What to pack for Ireland in May: full packing list and insider tips to be comfortable and stylish in Ireland’s changeable spring weather!
May is a wonderful month for visiting Ireland. A proper spring month, May in Ireland is a time of changeable weather for sure but also a time of bright sky and dry days, one of the nicest of all!
This is the time of the year I love the most for local escapades and day trips and the month that gets me to love Ireland again after the country’s awful winter. Can you see the photo at the top of this post, with that shiny coast that looks like the Caribbean? That’s Ireland in May!
So if a trip to the Emerald Isle in May is on the cards, you are in for a treat and I am more than happy to help you get ready for it.
This is my complete, tried and tested packing list for Ireland in May.
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Table of Contents
What to pack for Ireland in May: essentials
I am going to start this packing list with essentials for all seasons and then drill down on the specifics for the month of May.
- Passport and Visa if required (find Visa requirements for Ireland here)
- Driving Licence
- International driving license if needed (check here Ireland driving requirements)
- Kids birth certificate and authorization to travel letter of the child’s guardian should be traveling to Ireland alone with a child with a different surname as your
- Medication and prescriptions for ongoing conditions/ needs
- A print out of your reservations (cars, hotels, tours etc)
Medications and toiletries
- A well-stocked first-aid kit
- Moisturizing cream for face/hands with UV protection (the combination of sun and wind can be taxing on the skin)
- Allergy tablets – please note that over the counter medications in Ireland may differ from those at home. If you suffer from hay fever, I recommend you bring your own. May in Ireland can be pretty intense if you suffer from hay fever as the flowers are pollens are in full force
- Paracetamol or similar for pain / fever
All your basic toiletries including:
- Body wash/shampoo/conditioner
- Shaving cream/blade
- Women sanitary supplies
- Hair ties
- Moisturizing cream for face /body
- Nail clipper
- Makeup if using
What to wear in Ireland in May
May in Ireland tends to be a mild, dry month however, it also has some rainy days and the changeable and moody weather Ireland is so famous for – it just is a little less moody than usual!
- The average temperature in Ireland in May is 11C/52F
- The average number of rainy days in Ireland in May is 20
Need to know: despite the high number of rainy days, May is usually nice in Ireland. Rain tends to come in showers rather than solid rain for days and this usually allows for nice sightseeing and long days out.
Personal differences and perceptions aside, this is what you need to pack for Ireland in May:
- Mid-season jacket (ideally rainproof)
- Light scarf
- Short-sleeve tops
- Woolen cardigan/sweater
- Long pants/ jeans
- Tights if planning on wearing a skirt/dress
- Good walking shoes such as sneakers/runners
- A pair of nicer shoes (ballerina flats work well in this season)
- Underwear and socks
- Special gear for surfing/hiking if needed
- Swimsuit and flip flops if planning on staying in a spa hotel / going surfing
- Sunglasses: Ireland can get really bright in May!
What to wear in Ireland in May if staying in a castle: Some castle hotels, some high-end restaurants and clubs do request their guests to abide by a certain dress code, especially for the evening meal. Information for each is available on the website of the structure in question, however, usually, this means shirt/tie/suit for men, no sneakers and no denim for both men and women.
What to pack for Ireland in May: tech and gadgets
- Phone with good roaming plan or local sim card
- Hands-free phone holder for car
- Power bank / extra battery pack for charging all your tech
- USB cables
- Ireland travel adapter (3 pins)
- Tablet/kindle if using
- Binoculars for bird watching
- Camera, if separate from the phone
- Wind resistant travel umbrella
- Reusable water bottle
Luggage and bags
You don’t need all of this however, I recommend you choose your bags for Ireland wisely so you don’t’ find yourself awkwardly dragging stuff around!
- Hardshell luggage if driving (super handy to stack in the trunk of the car)
- Travel backpack if traveling light / using the bus or train
- Reusable tote bag for picnics etc
- Wet/dry bags especially if traveling with young kids
- Packing cubes – I find these absolutely wonderful to fit more into just one bag! I use one per child and two per adults and this keeps us going for 1 week / 10 days.
Need to know: if counting on doing laundry on the road, make sure you double check with your hosts that you will have access to a washing machine and a dryer. If staying in B&Bs and guesthouses, access to laundry facilities may not be possible – make sure you plan ahead!
What to pack for the kids
- Safe and Ireland authorities approved car seat (official rules here)
- Kids travel pillow for the plane/car
- Well stocked changing bag
- All-terrain stroller (I prefer these in Ireland to the super-light ones: they are much better when exploring the Irish amazing countryside)
- Rain cover for stroller
- Sun hat and sunglasses for baby
You usually do not need to carry your own high chair or toddler crib: Ireland hotels and restaurants tend to be well equipped and, most of the time, will be able to provide what you need.
If staying in smaller properties and B&Bs, ask for a cot in advance to make sure they have one available on your dates.
I hope you found this packing list for Ireland in May useful. Safe travels!