Finally a photo of the treasures I amassed during my recent New York trip! My souvenir haul includes two Verrier Boutique framed prints, one autographed art photo of Alan Cumming in Cabaret (proceeds benefitting Broadway Cares), one gray knit hat I bought at a sidewalk stand and received numerous compliments on, and one NYC coffee mug. I confess, I bought the mug at the airport. I like to collect coffee mugs every time I travel. I love that all of my mugs are attached to special memories or places. It makes for a nice one-two punch of caffeine and happy memories to beat the morning blues.
Behind it all is the Nena & Co. day bag that I bought for myself before this trip. Every bag is one of a kind, made from recycled huipils in Guatemala. I ordered this bag after seeing it on a blog post at TheFreckledFox.com. It was a real “Treat Yo’Self” moment, as they aren’t cheap. But I haven’t regretted my purchase. The roomy interior, and multiple side pockets with easy access were great for traveling, and the bag fit perfectly under the seat in the plane. The gorgeous colors make me happy every time I look at it. Since I had to dress lightly enough to board a flight in Austin, but carry alternative cold-weather clothing for my arrival in NYC – along with the necessary book, snack, bottle of water, etc. – this bag was perfect. Best of all, Nena & Co. uses sustainable practices, and it felt good to know that my purchase was socially responsible. You can read more about Nena & Co.'s process here.
Planning a trip yourself? Here are Vim’s tips for visiting New York City:
Book a non-stop flight. Any airline drama usually occurs at the connection, i.e. a connecting flight being canceled, delayed for hours, or taking off before your first flight arrives.
Carry-On. Don’t ruin a short trip by risking the loss of your luggage by the airline.
Pack really comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking long distances and even the comfiest heels will not be comfortable for long. New Yorkers almost never wear heels, no matter what the movies might have you believe.
Check the bedbug registry before booking. You don’t want to bring those suckers back with you.
Or…if you’re a gambling type and you’re on a budget, use Priceline’s Express Deals for the best rate. You can still specify the area and star rating. Of course, once you are there, do a thorough sweep for bedbugs.
Bring a light-weight but roomy handbag. My recommendation is one large enough to stow a sweater or an impulse purchase in, with an over the shoulder strap. Faux leather is a good call. Leather will start to feel heavy before too long, and an over the shoulder strap will be more secure and eliminate the need to constantly adjust your bag while you’re walking.
Or, take two. Take two bags, a larger one for traveling and a small, cross-body bag for moving around while you're in the city. I only recommend this option for times when the weather will be constant (constantly cold or constantly hot). In the spring and fall, you may need a roomy bag during the day so you can add or take off a layer as needed. I choose the two bag option for this trip, as I knew the temperature would remain pretty steady.
Plan ahead, but keep it flexible. You can count on unexpected delays and your best laid plans ganning aglee, so try not to stress if things need to change at a moment’s notice. Prioritize one thing a day that you absolutely MUST do, and be flexible about the rest.