Dublin- Traveling Light

We have a trip planned in a few weeks. Eight hour flight and seven nights in Ireland, our first trip to Ireland and our first one traveling with only carry on luggage. What tips and tricks for light traveling do you have to share? We will also be staying in hostels to extend our travel budget. I'm so excited! Also we are in our late 40s.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1632 posts

You can get a good start on your information search by going to: ladylighttravel.com The folks here will help you with more specific things: what kind of bag to use, what kind of clothes to take, what extras do you need, that sort of thing. Light traveling is an art that is achieveable through experience. Some things work and some don't. Our bags are convertible carry-ons weighing less than three pound. Clothes for such traveling are available from different sources. Most of us do sink laundry in hotels, and that is another category of discussion all together. Then there's light weight rain coats, and that gets quite a bit of discussion. You are entering into a new world, it sounds like, and let me know if I can help.

Posted by Nancy
Costa Mesa, CA, USA
159 posts

Very exciting! We always do carry on only - was in Ireland a couple of years ago in the summer. If it helps, here is what I took - 2 pr jeans (wore 1 on plane) 1 pr. black cotton pants 1 pr. black capris 3 3/4 length T shirts 2 sleeveless tops 1 long sleeved light linen shirt light cardigan 1 polar fleece jacket 1 rain shell 1 pr. merrill hikers (we hiked in the Burren and around Dingle - otherwise these wouldn't have made the list) 1 pr. flats/walking shoes (i.e. Clarks Primos) 1 pr. sandals (born) undies/ socks pjs packable umbrella 2 light scarves 3 pr. earrings/ 4 necklaces All my tops/cardigan went with everything so I could mix/match and layer as needed. Definitely bring a rain shell and a pair of closed toed shoes that can handle rain. Did sink laundry along the way. Basically wore everything and was comfortable. Couple of things to stick in your carry on: 2 small stuffable nylon shopping bags - great for hitting the markets for snacks, picnic materials. 1 small travel sized powerstrip - mine (Monster) has 4 outlets so I can power 4 devices from 1 adapter/plug. Small, flexible cutting mat (8 x5) - useful for cutting fruit, cheese, bread for picnics.
Have a fabulous trip!!!

Posted by Pam
Wetumpka, Al, US
5 posts

Thanks for the tips! I look forward to when our trip is closer and I can start packing. In the mean time I'm slowly putting together a list of just what we'll take. It's going to be great to not have to track down checked luggage...well unless I buy too much and have to check a bag on the way back!

Posted by Stacy
138 posts

You will be so happy you packed light! Once you've done it, you'll never go back. No waiting in line to check your bags; no lugging huge suitcases around. I have been traveling with one carryon for years, including a 7-week excursion through Europe. A few tips: 1. Find a pair of shoes you LOVE that are comfortable and versatile. I have been known to travel with only the shoes I am wearing. This is a challenge, though. Skechers are always instantly comfortable for me, and their black MaryJane-style strap shoes work with pants or dresses. 2. Be prepared to do sink/shower laundry every night. Only a few pieces, but if you throw your shirt/undies in the shower, stomp on them while you wash your hair, you're halfway home. 3. Pack everything so that you can mix & match. Make sure EVERY piece goes with every other piece. Pay attention to colors, and think about layering possibilities. 4. Especially if you're moving around a lot, remind yourself that YOU may be sick of seeing yourself in that pink shirt a zillionth time, but everyone else is seeing it for the first time. 5. Splurge on a laundry service if you're staying anywhere for 2 days. Drop off your stuff in the morning, pick it up at night, all washed, dried and folded. Worth every penny! 6. Remember: the fewer clothes you pack, the more room you have for souvenirs! Have fun!!

