California Packing List: What to Bring on Your California Getaway

California Packing List What to Bring on Your California Getaway

California enjoys a thriving level of tourism with more than 40 million visitors in a typical year. It’s no surprise either, with major attractions like Hollywood, Disneyland, and Universal Studios in Los Angeles alone. California also sports beautiful beaches, mountains, and natural wonders like Yosemite National Park.

If you’re planning a trip to California, though, you might wonder what you should pack. While every TV show paints California as eternally warm and sunny, the coastal state’s northern area will provide weather more like Oregon.

Keep reading and we’ll help you put together a California packing list that will get you through your visit.

Rain Gear

While Califonia does boast sunny weather most of the year, it does get winter weather. Since the average temperature is moderate there, you can expect rain instead of snow.

If you’re headed there for a quick weekend getaway or a two-week visit during the winter months, make sure you get a raincoat or umbrella packed into your bag.

Pants and a Jacket

You might find yourself only packing shorts, dresses, and light t-shirts for your California vacation, but that’s a rookie error. No matter how hot it gets during the day, it can still become comparatively chilly at night. This is even more true during the late fall and winter.

You’ll want pants or slacks and a jacket in your bags for the chillier nights.

One Nice Outfit

You may not plan on eating out anywhere fancy, but some hotels impose a dress code for their in-house restaurants. Make sure you pack at least one nice outfit, such as a shirt, tie, slacks, and appropriate footwear. For the ladies, a nice dress and shoes should get you by any typical dress code.


Okay, sure, you don’t absolutely need this item packed into your bag. You can buy some sunscreen after you arrive. Except, will you really remember before you head off to the beach?

That last thing you want while visiting California is a painful sunburn.

A Camera

No matter why you head to California, the one thing you want to make sure you bring is a camera. Whether you’re visiting the sites in LA or checking out Yosemite, you’ll see things you’ll want to take pictures of sooner or later.

Unless you’re a very serious amateur, semi-pro, or pro photographer, though, any basic point-and-shoot digital camera will likely get the job done for a weekend in California.

Assembling Your California Packing List

While the things listed above will get you started, you’ll probably want to add things to your California packing list. For example, do you take any daily medications? You always want those on your packing list so you don’t forget.

If hiking is on your to-do list, it’s never a bad idea to pack an ace bandage in case your twist your ankle. Plus, it is California. You’ll probably want a swimsuit, just in case.

Looking for more travel tips? Head over to our Travel Planning section and check out the articles.