Las Vegas Packing List: What to Bring on Your Family Vacation

Here’s what to put in your suitcase for each season


Las Vegas is known as the “entertainment capital of the world” for its seemingly endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Because this high-desert city bustles year-round and temperatures vary widely from season to season, it can be hard to know what to bring on your next family trip to Vegas. Here are some ideas.

Getting to Las Vegas

Fly into McCarran International Airport, which sits just a few miles southeast of the famous Las Vegas Strip. Upon arrival, hop aboard a shuttle bound for the Alamo desk can be convenient for families to get around the Strip and provide the freedom to take day trips to great area destinations like Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam.

A famous welcome sign greets visitors arriving to Las Vegas Boulevard near McCarran airport, a stretch commonly called the Strip, which is home to many casinos, restaurants and shops.

Packing for Las Vegas in Spring

Las Vegas comes alive in springtime. Restaurant patios buzz with excitement, and in the open desert just a short drive away, wildflowers bloom. Temperatures and weather conditions can vary dramatically, so it pays to create a Vegas packing list that gives you something for every forecast.

  • Bring a backpack. You will probably be toting extra-long-sleeve shirts, sweaters or jackets on your outings, so take along a backpack big enough for essentials but small enough to carry easily.
  • Include a swimsuit. Las Vegas pools usually open in March, so you and the kids will want to be prepared for a dip at any time.
  • Don’t forget rain gear. Springtime in Vegas can bring showers, and they usually come without warning. Be ready.
Families wishing to get away from the Las Vegas Strip can go about 20 miles west to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, where there is a 13-mile scenic drive and more than two dozen hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels.


Packing for Las Vegas in Summer

Summer in Las Vegas is hot, with temperatures sometimes reaching 115 degrees. Figuring out what to pack for Vegas in the summer starts with sunscreen and extends from there.

  • Wear lightweight clothes. When temperatures soar, a lighter outfit is better. Think shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, swimsuits and flip-flops. Bonus: You might be able to bring one less suitcase because your clothes take up less space.
  • But bring a jacket. Air conditioning is king in Las Vegas, so casinos and other buildings will be especially cool compared with outside. Carry a light jacket or sweater if you get chilly easily.
  • Keep cool outside. Even if you’re mostly indoors, it doesn’t take long to heat up outside. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated — many casinos have water filling stations. When you need a quick reprieve, invest in a mister or spray bottle or carry wet washcloths in zip-lock bags and take them out to use as cold compresses.

Packing for Las Vegas in Fall

Weather in Nevada’s biggest city begins to get chilly when daylight saving time ends in early November. If you visit in fall, expand your packing list for Vegas to provide your family with options at every turn.

  • Layer up. You might start the day in shorts and a T-shirt, but by sundown you’ll want pants and a long-sleeve shirt or sweater, much like Las Vegas in spring.
  • Check the wind chill. Fall in the Las Vegas Valley is breezy, so windbreakers are a wise addition to the suitcase.
  • Catch a game. Las Vegas has a professional hockey team and will welcome a pro football team in fall 2020, both hosting home games throughout the fall. If you’re going to one, consider bringing cold-weather gear for your time inside the icy hockey arena or tailgating outside the football stadium.
What to pack, at a glance: Click above for a larger version of this season-by-season packing list.

Packing for Las Vegas in Winter

Don’t let the desert location fool you — Las Vegas in winter is downright brisk (39 degrees is the average low). If you’re visiting in December, January or February, your Las Vegas packing list must include warm layers and other items to protect you from the cold.

Bundle up. Winter jackets, hats, scarves and gloves aren’t out of the question if you’re visiting Las Vegas in winter. Plan accordingly.

Moisturize regularly. The dry desert air is particularly damaging in the cold. To make sure your hands and lips don’t crack, apply lotion and lip balm liberally.

Bring drinks with you. While you’re exploring Las Vegas, bring no-spill thermal mugs so you and the family can enjoy coffee and cocoa on the go.

The buildings on Las Vegas Boulevard and the sky above Red Rock Canyon in the distance both begin to light up when the sun goes down.

Ready to plan your trip to Las Vegas? Explore your Alamo rental car options.


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About the Author:

Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor. Although he is based in Northern California, he has made Las Vegas his primary beat for the last 15 years, writing and updating 12 guidebooks about the city and penning dozens of articles for outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and CNN Travel.