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Packing for Winter in New York City

What to Pack in New York City: Packing for Winter

New York City winters look picturesque in the movies with light falling snow but the reality is, it is often cold and wet. Don’t be uncomfortable or spend money you could have avoided, be sure to pack appropriately for winter.

Luggage and Bags

Think wheels! You might have to do some walking so take luggage and bags that can roll or are comfortable to carry. They should be sturdy so you can toss them in and out of cabs. You also might want to consider a good-sized rolling suitcase to fit bulkier winter clothes (plus have some room in case you do shopping).

A tip: Take luggage you don’t mind getting dirty or scratched up. Wet winters can be rough on your bags.

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear

New York’s winter weather can be nasty. Sometimes the cold (or snow) starts as early the fall months or lasts until March. Check local temperatures before you go. If going in the middle of winter, be sure to bring warm clothes appropriate for winter. Additional items to bring:

  • Layered clothing
  • Extra socks (especially because your feet can get wet)
  • Hats, gloves, scarfs and earmuffs
  • A warm coat
  • Thermal underwear or warm tights

Also, be prepared for wind. A wool coat that is fine elsewhere is no match for the urban wind tunnels. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. If you get caught in the snow, your feet will get wet. The day after a snowstorm is worse because the melting snow creates gigantic puddles throughout the city streets. Bring sneakers and appropriate rain or snow shoes.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies

There are cheap drugstores all over Manhattan that are widely stocked, so no worries if you forgot something. Special items you might need while visiting the Big Apple during the winter are Chapstick, blister pads and moisturizer for cold rashes or windburn.

Photo Equipment

A camera, smartphone or a tablet is a must. If you take a larger device, be sure to have a bag to carry it without it being cumbersome. Bring extra SD cards or a device to transfer your photos to because there are literally tons of photo opportunities. Memory cards can be a little pricey in the city.

It’s good to have an umbrella but if you don’t and find you need one, there are plenty of cheap ones to buy on the street.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about packing for winter in New York City.   

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