Chicago What to Pack

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  • Marisola's Profile Photo

    You Never Know!

    by Marisola Updated Jun 25, 2010

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    Luggage and bags: I like luggage with many pockets, but you can use about anything. When I get to a new place, I usually buy a bag from that place to carry around and put in all the miscellaneous maps, brochures and postcards inside.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In Summer, it's generally warm, so I would suggest some light clothing and swimsuit for the beach, but beware! In Chicago, you never know when the weather might change! Make sure you also have some warmer clothing, too! Sweaters and sweatshirts are good to have just in case! Our weather is crazy here! It will also be air-conditioned inside most shops and restaurants, and sometimes very cold on a summer day!
    In Winter, it's generally freezing, freezing, and more freezing, so pack layers! When you get inside, you might be too hot. Also, when we're very lucky, we have some warm days in winter. Like I said, you never know!

    Photo Equipment: Of course, bring a camera and take lots of photos! Photos bring back your memories of your trip.

    Miscellaneous: If you're coming to meet me, bring some music! I love hearing new music!

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Singles
    • Budget Travel

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  • Ujamaflip's Profile Photo

    Wrap up warm!

    by Ujamaflip Updated Dec 21, 2008

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It gets really cold in Chicago in the winter, and I mean *really cold*! You will need a good coat, a hat, gloves, a scarf and anything else to keep wam and out of the wind. During the weekend in December 2008 we visited a bar in downtown Chicago and left around midnight, when we left the bar it was around -15 Celcius, which in itself is pretty cold but when you factor in the infamous Chicago wind it can feel much, much lower than that! We were in the wind for about 10minutes waiting for a taxi, and it was pretty painful!

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  • azabeti's Profile Photo

    Don't forget the thermals

    by azabeti Written Aug 21, 2007

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you're traveling to Chicago any other time than summer, be prepared for the cold weather. The weather can be unpredictable, even in the late Spring. Be sure to bring some thermals and warm clothing in case there's a cold spell. The temperatures drop into the negative in the winter and can drop down to 20 during April.

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  • bee_tc2006's Profile Photo

    things you need to bring

    by bee_tc2006 Written Sep 12, 2006

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    Luggage and bags: Bring an extra empty bag packed inside your luggage,you most likely to need it
    to bring home souveniers.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Walking shoes,jackets,umbrella

    Photo Equipment: Make sure you have a camera and extra film or memory card handy or a video camera and extra batteries and tapes.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: There is a beach by the lake,but we didn't make it there,so I wouldn't know what to bring.

    Related to:
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  • TRimer's Profile Photo

    What to Wear to a Cubs Game

    by TRimer Written Jun 13, 2006

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: One of the most interesting - if not shocking- thing I had to get used to when moving to Chicago from the East Coast is the fact that women will wear their bathing suit to a baseball game. It does get hot in the bleachers at Wrigley but I did not expect them to take off their t-shirts to reveal a bikini top. I have also seen it at street fests and in Grant Park.

    Related to:
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    • Women's Travel

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Always Come Prepared!

    by deecat Updated Feb 20, 2006

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    Luggage and bags: One of the most important items to bring, I think, is Ziploc bags because they keep your suitcase organized, dry, and accesible. I put things such as duct tape [for repairs]. Super Glue [for what the tape can't repair], small container of detergent to wash undergarments, etc., and a sink plug [just in case].
    I always put one set of clothing and undergarmets, my medicine, cosmetics, jewelry, important papers, and anything I just could not lose into my "carry-on luggage".
    Make sure you have a list of phone numbers of your credit card companies, insurance, airlines, doctors, and your country's embassy! In this day and age, I have a card with e-mail addresses of family and friends.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In Chicago clothing all depends on the time of year you travel. In July and August, it is extremely hot and humid so dress with light colors, loose clothing, and lightweight fabrics. During December through February, count on cold temperatures. Hat, heavy coat, warm gloves, and boots.
    It's always a good idea to travel with a plastic poncho that folds into a tiny pouch.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lately, I've started taking Liquid Bandage to be prepared for minor accidents and/or blisters. I also carry [in my luggage and my money belt] Imodium pills just in case of a gastrointestinal situation. Speaking of medical, I also keep a list of inoculations, all my medication prescriptions, and the telephone numbers of doctors. This is probably because we frequently stay for months at a time. Since I wear glasses, I bring an extra pair.
    I've started taking water tablets when I go out of the country in case bottled water cannot be found.

    Photo Equipment: Since I now have a digital camera, I plan set up an online photo account so I will be able to upload digital photographs as I go along thus freeing up the memory card. If I'm not traveling very far, I take along my Easy Share Printer dock so I can have "hard copy" of my pictures.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I always take a bathing suit with me on travels, even in the winter in case there is a hotel swimming pool.

