Hey guys! I’m excited to finally be sharing a series of my guides about my trip to New York a while ago!
New York is honestly one of the most amazing places you can visit – it’s almost a cliché to say so but it’s true! It’s such an incredible melting pot of people and cultures, a place where anything and anyone goes and you can feel (all at once) like a local and also completely lost at sea. Ben had never been there before, so this was such a great trip for us, with so much to explore and do.
Because New York is such a great destination with just soooo much to do, I thought it would make sense to split up the guide into key itineraries based on areas – I have always believed that the best way to travel is by walking and exploring, which is exactly what Ben and I did. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you a series of guides to my favourite things to do. And because you guys so loved my planning and packing guide to Sri Lanka, I thought it would be great to share something similar here – because planning your trip to New York can be overwhelming.
We’ve created this map for you to bookmark some cute spots. Enjoy!
How to Plan Your New York Trip
Trip Length New York is honestly one of those places that you’ll never get bored, and you can while away many weeks there. That said, it is possible to go for too shorter time, so at a minimum, I would go to New York for 4 nights. Our trip was actually 8 nights which allowed us to do soooo much and really get into the nitty-gritty of the city.
Where should you stay? Ahhhh the big question and the one that you’ll spend the most time researching and pondering. Having been to New York 4 times now, and having stayed all over the city (from Times Square on my first trip to Brooklyn, Soho, Mid Town) I would have to say that my absolute favourite area to stay in New York is around Soho and the Lower East Side. After having stayed in so many places, I found that this area has the best access to lots of things you will want to see, without having to travel too far on the subway or jump in too many cabs.
What time of year? There isn’t necessarily a bad time to go to New York (although I prefer not to travel in the snow) and there are always things on to attract you, but that said I’ve found the most pleasant times to visit are Spring and Autumn, when the weather is fresh but not too hot, and there’s no snow or cold weather in sight. If you go in April/May/June, or Sept/Oct you’ll have the best time. That said Christmas in New York would be amazing!
How to break up your trip? So, you’re trying to build an itinerary hey? This is the fun part of researching your New York Trip! That said, it can often feel like you’re going around in circles or playing a complex game of Jenga when you try to work out what attraction is where and how you are going to visit them all. To make it easy for you, we’ll be breaking down the city into bite size, totally walkable chunks that you can tackle easily. We’ll be highlighting the must-see attractions and cool spots, so stay tuned over the next few weeks. That said, what you do will always come down to how much time you have in a city, so we thought we would put together a few suggested itineraries for you:
3 Days – Day 1: Central Park and the Upper Easter Side. 2: Chelsea, Meatpacking, Greenwich Village and The High Line. Day 3: Soho, The East Village & The Lower East Side.
5 Days – Day 4: Mid Town & Times Square. Day 5: Williamsburg & Dumbo.
8 Days – Spend a few extra days in your favourite suburbs, or head on out to Montauk or Hudson for two nights.
You can of course swap days in and out if you prefer (say, if you are more interested in Brooklyn you can do that insteas of The Highline). I’ll be doing guides for each of the above days over the next few weeks!
What To Pack For New York
Given that we visited New York in the warmer months last year, linen was my absolute go to. Which is great because my friends over at Grana have just released more pieces for their amazing linen collection, which would go perfectly for your next trip!
Choose Comfortable shoes
THIS. IS. ESSENTIAL. Even if you were to accidentally leave your whole suitcase at home and could only take one thing, a great, comfortable pair of shoes would be what you would want, even if it meant you had to walk around naked for the whole trip (you’ll see stranger things in New York). For me, that means a really comfortable pair of sneakers – Springcourt is my go to for a brand that’s comfortable without screaming tourist. A pair of sandals if it’s summer (the simple sandals naturally!) or a pair of comfortable (and slip-proof) boots if it’s winter, as well as a nice pair of shoes for going out and you’re all set!
Pack Something chic
Or, everything chic. Seriously though, New York is one of those places where you can be casual, but I would avoid overly touristy outfits (ie the windbreaker, sneakers etc). As a city that is overrun with tourists, the best way to blend in is to dress, if not like a local, then someone who isn’t in a tour group (even if you are – no shame there!).
One major thing I have noticed from all my trips is that New York’s weather is unpredictable. Because it changes frequently and drastically, the only way to prepare is by packing a few layers. Of course, it depends on the year, but regardless of the month, a jacket and a sweater/sweatshirt should always be on your packing list for New York (as well as a coat during the winter).
If you’ve been around here much you know that my number one consideration when buying/making clothes is the fabric. Regardless of when you are travelling, I suggest packing mainly natural fabrics in your suitcase – this is key because one thing that I have noticed about New York is that it can be humid. Even if you’re travelling in winter you’ll find that coming in and out of heating will make you damp and often sweaty. By focusing on linen, silk, wool, cashmere and other natural fabrics, you’ll find that you’ll feel much more comfortable. Grab more information here about fabrics!
Pack for the Season
Obviously, New York has very marked seasons, and chances are you’ve chosen your trip timing with that in mind. If not, make sure to do a full review of what the weather will be like while you’re there because this will inform your packing (completely!). The city can get sweltering in Summer, or you could be trudging through a foot of snow if it’s Winter that you’re travelling. Take note also that the weather can change a lot, and chances are you’ll experience four seasons in one day. An umbrella is a must! If you’re looking for more detailed packing advice, check out this post.
For colder months…
- A chic winter jacket
- A pair of jeans
- A warm hat
- A scarf
- Cute boots
- A warm dress
- A cosy wool knit
For warmer months…
- A light jacket (like this one)
- Comfy airy shoes (sandals/flats)
- Chic sneakers
- A couple of shorts/skirts
- A few tops
- A couple of dresses/jumpsuits
- One dressy outfit including shoes
Bag it up
You’ll need a bag that works for trudging through the city, and getting on and off public transport. Something that buttons up or zips up, or perhaps even a leather backpack can be a great piece for New York.
This post is in collaboration with Grana. Grab 10% off when you use the code ‘apasxgrana’.