How do you get the most out of your New York City trip? Plan! There’s so much to do in this big city, so planning your trip and managing your time is imperative. When creating your itinerary, consider these 9 things to steer clear of to make sure your epic NYC trip is one you’ll never forget.
1. Driving yourself around
Paying for parking, gas, tolls tickets, meters – these are extra expenses you don’t want to tack on during your stay. As you can imagine, like many other things in this city, the hassle of driving is costlier when compared to other states. While parking tickets are preventable (if you can comprehend our confusing parking signs), dishing out cash for gas, tolls, and parking are things you may want consider when calculating the cost of your trip.
Alternative: Public transportation is a cost friendly way to get around. A MetroCard will minimize your trip costs and travel-related stress levels (you don’t need to worry about traffic).
2. Traveling during rush hour
Whichever travel method you use, it’s imperative to plan your day around rush hour times. Try to avoid the weekday rush between 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Streets often back up on Thursdays and Fridays around 10:00 PM -12:00 AM as well.
3. Tourist traps
When you hear, “watches, purses, handbags” as you walk through the streets of Chinatown, do not stop to take a look at their “catalog” (and by this I mean a small card with images of said items). If it sounds to good to be true, it’s definitely a fake. If knockoffs float your boat, feel free to splurge. You will probably overpay, even for fake goods.
4. Times Square (on weekends)
No matter the time of day, Times Square is usually packed. While you shouldn’t avoid Times Square entirely, steer clear of it during the evening and weekends. The best time to get your explorer on is between 10:00 AM and 11:45 AM, right after morning rush hour.
A note on souvenirs: prepare to shell out big bucks — they tend to be overpriced. Who’s says you can’t put a price on memories?
5. Waiting in lines
Time flies — and you don’t want it passing you by while waiting in line. Ticket for museums, tours, and other attractions can be purchased in advance online. Keep this in mind for restaurant reservations as well!
6. Outrageous cab fares
Big cities have their share of conveniences. However, they come at a cost; whether that’s a yellow cab or an Uber.
Uber tends to offer more competitive pricing compared to yellow cabs, but yellow cabs are the go-to service during peak times and weekends, when Uber rides usually have additional surcharges. You can compare prices using phone apps and use your better judgement.
7. Being shy
There is nothing worse than wasting vacation time by wandering around aimlessly instead of enjoying your trip! If you are lost, ask for help. We won’t bite, I promise. We might even offer recommendations!
8. Believing the "New Yorker" stereotypes
There are plenty of tales of Big Apple locals scoffing at visitors, most of us are happy to help. Some of us are sweeter than others, and there are always going to be a few rotten fruits in the bunch (no matter where you are). Don’t take them too seriously and ask someone else!
9. Staying within your "comfort zone"
You can find a fast food restaurant in every city, so why stick with something you can find at home? The best part of travelling is exploring somewhere new! Get adventurous and break out of your comfort zone – try new foods, visit new places, see new sights. After all, this is one of the most glamorous and diverse cities in the world.
While this list focuses on things to NOT to do when planning a trip to NYC, don’t forget to leave room for adventure. These are just things to keep in mind as you travel to help you have the best visit possible. Even the most meticulous schedules rarely go perfectly as planned, so don’t get dragged down by the details. Leave some free time in your day to explore and enjoy the weird, wonderful, and one-of-a-kind experiences that you will only find in New York City!