Travel Tips for New York

First of all, New York is HUGE!! With five boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Harlem, and Brooklyn) you need time to see everything. And you need to visit all boroughs to get a real feel of New York, as nice as it is don’t just stay in Manhattan. I would recommend 3-5 days at the very least, and you will need to come back.

Airport to Hotel

  • If you are looking for an easy way to get from the airport to the city I would recommend Go Airlink NYC I have used them a few times. It’s convenient to get you straight to your hotel doorstep. They also operate from Newark Airport, it’s just over an hour in traffic.
  • Make sure you book in advance as they are very popular and spaces fill up.
  • Make sure you book in advance as they can get quite full and tip them well!
  • However, be aware that if you miss your shuttle due to a flight delay you could end up having to wait a long time to be picked up. Only use this option if you have time to get to your hotel.

Manhattan

  • You can pretty much walk everywhere in Manhattan on a nice day.
  • Spend some time getting your head around the Manhattan grid system, it makes perfect sense once you get your head around it. This is a really helpful website to explain how it works: https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/new-york-city-guide.htm
  • Link NYC means there is FREE WIFI on the streets of Manhattan and in the subway which is really handy when working out directions / looking at maps or communicating with friends.

NYC Subway

  • It’s great to walk when you can but it can get very tiring, taxies are expensive and not worth the traffic (uber if you need too) but the best way to get around is the subway.
  • Always check you are going into the right entrance of the subway before you swipe your ticket or you will lose your money. You need to enter on the side that you are headed and you cannot always cross over in the subway once you are inside.
  • For this reason, it is advisable to buy a several days pass metro card it is easy to get into the subway on the wrong side if you are not used to it.
  • Be aware that there are Express AND local subway trains! Express trains skip a lot of stops. These can either save you a lot of time or make you very late to get somewhere!
  • Do give dancers on the subway a little tip, there is a lot of talent there!

General Tips

  • Don’t forget you have to pay hotel tax! this can bump up the price of your stay if you don’t factor it in.
  • Ask for rooms on the higher floors to get a quieter room (esp if you are staying in Times Square) plus that high skyline view is worth the extra money.
  • Some museums offer free tickets at certain times of the week (pay what you wish. I got free tickets to the 9/11 museum on a Tuesday and made a small donation.
  • Many stores have wireless phone chargers on the tables so if you are out and have forgotten to take your charger just look for a shop.
  • Winters in New York are NO JOKE!! The wind chill is something else, it makes it feel much colder. Wear lots of layers and my little travel tip is to buy some hand warmers. Great to put in your pockets and even your shoes they make a big difference.
  • If you’re looking to eat and you in Time’s Square, walk to Hells Kitchen just five minutes away for a variety of restaurants and food. There are also food stands (and halal) food almost on every corner if you get hungry.
  • Unlike in the UK, you can use restrooms at coffee shops even if you aren’t buying anything.
  • People are in a rush but I met some really friendly and helpful people when asking for directions so don’t be afraid to ask if you are lost. Just read the room and chose who you ask carefully.
  • Giving Tips! Something us Europeans are not accustomed to. The average rate to tip is 15-25%, try to be generous

Enjoy your trip in the big (rotten) apple!

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