(ENG only) When I decided to take a 17 days solo trip across Ireland and Northern Ireland, I knew it would be a little bit of a challenge, considering the unpredictable irish weather and the season not being exactly summery and warm. But if you’re familiar with me and my content, you know that I love traveling light using just my carry-on-sized backpack and, on top of that, I believe that packing for autumnal or winter-like weather is not much different than packing for a summer holiday. As always, all you need is a little bit of preparation: it’s not a matter of packing lots of bulky layers, but just a matter of packing the right things.
Recently, when I posted a little “packing preview” on Instagram, some of you asked to see what I’ve packed for this a-little-over-two-weeks trip to Ireland, so today I am going to share all of this with you, listing everything I brought (divided per category). But first things first, a few tips to help you pack minimally.
How to pack light and travel carry on only anytime, anywhere
• always check the weather and pack accordingly, keeping in mind what types of activities you’re going to do (e.g there’s no point in packing high heels if you’re going hiking… okay dumb example but you get the point)
• choose versatile items
• pack smart: like I mentioned above, if you’re going somewhere where the weather is uncertain or chilly/cold, you don’t need lots of bulky clothes, but just the right ones. Make sure to bring the right fabrics and layers.
• don’t forget that you can always do laundry during your trip! This means that you don’t have to bring one set of clothes and undergarments for every day that you will be traveling, but you can bring less of them and either hand wash every couple of days (I do this all the time with underwear) or go to a laundromat and do laundry.
• be confident about the fact that you need much less than you think to enjoy your travel and be safe and adequately prepared too. I started traveling using exclusively my carry on backpack years ago and haven’t looked back since.
• find a carry on bag that you like and try to stick to it. Having limited space in your bag makes you redefine what your essentials really are! (for example, I can do without a few extra clothes but there’s no way I’m leaving my reusables at home!!). So if it fits, great; if it doesn’t fit, then rethink the items you’ve already packed or simply do without.
• prioritize a wonderful experience over things. What is really going to last and matter are the memories and experiences you’ll bring back with you and not the souvenirs or random stuff you’ll might buy during your trip
Keeping all the above in mind, I was able to pack everything nicely and comfortably in my backpack, making it 9kg heavy. For easy access, I’ve put my essentials (wallet, passport, food for the plane ride, pouch with tablet and cell phone) in my reusable cotton bag. This bag was about 1,5-2 kg (with food for the plane in it) and I’ve found overall very easy to get on and off trains and buses and even walk around so far.
Minimalist packing for 17 days in Ireland and Norther Ireland
After posting that picture on Instagram, I got a lot of questions about the backpack that I use. For about 4 years now I have been using the Carry On 45 Convertible Backpack by Lowe Alpine and I absolutely love it. It is the standard size allowed by most of the airlines as a carry on bag and it can be carried as a bag with the handle or cross body or, my favorite and only way to use it, as a backpack. The backpack straps can be tucked away or put together in just a few seconds and using the bag as a backpack allows you to easily move around keeping your hands free. The fabric is very robust and heavy duty, there are handy pockets for storage (I always use the front pocket for liquids and the padded back pocket for my laptop or tablet) and holds really really well. I traveled with it many times to San Marino to visit my family and then to Bologna, Rome, Amsterdam, Tallinn, Malta, Asia, Mallorca, Bali, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Alicante and now across Ireland. It still looks brand new and all I do is quickly wipe it clean as needed or hand wash it. Cannot recommend it enough (I bought the exact same one as a gift for babe and he loves it too. No, I’m not sponsored or paid by anyone, this is my true honest opinion).
“Now Jenny, enough with the chit chats already, just tell us what you packed!!!”
What I’ve packed for Ireland and Northern Ireland
• phone (+ charger)
• iPad (+ charger) to read, watch Netflix, write blog posts, search for info and book tickets or tours
• notebook & pen
Toiletries (non liquids)
• bamboo toothbrush
• toothpaste tabs
• solid shampoo & soap bar (kept in a separate soap pouch)
• safety razor (the blade got taken by airport security, so Ihad to buy blades here in Ireland)
• menstrual cup + 3 reusable pads
• mascara and pencil eyeliner
• tweezers and nail clippers
• diy makeup removing pads
• supplements and medications (put them in my toiletry bag for practical reasons. I haven’t brought the whole box, just the amount needed or what I thought would be a good “just in case” quantity… yep, a little “just in case” is allowed in my opinion when we’re talking about health)
• hair tie
• Niaciamide 10% Zinc 1% by The Ordinary
• Buffet Serum by The Ordinary
• DIY moisturizer (a mix of aloe vera gel and Rose Hip Oil by The Ordinary)
• Contact lenses (3 pairs, just in case… the last thing I want is having to buy contacts because the only pair I brought broke or got lost and I could have brought from home or having to wear glasses in the rainiest country ever)
• Travel size contact lenses solution
Clothes & accessories
• 3 bras
• 7 pairs of socks
• 2 t-shirts
• 2 long sleeve shirts
• 1 long button down shirt (doubles as a dress)
• cotton sweatshirt
• cashmere blend sweater
• foldable puffer vest
• knitted headband
• 1 pjs (t-shirt, leggings, thick socks)
• small bum bag (to keep my essentials secure and easy to access during daily exploring)
• lightweight backpack for daily exploring
• 2 necklaces and 1 pair of earrings
(Everything fitted into a large packing cube)
• button down cropped cardigan
• cotton oversized scarf
• waterproof fleece lined jacket
• waterproof chelsea boots (these Dr. Martens boots are the only pair of shoes I brought!!! They’re perfect for a rainy, unpredictable weather but comfortable and stylish too, so they complement very well every outfit option I brought along).
Zero waste travel essentials
• water bottle
• zero waste travel kit (reusable bags for grocery shopping)
• spork & cotton napkin
• cotton handkerchief
• stainless steel container (initially filled with my dinner for the plane and then meant to be used during the trip)
• foldable coffee cup
• cotton laundry bag
• flip flops (primarily for hostel purposes…thank me later)
• 2 microfiber towels (to use in hostels and for the sunrise swim with the Happy Pear in Greystones planned with my friend Natasha
• bathing suit
• small birthday/thank you gift for my friend Natasha
NOTE: I decided NOT to pack an umbrella. I believe that in usually windy rainy places using an umbrella is quite pointless, so I personally rather wear a waterproof jacket with a hood and be able to walk freely in the rain with my hands free.
This is everything I brought with me for these 17 days of solo travel. I hope you’ve enjoyed this thorough packing list and let me know if you have any questions!
Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored. However, by clicking on the links above, you support the work I do with my blog and Youtube channel at no extra cost for you. Also, for more information on the ethical brands that I support and I work with, you can check the following links to their websites:
Thank you. <3