Your travel checklist
From clothing to currency, here's everything you need in your suitcase for your Ireland trip
Ireland has a saying: There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. In other words, a little planning goes a long way. "Packing for Irish weather can be summed up in one word: layers", says Gerry Britt, veteran visitor to Ireland from Virginia, USA. "T-shirts, light sweaters, a good waterproof jacket and a waterproof hat."
But it's not ALL about layers: do pack swimwear for Ireland's magnificent beaches. "They'll be golden, glorious, usually deserted and begging for you to dive straight in," says Gerry, who also advises bringing sunglasses to protect your eyes from hail, rain and wind – and the sun, when it does shine.
"Last, but not least, walking is one of the pleasures of Ireland so bring a solid pair of walking boots or at least a comfortable pair of trainers."
5 top tips
The currency used in the Republic of Ireland is the euro (€) while Northern Ireland's currency is the pound sterling (£). When crossing between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland you can exchange your money in shops, gas stations, bureaux de change and banks. You should also check the exchange rate when changing money.
ATMs are found all over the country and it's a convenient way of dealing with your money during your stay.
Vias and Mastercard are widely used, while American Express cards may not always be accepted. Credit cards can be used for purchases and also to access money from ATMs. Each ATM has a list of card symbols that can be used there (bank charges may apply).
Ireland has a "chip and pin" system for debit and credit card purchases, which means you key your pin into a pinpad. If your card doesn't have a chip, most retailers will still accept it and you can just sign for your purchases.
Traveller's cheques are not widely used and most banks won't accept them, so bring cash or cards instead.
Smartphones, e-readers, tablets and laptops – where would we be without them? If you're planning to bring your favourite devices with you when you travel, here's what you need to know.
Plugs in Ireland are three-pronged and the electricity supply is 230v/50hz. Bring an adapter so you can keep your devices charged up. And consider a portable power bank to avoid the dreaded dead battery.
Most of us are happy enough to use the camera on our smartphone but if you're serious about your photography, a camera is a must, says Gerry.
"Views and picture-perfect moments tend to pop up a lot in Ireland, so don't forget the battery charger and spare memory cards for it either – a common mistake!"
There are tons of nifty little apps available for download that'll help you get the most from your trip to Ireland, and most of them are free!
Any tips for when I get to Ireland?
Expert as he is on coming and going, Gerry has a little more advice for when you arrive: "Transfer your clothes to one bag and leave the other for all your purchases. This way, you're not rummaging through both bags looking for dry socks while destroying Christmas ornaments, Belleek vases, and Waterford Crystal goblets. Aran sweaters are better than styrofoam for cushioning."
Good tip, Gerry!