New York is one of those bucket list destinations that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime. But even though there are so many tourist activities to do, you can easily miss out on experiencing the true essence of New York just because you’re doing exactly what is expected of you as a tourist. So, if you plan on visiting New York anytime soon, here are a few smart travel tips you need to consider as recommended by a native New Yorker.
Book in Advance
When it comes to New York, timing is everything. While it is generally an expensive city to visit, you can find really good deals on hotels and flights if you just book in advance. That’s why you should try and plan as much as possible, and do your research properly to find great deals. You could even end up exploring New York on a bigger budget just because you managed to book in advance. If you’re visiting with a large group, you can look for group or family discounts, so be sure to ask for those whenever you need to buy tickets.
Know When to Visit
Spending Christmas in New York is absolutely magical; the entire city lights up, and the festivities there are like nowhere else in the world. But while Christmas is the best time to visit New York, it does come with a hefty price tag in terms of accommodation and flights. However, you can still manage to find good deals here and there if you take the time to look in advance.
Depending on the type of accommodation you’re looking for, you can find a cashback program that gives you some of your money back. If you click here, you will see that some incentive programs and websites can give you up to 7% cashback on apartments, vacation rentals, villas, and hotels. Another great time to visit is between mid-September to mid-October. During this period, you’ll be welcomed with a golden Autumn that will take your breath away.
Walk, But Not Everywhere
Walking around Manhattan is quite a mesmerizing experience. You can even walk to the Brooklyn bridge and feast your eyes on the magical view of the Manhattan skyline. It’s a great place to enjoy taking a stroll and get away from the busy crowds, but still be in a safe area. However, if you’re not familiar with New York, it’s quite difficult to find your way around and your feet will definitely kill you! So instead of walking everywhere, you should walk within each neighborhood, but take the subway from one neighborhood to the other.
Explore Beyond Manhattan
Many tourists tend to visit New York and stay in Manhattan. While it is the most popular city where most of the tourist attractions are found, there are other boroughs you can visit to have a truly immersive and diverse experience. You’ll get to see the hip, multicultural, and exciting side of New York, which enables you to experience New York like a true native. So be sure to add Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island to your list, too.
Avoid Taxis As Much As you Can
Avoid taxis as much as you can. Not only are they really expensive, but the traffic in New York is horrendous, and it would take you at least twice the time you would normally take in a subway to get anywhere. The good news is, the subway in New York is reliable and easy to maneuver. In either case, it makes a lot more sense to just use public transportation or the subway instead of taxis to get around the city. If you’re staying somewhere outside of New York, you might not have access to public transportation, and in that case, the best alternative would be to just rent a car. But as long as you’re in the city, make use of public transportation.
Go Beyond the Food Chains
While New York is home to countless cuisines and many well-known food chains that everyone wants to try, you should also give the lesser-known restaurants a chance. From donuts, bagels, pizza, and even the New York version of Chinese food, you’ll get to experience a different culinary side of New York that is bound to blow your mind. Just keep some extra cash on you, as many of those smaller restaurants and street food take cash only.
Traveling to a new place is always exciting, but when it’s your first time, you also fall into the classic travel mistakes most tourists make. Because New York has so much to offer, it is recommended that you take your time and dedicate at least 4-5 days to exploring the city. To enjoy your stay and see New York from a native’s eyes, keep these smart travel tips in mind; they will definitely come in handy when you’re planning your trip.