Planning plays a central role in the planning of any good holiday, but when it comes to a city with as much to offer as New York, then planning moves from ‘nice to do’ to ‘essential’. Here are five tips for planning a trip to New York that will help to ensure you can enjoy the holiday of a lifetime in NYC.
1. Prioritise Newark when choosing your flights
There are technically three airports you can fly into when visiting New York: La Guardia, John F Kennedy (JFK), and Newark Liberty. When considering the flights you book for your trip, it’s advisable to prioritize flights that will land in Newark; although this airport is technically in the next state (New Jersey), New York is only a quick, stress-free, 15-mile journey away. In contrast, travelling into New York from JFK can take a huge amount of time, with long queues common at every point, which is far from ideal when you’ve just landed after a eight-hour-plus flight. La Guardia is also problematic, as its small size means that you will always have to take at least one connecting flight if travelling from London.
2. Consider tipping when exchanging currency
Tipping is largely seen as something to do when you’ve received particularly good service in the UK, but in New York (and the rest of America), tipping is seen as
absolutely essential and expected. You’ll be expected to tip almost every service worker you encounter in the city, and while you can tip when paying by card if in a restaurant or bar, in some other instances, you’ll need cash – such as when tipping your hotel porter. To account for this necessity, make sure you ask for small-denomination bills (single dollars tend to work best) to be included when you exchange your currency.
3. Pre-book as much as you can
When arriving in New York, you’ll naturally want to spend as much time actually enjoying the city, rather than having to lose valuable time buying tickets and passes for everything you want to do. What’s more, in a city so thronged with tourists as the Big Apple, if you’re hoping to see a show or attend an event with limited availability, there’s always a chance you will miss out if you wait until you arrive to book. It’s therefore a good idea to pre-book as much as you possibly can, with everything from Broadway tickets to sightseeing passes that offer admittance to multiple attractions and landmarks are bookable online, so you can have everything you need all in place before you even step on the plane.
4. Choose your luggage (and its contents) wisely
Manhattan is absolutely tiny. But for reference, here’s a comparison of New York superimposed over London. Unfortunately for travellers, the small size of the island is reflected in the size of the hotel rooms; put simply, you can expect almost every hotel room to be rather snug, a fact which remains true even if you choose to stay in a luxurious five-star hotel. Use the smallest suitcase you can possibly manage and limit the number of belongings you take.
With effective planning, you can make sure that your trip to New York will be everything you have ever imagined and more.
Have you got any New York tips?
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