San Diego Vacation Packing Tips, What to Bring

A San Diego vacation provides visitors a mild-weather escape year-round. In fact, its climate is one reason the city ranks among the top vacation destinations in the U.S., as well as one of the best in the world by National Geographic Traveler. Due to San Diego’s location on the Pacific Ocean’s coast, temperatures can vary daily. While average summer highs reach about 76 degrees, evenings and winter nights can dip into the 40s and 50s. To help plan accordingly, we rounded up some packing tips for your San Diego vacation.

What to Pack for Your San Diego Vacation

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San Diego is located in sunny California, so keep skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays with sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with high SPF for better protection, and reapply as directed.


For additional sun protection and to show off your style, pack a couple of hats. Find ones with large brims to cover your face and neck, and pick a few different colors and styles. Not only will you stay cooler and protected, you’ll look great too.

Jackets, Pants

San Diego’s ocean breezes lead to cooler evening temperatures. Dressing in layers and packing jackets help you acclimate to the weather and stay comfortable. From December to April lows can dip into the 40s, so packing a few pairs of pants and sweatshirt is also a good idea.


Protective eye wear has become increasingly important, as specialists have proven the sun’s rays damage the eyes as well as the skin. It’s best to buy and pack a couple of pairs of sunglasses, and wear them while driving and sightseeing. Make sure the sunglasses cover the eyes and surrounding areas, and offer UVA and UVB protection.

Comfortable Footwear

If planning to visit the beach, flip flops are always a popular choice. However, San Diego houses many more attractions and things to do. Pack walking shoes, or something as comfortable, to make sure your feet stay happy while you walk around the city. Experts also recommend hiking boots for those planning to visit one of the many trails.

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Cool, Casual Clothing

San Diego is known for its laid-back vibe and cool, casual atmosphere. Minus a couple of in-season dresses for a night out, T-shirts and shorts are among the norm. Don’t forget the swimsuits and trunks if planning to spend the day on the beach.

Beach Gear

Whether relaxing with a good book or riding waves, no San Diego vacation is complete a trip to the beach. The area features 17 miles of coastline with nearly a dozen beaches. Popular beach items include chairs, umbrellas, wet suits, blankets, towels, kids beach toys and a bag to stow belongings.


San Diego’s landscape and scenery also provide the ideal backdrop for photos. Sure, a smartphone works well, but there’s the risk of draining your battery. Take a point-and-shoot camera to capture vacation memories, or pack a GoPro to record the action. If using a smartphone, download the Vacay card app to send picture postcards to loved ones.

View San Diego vacation rentals and start planning today! Read about San Diego’s nightlife scene and find your chill spot.