The San Francisco Vacation Survival Guide

When I travelled to San Francisco for the first time I packed elegant dresses, high heels, and cumbersome jewelry. You’re probably amused by this if you’re a San Fran native or have already vacationed there.  Half-way into day one of my trip I was hurting, uncomfortable, and freezing cold.  My cluelessness of northern California weather finally took a toll and made my vacation wholly unpleasant.  So, let my experience be a teacher and do not pack as if you are going to a cocktail party.  While I was there I ended up at Old Navy, Niketown, and Walgreens to remedy my poor packing choices.  I spent money on a fleece jacket, jeans, sneakers, and Advil.  This money would have been better spent enjoying my vacation.  Fear not, I’m here to help you tackle San Francisco’s “hills that kill” and cool weather.  I’ll spare you the pain and agony I went through with this list of top ten items to conquer your California vacay.

1.  Bring along a lightweight jacket or coat.

Patagonia ‘Torrentshell’ Women’s Jacket ($129)

Patagonia Coat

2.  Wear lightweight and comfy sneakers on days with lots of walking.

New Balance ‘Fresh Foam Cruz’ Sneakers ($80)


3.  Pack a pair of stylish jeans to pair with any top.

AG Adriano Goldschmied ‘The Middi Ankle’ Iconic Skinny Jeans ($198)


4.  A comfy and trendy scarf is essential.

Kate Spade ‘Souk’ Tassel Scarf ($108)


5.  Pain relief is always in fashion.

Advil Liqui-Gels ($4.50)


6.  Pack a light sweater/sweatshirt for cool mornings and nights.

Topshop Embroidered Flower Sweatshirt ($55)


7.  Use a purse that is backpack style or crossover.

Madewell ‘Transport’ Leather Rucksack ($178)



8.  Wear a warm hat or beanie to keep out the wind.

Canada Goose Slouchy Basketweave Beanie ($95)


9.  Pack black leggings for versatility and comfort.

Spanx ‘Essential’ Very Black Leggings ($98)


10.  Let flats be your dressy shoes.

Børn ‘Kharen’ Wraparound Lace Flats ($64)


Thank you all so much for reading my guide. I truly hope it was helpful for you.  San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind destination with beautiful and unique neighborhoods.  What would you pack for San Francisco? What are your favorite comfy fashion brands? Comment below!






43 thoughts on “The San Francisco Vacation Survival Guide

  1. Hey Victoria, am sorry that your vacation turned into a nightmare…. It’s always good to do a bit of research when heading to a new place, and I guess I have great tips already when packing for San Francisco, courtesy of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent advice! I must admit, I did chuckle at your comment about those of us who have been there. Very true about the clothing required. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great packing list for travel. It’s easy to want to bring fancy and dressy items on vacation, but in the end comfort always wins (for me at least). The pieces you show here look stylish and comfy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Victoria! I’m sorry to hear your San Fran experience was such a bust! Hopefully you ended up finding some fun things to do to take your mind off of the weather. Thanks for the good tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your writing style! You made me feel like I was there with you for your trip. I’ve never been to San Francisco and so this was a really great read! And I would actually purchase every item you recommended here. My rain jacket looks exactly like the one you picked out. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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