New York Travel

Packing for A Week in New York

June 19, 2016


I’m packing for a week long trip to New York and am beyond excited to be traveling again. This month my husband and I are traveling carry on style again although since our trip is shorter than our month-long venture last year, packing will be much easier. I will try to blog while I’m gone but it may be a bit quiet on the blog. A full recap of my trip, visits, finds will be on the blog for summer travel but in the meantime you can follow me along on my travels daily through New York City and Brooklyn on social via Instagram @beautylookbook.


As mentioned in previous posts, I tend to bring carry on luggage only for travel (most of my trips are shorter trips). This is for convenience and to help limit what I bring along with me. If I’m traveling with my husband efficiency is key because is has no patience to wait in lines to check luggage or pick it up at baggage claim. When we traveled through Europe bringing carry on bags only with us for 3 weeks and stopped at 9 cities via 7 flights. Having carry on luggage saved us hours of waiting. In case you want to see what I fit into last year’s trip you can see my Three Weeks in Europe with Carry-Ons. Fitting everything in such a small space is like playing a game of Tetris trying to make sure no space is wasted.


This year is different. I’ll be in New York City and Brooklyn for a week. As I’m tying out this post I’m still trying to sort everything out for casual and business casual looks. Half of the time I will be able to be a tourist in New York, the other half is booked with meetings and a conference. I’ve found some really cute summer dresses from Nordstrom and Madewell. Ones that are forgiving for those who don’t have perfectly toned bodies. My biggest challenge right now is narrowing down what shoes to bring. I struggle between the desire to wear cute shoes and the need to be practical for such a short trip.

The preliminary pack list below, subject to change:
Carry On Pack List
Full recap of what I end up bringing and review of what worked and what didn’t to follow. Many of you liked my lessons learned posts last year. I know I always like reading those kinds of posts. Sometimes learning what not to do is just as good as the success stories.


If you have any recommendations on where to eat in the city please let me know! On one of my trip days I will have a couple hours of downtime in Brooklyn – any recs for what to see in a short time would be awesome!

P.S. I’m trying out some new carry on luggage courtesy of a company called Away (one shown above is Sand). They have one product which is a Carry On style luggage and it’s priced under $250. Their items come in a few colors and it’s equipped with a charging dock in the handle which is awesome. You can use this referral code to save $20 off your first suitcase order. Full review to follow!

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  • I am so jealous you're going to NY! That honestly is the absolute dream, I promise I'll be taking myself one day.

    Vickie |

    • I hope you can visit, it's really worth seeing!

  • Anonymous

    I would err on the side of practicality for shoes when visiting NYC, especially if you will be doing a lot of walking and public transportation as a tourist.

  • You are bringing one pair of pants and their white??? To ny? Rethink.

  • Welcome to NYC! Make sure you have a sweater or a wrap, our weather's been a bit wacky lately. For Brooklyn, it kind of depends on how much time you have to get to and get back to Manhattan (if your meetings/hotel are there). The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is a lovely place to spend some time, it has a lot of beautiful blooms this time of year and is particularly know for its Japanese Hill and Pond garden. It's also next to the Brooklyn Museum which has unique collections.

    The Twisted Lily is a cute little fragrance boutique on Atlantic Ave. and a Rituals shop on Court Street which are fairly close to each other in Brooklyn. Catbird in Williamsburg is a cute little shop with jewelry and knickknacks. Then in Dumbo there is the very tasty Jacques Torres Chocolate with ice cream plus there is the antique carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I don't know if there are any events going on when you're here but Governor's Island is a cute place to go, they had jazz era festivals which are very Gatsby-like.

    Also I believe both the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden have some special cocktail evenings which you might like.

    Food…kind of depends what you like. Williamsburg has the trendy places, one of which that is pretty popular for its oyster hour and absinthe cocktails is Maison Premiere. If you're near the Barclay's center, I like the gastropub Alchemy that is on 5th avenue near there. I'll just stop there. hehee

    • The Brooklyn gardens and museum are two of my favorite places to visit when in New York. We have some wonderful parks here in So Cal, but it is always refreshing to visit one when traveling. Walking through the botanical gardens is a pleasant and restorative break from all the hustle and bustle of the city. As for the museum, it's quite a good one and I always enjoy the exhibits. Of course, it is always overshadowed by the Met, but they're two totally different museum experiences. If someone were going to NYC for the first and possibly only time, though, I'd say do the expected; go to the Met if you only have time for one.

      I second the advice to take a wrap of some kind. Perhaps you plan on wearing a cardigan or the like on the plane. I also share Sallu's concern about only taking one pair of white pants. That white had me saying, "Huh?" LOL. As for shoes, those of us who have been there know that New Yorkers log a lot of miles so make sure your shoes are comfy. Also, I'd personally opt for something a bit more enclosed. The streets of NYC and the mass transit are not as clean and fresh as what you are accustomed to in SD.

      Have a wonderful trip Sabrina. We'll all be looking forward to seeing your pictures and reading about your adventures when you return.

    • This made me chuckle. Wearing pretty much an flat, close to the ground sandal (especially the flipflops people wear) will give you dirty feet from the streets and subways. Must carry disinfecting wipes! Unfortunately there is a lot of "gunk" on seats – subway, buses, park benches – so white pants could take a beating. πŸ™‚

    • Additional NY-er/Brooklyn-ite weighing in. Would definitely recommend black (or navy) culottes/skirt-shorts if you wear them. Black for all reasons mentioned. Shorter due to heat. (It's 88 today). Also wearing dark colors makes you less likely to be seen as an out of towner. I agree on closed shoes or heavier sandals for walking. And make sure that your bag strap can be worn over your head and one shoulder– . And that your bag zips. If you wear sun hats, I would bring one that won't crush when packed. All that out of doors walking entails sun exposure. Brooklyn also has an awesome Chinatown with great food. Check out BAM for unique films and theatre. Water bottle to stay hydrated without plastic bottles. NY water is really excellent.

