HOW TO: Pack for Palm Springs

Palm Springs, CA is located about two hours from Los Angeles (or Orange County, where I am), and with 350 sunny days per year, it is where Southern Californians escape for sun on those occasional gloomy days. And this weekend that is exactly where this Southern Californian will be. It will almost certainly be over 100 degrees making it a rather simplistic trip to pack for.

Packing the suitcase should go as follows:

HOW TO: Pack for Palm Springs

A Good Swim Trunk (or three)

When it comes to swimwear for Palm Springs, I say the shorter the better. I mean it is Palm Springs after all, “Hollywood’s Playground” where the legendary Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and the like hung out. Bring back some of that old Hollywood style and do as the men did–5″ to 7″ inseam please. Just make sure to apply sunscreen, especially if you’re used to a longer swim trunk.

Lightweight Layers

Bring a few lightweight, breathable tees to throw on for those moments when you aren’t by the pool. Hit up some of the great shopping and some of the local thrift stores in search of desert diamonds in the rough. Bring, at the very least, a button up so you can take advantage of the dining district and enjoy a night out on the town. A light sweater/sweatshirt is a must for that invariable evening after you get too much sun and the hotel room feels like Antarctica (it’s bound to happen).

Stylish Shades

A nice pair of sunglasses will suit almost any of your Palm Springs moments as the sun reflects off of the surrounding desert sands and the tanned, shiny skin of the surrounding sunbathers. 

Poolside Essentials

Sunscreen is perhaps the most important thing to pack. Approximately 37 seconds without it and you will turn into a piece of leather (and not the good kind). Bring a good book; it’s the only way to pass the time poolside and something about being in the heat is conducive to absorbing a good book (on my trip this weekend I’m packing Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh). Alcoholic beverages are a must if you are to last more than 5 minutes in the heat by the pool. And while Aloe Vera will cool your sunburn, a nice margarita will take care of everything else.

To me, Palm Springs has a vintage sophistication to it. It might be because I know it’s where old Hollywood hung out. Maybe it’s because it’s always over 100 degrees and I’m delirious when I’m there. Either way, it is an ideal escape for a weekend getaway so take your packing seriously. But not too seriously–it is still vacation after all.

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