How I Backpacked Through Ireland with One Carry On


Feb 18, 2017

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In 2014, my sister and I backpacked across Europe for the first time. Now in 2017, we are trekking across Ireland, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my Europe trips and how I plan and pack for them, so I am going to give a few of my favorite tips for packing for this kind of epic adventure. Because we are traveling to Ireland in February, we packed for winter weather, so keep in mind this would look different for a summer adventure.

This is a picture of almost everything I packed for our 1 week backpacking trip to Ireland(not pictured: my backpack, eye mask, jacket, clothes to wear on plane):

Packing Tips for Backpacking through Ireland

  1. 2 pairs of jeans, 5 long sleeve shirts, 1 pair of pajamas bottoms, 1 sleep shirt, 1 sweater, 1 Columbia Omni Heat shirt
  2. 1 light weight sweater shirt, 1 bra, 2 pairs of socks (one heavy for hiking, one light)
  3. Carry on liquids. All under 3 oz. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face moisturizer, travel toothpaste
  4.  Travel wallet. can hold my passport, id, has zippered pockets for money. Bought from Amazon here
  5. 1 gallon ziplock bag filled with 3 quart size bags
    1. Quart Bag 1: makeup bag (1 foundation brush,1 eyeshadow brush, liquid foundation, mascara, eye liner, one eye shadow palatte, chapstick, 3 lipstick colors with moisturizer)
    2. Quart Bag 2: first aid bag (bandaids, allergy medicine, headache medicine, motion sickness medicine, hand wipes, Emergen-C packets,
    3. Quart bag 3: Misc bag (deodorant, makeup remover face wipes)
  6. Gloves and document folder. The folder has our 3 copies of our itinerary that I built using TripIt, all of our reservations and confirmation numbers for the trips we already scheduled, and a map of the city we will be staying in.
  7. Shower Kit: This little pouch is for after I get through security, I move my shower stuff into it. And there is a travel loofah!
  8. Hiking boots: We will be hiking 50+ miles over the week across the countryside and in very different terrain. These are waterproof which makes them perfect for Ireland.
  9. Dr Scholl’s cool fit flats for around town and every day wear
  10. An umbrella for if it starts raining

Tip #1: separate your personal care items into quart size bags and then put them all in 1 gallom bag. The gallon bag can also be used for dirty shoes if they need to go back into your luggage and they are dirty.

Packing Tips for Backpacking through Ireland

Tip #2: Don’t try to break in new shoes during a Europe trip. You will be walking A LOT no matter where you are, so make sure your shoes are comfortable and have been worn.

Packing Tips for Backpacking through Ireland

Tip #3: Print out all of your confirmation numbers and leave a copy of it with someone at home. I left a document with all of my information and where I would be each day with my family at home. That way if I don’t check in, someone knows where I am supposed to be.

Packing Tips for Backpacking through Ireland

Tip #4: Invest in a good backpack. Don’t bother with the ones you can buy in the kids section. Go to an outdoor store and ask to try on backpacks. It’s important to try them on to see if they are comfortable.

Tip#5: Make sure you tell your credit card company that you are travelling.

Tip #6: Packing cubes are lifesavers. I traveled for 6 weeks with living out of a backpack and the packing cubes made that possible. You can find them here.

This is the carry-on on backpack I use for all of my trips. It’s an Osprey Porter 46L backpack and it has been with me on almost every out of town trip I make. The other bag is one I borrow from a sweet friend of mine for my camera equipment. On these trips, I like to have one camera body with me and no more than two lens (this time my 50 mm and my 35mm). It helps me travel light but allows me to document my adventures.

Packing Tips for Backpacking through Ireland

On the plane ride there and back, I wear very comfy clothes that are not restrictive. For this trip I chose a pair of thick leggings, a scarf, and a large pull over sweater. The sweater is too large to put in my backpack so it has to be worn on the plane. Luckily, it makes a nice pillow.

Packing Tips for Backpacking through Ireland

This is my favorite coat that I own. It’s a Columbia Omni Heat jacket that can become two jackets but unzipping them. The inner layer has a layer of insulation and the outer layer is waterproof. Which is perfect for windy, cold Ireland.

I am so excited to share images from my adventure with everyone!! Feel free to comment and ask me any questions you’d like about my travels, how I pack, what we are doing in Ireland,etc.


  1. How I Packed for 14 Days in Europe | Paris, Milan, Stockholm | Photographer’s Tips and Tricks for The Photographer Traveling Abroad » Casie Marie Photography

    February 22nd, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    […] was able to find a great deal! She is on a weeklong backpacking trip to Ireland and shared her tips here. My bag includes: 10  shirts 2 dresses 2 pairs of jeans 4 pairs of leggings 2 sleep shirts 14 […]

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