Help! what would you pack in a carry-on for Ireland in May?

I've got to get busy organizing a small travel capsule for Ireland in May. This will be mostly exploring the countryside. In fact ANY advice is welcome. Neither DH nor I have been there before. Neither of us can handle any weight with luggage, so it all needs to be minimal and light weight.
It sounds like temperatures will probably be chilly, wet and windy.
I'm almost wondering if gearish wear would be best and just try to be warm and reasonably pulled together. Please, I need some wisdom and ideas. My brain has been in an antihistamine fog.

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15 Comments

  • bioya replied 4 years ago

    Ugh...post disappeared. I'd get one of those Patagonia coats that folds up intoa tiny pouch and a super lightweight raincoat fro TravelSmith. For clothes, a pair of ponte pants, jeggings, some travel tops that wash and wear, a travel dress if you think you'll need it. Comfy shoes! How long will you be gone?

  • Debbie replied 4 years ago

    How many days will you be there? My youngest daughter says to take 2 if possible pairs of comfortable closed toe shoes. She said you will need them to keep your feet warm and dry.

  • Freckles replied 4 years ago

    When in May?
    What kind of hotel, b&b?
    All around the Island or just in one area?
    How long?

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Carter, Debbie, and Freckles, we will be there for 14 days the second half of May. Right now all we have are the plane tickets. The plan is to spend a couple of nights in Dublin, then explore the southern and western areas staying in b&bs. I am wondering how much one dresses up for pubs in the evening.
    Debbie, the footwear is my major concern. Right now I'm thinking of taking a short pair of waterproof and warm La Cannadienne greyish taupe booties ( not very fashionable with squarish toes but very comfortable), a pair of slip-on beach sneakers (rather gearish but very lightweight) and a comfy pair of metallic ballet flats.
    The colors I'm hoping to put together are light grey, ivory, and mint. I bought one of those light, fitted, down jackets in a silvery grey with mint lining and it layers under a Columbia cream raincoat that folds into a tiny pouch, as Carter mentioned. I can layer a cashmere sweater under the down jacket, under the coat and can add silk underwear under the sweater.
    Do I need a skirt? I'm thinking wearing jeans and packing black Ponte pants and another pair of jeans ( light weight) or black tube skirt.

  • Eliza replied 4 years ago

    I think you are on the right track. Comfortable shoes rule and it is a casual country. If you like fancy restaurants, you can find them, though in my experience the ponte pants would likely work fine with a nice top just about anywhere. While it can be damp and chilly in spring, sometimes it warms up faster. I would check the long range forecast as the date gets closer and have a lighter weight pair of black or gray pants available as a ponte back up if it is likely to be warmer than usual. If you have a small clutch, it is a quick way to feel dressed up without carrying clothes you are less likely to wear.

    Should be a lot of fun!

  • Neel replied 4 years ago

    I have no clue what to pack! I suck at travel capsules! But exploring the country side in Ireland sounds super fun!! I am sure you are going to have a blast :)

  • Freckles replied 4 years ago

    Sounds like you are on the right track Joy.  Jeans were everywhere and it does tend to be casual.  Like most places the dress code depends on the restaurant or pub.  I do not wear jeans and never felt uncomfortable in my casual black dress pants, it seems as though your ponte pants would be the same.  I don't think you need a skirt.  I would probably bring another pair of pants though if you can't wash your ponte ones and have them dry overnight.  It takes things a lot longer to dry in Ireland in a hotel room.
    You need to be really stable in your shoes.  Cobblestones, graveyards, spiral staircases in castles, climbing the  fence at the Cliffs of Mohr to get closer to the edge.  Make sure to spray them with waterproofing multiple times.  They need to be lightweight too as you'll be walking and climbing a ton.
    Since you will be putting your clothes on and off all day to be at the right temp and humidity level a really great tote is vital.  I like one with a zippered closure.  Shops give out paper bags not  plastic so you want to store your purchases/lunch/snacks in something waterproof. 
    The wind is FIERCE and just realize that your hair will be a mess the whole time you are away.  A good hat is more vital than an umbrella due to the wind and the rain can be horizontal.
    We had gorgeous weather while we were there last August but I hardly ever took off my gear raincoat with fleece lining and/or boiled wool cardigan.  I run freezing though.  I'd say you'll probably live in your cardigan so make sure it is warm and comfy.  Something that you won't tire of easily too.
    Your colour scheme sounds super fab but how quickly do light grey and ivory soil?  When you wear things multiple times even if you hand launder in the sink they do not come out as clean.  More like freshened up than clean.
    Our plane rides were very hot which is unusual for me except on the way over in the middle of the night, feet were cold even in socks good for -70.
    I only found out after we got back that Jameson's 12 year old whiskey is not sold in Canada at all, sure wish I knew that I would fall in love with it and it would not be available before I left.  Same with Guinness chocolate bars.
    The Irish people are the most welcoming and will do everything to make your trip fab.  Have fun!  Can I hide in a pocket and come too?

