Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Packing Report: Two Weeks In Ireland in November.

Hi! I am still jet-lagged because an eight-hour time difference will fuck. you. right. up. I don't know that I really realized how much longer it would take from the West Coast but from doorstep to doorstep it was close to 24 hours of travel each way with absolutely no sleep because I just can't ever sleep on a plane. (I tried to catch a nap during our layover in Amsterdam but a bunch of bros sitting on the other side of the bench started having a loud, braggy conversation and let's just say it was touch and go on my ending up in an Amsterdam prison.)

I've never taken a two week trip anywhere (seriously!) so packing was more of a challenge than normal. Two weeks is a long damn time to be away from my closet and I'm definitely not a minimalist but I managed to pack just the right amount of things and I wore everything I brought which has never happened. I took my Calpak 24" suitcase (similar to this one) which I checked and my Lo & Sons Hanover Deluxe backpack was my carry-on item.

Just a note: I bought the Hanover Deluxe backpack right before the pandemic started so I'd never traveled with it before. It's big, but if you take out the insert it's surprisingly lightweight and holds a ton. I also love the little top zip pocket which was great for holding my phone and my passport. Best of all, it has a suitcase sleeve and fits under an airplane seat. It was SUCH a good travel bag. Five stars. 

Another note: Please don't come at me for checking my bag. It was just impossible to pack a carry-on for a two week trip in November, especially knowing I wanted to buy things while I was there. Don't be afraid to check a bag! 

Now, here's what I brought: 

- Three cashmere sweaters (Everlane and Quince)
- Vuori Halo sweatshirt  (a new purchase - super comfy and cute as hell.)
- Five long-sleeve layers for underneath sweaters (these are great and easy to hand-wash!)

- Two pairs of jeans (Madewell grey skinny and blue Perfect Vintage)
- Two pairs of Athleta pants (Lined Chelsea Cargo and Headlands Hybrid legging)

- All my Eby underwear, two bras
- This hideous but comfy wireless bra from Bobbie & Evelyn (the best to wear on a long flight)
- A bunch of socks, mostly Bombas (the Performance calf sock are great with boots!)
- Pajamas (aka Quince joggers, sweatshirt and an old Everlane tee. Sexy.) 

- Cole Haan Chelsea boots
- Blundstone Chelsea boots (reviewed here)
- AllBirds Tree Runner sneakers

- Helly Hansen Long Belfast coat (worn here)
- Uniqlo packable ultra light down jacket
- Mountain Hardwear Hybrid Hoodie (confession: I only wore this once.) 

- Hammitt VIP crossbody bag
- Two scarves and my Quince cashmere beanie (which I lost immediately.)

This was basically perfect for two weeks, though we did do laundry halfway through because I didn't have enough tees, underwear and socks to get me through two weeks. I also hand-wash a few things towards the end of the trip.

A few items that out-performed: 

My Blundstone boots were THE BEST. They kept my feet warm and dry and were super comfortable. I'm already considering another pair, perhaps something a bit dressier like this heeled version

My AirPods Pro. OMG you guys. These are what you need on an airplane when you just need the noise level to be... less. When I wanted to check out, I put these in on the noise-canceling setting and it was like floating on a quiet cloud. Just get them. You won't be sorry.

My Helly Hansen jacket was great. It's warm and mostly waterproof, but not in the way a proper raincoat is. Instead of shedding rain the top layer kind of...dries fast? Hard to explain. It stayed dry on the inside but the outside layer definitely got soaked at one point:

Hi. It's raining sideways. Other than this particular outing, we didn't get a ton of rain and the weather was pretty mild until the last few days, so I wore my Uniqlo down jacket quite a bit. It's also a good one - light but warm and packs down into a little bag. 

Oh, and my Athleta Chelsea Cargo lined pants were great for the long flights - super comfy and warm but not bulky.

Stuff and stuff: 

For my "stuff" I used my trusty old LL Bean hanging toiletry bag and also brought my little travel flat iron but left my mini hair dryer at home. (I missed it - hotel dryers are the worst.) I keep my makeup in this Dagne Dover bag which I've had for years! My new lighted travel mirror was a great purchase - it's a bit clunky but was so great for putting on makeup in under-lit hotel rooms. 

Finally, I know travel cubes are polarizing but I freaking love them. I love them so much I'm thinking about buying a nicer set because I am a mess when it comes to keeping a suitcase tidy and cubes are a game-changer. Does anyone have the Away cubes? I want those. 

That's it for the packing report! Next up I'll post about what we saw and did in Dublin and Cork. (And also what I bought!)


  1. Wow! That's awesome that you wore everything and didn't have to jettison any under performing item.

    1. Ha! I actually did - I totally forgot. I had a cheap Hanes long sleeved tee that I panic bought right before the trip and it turned out to be so stiff and itchy that I ditched it.

  2. I strongly believe in the checked bag. Strongly. I hate lugging stuff around in the airport, stuffing it up, and I love buying things where I travel. You did good!

  3. What is is about the Amsterdam airport? We ended up there after a long delay in Montreal made us miss our connection in Reykjavik. I remember none of this but apparently I tried to start a fight with a group of Italian travelers who weren't being very polite. I'm going to blame being awake for a day and a half...

    1. It was a weird airport - people were very pushy.

  4. Do you have anything specific for carrying your toiletries? I'm looking at the Cadence pods but they are hella expensive. I'm leaning towards silicone containers from Amazon. Would love your suggestions.

    1. Yes, I posted about it here:

      These little bottles were not a perfect solution - they're tiny and really only work for serums, but they were a decent, if not perfect, solution for this trip. I am trying very hard not to give into the Cadence pods! So cute, so expensive.

  5. I would be completely paralyzed trying to pack for two weeks.

    I have a question about the Blundstones. Is the opening small? I bought a pair of Timberlands and I felt like my ankles/lower calf was swimming in them and I hate them. I'm not sure Chelsea boots are for me, but the opening on these *looks* smaller in the pictures.

    1. I would say yes, the opening is pretty small! I have to wedge my feet in to get them on. I prefer a lower shaft for Chelsea boots and they should fit closely on your ankle.

  6. I got my first set of packing cubes in an Alltrue box and have made 2 weekend trip and totally forgot I have them. I need to put them IN my suitcase so I will remember to use them! I have expat family and they always bring the largest suitcase full of empty bags to take home, I never knew checking bags was controversial. Glad you had a good trip!

    1. Back when we started traveling internationally I had a couple of folks in the comment freak out that I was checking a bag. It was a direct flight! Settle down, people.