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Packing List for New York (Winters)

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Winter NYC Packing List (7-10 days)

You will never be prepared for New York City. So stop trying to pack for every possible scenario. It won’t work. Instead, pack for the right season (more on that at the end), and think hard about what you want to do.

December Weather: Average High: 44°F (7°C) Average Low: 32°F (0°C)

  • 1 scarf
  • 1 beanie/wool hat
  • 1 pair of gloves/mittens
  • 1 winter coat with insulated hood
  • 1 long thermal underwear
  • 1 cashmere or wool cardigan
  • 1 fleece or cashmere turtleneck sweater
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 blouses
  • 2 pants (1 dress pants and 1 jeans)
  • 1 party dress (for shows, dinner, night out)
  • accessories (costume jewelry, belts)
  • pajamas
  • 2 pairs of socks ( 1 woollen)
  • sunglasses
  • 3 bras
  • 4 underwear (or more if you don’t plan to use the laundry service)
  • 2 pairs of shoes (walking and dress) and long boots
  • 1 small purse
  • Sandals/flip flops
  • Sneakers/walking shoes or winter boots if traveling in winter
  • Dress shoes (optional)


If you’re traveling during the winter, it’s a good idea to bring a warm and waterproof pair of boots. It snows a lot in NYC during the winter and streets and sidewalks can be filled with snow, ice and brown slush.


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Contact lens solution
  • Tissues (a small pack)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Makeup
  • Lotion (optional, hotel provides)
  • Shampoo (optional, hotel provides)
  • Hand soap (optional, hotel provides)
  • Body soap (optional, hotel provides)
  • whatever you usually need


  • Phone and phone charger
  • Music player – I use my phone for this
  • Alarm clock – my phone
  • Watch
  • Headphones
  • Tablet/eReader – I don’t really see the point of bringing one if you have a phone, but you could if you want to read books or browse the web on a bigger screen
  • Laptop and laptop charger – if you’re planning on doing some work or managing photos. I have a MacBook Air which is very portable and lightweight


  • Passport with appropriate visa (if you are not an American) or Government issued photo ID for Americans
  • Money – very important
  • Wallet
  • Tickets (store electronically or paper)
  • Gear Ties – like duct tape
  • Sunglasses – New York City can get very sunny, so you would probably want to bring a pair of sunglasses.


Things to Do before you leave your home

  • Plan your trip and what attractions to visit
  • Get books and a guidebook to read during the trip
  • Do laundry
  • Pay bills
  • Organize/go over your hotel stay in NYC
  • Reconfirm your flight and print out tickets
  • Get directions to the airport
  • Put mail on hold or get a neighbor to take care of your mail
  • Arrange a pet sitter (if you have a pet)
  • Throw away food that will go bad
  • Download apps, ebooks, and music prior to trip
  • Charge all electronics
  • Check weather
  • Manage email and create an email vacation message
  • Lock all doors and windows

What not to bring to NYC

  • Big bottles of soap and shampoo – there are pharmacies and convenience stores like Duane Reade and CVS on the corners of almost every block in New York City, you won’t have trouble finding soap or shampoo. You can buy anything in New York, in fact, many tourists visit solely to shop. All hotels provide these essentials and some AirBnB apartments provide as well.
  • Don’t pack too many socks or underwear, you can easily hand wash these while traveling
  • Don’t pack anything you can buy in the city (like extra clothes or shoes)



  1. Dress up like you’re going to work– lots of people working in Manhattan actually live in Long Island or New Jersey which are outside of the city. These people go to the city for work and therefore dress up to go to work. If you can dress like a commuter, you’ll look like a New Yorker. This is especially the case in Downtown Manhattan where Wall Street and other financial areas are located. This isn’t really feasible for most visitors, but if you really wanted to blend in, this is what you’d do.
  2. Wear jeans– everyone around the world wears jeans, so you’ll blend in with a pair of jeans
  3. Wear what everyone else is wearing– if it’s the middle of winter, wear a jacket like the rest of the locals, if it’s the middle of the summer, wear a short sleeve dress shirt or maybe a t-shirt


  1. Don’t wear cheesy tour group t-shirts– this is a given
  2. Don’t wear a big hiking backpack– if you do need a backpack, make it look like you’re going to work
  3. Don’t walk around with a selfie stick– they’re annoying especially in crowded streets

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