    Miscellaneous: I always inform my credit-card company of my travel plans, especially if I am out of the country. A friend of mine did not do that and the credit-card company put a "block" on her account because of the foreign purchases.
    I also leave one copy of all my important documents such as passport, etc. with my daughter and keep a copy with me...not in the same location as the original.

    Related to:
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    • Women's Travel
    • Trains

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  • Don't forget your ID!

    by Sueky43 Written Feb 6, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Chicago in May can be very cold, down by the lake it gets quite breezy. Make sure you take some layers so you can be prepared.

    Miscellaneous: I travelled to Chicago on business from when I was 33, after arranging to meet some of my customers in a local bar one evening, I was stopped by the doorman, and not really hearing what he said, laughed and tried to walk past.
    He stopped me and said I needed to show him ID. The only ID I had in Chicago was my passport, which I obviously didn't have with me on a night out. He told me the drinking age was 21, but by law I had to carry ID until I was 30. Despite me and my colleagues trying to convince him I was 33 he would not let me in. Whilst it was a very nice compliment, it did mess up my evening when I was supposed to have been meeting up with clients.

    Related to:
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    • Wine Tasting
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  • IrishFem's Profile Photo

    Warm Clothes

    by IrishFem Updated Jan 5, 2006

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take lots of warm clothes with you in December / January. There was tons of snow and the temperature was -7, getting colder at night. Walking shoes are a must especially if you have time to walk around the Art Gallerys and along the magificiant mile for shopping.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can buy anything you need.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    How to survive Winter in Chicago

    by Dabs Updated Apr 19, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: To survive winter in Chicago, you need the following items:

    -Boots, preferably with very large treads for negotiating the often unshoveled sidewalks.

    -Mittens or gloves.

    -earmuffs or hat.

    -warm winter coat, wool or goosedown, don't think you can get away with a trenchcoat in Jan or Feb.

    -scarf, not the decorative paper thin ones, but one you can wrap securely around your head and neck several time.

    -if you are in a vehicle, make sure it is equipped with a heavy duty ice scraper and lots of washer fluid to wash away all that salt.

    Now if you can still walk (think Ralphie's brother from A Christmas Story), you are ready to step outside!

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  • TRimer's Profile Photo

    Restaurant Attire

    by TRimer Updated Jun 14, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: People always ask me what to wear to a nice restaurant. Chicago is a very casual city. Only the top french restaurants seem to require a jacket and a tie. You will rarely see people in suits. Usually they tell you what is required when you make the reservation.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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  • Gina54's Profile Photo

    Warm clothing!!!

    by Gina54 Updated Oct 13, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View from Sears Tower

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the winter, it gets very cold. The wind is also very strong, so it feels even colder! Make sure to bring a warm jacket and something to cover your ears.

    Miscellaneous: Gloves, boots, hats! Do not forget your winter gear.

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  • Louisev1's Profile Photo

    Pack your Woolies!

    by Louisev1 Written Mar 4, 2003

    Luggage and bags: Nothing Special is required.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: For example: TODAY 3-4-2003 You would want a hat, scarf, mittens & boots. We are expecting 8-12 inches of snow before tomorrow afternoon. Winter can be very cold & windy. We have had much less snow than the East coast though.
    Since the weather in Chicago can change from one minute to the next, I would suggest packing a jacket, even in Summer. If you take a Lk. Michicagn boat ride it can get pretty chilly. I would also bringa good pair of comfortable walking shoes. There is a lot to see here.

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  • sambarnett's Profile Photo

    Great Chicago rock!

    by sambarnett Updated Jan 14, 2003

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    Miscellaneous: OK, all my other Packing Lists have been dedicated to great music.... so what, you ask, is Chicago's great musical contribution? The world famous Smashing Pumpkins? The poetic and honest Liz Phair? The snotty Screeching Weasel? The brilliant Wilco? Well, close, but they're actually from the St. Louis area. No way, man; I got two words for ya: Naked f***** Raygun!!!!!

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  • sambarnett's Profile Photo


    by sambarnett Written Dec 29, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Be aware that even as late as June it can be extremely cold here. A sweater, hat and gloves are a smart bet most of the year.

    Miscellaneous: Being a large and diverse city, Chicago definetly requires a good guidebook. I bought the Lonely Planet guide to Chicago a year ago and it still serves me well. The book is arranged by neighborhoods and does an excellent job of featuring cool places off the main tourist track as well as Chicago's grand architecture. The maps are excellent.

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  • cvsolfari's Profile Photo

    Summer Necessities

    by cvsolfari Written Feb 25, 2003

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In summer, it can get extremely hot here so I highly recommend shorts, sandals and a hat. With highs approaching 40C on some summer days, you'll be glad when walking from place to place.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Swimwear is a good idea if you are interested in spending an afternoon at the beach. It's an unexpected discovery of first time visitors to Chicago.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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Chicago What to Pack

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