  • torontogirl replied 4 years ago

    Hi there - what a great trip! Ireland is tricky as the weather can really do anything ... I clearly remember my Irish mother cutting all our jeans into shorts once when we were there ;)

    That said - I would say be prepared for rain, wind, cold, and temperate temps, esp. in the shoe department. An easily rolled up rain jacket would be good. Expect your hair to get wind-blown and/or rained on. Murphy's law says if you are well-prepared for poor weather, the weather will be great :)

    Pubs from my experience are quite casual, esp. in the countryside, although a non-jean option is always good. And avoid wearing green at all costs! No one there does and it looks super-touristy.

    Have a great time!!

  • Inge replied 4 years ago

    How exciting, Joy!! Love the sound of your taupe booties. Comfortable footwear is key, and if it's going to be chilly (and perhaps rainy) closed toe options are best, I think. Also: do your feet get cold easily? Then I would perhaps leave the ballet flats at home and take another pair of closed toe shoes (oxfords perhaps)? 
    The silk underwear and your coats sound like just the ticket too. I'm also thinking layering tops, so you can remove a layer when it gets warmer during the day time. Definitely a scarf or two. Maybe even a (leather) jacket if you can layer it under your coats? If it's too bulky to pack, perhaps you can wear it for the flight?
    It's always nice to have a skirt option for meals out etc. The tube skirt doesn't weigh much, I think, and is very compact, so I would bring it along in addition to the the second pair of jeans and the ponte pants.

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Your replies have been so helpful and have given me much to think about.  We watched several travel DVD's for Ireland and noted that even though it was summer, most had on substantial jackets and footwear. 
    Eliza, I do need to find some light weight grey or black trousers.  Before losing weight, I had the perfect pair in a nylon that did not cling and dried overnight and could be dressed up or down.  I do have a pair of dark taupe nylon with a matte finish that could work.
    Thank you , Neel.
    Freckles, I will read and reread your post for all that wisdom.  I will rethink the light colors.  I usually travel with mostly black and almost never with jeans.  I'd planned to wear silk liners and/or tights under my jeans/pants to help keep them clean.  I think I'll not bring any pants light enough to show dirt spatters.
    The wind!  We saw that in the DVDs.  I have a little stretchy cap and think I'll look into head wraps, although scarves may work as well if they will stay on.  my raincoat has a hood as does my jacket (removable).  Good ideas about a tote and spraying the shoes.
    Torontogirl, Thank you for answering my question about what to wear in the pubs.  I hope I will be ready for the wind and wet.
    Inge,  thank you for your wisdom!  Yes, my feet freeze easily.  I will rethink the ballet flats and try to add the skirt. I may try for a leather jacket too as they are good at cutting the wind.  Maybe a pleather that wouldn't be harmed by rain would be good.  Yes, scarves!  I just need to limit.  I think I could use them as head wraps too. 
    Back to the drawing board with your ideas to explore my closet.

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    I'd recommend hiking shoes, seriously. 

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Anna, I don't have any hiking boots anymore, but maybe I'd better go looking.  Thanks.

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    http://www.rei.com/c/womens-hi.....7Cshoes%7C

  • Jules replied 4 years ago

    I hope to spend some of my retirement in Irish pubs with my hubby :) Have a great trip!

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Anna, I did buy a pair similar to the 4th pair on that REI site, but will go back and look.  I was thinking of the old rugged leather hikers that I used to have.  These are lighter weight.  A good thing!
    Jules, exactly why we waited until now to go, although watching older friends and relatives, we realized that we'd better go now while we can still walk and climb and don't need to bring oxygen or something. :)

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