I recently took a trip to New York City to visit a friend. While I had been to New York before, it was my first proper visit to the city, and to say the least, it was quite a learning experience.
I travel often, so when it comes to packing light or packing less, I’m pretty good. But just as all cities are different, your packing list should be too. For example, how you pack for a walking city is different from how you pack for a driving city and let’s just say I wasn’t fully prepared for the major walking city that is NYC.
With that said, I want to share my realizations with you all just in case you’re heading on a trip to a major pedestrian city anytime soon. These are some things to consider and might save you from being sore, tired, and uncomfortable by the end of the day.
1. Travel Light
Now, I don’t mean pack light for your travels to the city… but you might want to do that anyway. I mean pack light for your travel around the city. Being from Atlanta, a city that relies heavily on driving, I never thought twice about the things I carried around with me. This is partly because I never had to physically carry them for long. But that all changed during my recent trip to New York City. As you all may know, NYC is a walking city; therefore, whatever you bring with you for the day, you will literally have to carry for the whole day. I made the mistake of packing heavier, as I usually do, and I learned my lesson very quickly as my arms began to fatigue early on in the day from holding my heavy bag. Maybe you don’t need your big sunglasses case, 10 lip products, and your big bulky wallet with every single membership card you own. Instead, you might just need your ID, one or two cards, and chapstick. It’ll be way easier for you to carry around, and it’s less for you to worry about.
2. Backpack or Crossbody > Purse or Handbag
This tip is more for the ladies but opt for a smaller bag, preferably one whose weight can be evenly distributed across both shoulders. Again, I made the mistake of bringing a shoulder bag to the city and boy did I feel it in my shoulders by the end of the day. I was constantly switching my bag from shoulder-to-shoulder, hoping to give one a break while the other worked. I highly suggest that you skip the issue altogether and just get a small backpack or cross body. You won’t have to deal with as much fatigue throughout the day and probably won’t be as sore the following day either.
3. Your Shoes Matter
On my first day in NYC, I walked over 11 miles. Yup, I walked 6k. I really thought the shoes I wore were great because they usually got the job done in Atlanta. But in New York, that was a different story. Now, I completely acknowledge that the average person may not walk 11 miles during their typical day in New York. I’d love to pretend that I was really on the move and sightseeing, I actually walked that far because I got lost…very lost… multiple times. 😬 With that aside, I still recommend you wear your best walking shoes. I wore Converses and I began to regret that decision on mile four. There were seven more miles to go that day. 😩
4. Google Maps & City Mapper
Shout out to mobile GPS apps… they’re the real MVP! But honestly, I would have been so lost, I mean even more lost than I already was, if it wasn’t for these apps. They do a great job of giving you the most efficient routes to your destinations, as well as a range of pricing options to get there. For example, Uber is more expensive than the subway, but it’s more efficient, so depending on your budget and the time you have to get there you could choose your preferred mode of transportation accordingly. I found myself going between these apps to get to where I wanted to go, find food, and much more.
So I hope these tips gave you something to think about next time you head into a major walking city. I really wish I had thought more about these things before my trip, but these were great lessons learned, and I got the chance to share them with you guys.
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Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!