Minimalist packing for a weekend in New York City!

First timer here!

I’ve never been to New York but this year for my 30th birthday my sister and I are going! We will be staying for 5 days and 4 nights including travel days. Thankfully it’s less than a two hour flight and we’re heading out early so we can maximize our time when we arrive!

I’m most excited to a see a show on Broadway! Or, let’s be honest, to see more than one. We already have tickets to Wicked and are planning to pick up day-of tickets for at least one more. I love musical theatre (a closet obsession of mine) and have of course seen some other shows more locally, but never really on BROADWAY.

Also even though it’s technically past Christmas I’m excited to see the giant tree at Rockefeller Centre! And go skating at Bryant Park. Possibly get a drink at The Plaza. Can you think of any more cliche New York things to add to my list? Maybe on a future trip I’ll venture more off the beaten path but for my first time I plan to do ALL THE TOURISTY THINGS!

Packing my minimalist suitcase!

So now on to the fun part – packing! You may think I’m crazy for saying that’s the fun part but so long as I’m not rushed I generally do enjoy packing for trips. I think it builds the anticipation and my minimalist self enjoys the challenge of keeping to the essentials!

I’m a list maker – I have lists for everything. So it’s no surprise I already had a packing list going in my phone notes several weeks ago. Yesterday I got out my suitcase and put all my clothes and accessories out on the bed. (Please bear with the sub-optimal photo quality – I am not yet a photographer and only have my phone to work with!)

I am happy to say it all fits very comfortably in my carry on suitcase. As a disclaimer, we are going to bring one checked bag between the two of us. This is mainly to put in an extra pair of boots, because it’s winter and cold and snowy and nobody likes cold, wet feet amiright?! Plus that way if we do any shopping we’ll have ample space to bring things back. But on the way there at least that suitcase will be mostly empty, so I don’t feel like it’s cheating.

Most of us are guilty of over-packing. It’s not uncommon to return home from travel having only worn about half the things in your suitcase. So I’ve vowed over the last couple years since pursuing minimalism to only pack the essentials! And maybe one or two extra pieces as buffers if I have space.

The key I find is being able to mix and match – everything should go with everything! And also using accessories that generally don’t take up much space to really maximize your versatility.

My minimalist packing list!

So, without further ado, here is what I’m packing (including the clothes I’ll be wearing on travel days to and from):

  • 3 pairs of pants: dark jeans, light jeans and faux leather skinnies
  • 3 sweaters: cream cable knit mock neck, simple black crew neck, long grey waffle turtleneck
  • 1 blouse – silky animal print with tie neck detail
  • 1 long sleeve tee – basic black and white stripe
  • 2 underlayers – black tank and fitted charcoal tee
  • 1 belt
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 bathing suit (for the hotel pool / hot tub)
  • 1 coat – warm grey wool coat with a hood
  • 2 scarves – white and black plaid and red paisley (the latter was a last minute add on so not captured in the photos!)
  • 1 grey toque
  • 1 pair of black gloves
  • 2 pairs of boots – warm waterproof snow boots and my simple black chelsea boots
  • 2 purses – my everyday maroon purse and a smaller black evening bag
  • Undies, socks and bras – just the number needed per day and no more! (worst case if you really needed to you could easily hand wash and hang dry)
  • Assorted jewellery – 2 necklaces (1 subtle silver pendant and 1 larger blingy piece), my everyday silver watch, 1 pair of large statement earrings, various smaller stud earrings
  • 1 bright lipstick – I include this here because I think a bright lip counts as an accessory as much as a piece of statement jewellery!

You’ll notice I haven’t packed / planned separate outfits for day and evening. Realistically, because it’s going to be winter weather and we’ll be walking outside a lot, I won’t be dressing up much at night. I’ll be relying a on a change of accessories to feel a little more “night on the town”. Plus this makes getting ready a snap!

So there it is. Hope you found some inspiration in my minimalist packing list for your next getaway! If you have any recommendations for my first time in New York please, please, please leave them in comments below! I’d love to hear them.



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