Miscellaneous: Most people will already have advised you about the usual stuff - rain gear, hangover cures etc - so I'll concentrate this list instead on the things you may find essential for a pleasurable sojourn through the old sod but of which most tour guides might have neglected to inform you:
1. A hatpin or knitting needle (size 6 upwards): Very handy for 'motivating' the ass steering your cart in Killarney to observe the correct route and pace in transporting you to the famed Gap of Dungloe. Can also be used to poke the poor animal pulling the cart too!
2. Mace: Essential for warding off the unwanted and foul attentions of lecherous old bachelor farmers in country pubs - but be warned, several applications may be required! More modern tourists will find the use of the aerosol version of the weapon can also be just as effective. Oh, and you women should also think of bringing some too!
3. Several spare tyres: Required if driving more than thirty yards in any direction in the Cavan area. Cavan farmers get round this problem by having several spare BMWs (as well as several 'spare' dairy cattle north of the border).
4. Screwdriver: Not an essential item if one avoids Limerick City.
5. Organ Donor Card and Last Will and Testamant: Advisable to have on one's person if one's car has to stop at a red light in the Summerhill, Sean McDermott Street, Upper Gardiner Street or Mountjoy Square areas of Dublin.
6. A canister of Nitrous Oxide: Otherwise known as 'laughing gas', you will find inhaling this extremely useful for avoiding offending the local who has earmarked you (quite literally) to be an audience for his 'hilarious' tales of life in the ould days. Note: Never ever inhale this gas in the North of Ireland!
7. Your psychiatrist's emergency contact number: Will almost definitely be required by drivers after a day of trying to navigate this land with the sole aid of Irish signposts. Also handy for those dependent on Irish Rail and Bus Éireann when attempting to cross the country via public transport.
8. A bible: The heavier the better - some of the priests in this country are of fine bulky stock! Aetheists who may object to using the good book as a weapon can revert to option 2 above. A general rule of thumb is to hit first and ask questions later - since one is going to have to do it anyway, it may as well be got over and done with at the start.
9. A bullhorn: A very handy device - can be used for ordering a drink in a Dublin bar or even for just getting a word in edgeways anywhere else! If you have neglected to pack one you need not fret. Acquiring a 'free' one is normally a fringe benefit of applying option 8 above to presbyterian ministers in Northern Ireland.
10. Self lobotomy kit: For those visitors who liked the country so much they have decided they want to stay longer ...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It rained non-stop the whole week we were in co. Clare (though we had perfect weather on the east coast and Dublin before that), so make sure you bring raincoats etc. Good walking shoes can also be useful.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: For the same reason, make sure your tent is very waterproof. Ours turned out not to be, we ended up sticking plastic bags to the inner tent to somehow keep the worst out.
Luggage and bags: On the bike tour, bags were loaded on the van in the morning and appeared at the destination in the evening, so it doesn't matter if you over-pack somewhat.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Raingear! Try to get something that breathes so you don't sweat to death when it rains.
Luggage and bags: The good old-fashioned backpack is still the most convenient piece of equipment you can bring with you.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Prepare for rain, and lots of it, especially on the western part of the island. A raincoat is essential for bare survival out there. Also bring plenty of socks because they tend to get wet in a hurry too. Ireland's climate is not that warm, even in June, so make sure to bring good warm sweaters as well.
Luggage and bags: i suppose that depends on where you're going and what you're going to do with it. if you'll be flying in, getting a taxi to your hotel and staying there the whole time then go ahead and bring the biggest bag you can. if you'll need to carry it yourself at all.. through city streets or on the train or whatever... then bring something more manageable. one of those big backpacks would be best. a wheeled suitcase is okay, but remember that those wheels aren't meant for concrete. they'll only last years on airport floors. also, the vertical ones stand up better. (literaly - the horizontal ones tend to fall over.) i should know all this.. i ruined the wheels on a suitcase that kept falling over. that wasn't here though.
oh yeah, one other thing. don't be like me and pack your suitcase so full you can't get it off the conveyor belt. i did that once and nearly killed the man standing next to me. of course if he had been a gentleman and helped me then he wouldn't have had that problem...
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: irish weather is constantly changing. it does rain alot but not nearly as much as some foreigners seem to think.
clothing: layers are good. then when you're warm you can take them off. in winter you'll want a sweater and a coat. it doesn't get terribly cold but the winds can be brutal. in summer you'll still want a jacket or something longsleeved. then again, i'm very cold blooded, so you might be different. i would say to pack things you know will wear well together. then if you're really cold you can always wear three or four shirts. pantyhose/ tights under jeans will keep anyone's legs warm by the way.
shoes: never underestimate the importance of comfortable walking shoes.
weather gear: i play this great game here in dublin called Spot The Tourist. the easiest give-away is that they all wear raincoats. no dubliner wears a raincoat. for that matter, i've never been anywhere where the local people wear raincoats. what's worse is most of the tourists seem to wear matching raincoats... sorry, but i don't think a couple in matching coats is sweet or romantic. don't wear a rain coat. it rarely ever rains so hard that you need one. an umbrella is fine. (quick tip: the pound shops sell umbrellas for £3-5. buy one when you get here and then leave it here. one less thing to pack.)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: the water here is fine to drink, if that's what you're wondering.
always remember if you take prescription drugs to bring a copy of your prescription.
