melbourne vegan

Jaclyn McCosker

NYC Winter Packing List

NYC Winter Packing List

Six months ago I did the unthinkable and flew from 40 degree Melbourne to North America in the middle of winter. And it was cold. As an Australian, knowing how to dress can be tricky. So I hope to ease the pain of packing for your own trip!

NYC involves a lot of walking, and the wind whips through the skyscrapers dropping the temperatures another 10 degrees. Prepare to be walking through below freezing winds, and prepare for it to be wet when it snows. But you want to be dressed in layers because indoors are always heated and you'll really work up a sweat walking around a museum.

The trick I (finally) learned is to wear 4 layers on top, 2 layers on your bottom half and a coupl'a pairs of socks stuffed inside your boots. When the wind picks up you may even need to add the 5th layer.

The goal is to pack as light as possible while covering everything you need. This means packing light on the essentials and handwashing things like undies in the shower with you. 

Here's what I packed as a female, vegan traveller on a budget in February.


  • 1x suitcase
  • Carry-on duffle bag  that can squish under your seat or sit ontop of your suitcase
    Sportsgirl have affordable, good-sized duffles
  • Cross-body daily handbag or a backpack if you're that kinda girl


  • Your electronics of choice loaded with ebooks
  • Your camera
  • A paperback book
    May I suggest On The Road or The Great Gatsby, two American lit classics
  • Pawpaw ointment for your face and lips
  • Wotnot face wipes
  • Bamboo toothbrush & DIY tooth powder
  • Rosehip oil
    Sukin Certified Organic Rosehip Oil
  • Protein & raw food bars
  • Change of clothes and underwear
  • All valuables (all of 'em!)
  • Some of your winter woolies for when you get off at the other end


  • Variety of socks in different weights for layering
  • Comfortable faux leather boots with a thick sole
    I wore my $50 Rubi boots with a good grip and a heel that kept me off the sidewalk and were nice enough to be worn at night


  • 2x tights or thermals
  • 3x jeans
    I went with 3 different shades to give the same jacket and accessories an alternating look
  • Trackies
  • Pj shorts


  • 2x thermals
    Kathmandu does great quality
  • 5x t-shirt and long-sleeved mid-layers (can be doubled up as bottom layers and pj tops)
  • 2x pull-over jumpers
  • 1x layering hoodie
  • 1x heavy jacket
    I went with an oversized mid-calf vegan jacket I found on ASOS for $120

Accessories & under garments:

  • Sunglasses
  • Compact umbrella
  • 1x large neutral coloured scarf
  • 4x undies
  • 2x bralettes
  • Belt (optional)
  • Touchscreen friendly gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Warm beanie


  • Face mask for when the cold wind dries out your skin
    Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque
  • Rosehip oil
  • Shampoo & conditioner
    Melrose Hemp Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Castille soap
    Dr Bronner's for body wash, face wash and washing your undies
  • Deodorant
    My Lily Earth vegan deodorant paste
  • Your makeup kit
  • Razor
    Merkur safety razor
  • Tweezers
  • Straightener
  • Menstrual cup
  • Your medication

Everything you pack should match the rest of your wardrobe and you should try to focus on packing multipurpose items. So you want to build your packing list on a colour scheme! If you've read my previous minimalist wardrobe post you'd know my colour scheme is black, white and denim. Black is always a safe pick.

Stick to what you need and what you know you can wear. And follow the golden rule: If in doubt, take it out.

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