Cultural Experience | New York City

Weekend Warrior: New York City


Packing essentials for braving the cold weather in the city that never sleeps.

I recently took a trip to New York City to participate in Hostelling International USA’s annual Great Hostel Give Back program. I was excited to spend time in one of my favorite cities, but I was dreading the cold weather. Here are some of the items I couldn’t have survived without on my weekend getaway!

Traveled from: Atlanta to New York City

Traveled by: Plane

Stayed at: Hostelling USA

Visited: NYC

Nina Truong weekend warrior packing essentials winter nyc study abroad image

 What to bring:

1. Base layer – Your base layer is your shirt and it is essential that you have a good base layer that will keep you warm. My favorite shirt to wear when it’s freezing cold is Uniqlo’s Heattech Extra-Warm long sleeved shirt. Before you think this Japanese Heattech technology is a gimmick, it actually works and keeps you incredibly warm.

2. Pullover sweater – Since I wore my Uniqlo Heattech shirt, I didn’t have to wear the thickest sweater I own. However, I did choose to bring my merino wool pullover sweater from Madewell because wool is one of the more warmer materials. I recommend a pullover because I tried wearing my wool cardigan and thought it was too cold so I had to change into my pullover.

3. Leggings – I probably would not have survived the cold if I didn’t wear my Zella live-in leggings underneath my jeans. When it gets too cold in Atlanta, I normally wear leggings underneath my jeans. At first, I thought they wouldn’t be warm enough for NYC, but I packed them anyway just in case and luckily they kept my legs warm.

4. Boots – I chose to bring my favorite pair of Tory Burch riding boots instead of flat booties with me only because I knew they would keep my legs warm.

5. Down jacket – While people may have reservations about buying down jackets because of concerns about animal cruelty, this is one of the best ways to stay warm. The down jacket might not be the most fashionable piece of outerwear, but it will keep you much warmer than a cute wool coat. When the wind picks up, you will thank the heavens that you’re wearing a wind-repelling shell.

6. Gloves – There are so many different kinds of gloves out there, but I recommend cashmere gloves if you want to stay warm. I actually had no idea that the ones I picked up from J. Crew were cashmere at first because I picked up a random pair that was on sale. One of my friends on the trip was complaining how her hands were so cold even though she was wearing gloves and was wondering why I wasn’t cold. I checked the label of my gloves and discovered that they were cashmere, which was a pleasant surprise!

7. Scarf – Again, I am obsessed with cashmere when it comes to staying warm so I recommend a cashmere scarf. It’s lightweight and Nordstrom has a lot of colors you can choose from. I love their scarves so much that I actually have two – one in cream and another in camel.

8. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Since I was running around the city the entire weekend, I didn’t want a heavy makeup look during the day. The wide range of neutral colors in this palette comes in handy when you want to transition from a day look to a smokey night time look!

9. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – You know it’s winter when your skin gets incredibly dry. The Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty is my go-to moisturizer during the winter. It keeps my skin hydrated and smooth without making it oily.

10. Longchamp – It’s not a packing essentials post, without including the Longchamp. This is my absolute favorite bag when I travel. It’s spacious so I can stuff everything I need in it and it’s waterproof!

Bonus item – If you’re staying in a hostel, I can’t stress how important it is to bring your own lock. I am incredibly paranoid when it comes to the possibility of having my things stolen so I normally bring a small lock with me. I brought my small padlock and wasn’t expecting it to fit for the locker at my hostel, but it surprisingly fit!

Nina Truong

Emory University | 8 stories

Nina Truong is a senior double majoring in International Studies and Film at Emory University from Scottsdale, Arizona. Unable to resist her love for travel, she spent the past three summers studying abroad in Italy, England, and Germany. She is a self-proclaimed navigator and enjoys pretending she knows the streets of foreign cities, but really fearing for her life that she doesn’t get the group lost. When she is not worrying about directions, she is constantly on the prowl for her next meal.


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