Travel · Travel Tips · United States

5 Tips for Traveling to New York

How often do you go somewhere and say, “dang, I wish I had known that before I got here.” Fortunately, it does not happen to me a lot, but after going to New York City, there are a lot of things I know now that I wish I knew then.

Below are my tips for anyone traveling to New York City.

  • Do not stay in a touristy area…unless you’re into that whole being poked and prodded by someone every 17.69 seconds to buy something. We couldn’t even make it 10 feet out of our hotel without someone trying to sell us tour bus or Broadway tickets. Midtown/Times Square is the most touristy part of the city and runs from 42nd-59th St, east of 5th Avenue. If you’re looking for a quieter place to stay, look around Greenwich Village.
  • You do not need to pack every pair of shoes in your closet. I way overpacked. I took 4 pairs of shoes and bought a pair while I was up there. Serious overkill. One pair of shoes never even got worn. My honest opinion, you need two pairs of shoes tops. I recommend your most comfortable pair of tennis shoes as well as a versatile boot or flat that can be worn with dressier clothes if going to a show on Broadway or an upscale restaurant.
  • Take a portable phone charger. You’re going to be out exploring the city all day and taking pictures, Instagramming, using the handy dandy subway app Hopstop, and several other things. It is inevitable that your phone battery is going to crap out after being out for 10 hours or so. Having a portable phone charger will save your life! They are compact and you are able to get a full charge out of it! We relied on our Hopstop app to help us navigate the rather confusing subway system and had our phone batteries died, we would’ve been in a world of trouble! They are very inexpensive and you can find several here.
  • Ask for help. There were a few instances where we should have asked for help finding the correct subway station and we didn’t. This would have saved us 2 hours of wandering around and $20 cab ride. It can be scary to ask a complete stranger for directions, but use your best judgment. They were probably in your shoes once upon a time.
  • Get nasty. Okay, now that sounds bad. As I mentioned, people will be trying to sell you stuff left and right. It is okay to ignore them and walk on past without saying a thing. They’re used to it. I usually muttered a “no thanks,” but sometimes that got them talking even more. Also, there are gobs of tourists all going to the same places you are. People will be gawking and standing in your way. Don’t be afraid to “politely” shove past them, otherwise you will never get to where you are going. This happened to me trying to get through a bunch of people with all of us holding umbrellas. I accidentally elbowed someone to get them to move after saying “excuse me” several times. Being nice doesn’t always work.

So there you have it. I’m sure someone could write a novel over New York Travel Tips, but these were the ones I found the most handy for myself. What would you add to the list?


3 thoughts on “5 Tips for Traveling to New York

  1. I completely second all of these, though we stayed in Soho/Tribeca (near Canal/Washington).

    As for asking for help, I actually found the locals were extremely helpful! Whether it’s because I have an adorable guide dog, or because they are just so used to being asked, I had no problems at all asking for directions.

    Depending on how long you are there, a 7-day Metro card for the subway and the new York Pass are great investments! Even when I lost my Metro card and had to replace it halfway through the trip, the second Metro card did pay for itself because we took the Subway so often. The New York Pass will get you in to both touristy and not-so-touristy places; just make sure you make a list of must-see attractions before you buy to make sure it’s a good investment.

    I am sure I have more, but those are my biggies 🙂

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