When you’re on a New York student trip it can often be a long day away from home-base (your hotel, Airbnb, wherever), and trust us when we tell you that you do not want to find yourself in a situation saying, “Shoot! I left something back in the room!” The last thing you want to do is to spend the day needing something you wish you had while you’re exploring the city!
We understand the struggle. It can be a real pain in the you-know-where!
That being said, we would like to give you a few backpack packing tips for your adventures through NYC! As we mentioned in our ‘Don’t Let Your Student Trips Suck!‘ blog, preparation is key! It’s so common not to think about all of the important little things you’re likely to need while you’re out and about, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Alright, let’s get right into it!
If you plan on traveling the New York City during the cooler months surrounding and throughout winter, the first thing you’ll notice as you step off of the train, plane, or bus down onto those big city streets is that the combination of cold temps and winds cuts like a knife through whatever you are wearing.
That is unless you are prepared with layers! It’s a tip of the pros. When you’re on a New York student trip for the cold seasons, layers will save your life.
Not only are they incredibly effective in keeping you warm and protecting you from the piercing winds, but it’s also way more convenient. Stepping in and out from the cold outside to the warm buildings will be a much more comfortable experience if you have the ability to simply peel back or pack back on a layer or two!
2. Foldable water bottle
On any high school student trip, you will do a lot of running around and staying busy. Obviously, you should always be drinking plenty of water (it’s just good practice people!), but making sure that you are staying properly hydrated during trips should be a priority! You will stay more energized, keep yourself from feeling fatigued, and you will enjoy your trip much more overall if you do so!
That being said, you may not always have easy access to a drinking fountain, so you should carry water with you. We suggest a reusable foldable water pouch or collapsible bottle. These options are both convenient for stowing your drink in your bag easily and environmentally conscious! Win-win!
3. Portable charger
While we wouldn’t encourage students to be on their devices too much while on a New York student trip, it is helpful to have a means of communication with those in your group at all times, just in case someone gets separated from everyone else. Your phone camera is also likely to be put to good use during NYC trips since there’s so much fun stuff to see in the city.
With all of that usage, the last problem you want to run into is a dead battery. Portable chargers are a great way to go when you’re out and about. You can hook up your device, throw it in your backpack, and keep on moving!
4. First aid/medicine
Everyone has different medical needs and some people may need to bring certain medications with them. Carrying personaluse over the counter medications with you is the most convenient option when you’re on a student trip. You never know when you’re going to need it, and it is really handy to have some medicine on hand.
The same goes for basic first aid supplies. Carrying a small first aid kit with you may be helpful if you’re out and about and in need of a quick patch up.
Most people nowadays have a smartphone that can help them navigate the city fairly reliably. However, if you plan on getting around quickly in the city you will be wanting to use the subway system frequently – and down there in the tunnels, there is no cell service! These subway rides are really good times to check your route and figure out your directions. This is where a paper map comes in handy!
Before heading to New York City, or early upon arrival, pick up a detailed physical map of the city. This will help you greatly if you are unfamiliar with the city, as you can mark up the map with points of interest, routes to the places you’re interested in going, and will allow you to have navigational reference no matter where you are!
6. Non-phone camera
New York City is a beautiful and unique destination for travelers to visit from around the world. It is a melting pot of cultures and a spectacle of lights and attractions. A place like that deserves to have its picture taken, and you will definitely want to capture those visuals to remember your trip by!
While a phone camera will get the job done, you will not regret packing a nicer camera with you if you have one! You will be happy that you did when looking back at your trip photos later, remembering the experiences you had on your New York student trip!
It’s a small thing, but it’s pretty important. If you’re in NYC during the winter, chapstick is vital, since the cold and the wind will most likely cause your lips to dry out and crack without frequent application of lip balm. It’s definitely worth remembering to put in your pocket before heading out the door!
At some point in your adventures around the city, you’ll be wishing that you had something to get the aftertaste of that street gyro out of your mouth, or you’ll want something to curb your hunger before the next meal stop. Either way, a pack of gum is a good solution and it’s easy enough to toss in your back without taking on much extra weight!
9. Hand sanitizer
Running around all day in the city is a blast! From busses, to subways, to shops, to sights, you’ll have plenty to get your hands into throughout your day. An in fact, so will tons of other people!
You may not realize it, but you will likely be touching a lot of things and sharing a lot of germs with a whole heap of other people who have visited those places. Pack a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you for those times when a sink and hand soap just aren’t easily accessible.
10. Pocket poncho/umbrella
This one’s just a good general travel essential. It’s not very fun to be soaking wet while you’re trying to navigate a new place and enjoy your experience while doing so. You just never know when a sudden rain or snow will start up and catch you off guard!
We would recommend packing a small umbrella or pocket poncho with you everywhere you go so that you have some quick defense against the elements!
11. Bonus: A little extra space!
On a New York student trip, you will have awesome experiences and visit some really cool attractions. You may want to get a few travel souvenirs or you might find something you just have to have while you’re out shopping! In fact, it’s pretty much certain that this will happen.
Save a little space in your bag for those things that you pick up along the way and want to bring back home with you!
We hope that these tips are helpful for you on your journeys! All of us on the EXP Trips team have definitely found them to be handy during all of the travelings and exploring that we’ve done on New York student trips.
We’ve found that the more we travel, the more we realize how many new experiences and great times are to be had out there in this big world! Remembering to bring these important items with us and being prepared for our adventures helps to put ours and our student travel friends’ minds at ease and allows everyone to get the most out of every trip!
Were these tips helpful? Do you have any backpack essentials that you always throw in your bag when you travel? Leave a comment and let us know!