10 Tourist Dos and Don’ts of Traveling to New York City
Planning to travel to New York within itself can be overwhelming. You have a lot to think about and consider when taking a trip to this state, let alone the ‘Big Apple’. Making sure to factor in the costs and times of everything can be complicated. If you are traveling by yourself or with a big group, it’s important to figure out what’s the best way to get there and back. Whether you are renting a charter bus or booking a flight, try to find discounts by doing extensive research. Along with this part of the process of planning a trip to one of the biggest cities in the United States, you have to figure out what you’re going to do when you arrive.
Tourists are very common in New York City and there are ways that you have to go about doing things. Making sure you know how to adjust your lifestyle and perceptions of things is important in enjoying your trip to NYC. Every city is different and having a successful vacation depends on how prepared you are for the change. You have to remember that you are an outsider, but you don’t have to try extremely hard to fit in. There are basic dos and don’ts when traveling to NYC for tourists to make you seamlessly maneuver through the city.
Avoid tourist traps on the street.
New York City is a gigantic place with millions of people so there will be people trying to scam you out of your money. If you’re walking down the street and someone offers you a ticket or hands you a flyer for a small price, promising you things that won’t happen, do not trust them. Many people prey on tourists, so if you look out of place, you will be their next target. Don’t fall for the card tricks or betting games on the street, either. Majority of the time you will lose your money and waste your time. When trying to determine the authenticity of restaurants, use Yelp or a service rating site to confirm they are the real thing.
Some tourist traps to avoid during your stay in NYC are:
- Little Italy
- Costumed characters
- CD guys
- Fake Monks
- Fake electronic stores
- Bus tours
- Subway beggars
- Fake ferry tickets
Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk
When walking to your destination, if you do choose to walk, make sure that you never stop in the middle of the sidewalk. Not only will this make locals angry but you may get pushed out of the way. New York is a place where people are always moving and on the go so no one has time to wait behind you while you admire a building or take a selfie. This is the basic don’t when being a pedestrian in NYC. If you’re in a large group be mindful of the people around you and keep to the right to make sure you’re not taking up too much space.
Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
Contrary to many beliefs, New Yorkers are actually quite nice and will be thrilled to give you directions somewhere. Don’t be afraid to ask a stranger where to go or where something is. Make sure to do it fast, though, as everyone is constantly on the move. Ignore the stereotypes behind the people of New York and your visit will be easier.
Do visit Time Square.
Time Square is one of the busiest places in NYC, but don’t shy away from experiencing its liveliness because of the crowd. This place is deemed as too touristy for locals but if you’ve never gotten the chance to see it, don’t mind the naysayers. Don’t spend too much time here, though, unless you enjoy Broadway and want to experience the artistic ambiance behind it.
Don’t be afraid to take the subway.
Hailing taxis in NYC is one of the most difficult things to do if you are new to the city. There is a proper way to grab a taxi and learning this is unnecessary if you don’t have the time. They are extremely expensive and slow, so don’t be afraid to go down under and take the subway. If you’re tired of walking or your destination is far away, try to consider paying for a subway ride. There is etiquette when it comes to riding the subway. Don’t enter an empty car because there usually is a reason why it is empty. Don’t block the doorways or hold up the line fiddling through your bag or wallet to find your metro car. Be prepared when riding the subway.
Do see a Broadway show.
Broadway is one of the attractions NYC has that brings people from all across the world. The Broadway shows are a part of the culture and to fully embrace NYC, you must take the time out of your trip to go see a showing. Make sure to check online to see which shows are scheduled for the time you will be there if you enjoy planning ahead, if not, just go see whichever one they are showing and experience the true authenticity of NYC. Entertainment in NYC is one of the reasons people come to New York to stay and when you get the chance to experience that, take advantage of it.
Do shop around.
One thing you must do in NYC is go shopping. There are many grand stores that you can shop in and many of these stores have unique clothing that is specific to the NYC lifestyle and look. Take some time out of your visit to visit some of the shopping destinations.
Don’t plan too much.
Planning ahead too much won’t allow you to truly experience the city. Give yourself some leeway room to explore and be spontaneous. Trying to control everything and every moment can become stressful, especially in a city that will surprise you every time you leave your hotel.
Do be cautious when trying the street food.
Some street vendors just aren’t good, so be cautious when trying the food on the streets of NY. There is also the factor that there are no health ratings for those vendors, so making sure you do your research or ask around before taking a chance on food that may not be up to par for the health department. This can be a great way to ruin your day or night with stomach problems. But also don’t be afraid altogether to grab something quick to eat when you’re on the go, just be cautious.
Do be aware of your surroundings.
New York is home to over 5 million people and it is very crowded. Be mindful when walking down the street and pay attention to your surroundings. It can be easy for pickpockets to steal your belongings while you’re mindlessly admiring the city or simply walking without caution. Don’t walk around stiffly while clutching your bags, just be cautious. You want to enjoy your time in NYC, not be afraid most of the time. It’s important to think ahead and be prepared when visiting this lively city.