So you’ve purchased your plane tickets to the mystic city that never sleeps. The anticipation is beginning to grow with each minute that passes. Your days filled with bright, glittering city lights, giant pizza slices from the little shop on the corner, and leisurely strolls through Central Park are right around the corner. While it might be easy to get caught up in all the excitment of the upcoming trip and pack only your most fashionable items to trot around the city in, there are a few other essentials that are must brings when traveling to the Big Apple. I promise it will make or break your trip!
1. Comfortable Shoes – If you take anything from this list, take comfortable shoes. I’m begging you. Most people who travel to NYC want to fit in with the lavishly styled residents of the city, and I get it. I’ve been there too. Here’s the thing about New York. You can walk essentially anywhere – and you will. On my trips to NYC I average about 7-9 miles of walking a day, and thats without even trying. If you don’t have comfy shoes your feet will be in misery by the end of day one, and it will drastically cut back on what you’re able to do for the rest of your trip. I suggest investing in a pair of cute, neutral tennis shoes match well with multiple outfits so you can look cute and tour the city in comfort. Bring a pair (or three) of frilly shoes for taking pictures, or going out at night if you know you don’t have to walk a long distance and save the tennis shoes for when you’re running around during the day. It’s a win-win situation!
2. Bandaids – This kind of ties in with item number one, but blisters happen. If you’re not accustomed to walking long distances everyday, even with good shoes you’re bound to get a troublesome little blister here and there. My first few trips to NYC I found myself making emergency bandaid trips to CVS and Duane Reade when I wanted to be out exploring. I ended up running back to the hotel to fix my feet instead of spending that time taking in everything the city has to offer. The last few trips I’ve pre-packed bandaids (regular bandaids are great, and the blister bandaids are even better if you are blister prone like me) and I just kept them in my purse for when I was in a pinch. No time wasted and my feet were happy campers!
3. Petpo Pills – Ok this one sounds a little funky but hear me out. You’re in a vast city that offers every cuisine under the sun. You stop for a street hot dog, then maybe you grab some gelato from Little Italy or a cup of boba tea in NoMad. Suddenly the tangy stench of the garbage bags resting on the sidewalk creeps up your nostrils and engulfs all your senses. The smell of garbage doesn’t always compliment a full belly and it can result in a mild belly ache – Pepto to the rescue! Also in the same realm we have travel belly. Maybe it’s just me and my anxiety, but anytime I travel my stomach isn’t always happy with me and well, you can assume the rest. I just like having Pepto on me at all times in case my tummy feels unsettled. Pepto helps alleviate any unnecessary and urgent trips to the bathroom!
4. A Large Purse (preferabbly with a zipper) – Generally when you go to NYC your days are going to be filled with nonstop activities and siteseeing with very little down time inbetween at your homebase. This means it is a must to leave your hotel (or wherever you find yourself staying) as prepared as possible in the morning with everything you might need – i.e. wallet, water, snacks, bandaids, keys, hand sanitizer, etc. Furthermore, assuming you are a tourist, it is very likely you’ll find yourself wandering down the aisles of an I <3 NYC store purchasing little trinkets, and it’s much less of a hassle to just throw them in your bag and not have to worry about carrying something else. I personally prefer the cute little zip-up purse backpacks when I go to New York because they are big enough to hold a water bottle and whatever snacks I might want to stash for the day, but they aren’t bulky to the point where I feel like I’m carrying around a loaded piece of luggage.
5. Layers – This will vary depending on the season yout travel to NYC of course, but regardless of when you go, layers are always a necessity when visiting the Big Apple. New York is known for many things, and on that list is sporadic weather. Showers come and go as quick as the subway trains come and leave from their station, and so does the sun somedays. The soaring skyscrapers create shadows and cool air on what would be a mild Spring day and the bottom line is, you just never know. So check the weather and pack accordingly – and always bring a little extra!
6. Cash – We live in an electronic age, but be sure to bring a little cash with you on your next trip to NYC. If you plan on trying a food cart, which you should, not all of them accept cards and you do not want to miss out on the ecpicness of New York street food. You will also still find restaurants scattered throughout the city that are cash only, and although most of those have ATMS, having cash ready to go will ensure you avoid those pesky ATM fees.
There you have it folks! Those are my top 6 must-haves when traveling to the wonderful New York City. As a bonus tip I also recommend bringing an open mind to the city as there are so many sites to see it can be easily overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time visiting. It will be a spectacular experience. And the good news? If you forget something from the list, there’s stores on every corner so you will never be far from whatever it is you may need. Happy traveling!