As the days shorten and the weather cools, avid travelers know that autumn is one of the best times to travel. For the fall vacationer, this time of year is often ideal, as temperatures tend to be more moderate, crowds have diminished, and some great deals are available on transportation, food, lodging, and more.
If you haven’t chosen a destination yet, we rounded up some of the best fall vacation ideas here. However, the trick is knowing how to pack for this transitional season that could be warm, chilly, or downright cold.
Step 1. Consider the location
Before packing your bags, check to see what the climate will be in the various locations you plan to visit. Consider that Seattle fall outfits will dramatically differ from San Diego fall outfits. If you're heading overseas, packing lists for Europe in the fall will vary depending on which country you intend to visit. Northern cities may have you wondering what to wear in Boston in the fall – early fall and late fall can have dramatically different weather in many of these areas.
Step 2. Choose Between Early and Late Fall Travel Outfits
When you know your location, it's time to figure out how dramatically the weather can vary between an early and late fall trip. Weather-consistent areas, like San Diego, may not vary much between early and late season. Other areas, however, are more likely to have severe or unexpected weather in early fall, but harsher and more inclement weather as the season progresses. The closer you get to winter, the warmer the outfits you want to bring.
If you're unsure how the weather might change, you might need to bring early fall outfits and late fall outfits. Learn how to optimize your packing techniques using Travelpro's lightweight and expandable luggage, like the Maxlight 5 21” Carry-on Expandable Spinner to ensure everything fits and you don't go over your weight allowance.
Step 3. Create a Fall Packing List
Some parts of your list won't change by the season; you will still need the basic toiletries, electronics, and undergarments. What will change, however, are your mid and outer layers. Sweaters, rain jackets, weatherproof shoes, hats, or even gloves might be necessary. To minimize bulk, clothing that acts as a mid and outer layer at the same time can be used. If you’re traveling for business, consider bringing the Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Expandable Carry-On Spinner - uniquely designed to keep clothing wrinkle free.
In addition to your regular travel items, your packing list may include:
- Sturdy weatherproof shoes
- Sweatshirts or sweaters
- Rain or windbreaker jacket
- Pants (plus backups in case of weather mishaps)
- Hat and gloves (both lightweight and heavier)
Of course, there is always the chance that you experience unpredictable weather. Will it be sunny and pleasant, rainy and cool, or snowing? Monitor the weather report in the days leading up to your trip, but be prepared for sudden changes.
Step 4. Pack wisely
If opt to only bring a carry-on bag, you won’t have room to pack clothes for every type of weather. Look at our guide on packing for trips of any length, make use of packing cubes - such as the Travelpro Essentials 3 Pack Packing Cube Set - and if you're running out of room, wear your bulkier items on the plane to free up space.
Fall trips hit differently. The crisp air, the changing leaves, and the shorter days create a festive, seasonal feel. Do your research and pack well so you will be prepared to enjoy the best the season and your destination have to offer.