San Francisco is a rather excellent tourist destination year-round. Like other coastal West Coast cities in the USA, San Francisco has a temperate climate. The average temperature difference between July (the hottest month) and January (the coldest month) is only 7 degrees Celsius (the average highs between these months range from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius).
This might seem cold, and it makes sense why the public in San Francisco joke about not having a summer. Even in the warmer months of San Francisco, it’s wise to pack a raincoat and layers, as the weather can change irregularly. There’s also a constant fog that rolls in off the Pacific Ocean; it is so common in San Francisco, locals call it Karl!
Put together this packing trip checklist based on the overall weather of San Francisco and the things to own while you are exploring the city.
What should I carry on my San Francisco trip?
1. Rain jacket: San Francisco gets about an average of 70 rainy days per year, mostly between November and March. If you’re visiting San Francisco in the winter, any checklist needs to start with a rain jacket.
2. Sweater: San Francisco is infamous for disappointing traveling visitors who come anticipating warm weather. Even during the summer, it usually gets only a low 21 degrees Celsius, so a sweater is one of the essential items to carry to San Francisco.
3. Scarf: A scarf is a simple way to make a sweater look more chill, and it’s something you can quickly put on or take off in acknowledgment of San Francisco’s unpredictable weather. A medium-weighted scarf will be helpful for nearly any time of year and will take up practically no space in your bag.
4. Tights/leggings: For women, adding leggings or tights is an easy way to make dresses and skirts more suitable for cold weather. Unless you visit in September, the warmest month of San Francisco, you’ll probably want them more often than not.
5. Swimsuit: Whether you’re prepared to jump into the cold water to swim in the ocean, intending to visit nearby hot springs, or want to appreciate your hotel’s pool, a swimsuit needs to be on any San Francisco packing checklist.
6. Sandals and walking shoes: If you’re planning to visit San Francisco during the warmer months, you’ll presumably want a pair of sandals, especially for going to the beach or walking around your hotel freely. Walking shoes are also useful when it comes to walking long distances.
7. Camera: While taking pictures on smartphones are quite convenient, it’s worth investing in a professional camera to get better photos of your outings. The Canon Powershot is lightweight and doesn’t demand any special skills to use, so it’s an excellent choice for travelers who want to capture the memories of their trips but aren’t diehard photographers.
8. Rolling luggage: Unless you’re planning on hauling your luggage all around San Francisco, or are just a committed backpacker, rolling luggage will be the most comfortable. You can always buy one from the luggage store San Francisco. This one is little enough to be used as a carry-on but big enough to carry everything you’ll need for a short, quick trip.
9. Umbrella: Unless you want the risk of getting soaked in one of the city’s winter rainstorms, make sure a handy umbrella is on your list of things to take to San Francisco. This is a must between November and March, but the city’s weather can be irregular, so it’s not unwise to bring one any time of year.
10. Reusable cloth bag: Reusable and recyclable cloth bags are always a good choice for environmentally-friendly shopping trips, but in an eco-loving city like San Francisco, they’re necessarily required. Do your part for Mother Earth, and avoid the unsightly looks you’d get for using plastic there, and put a cloth bag on your packing list for San Francisco.
Honorable mentions: Sunscreen, Solid Shampoo, TSA approved travel-sized bottles, Packing Cubes, and Water Bottles.
The traveling checklist can never be completed without the addition of personal taste. Carry a journal if you are a writer, a sketchbook if you are an artist, camera if you are a photographer, it’s all about preference. Buckle up and get ready to explore the magic of San Francisco.
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