Packing is an underappreciated skill– one that is sometimes critical for the success or failure of a journey. Experienced travelers understand this, and the most efficient among them have turned effective packing into a science. But even still, there is no standard formula for packing success, and every destination will require different items, clothing and specific packing.
One city in which efficient packing may be critical is New York. Although it is a major city, filled with shops, stores and merchants that sell everything you could possibly need, you need to leave room for the various souvenirs and goodies you are certainly going to buy, and overpacking can be a big mistake.
If you have already set your plans, saved up enough money, bought Broadway tickets, reserved a spot with the best bus tour agency in NYC and secured your hotel, it is time to begin the packing process. This guide is designed to help you find that delicate balance between packing everything you will need and leaving enough room for everything you will want to bring back home.
The clothes you will pack depend on the season in which you plan to travel. New York weather is fickle and unpredictable, but at the risk of sounding obvious, you need warmer clothes in the fall/winter and cooler ones in the spring/summer. Layers will usually be the key here, because even in the middle of summer, you will spend much of your time in air conditioned stores and restaurants. A few of the specific items you should include in your luggage are:
- One pair of comfortable walking shoes and one pair of dress shoes
- At least one dress-up outfit and two casual outfits
- A lightweight jacket or cardigan, even in summer
- An insulated coat in autumn or winter
- Scarf, gloves and warm hat in winter
One item that will be indispensable during your time in the city is a lightweight, sturdy, comfortable bag. For men, do not fool yourself into thinking you can fit everything in your pockets. A fashionable messenger bag or a durable backpack will hold all of the many items you will need during the day and any smaller items you buy. For women, don’t think that your small purse is enough, as you are certain to need a lot more space than you would on a normal day at home. While you obviously want to look good, comfort and ease are the most important elements here.
Here are a few of the important miscellaneous items that will ensure a safe, efficient and happy journey in New York:
- An external phone battery and/or a portable charger
- A SMALL umbrella
- A paper map; this will save your phone battery and be useful in areas where service is spotty (like the subway)
- Your computer, if you plan to work or edit photos
- Luggage locks, just in case
What Not to Bring
In a large city of over 8 million people and countless stores, you will be able to buy just about anything you need. While you don’t want to blow all of your money on daily items or things you have at home, you also don’t want to take up unnecessary room that could be used for souvenirs. Here are a few items you should leave at home:
- Toiletries; even if your hotel does not provide these, you can easily buy them anywhere
- Food; the restaurants are one of the best parts of New York
- Hair dryer; this is usually provided by the hotel, but if not, you can easily purchase a cheap one
- Anything else that can easily– and affordably– be purchased at a store in the city
With a bit of effort and planning you will be on your way to having a comfortable and enjoyable time in New York City.
*This post was written by third party writer Derek Pursley.