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Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

I survived packing light in NYC

A week in New York with just a backpack of clothes.


A week in New York with just a backpack of clothes.



I've heard of this thing called "packing light" before but it never crossed my mind to try it. But last week, being of sound mind and body, I packed all I would wear for seven days in New York City in just a school-sized, purple backpack. And girls, I must admit, it was so liberating. 

The only thing that could force this traveler who's been known to trail a pack mule for a four-day weekend was the mighty dollar. My 13-year-old son had a film making camp at the NY Film Academy way down in Battery Park. I pieced together two free nights at a Hampton Inn and three nights at an Air B&B within walking distance from the camp.

But we landed at 10 a.m. This was our one day to spend going to all our stops throughout Manhattan, since he'd be in camp until 4 p.m. each day in the Financial district. To go way downtown and drop luggage at the hotel then go back uptown  would have cost a $100 in cab fares or taken up precious hours on the Subway. Also, I have too many exhausting memories of lugging suitcases up and down Subway stairs. (My husband is a native. Natives don't take cabs.)

So I told Wade we were carrying everything we had on our backs. He didn't care, he's a 13-year-old boy. For me, it was Katherine's Choice. I ended up with three dresses, including one that's reversible and can be worn as a skirt with each side or as a dress with three different necklines on each side. I took the most comfortable sandals to wear with dresses in the day and for morning walks with my one pair of workout pants. (I washed pants, jog bra and T-shirt each day in the sink.) I took one pair of wedges for the nights out at dinner and a play.

I used the travel size toiletries from Hampton Inn all week, so I didn't pack any of my own. I asked for a razor when I got there. I did pack deodorant and used it often. You'd have to ask the people sitting next to me on the Subway if it covered up the fact that I was wearing the same dresses over and over.

Yes, I did shop on my last day at the 90 percent off designer sale at Century 21 departments store. The original Century 21 at 22 Cortlandt Street, right off Broadway, way downtown. I found much better deals there than I have the past two times I've been to the new, well organized Century 21 near the Freedom Tower.

I went straight to the post office and mailed the five things I got home for $16. 

And to be totally honest. I could have gotten by with just two dresses, no jewelry bag and probably crammed by purchases in my trusty backpack. 




[Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2016 9:38am]


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