      The best makeup hubs are 1: East side– 59 or so: Bloomies, BG, Sephora, Space NK, Barneys, MAC in walking distance and 2. Soho: Bloomies (with TF), Sephora, MAC, Nars 3. Saks- 50th and 5th also has TF, CdP (both also at BG), Gucci, Chanel (at Blooms + BG too.)

    • Thank you Evelyn, Alison and Eileen – I didn't have time to respond before I left but thank you so much for taking the time to comment on recs. I was in NY for a very short time so I did not get to all the places I wanted to, book marking this for my next trip though.


  • Anonymous

    Impressive packing. I would definitely need more Tees and a cardigan. Happy and safe travels and a wonderful trip!

  • kER

    Where to eat- ABC KITCHEN

  • You've definitely picked some winners. I'd seriously struggle to pack for NY just because I feel like you have to take your best outfits!

  • Love your packing edit. I'm the same – I avoid hold luggage where it's possible. I hate waiting at the luggage carousel-and it's amazing what you can fit in hand luggage! Comfy shoes are an absolute must for New York – you'll be amazed how far you walk!!

    Beekeyper – Latest – Nuxe RΓͺve de Miel – in a stick!

    • Yay for another light packer! Yes comfy shoes were a must, I survived in sandals and flats but wish I did have a good pair of sneakers.

  • Go to Champs Diner when you're in Brooklyn amazing food! Have fun, I'm heading back in 2 and a half weeks and can't wait x

  • Your packing essentials looks pretty and fun. I hope you have a wonderful time in NYC. I'm a New Yorker and base in Brooklyn. I highly recommend that you stop by to Bibble and Sip this place serves really good Earl Grey and Green Tea Cream puffs. For weekend I highly recommend you to check out Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn a lot of good food vendors. Hope you enjoy your NYC trip.

    • Thank you Cynthia! I didn't make it to your recs but am bookmarking for future trips xoxo

  • A perfect pack list for a wanderlust. The outfits are fab.

  • Louisa

    Love your photos and initial packing. I also concur about the shoes. The streets are quite dirty and every night your feel will grimy if you wear sandals. I would opt for shoes with more structure and support, and even a trainer of some sort. Plus, I shudder to think of the blisters from thong type sandals, unless you are in cars all the time. However, you will look adorable in all your cute outfits.

  • Eat at Eataly, Lupulo, Luzzo's pizza, Japonica, Her Name is Han – some of my local faves. Safe travels!

  • Ooooh have a wonderful time! I've never been to New York, I'd love to go someday! Love your flat lay photos!

    It's Me, Maggie |

    • Thank you Maggie – so happy you like the flatlays!

  • Great picks! It's awesome that Tatcha makes such lovely minis πŸ™‚

    I would totally recommend eating at 12 Chairs or Toloache if you're in Greenwich Village πŸ™‚

  • A charging dock in the handle!!!
    That luggage is fabulous. Love the Sand colour.

  • NY is more humid than LA so I recommend wearing sweat wicking shirts like Icebreaker. I wore them on my trip to Taiwan and they were much better than cotton shirts. They kept me cooler, wicked sweat and didn't stink (wool is naturally antibacterial). I also second wearing closed shoes instead of the sandals you packed. You really need arch support for all that walking and the streets/subways are dirty. Don't miss Laduree macarons. They are much better than Bottega Louie's macarons.

  • Kristen

    Really looking forward to hearing what you think about the Away Carry-On. It seems amazing!

  • Have a brilliant time but please look after yourself and stay safe. Xx

  • Nicole

    Your bag looks like it's already about at capacity! Do the clothes and shoes go in bag #1 and you separate makeup and toiletries for bag #2? I totally admire your packaging ability. I went on a girls' weekend to Nashville and got major dirty looks from my friends for checking a regular bag. We only fit in the Uber from the airport because one girl had to have a bag under her feet. (Hangs head in shame …) Hope you have a blast in NYC! Looking forward to living vicariously through you this week on Instagram!

    • Full recap on how I packed soon πŸ™‚ I was really amazed at how much I was able to fit inside the carry on!

  • I just got back from New York so I hope you have an amazinggggg time! I managed to cram all my stuff to take into my hand luggage and took a pretty much empty suitcase in the hold for shopping πŸ˜‰ we had an amazing meal in Koreatown (which is midtown) so I definitely recommend checking out some of the smaller restaurants round there

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • Koreatown is awesome.

    • I just read your post Jasmine and LOVE LOVE LOVED it!!! Amazing haul as well πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    Have a great vacations ! Love your pictures πŸ™‚

    Jillian –

  • I saw your picture with the delightful Edward Bess on Facebook. That red and white striped dress looks adorable on you.

    • Thank you Eileen – so sweet of you to say, seeing him was the highlight of my trip!

  • Anonymous

    If you are going to New York, I'd recommend visiting the Moma PS1 in Long Island City (which is technically Queens, but right at the edge of Brooklyn), Smorgasburg which is an outdoor food court popular in Williamsburg, Shen Beauty for makeup and if you are down in the Cobble Hill area, and Patrizia's if you like old school Italian.

    • Thank you – I'm bookmarking this for my next visit!!