How To Pack For A Summer Vacation in Philadelphia

Happy #FASHIONWEDNESDAY! Today, we are going deep within my carry-on and suitcase to discover what I’m bringing on my road trip up to Philadelphia this weekend! The hubs and I are packing up the car with all things totally unhealthy for you because #carsnacks and jamming to our favorite road trip playlist (stay tuned – the ultimate road tripping Spotify playlist is coming your way Friday)! The northern United States can be totally tricky weather year round, but especially in the summer time – so I’m breaking down for you exactly what I’m packing and why (as well as tons of alternatives if you are like me and pack for 20 days when you’re only there for 4. #whoops).

*NOTE: Now, I know that Philly isn’t technically a New England state – but luckily, this packing guide covers any state north of Ohio and Virginia. 😉  

Let’s dive into this.

How To Pack For A Summer Vacation in Philadelphia

How To Pack For A New England Summer Vacation

A few notes: layers are pretty key here because while the days can get up in the 80s & 90s, the nights tend to be a lot cooler (unlike here in the midwest where it’s 99 degrees out pretty much no matter what time it is). You don’t want to be hot during the day, but I definitely get chilly at night. Since we are driving, I’m not worried about overpacking my bag like I would be if I was flying (because packing four pairs of rain boots gets a little heavy), but if you are flying be aware of how much your bag weighs and definitely purchase one of these $11 luggage scales so you never over fill your bag again! I have this exact one and SWEAR BY IT. 

You are going to want to pick clothing that is perfect for that chic, Philadelphia style. They dress similarly to their New York neighbors, but a little bit more relaxed. Think cool stripes, eyelet lace tops, sundresses, gingham and nautical patterns. 

How To Pack For A New England Summer Vacation

How To Pack For A New England Summer Vacation

Depending on your activities, you are going to want to cover these basics: city chic, park style, restaurant classic, and *potentially* beach or pool time. Your city chic looks can definitely include something like a breezy jumpsuit, khaki shorts + sleeveless top, or a cute summer sundress. Park style is a little more relaxed. Can you sit down on a picnic blanket in this outfit? Think: comfortable joggers and tank top, floral maxi dress, or shorts and a striped three quarter length sleeve tee. Restaurant classic lends itself to be more dressed up than our previous two activities. This is where you wanna pack your little black dress. Think cute wedges, simple dresses and glam jewelry. For your beach/pool days, you wanna bring your cutest swimmy, but be prepared with a coverup and warm towel. Off shore breezes can be super chilly and the ocean will more likely than not be pretty cold. 

Here is my full packing list for a 4 day trip:

  • 2 Bathing-suits (I’m bringing this one and this one)
  • Beach towels (like this one and this one)
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun hat
  • Beach cover up
  • 2 pairs of flat sandals (I’m bringing this one and this one)
  • 1 pair of sneakers (I’m bringing this one)
  • 1 pair of heels or wedges
  • Rain boots (take these – depending on the expected weather)
  • Lightweight umbrella
  • Lightweight jacket or windbreaker
  • 1 chic sweatshirt or pullover for unexpected chilly days
  • 1 pair white jeans
  • 1 pair denim jeans
  • 1 pair of distressed shorts
  • 2 dresses (I’m bringing this one and this one – they’re both my favorite swing dress from Old Navy in different patterns)
  • 1 short sleeve shirt/blouse
  • 1 long sleeve shirt/blouse
  • 1 large tote

Don’t forget the appropriate undergarments for all of the above. Nothing stinks worse than getting somewhere on vacation and realizing you forgot to pack your strapless bra, amiright? 

I probably will not wear everything I’m packing – but more often than not you’ll change into something different for dinner and you are going to want options. I always feel like it’s better to pack too much than too little because I’m never sorry I brought lots of things to choose from!!


How To Pack For A New England Summer Vacation

I hope that this packing guide was helping for those of you traveling up towards the New England states this year – and gets your prepped and ready for a perfect vacation! If you want a more in-depth packing guide with everything you’ll need from toiletries to carry-on must-haves – check this one out here.

How To Pack For A New England Summer Vacation

What do you pack to bring on your vacations – and if you live in the North East – what did I miss?! Let me know in the comments below!

About The Author

Taylor Mobley


  1. Gita Woosley | 11th Jul 18

    I tend to pack more clothes than I need as well because I like having the options. Hope you have fun in Philly!

  2. Daisy Linden | 12th Jul 18

    Wow! very well detailed on how to pack efficiently. On the other hand, I only think there were too many alternatives for just 4 days.. .

    • Taylor Mobley | 12th Jul 18

      Well, I love having options but you can always pack less if you want to!

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