Photo Equipment: ireland and the uk are on 220 voltage. the rest of europe is 240. the plugs are different but you can buy adaptors in any hardware shop. the us voltage is 120. if you have to have your electric thing, you'll have to buy a convertor which is about $25. otherwise the outlet will simply melt your thingy.
normal AA (1.5v) batteries are easy to find. the others are as well, although i've never tried to buy them.
if you are looking to get your photos developed in dublin, try Image Depot on liffey street. that's where i always get my photos done and they're brilliant. they actually know what they're talking about.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: bundle up.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Mucais mountain from Meenlaragh.
I recently drove the coast road to Falcarragh. I haven't been over here for some time and had forgotten just how beautiful it is.
I highly recommend sticking to the coast road especially around Meenacladdy and Magheroarty, and dare you to show me better views anywhere in Ireland.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Winter woolens!
With our weather, you should take a rain jacket for all seasons.
If hillwalking, the temperatures can change very quickly, always bring a few layers with you.
Photo: View from Errigal mountain, looking northwards towards Falcarragh and Tory Island (June/2002)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Dressing for Irish weather is quite easy. Ireland has a moist climate and it is usually quite windy which combined makes it feel cooler. Luckily the gulf stream means we have a very moderate climate. So dressing is easy: something wind and water proof and also something warm. Be prepared also for good weather as we do actually get some very nice hot sunny days.
Photo Equipment: Definitly bring a camera as there is something to photograph every 5 minutes!! Of course you can but everything you need in Ireland, just avoid the 'touristy' shops!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It does rain alot in Ireland so a umbrella isnt a bad idea.
Photo Equipment: if your a photographer get ready to see the color Green.the Irish country side is really magic.
Miscellaneous: If you Go to Ireland pack some thing for a hang over or do what I did stay drunk that helps (oh my head hurts)
Luggage and bags:
A decent backpack (big, yet comfortable).
A decent daypack or a little bag to put on the handlebar of your bike, however, something to put the stuff in that you might need repeatedly during the day. It sucks to search your bike bags every time you need a little thing (e.g. your camera).
Bike bags are not really necessary, most bike hires provide them and if they happen to never have heard of 'bike bags' *?* you can still fix your backpack to the rack by using lots and lots of old tubes or similar dilatable and enduring strings.
So take old tubes along or ask the guy at the bike hire. Oh, and ask for new tubes as well...
Apart from that, some garbage bags (big and tough ones) might come handy as a rain cover, a bodhrán transportation bag or maybe a 'chair' in the wet wilderness?
On my four week bike trip to Ireland I took:
about four T-Shirts (maybe it was only three)
a pair of Jeans
two Leggings (pretty useful when biking, but not THAT fashionable)
waterproof trousers and jacket
a baseball cap (I slipped putting it on one day, but rued it very soon - I had the worst sunburn on my head, under my hair!!! Do you know how it feels to take a shower under that condition??? *YAK*)
some socks and undies, depends on your preferings (take a lot of old stuff and just throw it away when you're done with it or take a few decent ones and wash them all the time)
a long T-shirt
a summer jacket
pair of shorts
As for shoes, I was absolutely comfortable with my sole pair of Doc's, they proved to be pretty water resistant (but don't take suede ones!).
I took a pair of Converse Chucks along as well, as you can flatten them. ;0) But I never used them on the trip.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
Lots and lots of plasters (and some additional adhesive tape to secure them from being worn off by sweat, rain and friction (remember, you'll be holding and tearing and pushing the handlebar of your bike most of the time)
Fizzy tablets with vitamins - at least the water tastes better with it.
And don't forget to have a bottle ready to hand as well!
Take a little something to cure the various possible 'diseases' that might affect you during your travels, i.e. midges, headaches, diarrhea, cramps or a sore throat.
Loaaaaaads of films!
Salt - noodles taste really boring without it and very few of the hostels we stayed in provided salt...
Sugar - if you're a sweetie
Plastic bags - heaps of them, they're so useful on a backpacking trip!
Sun cream - oh yes, oh yes... the worst sunburn I ever had was a souvenir from Ireland
Fire lighter - most hostels have gas cookers, but not all of them have anything to put them on...
Cord - e.g. to shrink souvenir wool cardigans to a minimum of their size
Dress for the cold and wet
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Remember to bring an umbrella or a raincoat. Umbrellas are good in the wet but not the wind so keep that in mind.
Miscellaneous: Virtually everything was easy to find and buy and prices weren't too bad.
try to find a very good route map of Ireland!!!
Miscellaneous: On our first trip to Ireland we were not very organised and we learnt the hard way.
You need to have a really good detailed route map before you decide travelling independently in the countryside.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Travel with Pets
A good road map of Ireland!
Miscellaneous: Road signs are sometimes not the best, so a good road map of Ireland will keep you from getting lost..though getting lost in Ireland can be fun,too.
A map of Ireland
Miscellaneous: Bring a good map if you're going to travel around the countryside. The smaller the roads, the better the scenery! Here's an overall map to help you.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: OH AND....
It's probably not the first time you hear it but..... it can't be wrong to take some rain gear ;-)....
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