Photo of a row of gumboots


So, you're headed to the East Coast of the United States for your holiday. Maybe Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. are on your travel itinerary. How should you pack for these cities and this part of the country? Where you end up on the coast will inform what you'll do and what you'll need to pack, but there are a few essentials to bring along with you (or purchase once in the US) to make sure you don't stand out as a tourist and are prepared for everything the East Coast has to offer travellers.

Spring (March – May)

Spring on the East always feels really hopeful. After a long, cold, snow-filled winter, everyone is excited to get out and about. The spring also brings plenty of rain showers along with the warmer temperatures. If you are travelling during the spring be sure to bring plenty of layers so you can add more clothes or take of a layer or two if the weather decides to cooperate and give you a brief preview of the sun and warmth that is coming in the summer.

Rain boots and an umbrella could be smart investments as well, as they will protect your feet from the often wet conditions found in spring. With these things packed away, a rainy day won't hold you back from doing what you want and seeing everything on your list!

Summer (June – August)

Summer on the East Coast is hot—sometimes overwhelmingly hot. Be sure to pack lightweight options like cotton t-shirts and comfortable shorts. The further north you travel, like Massachusetts or Maine, the colder it stays during the summer months. Pack a sweatshirt for cooler evenings on a front porch, or early morning activities where the sun has yet to warm everything up! Breezy sundresses are the best option for women looking to stay stylish yet cool in the hotter temperatures at this time during the year.

Thongs and sandals are a popular choice of footwear for the warm summer months. However, if you are going to be walking a lot, try to find a pair of shoes that have arch support and won't give you blisters as you walk. Another alternative to thongs are TOMS. The cotton top and cushion-y support that these shoes provide will keep your feet happy, and therefore you, happy as you wander through the states and cities that make up the East Coast.

Fall (September – November)

Fall along the East Coast is one of the prettiest times of the year, especially for travellers who don't get to experience a traditional Fall. Everywhere you look, the leaves will be changing to reds, oranges, and yellows and the colour palette is just the first appeal of fall. The cooler temperatures are also a welcome respite from the intense heat from the summer. Like Spring, it's important to pack in layers, though this time, try bringing a vest with you as it will keep your core warm without completely taking over your suitcase.

For women, boots are an acceptable choice for footwear and they add a fashionable touch to any outfit, whether you'll be on a plane, on a road trip or slowly wandering through the scenic and gorgeous fall landscapes that are everywhere on the East Coast in the Fall. Men should try a pair of desert boots or boat shoes for a comfortable and stylish alternative to runners.

Winter (December – February)

The winter months are when the snow lovers come from everywhere to hit the slopes along the East Coast. While they may not be the premiere skiing or snowboarding locations across America, these ski resorts hold their own and have their own charm for visitors from near and far. As you may expect, with freezing temperatures and snow comes a need for warmer clothes. Think about packing thermal underwear to keep you warm during the day—especially if you'll be outside for a majority of the day or not.

Also keep in mind that these clothes and layers tend to take up more space in your suitcase, so consider buying what you need once you arrive on the East Coast or leaving plenty of room for clothing.

Planning ahead can save you time, money and luggage space so as you think about when you'll be headed to the East Coast of the United States, consider the temperatures, the normal weather and what clothing and accessories you'll need to bring with you. Then, be sure your travel insurance plan offers lost luggage cover, like Cover-More does, so in the off-chance your perfectly packed luggage gets misplaced during the long journey from Australia, you'll be able to buy replacements and essentials.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Zeesenboot