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2493 posts

Ireland is spectacular! Couple of things to pack you may not think of. All practical and none really add any extra weight. A door stopper. I use it simply for peace of mind. A flat drain stopper so you can wash your clothes in the sink. A few clothes pins for obvious reasons. Some twist ties. You know the ones you use to close the bags you put your fruit in at the supermarket. Will absolutely be amazed how handy those twist ties are. My favorite emergency use was securing my eyeglass lens when it fell out because the teeny tiny screw had fallen out. A small flashlight, especially if the bathroom is down the hall. Lastly, remember these few things. Drink Guinness or Harp and let the former properly settle before imbibing. Nectar of the Gods. Pubs are the most perfect spots to watch, listen and absorb the Irish spirit(s). Sheep are every where so drive carefully. The seafood rocks. The beauty of the island will take your breath away and the Irish are lovely human beings. Slainte!

Posted by Kristen
557 posts

Have fun! Regarding toiletries-obviously you will be limited because you are carrying on. Most drug stores in Europe (especially Ireland) carry the same brands we do here. It may be more expensive because of the conversion. But if you find you are really limited on space, you may consider just buying those things there as you need them.

Posted by Pam
Wetumpka, Al, US
5 posts

Thank you for all the tips and tricks! I'm even more excited than I was a few weeks ago!

Posted by Pam
Wetumpka, Al, US
5 posts

Thanks to everyone on here for all the great suggestions! Our trip was awesome and it did not rain except for a small sprinkle on the day we arrived! Traveling light really made a difference. We were able to see so much of Ireland on our 8 night stay! Since we traveled light we also did not rent a car. We used public transportation and took several day trips. Cliffs of Moher was awesome, Kinvara, Corcomroe Abbey, Lahinch, The Burren, Giants Causeway, Belfast, Carrick A Rede Island, Blarney Castle, Cobh and Cork! So many smaller places along the way and I fell in love with Dublin! I'm already planning a return trip!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1632 posts

Good for you, and thanks for the report. Now that the light weight carry-on bug has bitten you there will be no end of experimentation to find more light weight gear for your trips. You will, no doubt, find better clothing that fits your needs as well as more efficient accoutrements of travel. The process never stops and neither does the lust of journeys.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

Pam, Theres also a section on "Planning & Packing" for packing lite. one comment. If this isnt your only and final trip, you will learn the hard way what you NEED vs what you want and the nice things. for many this is subjective since everyone is different and has different needs/wants. here is a few of the things that works for me. > send souveniors/maps/books home when im done with them > Bring more undies than outerware > Bring one jacket. Pref w/hood and water proof. > Bring 2 pair of shoes. its not light, but it saves on the feet to be able to swap them every day. > by toiletries over there. saves having to show them at TSA. > Minimize on the electronic garbage. i only use/bring one (1) adapter. No converter eiter. > I use a travel backpack with the smaller standard airline size. > Ive been buying & trying "travel clothes" and evaluating how the fit/wash/wear and hold up. They are usually synthetic and thus less bulky. happy trails.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7825 posts

Generally, my carry-on pack list contains five tops, three bottoms (and a pair of warm-ups that double as sweats, pjs, and really casual days), three pairs socks and underwear, two pairs of shoes, one belt, plus limited toiltries (one quart bag with liquids, another for dry stuff) and limited electronics (Ipod touch, camera, small European cell phone), two items for a warm layer (wear both when it's really cold) and most importantly an unlined waterproof/windproof rain shell. Generally everything that makes the pack list is easy to wash and wear, isn't bulky, and weighs as little as possible. For Ireland: I'd want one pair of shoes to be waterproof, or at least somewhat impervious to weather - bring a light second pair just to have something to change into when the first needs to dry. I'd make the warm layers a little heavier (e.g. a medium wool sweater and full-zip polar fleece). It can get chilly. I'd also add, or buy when you get there, a knit cap, scarf, and some gloves. Make your socks wool. Wear long pants that dry quickly (I'd leave the jeans at home, they take forever to dry when they get wet). Don't worry about skirts unless you have a specific dress-up event planned.

Posted by LaRae
494 posts

Always bring an extra pair of shoes. Heavy rain can get the pair you have on wet. Heat isn't always available and shoes can take a couple days to dry.