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Things NOT to Pack for a RS Ireland Tour?

I'll be going on the August-Sept Rick Steves' 14-day Ireland tour, but when looking at popular packing lists I'm thinking some things might be superfluous if I'm taking a tour. For example, do I need to pack Band-Aids, or can it be assumed the tour guide probably has basic first-aid supplies? I'm trying my best to pack as light as possible, but as an "always be prepared" kind of person I keep wanting to fill the holes. Any advice from Ireland trip alums would be appreciated!

Posted by
2105 posts

In 8 tours, I don't recall any guide giving anybody a bandaid. Could it happen? Maybe. I know they aren't allowed to give people things like aspirin.

I always pack a small pouch of bandaids and minor illness meds.

Posted by
12575 posts

I pack bandaids because when I need them I need them. But I'm an always be prepared person. My first trip to Italy I fell on the first night and skinned my knee. I did NOT have bandaids and my brother only had 2 big ones. I needed them again a couple year later when I fell again but I had them with me. I have not needed them since 2016 as I make sure I walk slower than is my natural stride so I don't trip over uneven pavement or my own feetsies.

So...I'd keep the bandaids in. Your choice though!

Don't forget...the guides pack light too! OR if they are guiding several trips in a row and live elsewhere they may have maxxed out on what they can carry themselves to cover weather changes.

Posted by
6084 posts

I took this tour last May and we had some rain, I was glad for my Goretex shell parka and an extra layer beneath it. You should have better weather in August but it could rain any time. So bring at least a plastic poncho, perhaps more for wet conditions. I don't think I've ever needed a bandaid on a trip, but I carry a few anyway since they weigh next to nothing and take up no space.

The way your question is phrased, we have to try to guess what you're unnecessarily considering. Maybe you could ask about specific items. As for popular packing lists, I hardly ever take as many shirts and pants as I see on them. FWIW, our Dingle hotel, where we spent three nights, offered a bag of laundry for a reasonable charge, allowing me to pack fewer clothes than I might have otherwise. I'm sure other tour members took the same opportunity. With clothing, there's a direct tradeoff between how much you need to bring and how willing you are to wash in hotel bathrooms or laundromats or pay hotels to do it for you. I generally plan a laundry, one way or another, about weekly.

Posted by
2265 posts

Another reason not to rely on your guide for first aid supplies is that the tours include a fair bit of time on your own.

Posted by
8026 posts

Never assume.

A package of different sized bandaids weighs so little. Why compromise?

Posted by
4 posts

@Claudia — the bandaids were just an example and I’ve decided to pack them. Basically I was asking is there anything you may have packed that you realized you didn’t actually need for Ireland?

Posted by
2067 posts

I’m going out on a limb, but you probably won’t need a bathing suit.

Posted by
7545 posts

I am going to list the things that I bring on tour that I usually end up sharing with others because they did not. Unless I am in your tour you might want to pack these. They take up little room.
Blister pads. (Glacier gel is my favorite)
Insect repellent wipes. Small towelettes take up little room and don’t count as liquids.
Bonine anti-nausea
Imodium, anti-diarrheal
Tylenol or Advil
Bandaids. Steri-strips
Benadryl or DayQuil

We had a tour member trip on a step at a hotel and get quite a nasty cut on her head. The other tour members pooled our steri-strips and were able to make sure she was taken care of.

Posted by
328 posts

We pack light so it’s easier to tell you what I’m glad I had for our Sep 2019 BOI Tour. A good rain coat, rain pants, waterproof shoes and a couple lightweight fleece tops. What I wish I had packed was some cold medicine because I caught a cold that came on quickly and the pharmacy was closed when our bus got into town that day.

Posted by
32050 posts

I tend to pack the same for every trip, as I like to be prepared without having to rely on the guide or having to go to local pharmacies or whatever.

From what I remember of that tour, it would be a good idea to pack some light rain gear. The RS travel store offers a product that should fit the bill and not take up too much room - .

Posted by
13801 posts

In case you get tummy troubles but don't need something as strong as Imodium, be aware that Pepto Bismol is NOT sold in Ireland.

As for most other things..... I ask myself the following question: " It's midnight and I need XXX. Do I need it right away or can it wait until I find a store in the morning?" If I wait, is it actually available?

I take the bare minimum of items I can replace and replace as needed.

Don't assume, just because you are on a tour, that your guide will have lots of things for you. If I needed a bandaid, and didn't have one, I'd be more prone to ask at the front desk of my hotel as they almost certainly have a decent first aid kit.

Posted by
8062 posts

I know some people would frown, but a piece of duct tape (for emergency repairs) or sports tape (for blisters) will make a good temporary bandaid (Brit. - plaster).