Updated: Jan 14
Ugh! The worst part of traveling is packing I think. At least for me it is. I read blogs, and articles and suggestions and try to take in their suggestions but at the end of the day I still over packed. But the best advice is to make a list. A for real written down list. I had a mental list and over packed. Tod had a written down list and he pretty much stuck to it! I think off the record he'd still say he over packed a bit. Hahaha
I'll start with shoes! We had plans to hike, dine out, shop in cute villages, walk and of course the expected rain so I brought hiking shoes, cute brown ankle boots, walking sandals, rain boots and my handy dandy sketchers (5 pair!). What I wore the ENTIRE time were the sketchers. Literally, I didn't put another pair on.
Although it did rain and we hit puddles, my feet really stayed dry, but a few of our travelers used a water resistant spray for their shoes. I will definitely try that next time, but really my feet stayed dry. We walked a ton and my feet didn't hurt at all...THANK goodness for sketchers.
Next trip, I will likely take the sketchers and the rain boots again but that is it. And taking my rain boots is only because I bought them for the trip and didn't wear them and when in the heck am I ever going to wear rain boots in Arizona?
Everything I read said layer, layer, layer. So water resistant jackets became a big focus for me and because I wasn't totally into umbrellas, finding jackets with hoods was essential.
Tod and I hit Costco one date night and found a nice selection of water resistant clothes including jackets, pants and shirts. I stuck with a heavy'ish jacket and he picked up a couple pairs of pants and a two jackets - all water resistant. On a side note, one of his jackets didn't have a hood and a couple times through the trip when he was wearing it, he did mention he wished it did have a hood. All of the above were used! I never really think of Costco for clothes but it definitely was a nice surprise to find what we were looking for and it was an even nicer surprise to know we used everything!
I also ordered a cute pink long coat from Amazon and LOVED it. It actually came in handy too for our travelers to find me. The color really stuck out - in a good way I think. Haha.
I convinced myself after reading a blog, I was going to stick with leggings. So I bought several cute pair, took one pair of jeans, one jean skirt and that was it. I HATED the leggings. I am a jeans girl! Plus it is damp in Ireland so I guess I felt like jeans were a better option. Next time, I will go with what I am comfortable in not what the lists say. We had access to washers and dryers and after we figured out how to run quick cycles, the washers were handy! In my suitcase next time I will have 3 pairs of jeans and one pair of leggings. Keeping it simple and working my way toward a carry on only!
SHIRTS and SWEATERS
This is where layering comes in handy. My favorite was a tank, under a light weight sweater, under one of my handy dandy water resistant coats! It was actually quit perfect! Super simple. Layering was definitely key! I had two sweaters I didn't wear so I will drill that down a bit too! Still focused on the carry on!
I did lug my computer around. I won't do that again, because although we had some WIFI, it wasn't the greatest and I was just too busy to hop on and do any work.
I brought my straightener and curling iron totally ready to make sure my hair was picture
ready every day. I rarely use a blow dryer, because, well, I don't think it is that healthy for my hair and my hair dries in minutes in the hot dry Arizona heat and ummm, well, we were in Ireland with a forecast of some kind of rain everyday. At the end of the day, just some hair products would have been perfect. I loved having some cute caps and would probably
invest in a couple others for next trip! I'd bring my straightener again just for the kinky piece that won't lay down right, but it packs up easy, doesn't take up much room and works with the converters. My motto, less is more and I am still working toward that goal of a carry on!
Speaking of converters. Google it. There is an unlimited amount of information out there. Take a minute to understand the outlet situation. I can share my experience, but at the end of the day, it's just good practice to know what you might need and have a general understanding.
We did pack an umbrella but didn't use it. Our hoods and caps worked fine but I would take it again. It really doesn't take up room and it just feels like we should have an umbrella in Ireland.
As I travel more and more, it becomes more clear how lucky I am that I get to experience these amazing places, having comfy shoes is paramount and no one cares if my hair was straightened in the morning before I went out in the rain. I am finding great reward when I am challenged in the art of improvising and adapting. Frizzy hair, the same pair of jeans, sketchers for a dinner out really do not matter. What matters is, I was just in Ireland, kissing my guy on the Cliffs Of Moher, drinking wine and beer with friends, getting stuck in a giant sandbox and pushing the car out, after we drove across an ocean (yes we did drive across an ocean) Those are the kind of memories I am making and is a convincing argument that I found the luck of the Irish at some point in my life.