If this is the first time you’re visiting New York get ready for an experience of a lifetime! Al the sights, smells, and experiences will make you feel like you’ve come to a place you’ve already been to and leave a deep impression on you. You would need a lifetime to truely see and do everything but you can sure try in the short time you’ll be there.
If you fly into JFK take the AirTrain then transfer to the subway (the E train) to save $60 or more in Taxi fares, its also quicker. When you exit the AirTrain you will need to pay $5 to get off the train. Don’t try to buy your week long subway pass here (that’s a mistake I almost made). Wait to buy your subway pass until you are actually in the subway (if it smells bad you’re in the right place).
You can check bags at a hotel, even if you aren’t staying there. This can make your trip very nice for a few hours while you’re in between spots or just needing to drop your bags off for a little while. Every hotel is different but most will check luggage no matter what your situation is. They charge around $3.50 per bag, per day.
When buying tickets to any event remember to avoid known problem areas in the venue you’re buying tickets for. For example, avoid being behind the foul pole for a Yankees game. If a venue is sold out but some seemingly good tickets are available be sure to read the fine print (as most places will warn you before you buy) and do some extra research before buying.
For discount tickets (and tickets to events that are sold out) try going to stubhub.com. You’ll be surprised at how much of a discount you can get by shopping around a little bit online. For events that are sold out, check out stubhub were there are still tickets available.
Ride the subway instead of using cabs. Get an extended (unlimited) subway pass for the time you’ll be there. NYC subways are safe and you’ll find children (with their parents), single women, and old people riding the subway with you. You’ll save a lot of money if you can master the subway routes and how they work. Plus, they are much faster than cars on the surface streets.
Bring cash. Most of the ‘real’ New York eating joints and other activities are cash only. You’ll also want cash on hand when shopping on Canal street, chinatown, or time square.
Wear good shoes. You will be surprised how much you actually walk. Because there is so much going on around you and ‘a few blocks’ here and there doesn’t sound like too much you’ll end up doing a lot of walking. Your feet and legs will be very sore if you’ve tried to fit everything you wanted to do in. Take some good walking shoes and be sure to wear socks.
Get some good deals on Groupon.com. To the NYC Manhatten area of Groupon each day or better yet, sign up and get daily deals in your inbox.
Group similar things together. Many attractions in New York are very close together. Get the most out of each area by grouping the things that you want to do in one area.
Try to hit attractions on their off times or get to them early. Every attraction will have its busy times. Getting their early will ensure you get a seat in the restaurant you want or allow you to see things before the crowds get too thick.
Try to mix travel times and rest times. Plan your days where you’ll have times where you watch a play or relax during part of the day.
If you plan on visiting most of the common attractions you should get a CityPass. Their are two types of city passes. One is called CityPass which is $79/person has a nine day expiration period and includes the statue of liberty ferry, the CirleLine cruises around the island (or the Beast Jet boat tour, Empire State Building observatory, the Guggenheim, top of the Rock observatory, The Metropolitan Museaum of Art, the MoMA, and the Natural History Museaum (with a ticket to one of their shows). If these things are on your list you should get the New York City Pass. You can buy the Pass at any of the places listed above. The other option is the New York Explorer Pass, which includes everything from the CityPass but also includes a ton of other attractions like the Wax Museum, the Aerospace Museum (on the air craft carrier), BODIES the exhibit, and much more. The three links are
- NYC City Pass – 4 dedicated tickets and 3 either-or tickets $79
(9 day expiration, pick 6 events)
- New York Explorer Pass – Pick your events pass $69 – $170
(3,5,7, or 10 attractions)
- New York Pass – Time Based Pass $80 – $170
(unlimited events for 1,3, or 7 days)