Are you keen to spend some time in Erie, Pennsylvania?
Whether you’re from America or anywhere else in the world, this city has so much to offer. You’ll find everything from water sports to museums and theme parks, and a thriving local arts and cultural scene.
However, it’s nature lovers that are truly in for a treat in Erie, and Presque Isle State Park, which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2021, is a must-see. To celebrate, Presque Isle State Park is hosting an amazing educational exhibit at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (2nd floor) from May 17 through August 23, 2021.
Erie’s Presque Isle has also just been named one of America’s top 15 budget-friendly beach destinations by Readers Digest, making it well worth any holiday-makers while to explore. It's a wonderful destination for families, friends, and anyone looking for a great getaway with plenty to do.
However, before you set off on an Erie adventure, you need to pack.
Read on for our ultimate guide on what to bring along for your next well-deserved break!
Step 1: Choosing Your Travel Bag
Before you pack, you’ll need to find a perfect travel bag. Your chosen bag should be versatile and easy to carry, and it should be able to fit all of your vacation essentials comfortably inside it. Keep in mind the duration of your trip when choosing a bag.
If you’re traveling to Erie from outside of the USA, you may need a larger bag. Conversely, if you’ll be using a budget airline or transport method to travel, you may need to choose a smaller bag to adhere to their specific luggage restrictions.
Rolling luggage is convenient as it doesn’t require you to carry all of your gear on your back or by hand. Duffel bags are great for short trips, as they are lightweight, portable, and easy to carry around with you.
A travel backpack is an ideal option if you like to travel light and enjoy having your hands free to take pictures, while carry-on luggage is better suited to air travel.
Step 2: Draw Up a Clothing Checklist
The clothing you choose to take with you on vacation should be selected according to a few key factors.
First, what season is it? If it’s summer, you can get away with packing a few pairs of shorts, light cotton shirts, and a sun hat. If it’s winter, you’ll need warm pullovers, jackets, jeans, boots and fuzzy socks to keep you comfortable and warm.
The activities you’ll enjoy will also dictate your packing choices. For example, short summer dresses aren’t the best options for the rollercoasters at Waldameer Park & Water World, or exploring the regional trail network. If you’re going to be roughing it, you’ll need tough, lightweight and comfortable gear to do it in.
Your suitcase should include some, or all, of the following clothing essentials, depending on your unique needs:
- Lightweight cotton shirts that you can layer if necessary
- Long-sleeved shirts
- A fleece jacket, sweater or hoodie
- Long trousers and/or shorts
- Skirts and dresses
- A belt
- Comfortable shoes
- A rain jacket
- A hat
- A scarf or buff
- Swimming gear
Step 3: Pack Up Your Toiletries
Your toiletry bag needs to be minimal and TSA-compliant if you are traveling to Erie by air. If not, you’ll have more flexibility in terms of which personal care products you can bring on your vacation. Remember to pack some (or all) of the following:
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, retainers, and mouthwash
- A hair brush and hair ties
- Shampoo, conditioner and hair care products
- Deodorant and perfume/cologne
- Face wash and moisturizer
- A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30+ and after-sun lotion
- Baby wipes and Q-tips
- Lip balm
- A razor or shaving kit
- Travel towel
- Personal hygiene/feminine hygiene and care items as needed
- Contact lenses, lens solution, spectacles and extra lenses
- Prescription medication with the script
Step 4: Don’t Forget the First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an incredibly handy thing to add to your travel bag, especially if you’re camping. You never know when band-aids or tweezers may come in handy. Remember to pack:
- A basic first aid kit, including bandages, tweezers, gauze and adhesives
- Band-aids in various sizes
- Over-the-counter pain and fever medication
- Throat lozenges
- Hand sanitizer
- Disposable or reusable surgical masks
- A thermometer
- Allergy medication
- Oral rehydration sachets
- Sterilizing solution and antibacterial cream
- Insect repellent and sting reliever
- Eye drops
- Motion sickness pills
- Any other medications or vaccinations specific to the area that you may need
Step 5: Prepare Your Personal Carry-On Bag
It’s also essential to prepare a second, smaller bag to take with you while you’re traveling to your destination.
You’ll need entertainment, device chargers, snacks, water, and a couple of other items to ensure that the trip is just as enjoyable as the vacation itself.
Add these items to your carry-on bag:
- Your mobile phone and tablet and their chargers
- A power bank with the right cords for your devices
- Headphones or earphones
- A camera, memory card, and chargers/spare batteries
- Travel pillow, blanket, eye mask and noise-canceling ear plugs
- A notebook and pen
- Travel games, books, magazines and any other entertainment you enjoy
- Lip balm and body lotion
- A water bottle
Interestingly, the state of Pennsylvania isn't one of the best US cities for sleep, so packing an eye mask, noise canceling headphones and anything else that makes sleeping easier is also suggested.
Time to Hit the Road
Now that your bags are packed and you’re champing at the bit to get going, there are just a few final items to remember.
Pack your driver's license, wallet and bank cards, emergency contacts, any travel tickets or cards you need. And don’t forget your passport and any health insurance cards and documents that are relevant to your travels if you’re coming from outside the US.
We also recommend double-checking your transportation and hotel or camp site reservations confirmations before you head out the door. Doing this will ensure that your Erie vacation gets off to a smooth start without any unexpected surprises!
Last but not least...make sure to download the FREE 'Hello Erie' trip planner app to plot out where to play, shop, eat and relax!