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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

I Planned my Visit to Palm Springs. Now, what should I pack?

Updated: May 11, 2019

Packing for Palm Springs, California

Since I have had the experience of working in the gift shop, California Style in the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage see what people wish they had packed.

Thus, here is what I deem as essentials items for a Coachella Valley visit. I am using the term Coachella Valley since you may be staying in any of the nine cities that make up our valley. See my blog

A hat Especially during the mid-day sun when you are at the pool, hiking or even running errands, you will be grateful you remembered to pack a hat. Don’t forget to pack hats for the children too.

I learned from a dermatologist one should make sure the brim is at least 4 inches wide to receive the best protection from the sun.

Sunglasses We go no place without them here.

As a side note, one rarely loses her sunglasses here for they are always in use. You may also

You are going to need sunglasses in Palm Springs.

want to buy in advance sunglass readers if you are planning to spend time around the pool reading.

Swimming Suit Even if you think you don’t want to be seen in a swimming suit, you are much better off buying one while you are home. More than likely you will be cajoled into at least a hot tub experience while you are here.

It should be noted, while you would think we have plenty of places to get swimming suits here, the variety and styles are limited. Merchants have come to believe you already have one so, few places carry them.

A Book or your Kindle You are thinking to yourself, Surely, they will have lots of reading material. Nope, nada. Bookstores are rare in the Valley. The chances of you finding the exact book you have been wanting to read slim. Magazines are also scarce here too.

Water bottle Palm Springs is getting on the bandwagon. I suspect before long, disposable water bottles will be banned in our area. So bring your favorite one or else you’ll end having to buy one here.

In order to see a vista like this, you need hiking shoes.

Hiking Shoes More than likely you will succumb to the lure of the many hiking trails in the area. Especially if you are planning to go to Joshua Tree National Park, you will need them.

Suntan Lotion You’ll need far more than TSA will allow you to carry on. So unless you have checked luggage, you are far better off buying it here.

Day Attire Pretty much anything goes for both men and women. Shorts, sundresses both long and short are pretty much standard dress for women.

While certain areas are pleased to have men topless (wink, wink) other locals appreciate men wearing,shirts while enjoying our downtown districts.

Be sure you bring good walking shoes or sandals. I suspect you will be walking much more than you expected.

Keep in mind, once the sun goes down, our temperature changes a great deal, so pack more than one sweater any time of year just in case.

Evening Attire

Men: Ties and suits can be left at home unless you know you are going to a formal wedding or fundraiser. However, men should bring a pair of nice slacks for a few restaurants have a “no shorts policy” for evening meals. Don’t forget to pack a belt.

By the way, when going out to dinner, men are often seen with great print shirts, often long sleeve, throughout the year.

Women: Pack some of your glitzy tops, skirts and long dresses. Palm Springs still appreciates a little glamour, especially when going out to dinner.

Now is the time to bring along the light-weight shawl, Aunt Mable gave you, for the air conditioning in our restaurants can get pretty chilly.

Finally, if you are coming in the winter, say mid-December through the end of January, be sure to pack sweaters, clothing you can layer and a jacket. We’ve discovered a down vest is perfect for our colder days.

Send me a note if you are wondering if you should bring something you are the fence about, I’ll be happy to share my knowledge and opinion with you.

Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News 760-902-3094

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