New York City might seem glam to outsiders, what with all the beautiful NYC buildings and iconic attractions, but that illusion dissipates the second you ride the subway. When you’re stuck between stations in a subway car with no air conditioning, it doesn’t feel like the the concrete jungle where dreams are made of—just like your own personal hell. Welcome to the Big Apple, folks. Make your daily commute just a tiny bit more bearable by stocking up on these subway essentials. Combine these supplies with our best NYC subway hacks and you’ll be ready for whatever nonsense the MTA can throw at you.
Everything New Yorkers need for their daily commute
The game-changing app
Anyone can look up how to get from point A to B on the subway with Google Maps. Finding the best route, though, takes a little more street savvy (or subway savvy, as the case may be). To plan the absolute quickest commute, download Exit Strategy NYC, the app that tells you what train car, exit door and station entrance to use for the fastest trip.
Exit Strategy NYC, $3.99 on itunes.com
A stylish gym bag
Crowded trains and buses just don’t have enough room for everyone to bring a work bag and a duffel full of gym clothes. Instead, lug your junk around in this lightweight, sporty backpack that can take you from a workout to the office.
Sweaty Betty All Sport Backpack, $115 on sweatybetty.com
The subways, sidewalks and taxicabs of NYC can be surprisingly stinky, and most of the time, you don’t really want to think about what it is you’re smelling. Carry a petite perfume rollerball in your favorite scent and take a deep inhale when your olfactory senses get overwhelmed.
Clean Reserve Rain Rollerball, $25 on sephora.com
A compact e-reader
At this point, we’re no longer surprised by subway delays. If you’re going to be stuck on a platform or in between stations, you might as well entertain yourself. Invest in an e-reader so you can bring a library full of books wherever you go.
Kindle E-Reader, $79.99 on amazon.com
Sturdy reusable bags
Just because New York City hasn’t banned plastic bags (yet) doesn’t mean that you need to contribute to the pollution problem. Shell out 10 bucks for one of these nearly indestructible bags that can hold up to 50 pounds. We like the funky hot dog pattern as an homage to the city’s street carts, but they also come in more subdued hues.
Standard Baggu, $10 on baggu.com
Between inconsiderate passengers, indecipherable announcements and insane delays, the New York subway system can be extremely frustrating on a daily basis. Remind yourself to remain calm by popping one of these orange-elderflower homeopathic lozenges.
Bach Rescue Remedy Pastilles, $10.46 on amazon.com