Overpacking for your winter trip to New York City is a surefire way to make things go sour. In NYC, expect to find crowded sidewalks, people in a rush, construction galore, and trash. It’s no place to be dragging around a hefty suitcase on wheels.
But don’t worry. If you keep your NYC packing list light, it’ll be easy to fit everything that you need into a carry-on bag. There are tons of ways to pare down what you bring to the city so you only pack what you’re going to wear - after all, you want to look your best when you’re packing for your winter trip, but you don’t want anything holding you back, either!
The key to creating your New York packing list is knowing what season you’re stepping into. The winters there are frigid and cold, so pack accordingly! Here’s a winter travel checklist to keep in mind:
- You should definitely not be in NYC without a pair of shoes comfortable enough to walk in. Walking is the cheapest and easiest way to travel, so pack your waterproof boots!
- Your packing list for winter vacation should include important basics like quality-made t-shirts from Perk in a single color palette. By doing this, you can mix and match your basics and look polished, classy, and comfortable. When in doubt, wear black!
- Chinos are also a great staple to bring, as they look sophisticated and pair well with almost anything.
- If you plan on going out to dinner, to a Broadway show, or to the ballet, you need one fancy outfit - like a button-up shirt and nice slacks - on your New York packing list.
- If you forget something when you’re packing for your winter trip, don’t lose your head. You can find most anything you need in the city within a ten-minute walk!
NYC Packing List
To follow is an NYC packing list that’s meant for a one-week stay in the city. If you plan on staying for longer than a week, you might want to keep laundry in mind.
- 2 casual bottoms (jeans and chinos are great)
- 3 casual tops (t-shirts work no matter the season; you can pair them with anything)
- 1 nice bottom (black jeans, dress slacks)
- 1-2 nice tops (button-ups)
- 1 layering piece (lightweight sweater, cardigan, sweatshirt, flannel, or fleece)
- A warm coat
- 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
- 1 pair of dress shoes (still comfortable)
- 1 week worth of socks and underwear
- A hat (beanie)
- Portable charger
- Water bottle
- Hand sanitizer
What NOT to pack:
- Money belt (all these will do is tell people that you’re a tourist)
- Uncomfortable shoes (either you won’t wear them, or you’ll wear them and regret it)
- Umbrella (you can find them cheap at corner stores)
NYC in the Winter
While winter in the city can get a bad rap, it’s really not that bad. It’s chilly and dark, but it’s also festive, jolly, and an all-around fun time. As long as you make sure that your New York packing list is full of the right things, you’re going to have a wonderful time in the Big Apple.
Something you cannot forget during the winter in New York City is a durable coat. While blazers are fashionable and attractive, wearing one with a t-shirt is not enough to keep you warm on those chilly days and nights. After all, NYC is a walking city, so you need something that will keep you cozy as you travel from point A to point B, even when the temperatures sink down into the single digits.
You’ll see many New Yorkers wearing puffer coats that go all the way down to their ankles in January and February! Even if that look isn’t for you, you’ll definitely want something that reaches your hips and, ideally, something that covers your behind.
Water-resistant boots and thick socks are a must-have, too. You never know what could be lining the sidewalks, whether it’s ice, slush, rock salt, or all of it mixed together.
Throw on your coat over a warm, comfy sweater and finish off your look with a hat, scarf, and gloves. That way, you’ll be ready for a night (or day) out on the town without freezing your toes off.
Getting Ready For Your Trip
New York City is a great place to visit during the winter. It has a magical quality about it that can’t be replicated anywhere else. But in order to soak all of that magic in, you’ll want to bring as little luggage as possible. Huge suitcases and crowded sidewalks don’t pair well together, so pack light and have fun in the city that never sleeps.