What to pack for Ireland in May???

This is our 1st trip overseas and my hubby & I are going to Ireland in May. What to expect on overnight flight and what to wear??? What type of clothing to pack?? What type of handbag or other accessories for a woman?? Thanks for any reply:)

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
912 posts

Dear newbies: Welcome to the big wide world of international travel. I could write a book about your questions and many have. A few tips about the flight: Read the fine print on your airline's website to see what (and how much) you can carry into the plane cabin. American-operated lines tend to be looser than their international competition but everything is tightening up and adding charges for specific services. Overnight flights will probably offer a full meal and a breakfast before landing. Airlines vary on the issue of free drinks. Your arrival airport probably has an Internet site which can give you useful information about changing money (preferably in an ATM machine run by a bank) and onward transportation, whether taxi or car rental or bus into a city. It helps to print and carry with you any relevant maps of the airport. A day or so before departure, pack your suitcase (singular) and walk around several blocks or up three flights of stairs. It will encourage travelling light. Shoes are heavy. Wear your sturdy walking shoes on the airplane and pack one light pair as backup. Jeans are fine for Europe but heavy to pack, so wear a loose-fitting pair on the plane if you must have them. Dress in layers for the plane since the cabins can often be quite cool. Dress in more layers for Ireland, which is green for a reason and that reason is rain. Last June, in what was supposed to be the start of summer, the precipitation was bothering the farmers and the temperature never went above 22 celsius. You can find plenty of weather sites on the Internet to check the patterns of years gone by.
One more thought, even though you didn't ask: If you are returning to the US from Ireland you will go through the customs/immigration process there, before boarding the plane, so allow enough time at the airport.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
218 posts

Stephanie, you've come to the right place. I would very much recommend you pick up Rick Steves' Ireland book and probably some information on travel skills to smooth your way. This could be his either his Europe Through the Back Door book and/or his travel skills DVD depending on your learning style. The travel skills section will cover things like phones, ATMs and especially packing correctly and light. Rick's specialty is teaching people to travel successfully for themselves so that's where I suggest you start. Don't be afraid to spend a few dollars on some guide books and DVDs to make sure you get the most out of your once in a lifetime trip. Read through his list of sights he suggests and then add your own and make an itinerary and the research it. Read through his suggestions for travel and packing and then come back here with any specific questions and ask for suggestions and people will be happy to supply them. As for Ireland in May I'm going to go with the cliche "layers". I was there last May and it threatened more than it actually rained but expect temps in 50s at the warmest and a chance of rain at any point. One day it went from blazing, hot sunshine to hailing ice shards in under 10 minutes and then back to cloudy sunshine in the next half hour. Have a warmth layer and rain layer close at hand whenever and wherever you are. Do your research and have a great trip!
=Tod

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
308 posts

I was in Ireland in May a few yeas ago and recall it being chilly and windy. I took a light windbreaker jacket and wore it almost every day.

Posted by Carole
Edmond, OK
82 posts

We were in Ireland/Scotland/England/Belgium in April and May of 2012, the wettest spring on record. To research the weather I use wunderground.com. Click on Travel and Activities tab then choose Travel Planner, type in Dublin, choose 2 week period in May. If you scroll down you can see that Dublin is chilly and rainy in May. I packed several Smartwool sweaters, layered an Icebreaker fleece sweater on that and then my rain coat. For shoes I only took 2 pair: running shoes and waterproof shoes, which I wore everyday. The only accessories I took were one pair of earrings and one scarf. The handbag choice is rather controversial if you research this site. Take Forever New powdered soap (purchased at the lingerie counter of a department store) and clothes that can be laundered in a hotel sink and plan on packing for 5 days. Make sure all your clothes are interchangeable and just mix them up. You won't be seeing the same people every day and it is more important to pack light. Bottom line: if you have too much stuff to carry on to the plane then you have too much stuff to haul up/down the steps of the tube, through airports, up/down steps to your hotel room. We don't check our bags and it has worked out very well for us.

Posted by Ardith
Barcelona, Spain
10 posts

Definitely plan for wet weather. But also try to bring things that can transfer from day to night. Like dressing up a pair of jeans & sweater by accessorizing with a scarf. Bring sturdy boots or walking shoes. Ireland can be pretty mucky anytime of year. A rain jacket is essential. So is a warm cardigan. Think wet spring and you'll be fine. As far as an overnight flight wear something comfy & practical. That might be your favorite worn in soft jeans with a white button down and cozy sweater or leggings with a long sweater. ballet flats work well in spring but I wouldn't bring sandals unless a heat wave is predicted. Leave the shorts at home but bring a skirt or lightweight capris. Irish weather is extremely changeable. Just make sure you have enough clothes to keep you warm when the sun goes down.Have a blast!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

The "Emerald Isle" well, wonder why its so green? Yes, assume rain, but hope for sun .. it won't be hot, so skip packing bathing suit or for me, even shorts( some men like to wear them all the time though). Rain jacket is a must. Sweater or fleece for layering. Pack light. On plane I tend to wear my heaviest shoes and coat, and otherwise wear comfy clothes. I have pack throw away slippers I get from dollar stores. I like to take my shoes off to sleep on plane, but will not walk on those floors and most especially on nasty wet floored bathrooms with my stocking feet.I throw out slippers when I arrive ( hey ,I get them at the dollar store and they never cost more then 2-3 bucks) I never wear jeans on plane as they cut into you after hours.. ( my flight is 13 hours or so) so I wear plain black yoga pants, comfy.
Bring snacks on plane, food nowadays sucks, and my ex hubby was always still hungary , unless of course you are flying first class!

Posted by Stephanie
Seattle
27 posts

It can get pretty windy and cold on the west coast so I like to take a windbreaker in May. Not sure where you are going, but I like to check a bag so I don't have so much in the carry-on besides my laptop and a change of clothes in case something happens to my luggage and I will have more room to bring things home. I use an Eagle Creek rolling backpack with detachable daypack which wheels great and gives me more packing options; it is a great bag and there really aren't that many stairs in Dublin to worry about. I have taken this bag all over Europe. For handbags, Ireland is a great place just to use a purse or bag you use everyday. I usually like one that zips on the top. When my mom visits and travels in Europe with me, she always takes her everyday leather purse that zips on top and can carry magazines, books, lunch or some small souvenirs along with the wallet. She is comfortable with it so it works for her. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.