As you all know, I have been planning for my trip to Ireland. It is a 10 day trip so I thought I would share how and what I pack for this length of trip.
For this trip to Ireland, I will take a ‘hand-luggage’ size suitcase, my camera bag and tripod. My aim is to take as little as possible to save lugging a heavy suitcase around and to make it easy to mix and match and have clothes for all the activities I plan on doing in Ireland.
Since most of the clothes I pack are hardy walking/hiking gear, I am able to wash them quite easily in the sink or shower using my shower gel. I shake them vigorously and hang them over night to dry and mostly they are dry by the next afternoon. Doing this means I don’t have to pack so many clothes and benefit from having clean clothes on my trip. Washing my own clothes saves money on expensive laundry costs.
Whenever I travel anywhere, I wash my own underwear. While this might seem like a personal thing to share, it is merely to show you that you can take less underwear than you think. One set to wear, one set that has been washed and is currently drying and another fresh pair = 3 pairs of underwear…on ANY trip!
So first thing to pack is 3 sets of underwear. I go for plain colours and plain designs – pink lace bras might make you feel good, but aren’t so practical being hand washed in a hostel sink.
The number of pairs of socks I take depends on what type of trip it is. In Scotland earlier this year, I took 2 thick, warm pairs and 2 thin pairs to alternate inbetween washing. Since I am not expecting Ireland to be anywhere near as chilly as Scotland, I will pack just 2 pairs of walking socks and 1 thin pair. (I wear the thin pair underneath and if I wash these every night, I can comfortably get away with wearing the walking socks for up to 4 days before they need washing)
2 Pairs of trousers will do for this length of trip (and actually for most trips). One to wear while the other is drying. This time it will be one pair of walking trousers and one pair of jeans. (some restaurants might not appreciate the walking trousers and I doubt I will eat anywhere so fancy that they won’t let me in wearing jeans – I am on a budget after all).
4 tops/1 fancy vest should be fine. Two of them will be easy-to-wash walking shirts, the other 2 will be things to wear to dinner. The fancy vest doubles as underclothes to keep me warm and to wear under my dinner tops to look…well…a little fancy.
1 Long sleeve zip up jersey and one thin pullover.
Scarf, hat and jacket (I will wear the jacket when I travel so it saves space on the packing)
Pyjamas (trousers and a top)
I have a small bag with travel bottles for my shampoo, shower gel and other liquids. It’s really quite surprising how little you need and these bottles hold more than enough for 10 days. In total, I carry shampoo, shower gel, face moisuturiser, body cream, deodorant, toothpaste, my toothbrush, contact lens solution/lenses, eyeliner and lipstick for dinner (wearing for dinner, not eating for dinner!!)
I am never without my iPhone and iPad and I carry one charger that will charge both. I have an adapter in my camera bag that allows me to move photos from my camera to my iPad so I can edit them and upload them to Flickr/Twitter/Facebook right away. A plug convertor will be needed for Ireland as they use European plugs and I will take 2.
I love my walking boots! I can walk on anything, anywhere, anytime. They support my foot, my ankle and are really comfortable. They are quite bulky though, so I make sure that I wear them when I travel rather than packing them. They would take up half my suitcase if I packed them anyway. I will also take one other pair of shoes for evening dining.
Camera body, 14-45mm lens, 45-200mm lens, 6 stop and 10 stop ND filter, 2 stop grad filter, 2 x 16GB memory cards, 1 x 8GB memory card, 2 x 2GB memory cards, remote shutter release, 3 close up filters, polarizing filter, spare battery and battery charger. In my camera bag, I also have business cards, emergency snacks and a plastic bag (don’t laugh, it ALWAYS come in handy especially for sitting on wet grass when you’re taking a long exposure shot)
Passport, printed ticket/boarding pass, driving licence, car hire document, knee brace (I’ve got a dodgy knee and it gives me grief if I walk a lot so I’m going prepared), notebook (I’m a writer after all), small bag of meds (pain killers, anti-histamines, diarrhea tablets, indigestion tablets, small handbag for going to dinner.
Hostels generally don’t supply towels so I have a small travel towel too.
How I pack
For deciding WHAT to pack, I close my eyes and visualise myself from the feet working my way up. So thinking about my feet makes me think about shoes and socks and what/how many I need to pack.
I then move up to my legs and this makes me think about tights, trousers and pyjama trousers.
I move up to my body and that makes me think about packing underwear, shirts and a pyjama top.
Moving up to my face and head makes me think about a scarf, a hat, face cream, make up (if needed) and glasses/contact lenses.
For every electronic item, I carry a charger so I make sure all those are packed.
For about a week before hand, I lay my suitcase out on the floor or bed and every time I think of something to pack, I just throw it in, ready to be sorted out later. Sometimes I put sticky notes on it to remind me to pack things.
I roll my clothes or lay them out really flat (i.e. not ‘very’ folded) and this way, I can fit more into the case.
I wear my heaviest items so I don’t have to pack them, i.e. Hiking boots, coat, scarf.
I use the space inside shoes for smaller items such as the camera chargers or the plug convertors.
I decide which bag will come onto the aircraft with me (in this case, always my camera bag) and I put my passport and other important documents there along with my iPad and iPhone.
I make sure all toiletries are tightly closed and store in a bag (just in case).
That’s about it. If you’ve got any questions, just comment on the post and I’ll answer you as soon as I can.
You get an extra special mention if you can spot the pig and tell me why I carry a tennis ball on all trips
I will do another post packing for my 2.5 month trip to Canada and US. Will there be much difference? You’ll have to wait and see.