Although New York is amazing, it would have been a lot easier if we had known some of these tips in advance. It is always a good idea to be as prepared as you can!
So if you are visiting New York for the first time, here are some practical tips to save you from worry, and to make sure you are getting the best savings and comfort for your travels!
Visiting New York – Things you will want to know
On arrival in your New York hotel, they will want a credit card on file. If you don’t have a credit card it is best to get one as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Or you could call your hotel in NY and ask if a debit card is ok, but this depends on the hotel.
This caused a lot of worry for us when a couple of months before we were due to go to New York we found this out. No one told us that you needed a credit card!! Luckily we managed to get one just in time.
If you are going to get a New York fast pass then it is best to get it delivered to your home address before you go. We didn’t do this and had to go and pick up the pass in New York. Which is ok, but it’s a lot of hassle when you are both excited and frustrated because we were lost and trying to find the damn pickup place, we just wanted to get started!!
If you want to look up in awe and stare at the huge skyscrapers or take a photo, stand near the buildings at the side of the pavement so that you are not in anyone’s way and they won’t bump into you.
There are no public toilets in New York and you can’t just walk into Mcdonalds and go to the toilet. You need to buy some food and then on the receipt, there will be a code for the toilets.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes/trainers, as your feet will be in agony!! It’s non stop walking. Invest in a good pair of sketches, you will be glad you did.
If you have young kids and are riding on the subway, make sure they are close by to you, A few times I experienced a little child running into the train when the door was open, and the doors were automatically shutting without the child’s mother on the train! Luckily some fast thinking New Yorkers managed to put their hand in the way of the shutting doors so that the mother could get in the train too. They must be used to this happening!
Times Square is a fantastic place but is full of people who are trying to get money out of you. They are experts, they know how to do it, read about it here and save your money
Some attractions are seasonal. So if you plan on going to Coney Island for the rides or want to visit the ice rink in Rockefeller make sure it’s open on the day you visit. The Ice rink is open October through to March and check on Coney island website for when the rides open, as they have funny opening times.
Avoid deserted places in New York as it may not be safe, this includes subways. Try not to take the train late at night when nobody is about, and if you wanted to go on a night out in New York It would be safer and cheaper to go within walking distance from your hotel.
Every time you go to the bar and the bartender serves you a drink you have to tip them. This is usually 15% to 20% of your final bill. Don’t worry if you are just as bad as maths as I am and can’t work this out!! The receipt will tell you how much 15% is and 20% is of the bill.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on food, eat from delis and places like McDonald’s. These are cheap and with delis, you get bigger portions than you would from the more of the fancy places, they are tasty too!