Whether you are coming to Dublin for your University, Erasmus or English School Programme, prepare to move to another country can be quite a challenge. You first need to be mentally ready and sure that you made the right decision, then you have to find out where you are going to study and also look for student accommodation to live. But there is something we tend not to give that much importance and usually give us more headaches at the end, which is: packing our bags. I know It can be very stressful, especially if you are a materialistic person like me and would pack your entire bedroom in your bag if it fitted. Unfortunately, you don’t have Felix the Cat’s Magic Bag and you will have to leave most of your stuff behind.
I don’t think you want to go out shopping straight away as soon as you land, right? For this reason, I have selected 8 essential items you should pack in your bag in order to survive in Ireland. I know that you may be thinking now like you were moving to another planet or something, “what are the things I would use there which I don’t use here?!” No, you are not going to Mars. I would just like to remind you of the important things that you will use here more often than in your home country.
Are you ready? Here we go:
1 – Rain Jacket
Ireland’s weather is well known for being very unpredictable – we do have four seasons in one day – rain, rain, a bit of sun and, maybe, more rain. You should know that a really good rain jacket will be an essential piece in your wardrobe, you will definitely wear it almost every day. Speaking about my own experience, I didn’t bring a rain jacket with me, but I thought an umbrella would be more than enough. Well, I had forgotten one very important detail… The wind! Yes, the wind in Ireland is out of this world! Especially in wintertime. I have seen wheelie bins being blown by the away in the streets, birds struggling to fly in the sky and even people having trouble to walk. Seriously, my umbrella did not last one day. Better be ready for that!
2 – Umbrella
You might be a bit confused right now, especially after knowing about my own experience. But I forgot to mention one thing, an umbrella can be very useful when there is no wind, like summertime. In my opinion, you should get a bubble umbrella, since it covers almost half of your body and it is less likely to invert from the wind. You must be willing to put your hands in your pocket because good Umbrella is more expensive, but it definitely will last longer in Ireland!
3 – Pair of Shoes/ Boots
It’s all about avoiding to get wet here! Very comfy and waterproof shoes should be already in your feet the day you are coming to the Emerald Isle. I never thought I would walk so much in my life. When you are living in Dublin, you get so used to going anywhere on foot that you kind forget that bus or car exist. Maybe it comes because once you are in the city center, every place you want to go seems to be nearby. That is why I recommend bringing at least one pair of very comfortable shoes. If you are a big fan of boots like me, then you will be happy to know that you can wear them every day if you want to (even in summer). Boots are perfect because they can protect your legs from the cold wind and rain, not forgetting to mention that they are also very stylish. Make sure your shoes are waterproof since it is not new to anyone that it rains most of the time in Ireland. In this case, opt for leather or welly boots.
4 – Hiking Shoes/Trousers
If you are a very active person, looking for adventures or, even if you’re not, you will become once you are here. I was not that adventures before moving to Ireland, the maximum I had ever done was walking on the beach in the mornings. The many cool places to go hiking in Ireland with breathtaking landscapes anyone would appreciate , like Bray, Wicklow or Howth, made me get off my butt at the weekends and go for a long walk in mornings. Therefore, these two items shouldn’t be forgotten.
5 – Windbreaker and Waterproof Winter Coat
Typical winter weather in Ireland is mostly with an average temperature between 4-6 degrees, high humidity levels, and stronger and freezing winds. The rain and the wind can make it feel colder than it’s, so bringing a windbreaker and waterproof winter coat will definitely help you survive in those days.
6 – Pants
Forget about warm shorts, bikinis, and flip-flops. You’ll rarely use them here in Ireland or maybe never, even in the summer, which usually only last for 3 days. The weather in Ireland is never predictable, no matter what season and how blue the sky is, it can turn into a very warm day to extremely cold in a blink of an eye. For this reason, before going out, you should always ensure you wear at least one item to cover either your arms or legs. You shouldn’t get into the plane without ensuring you have at least 3 different pairs of jeans trousers in your luggage. You will definitely wear them at any season, they are comfortable, durable and will keep you warm.
7 – Socks, Gloves, Hat and Scarf
Bring plenty of socks with you, you will wear them every single day. You may want to carry a spare sock in your before heading to you go out, just in case your feet get wet, wear them to sleep on the cold nights. I also recommend buying a leather pair of gloves, so you will not have your hands soaked or frozen because of the rain and wind. Hats are also another essential item, for the cold days or for you, girls, to prevent your hair from getting messy because of the wind.
8 – Travel Adapter
Being a student living in Dublin can be one of the most enriching decisions you can ever take in your life. Dublin is a wonderful city to live in, replete with history, music, friendly people, incredible landscapes, well-preserved castles and pubs (lots of them)!
Do pack everything from the list before coming, but don’t ever forget to bring these two more important things within you: Number 1 An open mindset, to dive into new adventures, explore new cultures and make new friends. Number 2: a more positive attitude towards life to help you face challenges, achieve your goals and, most importantly, keep a smile on your face.
Make sure you have everything ready before moving to the Emerald Isle! I wish you guys all the best of luck with your studies and that this experience brings you only positive changes to your life like it did to mine!