New York City is one of the most interesting places you can visit in your travel adventures. Ever since I was little I have been fascinated with the diverse culture, amazing food, and wide range of activities that you can enjoy. This has made New York City one of my favorite places to visit at any time of the year. However, if you aren’t prepared it can be a rough place that can leave you penniless, confused, and just waiting to leave. Here are some great tips for having the best time you can in New York City.
1. Make Plans Beforehand– It’s important to go ahead and plan out your schedule before you leave on your trip to get the most from your visit. Try not to leave your research to the night before your trip. Plan for the conditions such as traffic, weather, and how much money you are planning on spending.
2. Get a Metro Pass– If you are going to New York City on a sight seeing trip buy a metro pass to make sure you see absolutely everything you can manage. This is especially true if you will get tired of walking easily or will be moving from early morning until late at night. This pass also works for buses in the city as well.
3. Make Some Reservations– If you plan on eating at a popular restaurant or visiting an attraction that is known to be crowded at all times of the day it’s best to try to make a reservation. This will guarantee you a spot, however, making too many reservations can cause stress and limit your ability to see several things in a day if you are rushing to make your appointments.
4. Go On Down Days– While the weekend may be a tempting time to visit, try going between Tuesday and Saturday. Most of the attractions you want to see will be less crowded and easier to enjoy. On Monday and Sunday many places are not open or do not offer their regular tours and shows.
5. Get a Guide– If you want to get the most from your experience it’s a good idea to get a trained tour guide for your trip. You can either choose to have a tour guide that stays with you the entire day or one that pertains to a specific location and exhibit. Guides are knowledgeable about history, facts, and the best way to enjoy your experience.
6. Beware of Pickpockets– Make sure when in New York City you are constantly aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to your side. In the sometimes large crowds it can be difficult to see everyone and quite easy for someone to slip a wallet or phone out of a pocket or purse.
7. Know Your Map– New York City is laid in a grid system and can be confusing to navigate for first time visitors. Learn this system of looking at maps and you will be able to easily find your way around the city. When asking for directions always ask for the cross streets to make it easier for you to find your destination.
8. Taxis– You can catch a cab almost anywhere in New York City. If the light on top of the cab is lit it means they are available for service while an unlit light means they have passengers already. Keep in mind that tolls are counted and added to your total charge. All taxis accept cash and many will take credit or debit cards as well.
9. Tips– It is customary to give your waiter, taxi driver, or bartender between 15% and 20% of your total bill. Sometimes this is already added into your bill as a gratuity tax and other times you will find places that say no tipping is necessary. Make sure that neither of these apply before making your tip.
10. Know What’s Going On– Visit the useful 311 Online website that offers up to date government information and non emergency services that relate to New York City. Texting “311NYC” on your cell phone will also give you access to information you may have otherwise missed.
New York City is an amazing place to visit and is one of the most tourist oriented cities in the world. Keep these tips in mind to make your visit fun, productive, and safe for you and your family.
NYCGo- Official New York City Information Center
For more great travel information and reading from this author, check out:
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