Besides a cool outfit or a unique lewk, I always make sure to prepare for my nights out to the club as best I can. Who knows where the night might go, so it’s best to have a few necessities in case of any situation, an uncharged phone, or an unfamiliar place.
As New Year’s Eve approaches, and so many of us are preparing for end-of-the-decade parties (omg), techno club benders, or big city celebrations with fireworks and who knows what else, I thought I’d share a little bit more about my nightlife routine.
I’ve always loved dancing and nightclubs; I remember my freshmen year of college (when Boston luckily still had 18+ nightclubs), and I’d drag all my friends out to the club. And since living in Brooklyn where nightlife is king, my nights out are even more frequent.
Even more so since my recent breakup. (Have I mentioned how much dating sucks in NYC?)
A night out can go any direction from the wild to the mundane, so it’s just common sense to be as prepared as possible, but it’s equally important to stay comfortable. Personally, I don’t enjoy carrying a handbag or a thick wallet when I’m going out; better to bring less stuff and save space for whatever outfit you’re rocking.
Yes, you’ve got to have style for a night out on the town. And sure, bring your ID card and house keys, of course, but don’t forget these necessities for a long night out—to be safe and still have fun without packing your pockets full of junk.
What to bring for a night out on the town
For any man or woman, concealer is definitely worth bringing for a big night out. You never know how long the night might last, and concealer can help cover any blemishes—especially if you end up sweating a lot on the dance floor.
I usually buy my concealer at Sephora—or when in a pinch—just some drugstore variety from CVS, Duane Reade, or Walgreens.
Okay, this one might be for the more hardcore party-goers, but if you’re looking for a date or a hookup, or you’re just ready for a big night out on the town, sunglasses are a must. What if you end up going home with someone?
There’s still nothing worse than that walk-of-shame subway ride home with bloodshot, over-dilated eyes, dripping mascara, and a scuffed up party outfit. Sunglasses help.
My current favorite pair of sunglasses are from Genusee Eyewear—sustainable eyewear made in Flint, Michigan. The sunglasses are pretty resilient to stay safe in my coat pocket. I generally keep them in a small cloth bag to prevent the lenses from getting scratched while in my pocket.
3. Credit card & Debit card
Having money for a night out at the club is obviously essential. I’m currently in a spend-spend-spend mode (probably not healthy, but hey—it’s the end of the year/decade so let’s live a little, ok?). Generally speaking, living the New York lifestyle, most everything is done on a credit card.
To help limit some of my spending, and try to stay on a budget as much as possible, I only carry one credit card when I go out to the club, but I also carry a debit card. You never know if a place just maybe won’t accept credit cards. Cash is essential, but I prefer to not carry it and only take it out from an ATM when needed.
And for those that after-hour parties in secret Brooklyn warehouses, most venues tend to only accept cash because they’re not always strictly legal venues. Take a debit card when you head out for the night to make sure you’re ready for wherever the night takes you!
4. Mints, Altoids, and/or Gum
A longtime habit of mine; I always like to have gum or mints on me. First of all, as a non-smoker, it’s a great way to start up a conversation with a stranger. Instead of bumming a cigarette or a whiff on their Juul, offering a mint, Altoids, or gum is a great way to make new friends.
Plus—it’s just good to have good breath. Because you never know if you might end up kissing someone—especially if it’s a New Year’s midnight kiss!
Speaking of kisses, in the winter, I always make sure to carry chapstick or some kind of lip balm with me. Usually, I just have so many different varieties, so can keep a small chapstick in a pocket of every jacket and coat I own, so that I always have one just in case.
6. Portable charger
Here’s my trick for a night out, though. I always carry a small portable charger and short iPhone charging cable. There’s nothing worse than a dead phone when you’re out. It’s important in case you end up somewhere unexpected, like a new friend’s apartment.
In case of emergency, you should have a fully charged phone (in case you have to call an Uber). It’s hard to rely on others or bartenders to share their charging cables. Better to bring your own power source. Especially when portable power chargers have become smaller and smaller—so they can easily fit in a small handbag or coat pocket.
Bring a small power charger when you go out; you can charge it while you get ready for the night out!
The pre-going out ritual
Any night out—no matter how long or short—requires a bit of preparation. It’s important to have a good outfit, a fresh face, and all the necessities for whatever might come.
For my own going out ritual, I generally take a fresh shower, wear whatever makeup makes the most sense for the party I’m going to, and choose an outfit. Making sure you’re well moisturized is key; because you never quite know just how long you might be out for!
I also always make sure to have a snack to eat (maybe a banana or something light but filling, post-dinner), and I always make sure I take my Truvada for PrEP. The 30 minutes or hour it takes to get ready for a night out on the town is actually a lot of fun. A little mini-checklist of things to do while listening to music, maybe a pre-drink with a friend.
Enjoying nightlife whether at home or when traveling is a lot of fun. It’s a great way to meet new people, make new friends, even maybe get luck with a date or the beginning of a relationship. I love the thrill of going out to a club, of dancing to my favorite beats, and of letting go with a night of random adventures.
I’ve managed to collect some incredible stories from my nights out—whether it was a crazy adventure while traveling or just a standard weekend night out in Brooklyn. But I’ve always been as practical as possible when going out to party; I feel most sensible when I prepare as best I can.