You’re stepping off of the plane at JFK International, inside you want to burst into an out of key rendition of Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’. It’s just like the movies: the avenues, the steam vents, the skyscrapers, the hot dog vendors. Ah! That feeling...
Now, before you get carried away with your little daydream of the Big Apple, there’s still work to do! There’s an old saying, ‘failure to prepare, is preparing to fail’, luckily for you, we’re willing to do the preparing for you. Here is a list of essential items to pack for your next trip to New York.
Whether you’re visiting for a long weekend or you’re taking a month sabbatical, a good backpack is a necessity. It needs to be lightweight, secure and, seeing as you’ll be in one of the world’s most fashionable cities, it had better be a stylish one.
Bobby by XD Design is the ultimate backpack for a city such as New York: with cut-proof material and secret zipper pockets for security; and features such as a USB slot for recharging electronics it has something for everyone. It also happens to be a very cool bag, available in three exciting colourways.
Another excellent day bag to roam the streets of New York with is RiutBag. RiutBag is a self-described “urban backpack”, designed in reverse of your average backpack with pockets and pouches etc. resting in the rear of the pack, meaning any electronics, documents or other important items are safely housed inside.
If none of those bags interests you, then take a look at our pick of the top Sling Backpack for Travel.
Our choice at number 6 may surprise you!
Yes, you read that right!
You can’t go to New York City without having a picnic in Central Park, and to cap off a picnic you need the right blanket.
Why not go all out and take a blanket named after the park itself? Skip Hop’s Central Park outdoor blanket and cooler bag! With a cooler pocket to keep beverages or refrigerated products cool, your food will be equally as chilled as you are, taking in the sights and sounds created by 40 million annual visitors.
Tuffo’s water-resistant outdoor blanket would also be the perfect picnic partner. Packed with pockets, this blanket also neatly folds into a bag, so you don’t even need to bring a basket.
Once you’ve filled your belly, you can use #5 on our list to relax in the park with.
Whether you’re riding the subway, sitting in Central Park, making the flight over to JFK go faster or simply unwinding in your hotel, Amazon’s Kindle is the ideal companion.
With over 1 million titles to choose from and an anti-glare screen you can read all of your favourite e-books any time and anywhere you like. Its single-charge battery life lasts for weeks, so for your trip you would barely even need to consider bringing a charger, and with storage enough for thousands of books, it would be hard to run out of reading material.
So, what do you read in New York City? We recommend E.B. White’s witty love letter to the Big Apple ‘Here is New York’, Susanne Rindell’s mid-century, Mad Men-esque portrayal of the city’s publishing hay day ,‘Three-Martini Lunch’, and ‘M Train’ a New York based memoir by the legendary singer/writer/activist Patti Smith.
New York is a big place as you may already be aware, and if you’re going to do it right, you’ll be cramming copious amounts of sightseeing in. With steps to climb, parks to stroll through, shops to browse, neighbourhoods to explore, not to mention the walking tours and many other things requiring your two feet to be constantly the on the go, you’ll need comfortable shoes.
Trainers are a good choice for city roaming, with rubber soles being imperative to a comfortable walk. They also need less wearing in than traditional walking boots, leaving you less likely to get back to your hotel with blisters galore.
Clarks Trigenic collection is a super soft leather trainer x casual shoe with a three-part sole, giving you freedom of movement and comfort in abundance, perfect for walking long distances in a cityscape. Trigenic is a shoe which can also be carried off with a few different styles, perfect to contribute to fashion playground that is NYC.
Now you have the shoes, our pick at #3 will show you where to test them out.
With enough to do in New York to last three lifetimes, it’s imperative that you hand-pick the best of the best for your taste in the short time you’ll be its guest. Luckily, there are people out there who’ve gone to great lengths to compile lists and reviews of what to do depending on your taste. It’s also important that your guide is up to date!
Lonely Planet has become the household name in traveling the world, whether long-term or just for a weekend, their constantly updated guides provide such an in depth outline of almost everything there is to do in a specific place, including hotels, restaurants, natural sights, tours, and even include seasonal and monthly highlights, such as festivals and celebrations.
New York Times’ 36 Hours series is excellent for any short trip away to a new destination, and even ones you’ve visited before. Their New York and Beyond edition is no different, from world renowned Broadway theatres to little known backstreet bars and galleries, this guide offers something for everyone.
Famous graffiti, architectural wonders, park-scapes and city-wide vistas will greet you on arrival in the visual playground that is New York City, so you’d better be ready to take those views home to show family and friends, let alone to long for well after your trip has concluded.
A point and click camera is good enough for taking the best possible picture, or for a slightly more interesting photographic experience of the city, why not take an instant film camera with you? Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 8 is a great low-budget example.
Consider having a good camera stabilizer for better shot, even with your camera or smartphone.
Okay, so almost everyone has one of these now... Just don’t forget to take yours with you! And make sure you cram it full of useful apps:
Citymapper, (Android/iOS) your instant and efficient guide to getting around New York. Citymapper will tell you the fastest route to your destination, including all forms of public transport, even Uber, cycling and walking.
Time Out New York (Android/iOS)is the ultimate up to date ‘what’s on’ app! With different search criteria, from food to shows, this app shows you the latest events and deals around the city, with a handy little review for each one.
Thrillist has also put together a top 17 of apps for New York City for you to take a peak at.
Thanks to our compilation of the absolute essential items to pack for your trip, you should now be ready to visit the Big Apple without a care in the world. Oh, just don’t forget your passport! P.S. we put this list together to help you make your trip easier.
If you think that we missed anything, or you have any suggestions, don’t forget to leave a comment! Your feedback is very important to us.