What to Pack for New York in March

lower east side charm

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You’re eagerly planning a vacation to good ol’ New York, New York, but when do you decide to go? New York is lovely all the time, of course. However, eventually, your research shows that New York City is crowded in summer and Christmas, and since your vacation time is flexible, you decide to keep looking.

You then discover that the Big Apple is still wonderful in the “off season,” including March.

Are there downsides? Sure. March’s early weeks are cold and might bring rainy weather.

new york in two days with skyscrapers
However, pleasant and sunny days in March are not unheard of! As for me, I’ve visited New York City in March on plenty of occasions and always have had a wonderful time.

So now you have your list of museums, parks, and restaurants ready to go. But are you still not sure what to pack for New York in March?

Never fear! I’m coming to the rescue!

visiting new york in march on a sunny day

Tips for New York in March

Before I talk about what to pack for New York in March, I wanted to share some general travel tips for visiting the Big Apple at this time of year. 

Should I Visit New York in March?

Depends.

I know. Such a non-answer. 

But, seriously, consider what you want from your New York vacation before visiting in March.

For example, if you want low prices, care about visiting museums, and aren’t bothered by rain, then, sure, come to New York City in March. You’ll have a great time. 

However, if you want long lazy afternoons sunbathing in Central Park, then this time of year might not be best for you. 

All in all, the best time to visit New York is debatable, haha. 

What Should I Budget for My Trip?

Luckily for you, March is low season for New York, meaning you should be able to save money on accommodation. You can absolutely find rooms for less than $150 a night, particularly on week days.

Not to mention, on days when the weather corporates, New York has a lot of great free attractions outdoors. For example, taking a self-guided walking tour of Central Park wouldn’t cost you a single red penny!

As for restaurants, try and go for the lunch specials. You’ll still enjoy New York’s best food for much less. 

For travelers who “want to see it all,” then I highly recommend buying the New York CityPASS. This pass allows you to visit some of New York’s most famous sites for a discount. 

New York is expensive, no matter how you slice it, but it’s less expensive this time of year, for sure. The only exception would be St. Patrick’s Day weekend, which is popular with locals and visitors. 

bryant park is one of the best things to do in nyc in march
New York in March can be Cold!

What to Pack for New York in March

Alright, now let’s talk about what to pack for New York in March!

Packing for spring travel is challenging. And choosing what to pack for New York in March is no different. For instance, you need to carefully plan for all weather possibilities. 

All weather possibilities. 

Seriously, I remember experiencing blizzards in March, although it’s unlikely that snow will happen to you. 

In this post, I will first talk about essentials to bring to New York and then move onto clothing suggestions. 

grand central station has food options

Essentials for Packing for NYC in March

High-Quality Point and Shoot Camera

A phone camera works well, especially for travelers who don’t want to carry much, but if you want professional photographs, you will want to pack a high-quality point and shoot camera.

One of my favorite cameras is Sony Alpha’s Mirrorless Digital Camera, because of its incredibly high 24.3 MP detail. 

I love DSLRs, but think they’re too bulky. You don’t want to bring a camera that’s too heavy, because you’ll walk around a lot in New York. Seriously, I average well over 10,000 steps even if I only visit for a few hours. 

Travel Umbrella 

Rain? No problem! Have a compact travel umbrella to protect you from those sudden pesky showers.

I like travel umbrellas, because again, you want to be mindful of how much weight you’re carrying walking the city streets. 

Portable Phone Chargers

I always bring at least one fully powered phone charger with me to New York. 

Between photos and directions, my phone battery drains pretty quickly. This is made even worse on days with colder weather. 

You absolutely want to invest in an extra phone charger to carry with you during your sightseeing in New York. You’ll thank me later. 

visiting nyc in march on a sunny afternoon

Waterproof Purse or Backpack

Again, keeping those pesky spring showers in mind. 

I like to wear a crossbody bag on my trips into New York City. In my opinion, they make carrying all your stuff more comfortable. I’d invest in a waterproof purse, such as this casual black bag, for exploring New York’s streets in March. 

Travel Insurance

Always buy travel insurance. You don’t want to twist your ankle on the sidewalk and pay massive medical bills out of pocket. 

On my trips, I buy World Nomads travel insurance and love their product! Don’t take risks with your financial and physical health. Buy insurance. 

Guide to New York City

New York City is huuuuuuuuuuge. 

For first time visitors, the sheer size of this city may feel overwhelming, even if you only stay in Manhattan. 

Pack a guidebook. My personal favorite is Lonely Planet’s New York City Guide. Lonely Planet creates high quality books that are fun to collect, even if you’re not traveling at the moment.

bundled up in new york
As you can see, I am bundled up!

What to Wear in New York in March

Comfortable and Waterproof Shoes 

March is a completely mixed bag in terms of weather. New York might be sunny and warm, or cold and wet. It’s impossible to tell ahead of time.

However, I’d advise bringing comfortable shoes that are also waterproof. For example, this ankle boot by Merrell is classy, comfortable, and waterproof all at the same time.

And sure, while every day might not be washout, you’ll probably deal with some rain. You’re better off being prepared than needing to purchase shoes in New York. 

Don’t forget to be flexible about what to pack for New York in March. 

Scarf and Gloves

You’ll want to wear a high-quality scarf and a good pair of gloves in New York City in March. When the wind slices through the skyscrapers, it feels a lot colder than what the temperature says on your phone. Bundle up!

For instance, these windproof gloves are perfect for a blustery spring day in New York! 

I also like this blanket plaid scarf to pair with your outfits!

A Warm Jacket with A Hood

I don’t necessarily recommend a huge puffy coat for this time of year. You want to feel warm and cozy, but not overheated. It’s a fine line. 

I personally like this hooded coat by Columbia for visiting New York in March. 

Make sure you have a hood to keep your ears warm! Ears are super sensitive to winds, as I’ve learned the hard way on many occasions. 

looking great in new york city
Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses!

Dark Colors = Fantastic

I personally recommend wearing dark colors this time of year to New York. I mean, you don’t have to, but New York is known for its very well-dressed population, especially in some Manhattan neighborhoods.

I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but darker grays and blacks always look more expensive and sophisticated? 

Again, this is more of a suggestion and not a requirement. You do you.

Fun Costume Jewelry

Want to brighten your outfits? Then bring some cool costume jewelry with you! I love dangly earrings and chunky bracelets, but again, this is entirely a suggestion that you’re not obligated to follow. 

As a side note, although New York City is quite safe, I wouldn’t recommend wearing flashy real jewelry on the streets, especially at night. Better safe than sorry. 

High-Quality Moisturizer for Your Face

Due to weather, New York’s heaters will still be running in March. This means dry air indoors. Dry, dry, dry.

Take good care of your skin. If my skin dries out, my rosacea decides to go to war with me. 

I always aim to wear cruelty-free moisturizers, such as this Honest Beauty moisturizer, to protect my sensitive skin. You want to stay hydrated. 

strolling through the lower east side

Whew! That was quite the packing post. As always, I hope I helped you figure out what to pack for New York in March. Have a great spring vacation in one of America’s coolest cities. 

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