grey and black hiking backpack and cyan tumbler on grey rock during sunset

6 Useful Things To Have To Travel Light and Smart To New York City

Here’s a list of the top 6 useful things to travel light and smart to New York City.

I don’t know about you, but I used to chuck my whole wardrobe and gadget gear in my luggage, going through every single item and be like “I will definitely use this shirt”, “I need one towel for every shower I’ll take”, “I’ll take a sauce pan as well just in case I get peckish in the evening”. But over the years, and after hundreds of flights and destinations I have realized that I was systematically regretting my compulsive and irrational packing method since I was using only the 10% of the stuff I packed, especially when I did not have any available space to put my souvenirs, having to pay extra money for the weight in excess. That was not fun.

Deciding what to put in your luggage to visit New York City can be a little bit challenging for many reasons: variable weather, activity diversity, lots of walking, etc. I have been through that phase, sitting down at the table brainstorming what is necessary to take with me and what not, and I wished there was something like this guide to help me out with that.

This guide is particularly useful for those of you who are traveling as a backpacker, or with a simple carry-on trolley, or you simply want to travel light and take in what is truly necessary for this trip, without using that extra space that you could fill in with some souvenirs or local shopping.

So, here’s a list of things of items you should consider taking with you when visiting New York City.


Half of a red onion on a white background
Photo by K8 / Unsplash – Layer-up like an onion

Remember, it is going to be a long journey (if, like me, you are traveling from Europe), and there is going to be a great deal of walking involved. So, COMFORT is the word you are looking for.

Don’t overload your luggage with clothes. Remember, you can always wash them in your hotel/hostel. The fewer, the better. Always check the weather in advance to see if you should carry more sweaters or t-shirts.

Whenever you go out (especially if you are traveling in spring/summer/autumn), make sure you are layered up. You will be amazed on how quickly the weather can change, you might want to instantly de-layer yourself in the hot sun, and likewise you want to layer up in could days/early mornings/evenings

I would also recommend you take two different pairs of trainers (just in case one of them gets soaked up should it rain and should you step into a puddle).

Rain Coat

Mr. Polaroid 2
Photo by Izzy Gerosa / Unsplash – Raincoat in New York City

It is very possible that you will find rainy days. It happens! It might be a good idea to take a raincoat that covers you top to bottom, large enough to cover your backpack too.

I personally prefer raincoats over umbrellas because I like to have my hands disengaged when visiting around, as I am always busy checking the map, taking pictures, or just keep them warm in my pockets.

Thermal Bottle

Thermal Thrist
Photo by Martin Sanchez / Unsplash – Thermal Bottle

Also, it is a good idea to take a thermal water bottle with you. It is by far the most useful thing you can have as it is so versatile and money saving.

You can use it to re-fill it with water for free, without having to sell your organs to buy a water bottle in the shops.

Also, you can sip your favourite tea or coffee throughout the day by filling it with hot water (for example at your accommodation – they usually put a kettle in the room).

Just make sure it is fluid-free during the security checks at the airport – they may throw it away if they find it filled up.

I personally use the Root7 bottle, it is the best I have ever had and it is able to keep your drink warm for up to 20 hours, and cold for up to 30 hours.

You can purchase it from amazon (click the bottle).


Make sure to have the right plug adapter! USA, as any other country, has different plug attachments.

If you don’t have one already, make sure to buy a universal travel adapter. It is an investment worth making so that you have your a** covered whenever you go abroad.

They are relatively cheap and so damn useful.

Power Bank

A must-have, not only for travelling, but also in everyday life, it is with no doubt the power bank.

It can be life saving if you are up and about and you need to charge your phone.

Make sure to purchase one that is within safety airplane limits in terms of battery size, which has to be no greater than 100Wh, which is around 27,000mAh.


When traveling abroad, you will be exposed to different weather conditions, different cuisine, different hygiene habits (No way… Really?! Duh!). As a result your body might react in many different, unpredictable ways 💩💩💩 that might interfere with and compromise the enjoyment of your holiday.

It may be a good idea to take some over-the counter medications with you (pain killers, anti-inflammatories, anti-diarrhoea, anti-sickness, anti-constipation, anti-histamine, probiotics).