Palm Springs Packing Checklist for Summer

If you’re taking a trip to Palm Springs in the summer it’s not uncommon to have days in the triple digits. So, packing clothing that’s comfortable and breathable is key. In this post I’m sharing everything you need for a Palm Springs weekend vacation. Consider this your Palm Springs essentials packing checklist for summer.

Despite the fact that I’m a gal who loves clothes and photographing my outfits, I’ve always been a pretty light packer. I try to pack versatile pieces you can use in multiple ways and wear more than once (if the weather allows it). Unpacking is one of my least favorite tasks in the universe, so I really try to limit what I have to do once I’m back from a vacation.

This Palm Springs packing list contains just the essentials so you can spend more time by the pool, checking out the palm trees and amazing mid-century architecture, and less time worrying about your outfit.

P.S. Don’t forget a good book!

(If you’re looking for where to stay in Palm Springs – check out this post!)

Palm Springs Packing Checklist for Summer
Palm Springs Packing Checklist for Summer

Palm Springs Packing Checklist

Duffel Bag

For a weekend trip to Palm Springs in the summer, you can likely get away with packing a duffel bag because you don’t need to take anything bulky. If you’re driving, you can even pack a couple extra things like towels in your car, though it’s likely your Airbnb or hotel will have some. Not all duffel bags are created equal, and one of my favorites for a weekend trip is the large Landon Carryall Bag by Dagne Dover.

This duffel bag features multiple interior pockets designed for computers, small personal belongings, etc along with it’s main interior section. The brand really thought about functionality, so the duffel bag also comes with a shoe pouch to keep dirty soles from touching your clothes, a mesh pouch, and a detachable key leash. It’s a great bag for a weekend getaway, but also as carry-on luggage for longer trips, as there’s a slit in the back so you an slide it over a luggage handle for hands-free use.

Toiletry Bag

I love a clear toiletry bag so you can see exactly what you packed and access what you need much quicker than rifling through a typical makeup pouch.

Here’s a short list of skin care essentials to pack for your Palm Springs trip:

  • Facial sunscreen
  • Body sunscreen
  • Aloe or after-sun lotion
  • A hydrating serum to combat dry desert skin
  • Moisturizer

If you use any retinol products, it’s a good idea to skip them during your time in the desert retinol doesn’t agree with the sun.

A Straw Bag or Woven Tote

Palm Springs is a pretty casual town. It’s in the middle of the desert, after all, so you really don’t need to bring multiple purses. If you’re going to Palm Springs in the summer, you’ll most likely be at the pool all day, anyway. I’m a fan of a large straw tote because you can use it at the pool and then around town as a bag.

Here are a few great options that work for the pool and dinner:

Lightweight Dress

In 100+ degree heat, the less and lighter, the better. A lightweight dress keeps you cool, and you can always throw it on as a cover up after you wear it. I love linen or cotton, because both are breathable in the heat and dry quickly.

Comfy Jean Shorts

If you’re going to wear denim in the desert, skip full length jeans and grab a pair of shorts. While you may get too hot and sweaty to wear a t-shirt or top more than once, you can maximize your weekend wardrobe by wearing your shorts a few times before heading home. I personally like loose white jean shorts for summer, but your favorite blue pair will work, too.

Basic Tank Tops

Tank tops are great during the day and can work for breakfast, lunch, or when you’re at the pool. I like to pack a basic white tank and a basic black tank.


Don’t forget a swimsuit! If you’re in Palm Springs for the weekend, you really only need 1 – 2 suits max. I say 2 suits in case you’re that person that doesn’t like to put on a damp suit. I found that since it was so hot, my suit dried pretty quickly outside, but a girl needs options I guess, right?

J.Crew always has a great selection of suits and a large variety of both two-piece and one-piece options.


The sun is bright, and there’s nothing worse for your eyes (or wrinkles) than squinting through it all day. Pack sunglasses! These tortoise sunglasses from Madewell are under $100.

I always like to pack tortoise sunglasses on trips because of the black and brown combo. (AKA, regardless of what I wear, the sunglasses match.)

Pool Slides

These white Birkenstock slides are a perennial poolside favorite. I love them so much I wore them around town, too. They’re made from an ultra-lightweight, waterproof material and they’re super affordable at just $50! Bonus points because the footbed didn’t get hot and burn my feet. These come in other colors too, but I just love the white for summer.

Slide Sandals

Unless you’re going to Palm Springs for a bachelorette party, you don’t need more than a pair of a neutral pair of summer slides for when you’re not at the pool. A shade like tan or brown will go with you’re entire weekend wardrobe

Sun Protection

Honestly, SPF might be the most important thing on my Palm Springs packing checklist. It’s is a must, all day, every day there. I use Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen as my facial SPF for everyday use because it’s clear and also serves as a makeup primer. When I’m by the pool, I use Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense, which is more like a traditional facial sunscreen.

For my body, I like SunBum’s SPF spray. It doesn’t smell *too* sunscreen-like and keeps me protected.

Straw Hat

Ever since working at Dermalogica, I’ve been more and more cautious about sun exposure on my face. A hat is a must for me anytime I’m laying out, even in my backyard. I like a straw hat because it tends to be more breathable than a cloth hat. Wear by the pool (duh) but also as a cute accessory when you’re shopping.


Other than maybe your hat, a bandana is *the* ultimate desert accessory. It’s such an easy throw-on to make your t-shirt or tank instantly more stylish. It also serves as a great little face cover if you go on a hike and run into a dust storm.

Of course, depending on your reason to visit Palm Springs, you may want to pack some other things, but this essentials packing list is a great starting point.

Enjoy your trip!

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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