Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Packing Tutorial - New York City in the Summer

We just got back from ten wonderful days in New York City! This trip was pretty different from our last big trip. This time we were only staying in one place, not travelling around; and we were staying at a hotel, not a hostel; and we were only gone for 10 days, not a whole month. We checked one suitcase for both of us, and each had a carry-on bag as well but because we were checking our luggage and didn't have to travel around with it every few days I was able to pack quite differently. Also, our hotel had coin-operated laundry on-site which we knew before we went so we planned to do laundry mid-week and only packed about 5 or 6 days' worth of clothes. 
For clothing I took:
2 pairs of shorts - my jean shorts and a pair of comfy pajama shorts, 1 pair of jeans that I only wore on our two airport days, a skirt, 3 tops (the two pictured, and a pajama shirt), 3 little tank tops, 2 dresses (a casual one and a fancy one), 3 rompers, a swimsuit, 3 cardigans (a super thin one, a medium one, and a thicker one), sandals, my comfy walking shoes, 6 pairs of underwear, and 2 bras.

If I could do it again I would not take the fancy dress. When I wanted to look nice for a night out I just wore the skirt with one of the tanks. I would only take one of the thicker cardigans for airport travel days when it is cold in the airport and on the plane. I loved the white cardigan I took - the same one I took to Europe. It is so light-weight and great for covering up if you are concerned about getting a sunburn, or if you are going to a theatre or museum where it might be air-conditioned. I want another one like it in a different color. If I could do it again I would buy a second one of those and wear those two cardigans daily. That way my white one wouldn't get so sweaty/dirty. I didn't need all those tank tops but they take up so little space that I figured I might as well bring them.
I was only going to pack two of the rompers but my husband convinced me to bring the third at the last minute and I was happy I did. It takes up so little space and is a complete outfit.

We were warned that New York City in the summer is hot and humid. We'd been to Montreal in the summer before so knew what to expect, and figured it wouldn't be as bad as Italy in July. It was about 25-30 Celsius every day we were there with about 60-70% humidity. Pack lightweight clothing because you will be comfortable and it doesn't take up much room in a suitcase so you can bring more clothes, or have more room to take souvenirs home at the end of the trip.

I also brought my raincoat but I only wore it one day on a rainy day that was a bit cooler. In New York when it rains it doesn't rain the entire day, it will rain for 5 or 10 minutes then stop, and be super muggy so you'll feel like a vegetable being steamed if you wear a coat. We took an umbrella and it rained a few times while we were there but we only got caught in a bad downpour once and even with the umbrella and our coats we got soaked. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  

Since we checked luggage there were no restrictions on what size toiletries I could bring so I brought everything I use regularly: shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner hair spray, hair mousse, face wash, toner, face lotion, face sunscreen, body sunscreen, deodorant, razor and shave gel, Q-tips, toothbrush and toothpaste, chapstick, and the minimal makeup I wear when I wear any and the makeup brushes I use.

I smushed everything into my trusty toiletry kit and makeup kit, except the shower stuff which I double bagged in plastic bags.  

I took this little black purse with a cross-body strap and I wore that every day. I put my money belt purse inside it with my passport, money, and cards. I also had my sunglasses, phone, chapstick, and emergency asthma medication in the purse at all times. This is the bag I used as a carry-on on the plane and I put my kobo, camera and extra batteries and charger, travel journal and pens, our trip itinerary and any documents we needed, etc. in there. Basically everything I took on the trip that wasn't clothes and toiletries. Over the ten days we were in NYC I think I only took this bag as a day bag once but it was good to have. We found we only needed one bag for both of us and my husband carried it while I wore my purse and camera.  

Roll your clothes when you pack! It saves so much space and they won't wrinkle as badly. Of course if you pack lightweight clothes those fabrics don't tend to wrinkle anyways. This is all my clothes rolled into my half of our suitcase. All the clothes in the photo above plus socks and underwear and they take up less than half of our biggest suitcase. 

Finally, some General Tips:
We found the metro to be the most convenient way to travel. It is $30 for a 7-day unlimited metro card, which means you can ride as many times as you want over 7 days but one thing to note is that it doesn't measure the time in 24-hour periods, it just counts the date. We had a friend who activated her card at 11pm the first day she was there and it counted that as an entire day, so be careful when you use it for the first time.

Restaurants in New York City are required by law to get a sanitation rating and to display it outside the restaurant. You should only eat at restaurants that have an "A" rating.

Lastly, if you can, try to plan a show or something on Saturdays. Saturdays are super busy and if you go to a matinee musical or something there will only be a set number of people there, but if you go to a museum, gallery, or park there will likely be tons of people there, especially if your'e there during tourist season. Try to go to galleries and museums during the weekdays if you can help it, it will probably lead to a less crowded and more enjoyable experience.

We had a wonderful trip.
Check out my blog posts about our trip to NYC:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

If you are interested, check out the packing tutorial I made a couple summers ago for backpacking across Europe for a month.

If you have any questions for me leave a comment, I would love to help!

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