Family packing for a trip to New York

When preparing for a family vacation, it can seem as though there are countless concerns and considerations. Well before you actually leave, you must decide on an agreeable destination, carefully determine your budget, schedule the perfect timing for everyone in the family and secure the various tickets, lodging and transportation. Then there are the countless other aspects and elements of a properly planned trip, and one that is often overlooked until the last minute can be the one that makes or breaks a successful trip: effective packing.

what to pack

Although packing may seem like a relatively minor detail on the surface, any parent who has arrived without the right toys, clothes, chargers or other important items has quickly discovered its importance. Experienced travelers have managed to get packing down to a science, and this is even more important for certain destinations.

One such destination is New York City. Once you have secured your hotel, bought tickets for Broadway, booked a Statue of Liberty cruise and made all other arrangements for your NYC trip, it is time to begin packing the very specific items needed for a few days in the city.

This guide is designed to go over the various clothing, electronics and accessories that will be necessary for every member of the family to have a happy New York vacation. Every family is different, and you will certainly need to make additions and adjustments based on the needs of your own. However, this will give you a few of the key items each person will need for a one-week trip to the Big Apple.

Tips for Everyone

Before we get into the specifics, it is important to note a few important elements for everyone when packing for New York.

  • Pack layers of clothing, no matter the time of year. Even in the summer, you will be in and out of restaurants, shops, museums and other establishments that run heavy air conditioning.
  • Remember to leave as much extra space as possible for shopping and souvenirs. What you don’t pack is just as important as what you do.
  • Make sure to bring phone chargers, including one portable charger.
  • Bring a comfortable day bag.
  • Do not waste space on toiletries, as these can be purchased at any drugstore.
  • You can do laundry in the hotel, laundromat or hand-wash clothes; there is no reason to pack seven different outfits for everyone.
  • Generally, one computer is enough to bring for the whole family. Obviously, there are exceptions, but kids and teens can do most activities from their phones.

brooklyn bridge

Packing for Dad

  • Three casual outfits
  • Two formal outfits
  • Jacket or light sweater
  • Coat, scarf, gloves and warm hat in autumn or winter
  • Three underwear
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear and flip-flops in summer
  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes
  • One pair of dress shoes

Packing for Mom

  • Three casual outfits
  • One semi-dressy outfit
  • One party dress
  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Jacket or cardigan
  • Coat, scarf, gloves and warm hat in autumn or winter
  • One light sweater
  • Four underwear
  • Three bras
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear and flip-flops in summer
  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes
  • One pair of casual shoes or boots in winter
  • One pair of dress shoes
  • One small purse

Packing for Kids

  • Four casual outfits
  • One dressy outfit
  • Jacket
  • Coat, scarf, gloves and warm hat in autumn or winter
  • Additional layers, no matter the time of year
  • Five underwear
  • Three socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimwear and flip-flops in summer
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Only the important toys (generally what you would keep in the car)
  • Tablet and other important electronics

    Packing Notes

    Packing for teenage boys will be the same as packing for dad, and teenage girls’ packing list will be the same as mom’s. If you have a baby, make sure you double up on what is usually kept in the diaper bag. Other additions and variations will depend on the individual needs of your family members, but the items listed above are essential for a successful NYC trip.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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