchased after reading suggestions here), but I haven't taken it to Europe and am not sure how it would compare, warmth-wise. It is less casual looking, for sure.

Extra length on a rain jacket/coat does have benefits.

Posted by
14 posts

Okay, I can return the cardigan. I wasn't sure if it was too bulky. Slimmer things but warm pieces.

In my normal everyday life I don't tend to wear/don't own things like fleeces and flannel and I don't do outdoorsy things (hike, camp) so much of these clothing recommendations are very new to me. I appreciate everyone's suggestions very much because I would be packing so very wrong otherwise.

Posted by
42 posts

If the clothing suggestions are not things you usually wear or would feel comfortable in, you should take what you like. Comfortable, waterproof shoes and a waterproof jacket are going to keep you dry and happy, those are must haves, but if you are going to despise putting on a fleece or puffy vest, take your favorite sweater. You don't have to be the lightest packer and you don't have to go buy a bunch of performance gear for a 10 day trip. Some of my first trips abroad, half of my clothes never saw outside the suitcase because they were things recommended as "travel gear" but that I didn't really like wearing. Some of the trips I've been the most happy on are the ones where I take exactly what I would wear in the same weather at home, it also makes me feel less like a tourist. Most people's packing lists have been refined over many trips and reflect their own personal travel style and fashion style, you will quickly find what works for you.

Posted by
3680 posts

I agree that the cardigan is too bulky. It's not only the weight, but also the volume that's a challenge when trying to pack light in a carry-on. That's one of the reasons I don’t do skirts. They take up too much space vs. pants.

Can you wear cashmere? It's often recommended here for lightweight warmth.
Just the thought of it makes me itch, hence my fleece and cotton focus. BTW, I don't do outdoorsy things either, but I do like fleece and flannel.

For either cashmere or cotton at reasonable prices, Land's End is a great place to go. They are always having sales. Unfortunately the 2 cardigans linked below aren't on sale now.

This zip up cardigan might be a good cotton blend layering option.

Prefer buttons? This is the same fabric in a button up version.

I now have an embarrassing number of Land's End tees with a variety of necklines and sleeve lengths. Recent experiments proved that they dry quickly (<=3 hours) just hanging in my house, at about 75° and low humidity. I expect drying time will be longer in Ireland this summer.

Here are a couple of examples. I have these in multiple colors.

Long sleeve supima cotton v-neck tee.

Short sleeve supima cotton crew neck tee.

Although I never wear scarves at home, I always wear them in Europe. As I mentioned up thread, they are the starting place for the limited number of garments I take. They can pull an outfit together and serve as an easily washable bib to protect what's underneath. Needless to say my scarves are cheap.

I always use scarves that are long and narrow, about 70"x36" because they can be tied in a greater variety of ways than a square scarf.

I will build my packing this summer around one of these two from the same company.

This one has more color options. Long after I bought it I actually saw it on someone on TV.

This one has a bolder pattern with a more limited color palette.

P.S. Those Abeo Vennie boots continue to haunt me, partly because they are pretty light per boot. But I would never wear them in the typical wet weather of Ireland or Scotland. They're too cute to get ruined.

Posted by
14 posts

Oh my goodness! That cashmere zip up is really affordable! I am absolutely going to consider that!! I love it. Light, casual, and warm (and zip up which is a fun alternative)

A friend of mine last night told me she has a light blue fleece she was going to get rid of, so I'm going to just have that for the trip. And we're going to check out Land's End in the next couple of months. Another friend and I are going to REI to check out raincoats and smartwool socks.

Today I asked friends on Facebook (now that my vacation was officially approved at work!) about footwear and I got lots of responses. I ordered these, after a friend of mine who is on her feet all day as a teacher during the school year and a camp counselor in the summer said she lives in this brand's sandals, and she suggested the boots in black (cost me $9, because I had a $100 Amazon gift card):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078JBR96Y/ref=twister_B093WY8SH1?th=1

They arrive on Thursday so I will try them and see how my feet feel. If I hate them, I can return them.

I also ordered some packing cubes today.

Another friend mentioned a money belt like mentioned here, so I have to look into those, too. Still trying to decide if I need to get a whole new crossbody purse or if the small bag I already own that fits into my water-resistant backpack will be good enough.

You guys are SO amazingly helpful!!