I love preparing my NYC trips. All the reading, scrolling through pictures, visualizing myself in the city. It’s half of the fun!
With these 5 tips you will understand me completely.
Tip 1: Prepare by area
This is where I totally went wrong during my first visit. Uptown, downtown, East-Side, West-Side. I saw it all on one day. Saw all & nothing, cause I lost precious hours in subways & taxi’s. Time I could have spend wondering & wandering! My planning was all over the place! As a result we lost precious time traveling. But on top… I never got an overview of the city.
Don’t be like first-time-me!
Be like 10th-time-me!
Organize your day around a highlight and use Google Maps to discover what else there is to see.
Taking the kids to the American Museum of Natural History? Google Maps will show you there is an Alice’s Tea Cup near (way better lunch idea than the basement at the museum ;)) and a playground in Central Park so they can run wild after the museum.
The city is so big you might get lost in the possibilities. But an online map will make it look like a village ;). You will feel like a local by navigating it online ;). Zoom in and discover stores, restaurants and little gems.
Tip 2: Prepare by a specific time of day
This is rather straightforward, but sometimes you might get overexcited and forget the most obvious.
Traveling from Europe? You’ll wake up early so get some extra activities in the morning.
Prepped a late night dinner & show? Go for late brunch the next day.
It’s the city that never sleeps! You can do whatever you want when you want and where you want. Well almost ;).
Cause off course a Holy Harlem tour with BE NY will only happen on a Sunday.
So make sure you take tickets for shows, tours, special activities into consideration. These will be a main factor in your planning.
Tip 3: Prepare around a highlight
You want to get the most out of a day at the MET? Visit it on a Friday or Saturday for late night opening.
Make sure you check the most up to date opening hours online to make sure you are not standing before a closed door. Even in a city that never sleeps some locations do have a closing day. So it would be a pity if you forget to check them.
Note that travel guides and blog posts, yes even mine, might not always be 100% up to date. What can I say? The city changes in a blink of an eye. Always best to check the official site to have the most up to date information.
Tip 4: Don't be too ambitious
I know this might be hard. At least if you are a prep addict like me ;). I’m always afraid to miss out. But If you take the time to go around the corner and walk a block you might find a little hidden secret which is way better than the list of things you found on Pinterest.
Cause don’t forget another Pinterest cliché…not all who wander are lost ;).
Tip 5: Don't underestimate travel time
You are on holiday so no need to take the subway to the Financial District when all traders are running to be at their desk before the Stock Exchange opens. I know, I know. The good ones like Mr Big have their own driver and will not be seen on the subway ;). But my point is: rush hour adds time to your travel time.
So does rain. I swear, one drop of rain and every taxi and Uber is taken. Not just rain.
In a hurry? Trying to be on time? No taxi to be seen for blocks! It’s like the universe is teaching me a lesson. Be on time! You did not had time to check out those 2 last shops ;).
Oh well, you can always call the restaurant and hope they will hold your table till you get there ;).
Google Maps is your best friend here. You will find the correct location of your interest and how long it will take to get there. By taxi, subway or foot. Remember use intersections. 156 64th Street is way harder to fine than Alice’s Tea Cup at 64th Street & Lexington.
NYC Subway is a great app to help you navigate the subway. It will show you which Subways to use and how long your journey will take. Including walking time between stations (if needed). You will travel like a local. just don’t forget to take it to the right direction ;).
Always in an Empire State of Mind,