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What to pack for a trip to the USA whatever the season

Thinking about getting started on what to wear and pack for your epic trip to the USA? Our first tip is this – keep it neat and casual no matter what the season.

Wear whatever makes you comfortable on your trip to the USA

The USA is a world in one country. It also happens to be one of the world’s largest countries, based on its vast geographical area, so a great deal will depend on where you’re headed.

When you throw that into the mix with an incredibly diverse landscape – you name it, the USA probably has it – you’ll realise that planning on what to pack for your trip to the USA is probably more of an art, than science. And that means pretty much anything goes based on your personal style.

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Planning for your trip to the USA

New York can be blistering hot in summer and freezing in winter

The hardest part of figuring out than what to pack for your trip to the USA, has to be deciding what to see and do. That’s because America is vast, diverse and complex. From the sun-kissed shores of California to the incredible national parks in the west, the jazz vibes in New Orleans to the sophistication of New York, this country has something for everyone, no matter what your into.

To help get your packing list off to the best start, follow these handy tips on what to wear and pack in the USA for every season. This will set the right tone for the incredible journey of discovery on which you’re about to embark on. Buckle up and enjoy the ride – rain or shine.

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What to wear in the USA

Go from cowboy boots in Texas to sportswear in Chicago - anything goes when it comes to what you wear on your trip to the USA

The US often sets the trend in fashion, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a fashionista to fit right in. The key here is comfort and self-expression. But what this looks like on the ground vastly differs from region to region, the season, and even to sub-cultures of which there are many in the USA.

You could go from sportswear in Chicago to cowboy boots and workwear in Houston. Our advice? Wear what makes you most comfortable, depending on where and when you visit. Both are the departure point for planning what you’ll be wearing on any trip to the USA year-round.

Pack a warm coat when you're planning what to wear in the USA

From sub-zero temperatures in America’s north-west and sunny mild days in Florida during winter, to foggy San Francisco summers and the searing highs in San Antonio, the temperature differences can be vast in the same season. That means packing smart is so critical when deciding what to wear in the USA. Layers, Y’all!

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What to pack for your trip to the USA

There’s precious little you wouldn’t be able to buy at your end destination. But in the interests of maximising your sightseeing time, here are some of the non-negotiables you should pack for your unforgettable trip to the USA, whatever the season.

Travel adaptor

The USA operates on 120V supply which means it falls within the 240V range that much of the rest of the world operates on. All you’ll need is a travel adaptor to fit the American plug socket.

Walking shoes

Add sturdy walking shoes at the Grand Canyon

There’s every likelihood that you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet if your US trip planner features the outdoors, which it should. So, a pair of sturdy lace-up walking shoes or sandals will give you the support you need for the trip.

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Dollar bills

America’s tipping culture is renowned. Have a couple of dollar bills at hand to make it easy for you to follow the example of your generous hosts.

Reusable water bottle

Drinking water quality in the USA is generally safe. By carrying a reusable water bottle with you, you’ll minimise on the bottled water you buy and minimise your environmental footprint while travelling.

Portable WiFi

You may be grateful for access to Internet throughout your trip to the USA

The convenience of having WiFi throughout your journey cannot be underestimated, especially when you’re out and about. While Internet coverage is good in shops and restaurants, and travellers can buy SIM cards for US networks, you typically need a US-based credit card or cash to top-up your data. It’s easier to invest in portable WiFi and be connected at your convenience.  

Excited about your thrilling trip to the USA? What’s on your packing list and where are you going? Perhaps you’ve visited previously and have a great tip for a USA trip planner. We want to hear it all in the comments below!

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