Full disclosure: packing for a two-week trip in Ireland and Scotland gave me a fair bit of anxiety. The weather in Ireland and the UK is fairly unpredictable to start with, and on top of that I wasn’t sure if our early September trip would call for summer or fall outfits.
The temperatures for our trip ended up ranging from 55-70 degrees as the high. Most days were sunny or partly cloudy, and even when it started off with a cool morning we rarely needed all of our layers all day. My main goal was to keep our luggage very light since we were moving from eight different accommodations over the course of two weeks, so I booked a couple of places with access to a washer/dryer and planned do laundry a few times.
As far as the level of casual vs. formal, Chris and I expected to have mostly active days (tons of walking/hiking) and we wanted to eat as much pub food as possible, so jeans and casual tops were fine for us pretty much every day. I was able to wear a long-sleeve top with a scarf plus my flats for a few places when I needed to look a wee bit more polished. So here’s what I packed for fifteen days in late August and early September:
- 2 short-sleeve shirts
- 4 long-sleeve shirts
- 1 zip-up hoodie
- 1 tank top (for sleeping)
- 1 pair of lightweight hiking pants
- 1 pair of jeans
- puffer vest
- waterproof jacket
- 2 scarves
- waterproof hiking shoes
- ballet flats
- undies and socks
- baseball-type cap
In case it helps to have some more details, here are a few of the specific things I packed:
1. Long-sleeve waffle henley from Eddie Bauer (similar); 2. Striped long-sleeve top from Loft; 3. and 4. Long-sleeve cotton crewneck tops from Nordstrom; 5. Warm puffer vest for layering (that I wore on so many days) from J. Crew Factory.
1. Soft and warm wool scarf; 2. Pretty patterned scarf; 3. Hat; 4. My favorite small camera bag to hold my SLR and a point-and-shoot; 5. Super comfortable North Face Ultra Fastpack GTX (similar) waterproof hiking shoes; 6. Tieks foldable leather ballet flats.
All of our stuff went into my trusty Eagle Creek packing cubes and we each brought one carry-on suitcase. I ended up wearing everything I brought, and didn’t really feel like anything was missing. Of course, if room wasn’t an issue I would have liked to have more shoes just because, but the lone two (!) pairs I brought worked out well. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about packing for either of these places!
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