We have not long got back from a 4 night stay to New York city. Somewhere I have wanted to visit since I was 15 years old and watched Sex and the City. I tell you what, it did not disappoint! I have never been outside of Europe so I wanted to make sure that when I packed our suitcases I brought with us only what we needed and what I knew we would wear.
New York in January is cold, very cold. But as we went at the end of the month we actually missed all the minus temperatures and the coldest was 2 or 3 degrees and that was mainly at night. Here are some tips for how to pack for a cold destination. Some might say obvious but I would say necessary…
- Make sure you check the weather on the BBC weather app (not the app on your phone, as it isnt as accurate as you think!).
- Speak to people who have visited the destination before you. So many people have been and its great to get information, details and just tips on what to pack and also what not too pack.
- Always check how much suitcase weight you are entitled to take on the plane. We were lucky with British Airways we were able to take 23kg each to New York.
- ALWAYS try on your outfits before you pack. This is so important. I highly recommend that you try your outfits on with tights, shoes and accessories so when you arrive, you can unpack and easily know what you are wearing on each day. This causes less stress but makes it so easy when packing.
- Check to see if you need thermals. You never know. You can purchase thermals from anywhere – Amazon, Lidl and even George at Asda.
- Think of accessories too. We packed small pocket sized hot water bottles (which in the end, we never used) – hand warmers, thermal gloves (with tips to use your phone), hats, scarves and even ear warmers. Every little helps in cold climates.
Now back to New York.
- I got out our large it suitcases (which we have had for 3 years and are amazing) I brought them a few summers ago from Matalan and they have never let me down. So big, easy to pack and ever so light. I always mix our clothes when we go away as I always have the fear of loosing a suitcase. So I always mix our clothes, underwear and shoes. I also stuff every inch of the suitcase with our belongings. I put underwear in shoes, squeeze appliances in gaps and always pack in his and hers toiletry bags so its super easy on arrival to see where aftershave, tampons etc are.
Here are all our bits and bobs…
2. What I always do before I even pack is I try everything on. I placed everything on my rail upstairs, tried it all on and when I was happy I packed everything away. All thick jumpers were folded but PJS, tshirts etc I rolled as they do not crease and they fit in all the small gaps.
3. We added in lots of thermals – 2 pairs each (bottoms and tops) which I purchased from Lidl – along with thermal fleeced leggings £6 from Primark and lots of layers. We packed really light as our suitcases were 13kg each and we made sure we packed extra pants, leggings, jeans tops and I even brought my cream coat.
4, This was the first long haul flight I had taken and it was a morning flight. So I read up and took lots of tips and made sure I traveled with NO make up on. Another first for me. I packed my moisturiser (which is also a primer) and added it on when I felt my face was getting dry on the plane. I also wore very comfy yoga trousers and a new jumper I got as a gift for my birthday. I also made sure I drank A LOT of water on the plane – so my face and body was not dehydrated.
I packed a face mask (you would know if you saw my stories) but I honestly didn’t feel that I needed it on the plane (due to all the water) but this was my bag before I went through security.
5. I would consider myself a very good packer and I made sure I had in my hand luggage a book, magazine, charged phone with downloaded films and podcasts, spare headphones, snacks and more. I also brought a head pillow but I mainly watched films and TV programs like Sex and the City and really tried to sleep. The film selection on British Airways is great! Also the planes have headrests that move forward as well as up and down – so there was no need for my head pillow, so on the way back I made sure to pack it in the suitcase so I didn’t have to carry it.
I carefully packed my make up (just the essentials) in my hand luggage and 45 mins before landing I put it on in my seat and felt super fresh. By 5pm we were super tired and I didn’t feel like wiping all my face off. Its the best advice I can give you when travelling for 6 hours plus.
The weather in New York was mainly super sunny and we didn’t need our thermals at all.
6. But there was one day when it was so stormy, windy and wet and that was the day we went to see the Statue of Liberty. The one day we had to get on a boat and go to an island was the day that we got soaked down to our underwear. When we arrived back to the hotel we had to strip and dry all our clothes. Our coats and shoes were wet 24 hours later.
I brought my long puffa coat which was a gift for my birthday. It is very warm, cosy and has a big hood so it protected me a lot from the storm.
7. This was also the day that I left the hotel with straight 60s styled hair and it got ruined in the rain. I also brought a New York hat for $10 and wore it all day long as it was the only thing keeping my ears warm on the boat. I highly recommend you get a hat. They are so cool and such a good memory from a trip. $10 was the cheapest I could get. I highly recommend that you stay away from shops on 7th Avenue as they are just trying to rip you off. Go more east and everything is a little cheaper. (More of these tips will be in a separate NYC blog).
8. In regards to footwear I only brought one extra pair of boots. I wore ankle boots on the plane so I was comfortable and could easily take my boots off and then I made sure I packed the most comfortable and stylist boots I had – my patent lace ups. All my tights were thermal tights, 80 denier and from Marks and Spencer.
9. I packed a small accessory bag that had all my jewellery, necklaces, hair ribbons and hair clips. It was very small and I made sure I ONLY packed jewellery I would wear. I hate bringing lots and just carrying it around. I only bring what I wear. I also packed gloves, 2 hats, 1 scarf and a snood plus ear warmers and yes I did wear them all. (Apart from the snood – all the walking made me hot).
10. The main thing to think about when you are travelling to a cold destination is layers, layers and more layers. Don’t pack 3 black tshirts especially when you are going for 4 nights. Pack 2 and wear them over again. Remember you are the one that have to wash it all when you get home.
And talking about returning home…
11. What I do is everything that I have not worn (at all) is I place it all in one suitcase and the dirty items I place in another suitcase. Of course, I bring lots of plastic bags and that is where I put all the dirty clothes in ready for the washing machine when we land home.
So I make sure I have one ‘dirty’ suitcase and one ‘clean’ – I then place a towel on top of the dirty clothes so there is something separating them. Simples! Remember if you forget something you can always buy it out there – especially somewhere like New York.
I really hope you liked this blog post and if you have any travelling tips please do comment and share as I love hearing about anything that helps when travelling. More New York posts coming soon…