7 Practical Considerations When Planning a Trip to New York City

The Big Apple is one of the top ten visited cities in the world. It’s seen sizable tourism growth over the past decade, and as of 2018 welcomed 51.6 million domestic and 13.5 million international tourists. There’s something for every traveler here, from the type interested in culture to the type that loves dining, shopping, and partying. And contrary to popular belief, your New York holiday need not be the following: (1) ludicrously expensive, and (2) difficult to figure out.

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7 Practical Considerations When Planning a Trip to New York City

Before you embark on your NYC trip, it’s best to plan what you can. A practical approach to touring the city could help you save time, money, and the grief of broaching New Yorker etiquette. To help you achieve a well-planned and stress-free NYC holiday, here’s a list of 7 practical considerations that you should check off. Accounting for these could make all the difference to your experience of New York City!

Plan Your Itinerary

First, ask yourself: what sort of takeaways do you want from your NYC trip? Is it important to you to visit all the major attractions, or would you prefer a more low-key and less conventional touring experience? There’s lots of room to be spontaneous in NYC, but it's also good to set some expectations early and plan to fulfill them.

Book Your Hotel Room in a Convenient Location

On the issue of where you should stay, it’s a good idea to get accommodation near major transport stops. This, in turn, will give you access to a number of establishments that you’re planning to go to. Visit The Westgate Hotel Website for info on Westgate NY Grand Central, a hotel that ticks off on all those conveniences.

Learn New York’s Public Transport System

Subsisting on cabs or Uber rides for your whole NYC trip will be very expensive. It’s a much better course of action to learn NYC’s public transport system of trains, buses, or ferries. Taking public transport is a lot cheaper than taking a car, plus apps like Citymapper will make it easy to navigate the routes. If you’ll be in New York for more than a week, consider buying your own MTA Unlimited Ride MetroCard. The card will come in handy if you anticipate going out a lot.

Stay Connected in NYC

For telecommunications coverage in NYC, buy a SIM card there or order one online in advance. Top telecoms companies like T-Mobile have a variety of data plans to go with their SIMs. It would also be good to search online for spots in New York that have free WiFi. That way, you can take calls, send messages, check your emails, and post on social media as normal while you’re in NYC.

Look for Discounts

Most travelers will want to watch their spending while they’re in New York. But even top-class meals and Broadway tickets can be bought on a discount. To make the most out of discounted prices, scour sites like Groupon or TKTS. These should help you get to know the city and get a slice of it for less than the full cost.

Book What You Can in Advance

New York is admittedly a hectic city, and for some attractions, large crowds and long lines are an inevitable reality. But whatever it is you can book in advance—be it a table at a restaurant, a city tour, or a show—do so. Better yet, take advantage of all-inclusive tour bundles that will provide transport, entry, and other perks for you. These can help you take care of bookings all in one go.

Bring Paper Money When You Go Out

Many establishments in New York still rely on cash payment, so prepare to bring a good amount of paper money around with you. Since NYC is highly driven by its service industry, tipping etiquette is important here. Tip all service workers you encounter, from your hotel receptionists to your restaurant workers. Be generous whenever they assist you in fulfilling a complicated request, such as preparing your dish differently. 

These tips deal with very practical concerns but don’t forget to balance practicality with a little bit of whimsy during your NYC trip. Make space in your stomach for things you didn't prepare to eat. Visit a low-key attraction that a native New Yorker has recommended to you. Discover something that's not on your original itinerary if the opportunity presents itself. Those kinds of experiences, as well as the planned ones, will let you live the magic of NYC!

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