December 2021

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PACKING FOR A STAYCATION

Holidaying at home was the approach last summer and research indicates that most people and families are opting to stay in Ireland again this summer for their holidays. The uncertainty of situations overseas, pre and post-holiday Covid tests, coupled with possible quarantine mean that staying at home seems so much more convenient for the time being. However, holidaying in Ireland means having to navigate the uncertain weather that is a feature of every Irish summer.

How do you pack for an Irish staycation?

The urge to fill the car is hard to supress. Without a baggage limit it can be easy to bring your entire wardrobe – and the kitchen sink! Make it easy on yourself by curating your choices as you pack so you have less decisions to make when you’re away. Here are my tips taking erratic weather conditions into account. Be clear that your wardrobe must be functional and useful depending on where you are going and what you are planning to do. If you are checking into a campsite your requirements will be very different to those if you are checking into a hotel.  

Start with your shoes

Build your outfits from the ground up - literally. (I always pack or wear walking boots while travelling – we generally have active holidays.) I recommend one comfortable pair of flats and a pair of sandals. If you are planning dinners out then consider heels or a pair of shoes that are a little more formal.

Trousers/Skirts/Shorts

Choose neutral colours so all your tops blend harmoniously with all your bottoms. Bring shorts or skirts and trousers so you can mix and match depending on how often you see the sun. If you won’t have access to a washing machine, consider your darker neutrals first.

Tops

Think about layering so you can dress for fluctuations in temperature. Vests are very useful as they can be worn under shirts and dresses or on their own with shorts. Choose colourful tops that will work with all your bottoms so you can make more outfits with less items. A top that goes with four bottoms gives you four outfits. Add a second top which also goes with the same four bottoms and you have eight outfits. A light cashmere cardigan or jumper in a neutral colour is easy to layer for evening or when eating outdoors. Or pack a sleeveless knit, perfect for layering over a t-shirt, shirt or shirt-dress.

Outdoor wear

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing,”  said Ranulph Fiennes, the polar explorer.  In Ireland, rain and wind is generally guaranteed at some point during the summer. Good light rainwear is essential and will also protect from onshore winds. A trench coat is useful for a city or urban environment.  Choose your rainwear in one of the brighter colours from your seasonal palette for a vibrant touch.

Dresses

One or two is generally enough for a week away. Ensure you can layer up for evening or outdoor dining. Bring a pashmina or wrap and make sure your knitwear will tone.

Accessories

Once you have laid everything out, it is easier to choose your accessories. Adding a belt, necklace and earrings will elevate your look and these are light and easy to pack. Consider your swimwear, beach wrap, sunhat and sportswear. Choosing bright, vibrant colours for the beach or the pool will keep your look casual and fun.

Carry a Blanket
We’re in the middle of an outdoor summer – for eating and entertainment. The new accessory is a blanket. Find a colourful one, carry it in an exciting bag and you’ll be toasty whatever the weather.