What To Pack For An Irish Cycling Holiday

Cycling holiday in Northern Ireland at the Dark Hedges County Antrim You have chosen to tour Ireland by bicycle.  Congratulations!  You will experience the country at its absolute best.  But what items should your suitcase contain to allow you to really enjoy your Irish bike tour?

You will be familiar with the absolute essentials of travel, such as passport, money, etc., so we won’t go into those.  Whether you carry items such as a camera etc. is totally up to you, so we are not going to list those items either.

Bike Tour Ireland at Kilcar House

Bike Tour Ireland at Kilcar House

If you are a seasoned traveller by bicycle, you will already know what you need to bring.  On the other hand, if you are new to touring by bike, or have not spent time cycling in Northern Europe, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • There is absolutely no need to dress like a professional cyclist in order to be ready to enjoy a cycling holiday.  Comfort is your primary objective.  If you find lycra best – then perfect!  If you wouldn’t be seen dead in lycra – then still perfect!
  • Keep in mind that Ireland’s weather is legendary for its unpredictability.  At any time of year, the weather in Ireland can be constantly sunny or, just as easily, there could be some rain every day.  Rain is not necessarily a bad thing.  After a hot sunny spell, rain showers can be really refreshing.  As well as that, the ever changing light and shadows can add a magical touch to the landscape.  However, it does mean that you need to put a little more thought into packing.
  • There’s an old saying about packing that says; “you should pack what you think you will need, then take away half of it.”  Keep in mind that you will probably be passing through airports, getting on trains and buses, etc.  The less you have to carry, the easier it will be for you. Most of the accommodation on your cycling holiday will be in small bed and breakfasts.  These will not have lifts (elevators.)

Highlights of the Highlands cycling tour Tim and Kathy

For the time that you will spend on your bicycle, here is a list of items we recommend:

  • High visibility vest
  • Helmet.  We recommend that you bring your own.  (We can supply a used helmet if you find it’s too bulky to pack one.)
  • Shorts and/or ¾ length pants and/or long pants for cycling (many people choose padded versions.)
  • A few long sleeved and short sleeved cycling jerseys or comfortable shirts/t-shirts
  • Good quality waterproof jacket and trousers (preferably breathable.)
  • Wind-breaker jacket
  • Ideally, waterproof booties that fit over your shoes
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 or above.)  Keep in mind security restrictions at airports
  • Sun visor or Sunglasses
  • You may want to bring a swimsuit + towel (especially if you’re here during the summer months.)
  • Small personal First Aid kit (to include plasters/anti-histamine/hand sanitiser.)

For when you are not on your bicycle

Casual dress is more than acceptable in virtually all the places where you are likely to eat or socialise.

Some suggestions for evening wear: Comfortable long sleeved tops, a few dressy tops if desired, a warm fleece or jacket, long trousers, comfortable footwear (e.g. shoes/trainers/sandals.)

Other Items

Toiletries.  Once again it is essential to keep in mind that security at airports will have restrictions on liquids.  However you will easily be able to stock up on your toiletries while you’re here.

Day bag.  All of our bicycles are provided with a front handlebar bag and a side pannier.  These should easily carry any items you need during the day.  However a small bag to carry personal items may also be useful.

Good luck with the packing, and feel free to contact us if you need any further advice.  We’d be very happy to hear from you.

Kathy cycling in Donegal on the Highlights of the Highlands bike tour.