Visiting New York City is on most people’s bucket lists because it is such an iconic destination. However, organizing a trip there can be a little overwhelming because there is so much to do and see. Whether you are going on a quick mini-break or a longer vacation, planning is imperative to make sure that you can make the most of your visit, so keep reading for all the tips you need to plan the perfect trip to NYC.
When to Go
There is no definitive answer or suggestion to this because it depends entirely on what you want to do on your trip. New York is great no matter when you choose to go, but the activities vary by season, each having its own perks and drawbacks.
The summer brings the hot weather along with beaches, parks, pools and lots of events to attend – some of which are free. At the same time, the winter is obviously ideal for anyone who wants to experience a holiday season in New York. Depending on your desires for the trip, you can look online to find a range of New York vacation packages which include a number of suggested activities and accommodation.
As the saying goes: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. No native new yorker would drive themselves around; it is all about the public transport, this means buses and the subway. It is the easiest and quickest way to get around, not to mention the cheapest too. Before you set off, it is worth looking up a map or trying to familiarize yourself with the routes.
A taxi is more convenient, but it can take longer and be a little pricier. There is a lot to do in New York, and remember, there is more to it than just Manhattan; the public transport can get super busy, so you are better off getting an early start to try and miss some of the crowds.
Building an Itinerary
New York has so much to offer to a tourist. There are so many different activities, attractions, museums and galleries too. Think about the person or group you are going with and the types of things they would like to do. If you are looking for a bit of culture, then you have the Natural History Museum, the Met, and MoMA, to name but a few.
There are classic tourist spots to visit such as the top of the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty as well as many newer ones. A visit to the top of midtown’s tallest skyscraper (the 91st, 92nd and 93rd floors) for the highly recommended NYC Summit Experience should be on your list. The glass observation levels have only recently been opened to the public and you can get tickets in advance online through HelloTickets for this new must-see NYC spot.
If you want to see more of the sites, a boat tour is a must. The Staten Island Ferry is free; the East River Ferry is pretty cheap too. Other than that, there are a number of companies that offer customers fun boat tours or cruises around the city’s waterways.
Finally, can you even say that you have been to New York if you don’t take the time to take in a show while you are there? Broadway is a tourist trap for a reason; some of the best shows in the world are put on there. However, it can be pricey and hard to get tickets for, but there is also Off-Broadway or even Off-Off-Broadway if your tastes are more experimental or avant-garde.
New York City is a melting pot of different cultures, so it stands to reason that the food would be similarly diverse. There are so many different options when it comes to food, from Korean to Italian to Ethiopian to Mexican and many, many more. Obviously, some things are New York City staples that you simply have to try, from pizza to bagels to bodega or deli sandwiches too. Do your research. You can find Michelin starred restaurants or hole-in-the-wall eateries that have grown a cult following.
There are countless hotels in New York, and with so many options to choose from, finding the right room can be a little overwhelming. A lot of factors are going to influence your decision, like which borough you plan on spending the most time in and who you are travelling with. Midtown Manhattan is centrally located to many attractions, but because it is quite touristy, it can be expensive. Brooklyn is a little further out, but it is way more low-key and often cheaper too. Always do your research and look at the reviews before booking.
Depending on where you are coming from, there are a lot of options when it comes to travelling to New York. You can go by bus, train, plane or car depending on your preference. Each option has its own pros and cons. Flying will likely be quicker, but getting to and from the airports can be pricey and tricky. A bus is a great option for those who don’t drive, but they can be quite cramped. Driving allows you to take whatever you want free of luggage size or weight restrictions, but parking in New York is all but impossible. Think about your preferences to choose the option that is right for you.
In The End
Planning a vacation is always stressful; there are no two ways about it. This stress is only heightened when travelling to such an iconic destination. Use the tips above to help your planning process go more smoothly. Don’t be too rigid in your plans, or things are bound to go wrong or get off track.