Tips for organizing a trip to New York

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

In this article we see how to organize a trip to New York, a destination that attracts many tourists every year and that cannot be missing in every traveler's wish list.

When planning a trip to New York you have to think about every aspect to enjoy your holiday without problems and above all without spending exaggerated amounts.

That's why I decided to write one complete guide on New York where I collected all the most important tips and information: travel documents, the best time to visit the city, the minimum days of stay, how to get around New York, where to stay overnight, what to do, the costs to be incurred, the management of cash and much more.



Documents

If you plan to visit New York for a period of no more than 90 days, a visa is not required but you do obtain the Esta authorization. You can request it via the internet on the official customs website by filling out the appropriate form and paying $ 14 per person.

I remind you that to enter the United States by land, the ESA is not mandatory, but you will have to fill out the form  I-94W at the border and pay $ 6 per person. Obviously, if you already have the Esta the procedure will be faster and you will lose less time in customs.

In addition, you must have a passport valid at least until your return.

When to go to New York

New York is a splendid city that can be visited at any time of the year, but two main aspects must be taken into account: he clima e he budget.


From a climatic point of view the best time to go to New York is from April to June and from September to November, the days are hot, but not too hot, and the city is not as crowded with tourists.


Bear in mind that the months of July and August can be really too hot and very humid. On the contrary, January and February are very cold months with temperatures that drop many degrees below zero. But if you can handle the cold and snow, you can take advantage of the lower hotel prices during these months.

Spring and autumn are the seasons in which you spend the most, as well as December and especially at Christmas.

How many days to stay in New York

Assuming that a single vacation would not be enough to see everything in New York, however, if you want to visit the city for the first time and want to see the main attractions of New York, at least 5 days are necessary. Obviously with a full week you will be able to enjoy your stay more calmly.

Getting around in New York

First of all it is important to understand how New York, in particular Manhattan, is formed. Basically it is a grid made up of the streets that cut the district horizontally from east to west and the avenues that cross it from north to south.

The advice is to walk as much as possible, especially if the weather is pleasant. Alternatively, to reach more distant areas you can rely on public transport, such as buses and the subway. The latter is the most convenient solution because it allows you to get to almost everywhere and avoid traffic. The metro and buses operate 24 hours a day.


Another option that you can consider if you are a group of people, or if you need to move quickly from one point to another, are taxis, much cheaper than ours and that you can find anywhere and at any time, ideal. especially in the evening. When the sign on the roof is illuminated it means that the taxi is free and you can stop it with a wave of your hand.


Council: download the free offline map of New York on Google Maps so you can consult it at any time even without an internet connection.

Where to Stay in New York

New York is a large metropolis with many things to do and see, so it is very important, especially if it is the first time, to choose the best and most strategic area to sleep in New York.

To find out more about the various neighborhoods, I suggest you read the article where to stay in New York, in which I have described the various areas, which you can choose according to your needs.

Important: most of the apartments you find online (including on Airbnb) do not have the Hotel License and therefore are not in good standing for rentals of less than 30 days. I recommend always asking if they have the appropriate license, in any case the best choice is to rely on services such as booking.com.

What to do in New York

In a city like New York you are spoiled for choice on what to do. From Times Square to Broadway, from the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge, not to mention the many museums, the beautiful neighborhoods of Downtown and the immense Central Park; in short, New York is full of attractions.


To understand how to find your way around the thousand things to do, I suggest you take a look at the article with the 20 best attractions in New York.

How much does it cost to organize a trip to New York

If you are planning a trip to the big apple you will surely be asking yourself this question: how much does it cost to go to New York? New York is not among the cheapest cities in the world, but the cost depends on many factors, so let's try to analyze the main expenses of a stay in New York.


Flight: being an international flight it is certainly a substantial expense, but fortunately you can find various offers from both low cost airlines and national airlines. By booking a few months in advance and monitoring the various promotions, you can find a plane ticket to New York departing from the main airports even for less than € 300.

Hotel: this is certainly the biggest expense, obviously it depends on the type of room and structure, the period and the area, but it will be difficult to find accommodation for less than € 100 per night.

To eat: it is difficult to estimate the prices for food, because the possibilities are so many. For lunch and dinner, restaurants are the most expensive choice, alternatively you can opt for fast food where you can often eat without spending too much money.

I recommend trying supermarkets like the Whole Foods Market where you can eat at the buffet at reasonable prices. There are also tables to consume food or you can take a takeaway and maybe have a picnic in Central Park.

While for breakfast you can get by with about 5 dollars, enjoying the typical muffins and sipping a nice coffee.

In my opinion, a minimum budget for 7 days in New York is € 1.200 per person to which you will have to add the costs for the attractions and medical insurance.

Insurance

Although medical insurance is not mandatory for entry to the United States, it is highly recommended, indeed it would be crazy to leave without it, given that the costs of health care are so high. I usually take out travel insurance with Columbus or World Nomads, depending on the type of trip.

Buying a Pass: Yes or No?

For the uninitiated, CityPasses are vouchers that allow you to visit different attractions in a specific city and obviously save money compared to a single ticket. However, each pass is different and depends a lot on the length of your stay and how many points of interest you plan to visit. Also keep in mind that many museums are free on certain days and times.

So I recommend choosing whether to buy the pass or not based on what you want to see and the activities you want to do.

ATM or ATM

When plan a trip to New York it is important to understand how to manage money, so where to change and how to pay.

First of all it must be said that if you plan to exchange euros into dollars, it is generally better to do it from Spain.

I prefer to carry a few cash and withdraw directly from ATMs, which are present almost everywhere in the city. Keep in mind that the fees are around $ 3 for each withdrawal, to which you must add any costs of your bank. In any case, ask your bank about the costs and make sure that the card is enabled for international withdrawal.

Among the various ATMs there is also one of Unicredit which is located in the Eataly NYC Flatiron store.

Also consider that in New York you can pay for everything by credit card or prepaid card, even just a coffee, indeed some fast food restaurants already no longer accept cash.

Tip in New York

Tipping in New York is left to anyone who offers a service: taxi drivers, guides or waiters and even if in theory it is not mandatory and a good rule to leave at least 15 or 18%. If you don't want to do too many calculations you can simply double the tax, so if it's $ 10 in tax, the tip will be $ 20.

Tax

Calculate that the prices displayed are generally tax-free, so you must add the 8,87% VAT rate on goods and services. For example, in restaurants prices are always excluding taxes, while in supermarkets taxes are not applied and the displayed price is the real one.

Important: as for hotels, taxes are even higher: 14,75% plus the city tax of $ 3,50 per person per night. So when you book your accommodation online check if taxes are included.

Recommended clothing

Obviously the type of clothes depends on the period, in any case I recommend always carrying an umbrella because it can often rain, but above all bring a shawl or a scarf because in summer the air conditioning is very strong in closed places, such as in supermarkets, in shops or restaurants.

SIM Card e Wi-Fi a New York

Buying a SIM Card in New York is not cheap. As I also suggested for the Canada, the best thing is to inquire with your telephone company and see what offers there are for surfing roaming in the United States.

Or as we did, use the wi-fi that is found almost everywhere: restaurants, hotels, metro stations and even on the street there are special columns with the logo “LinkNYC”that offer free wi-fi and the ability to recharge your smartphone thanks to the USB ports.

Conclusions

These were the tips for planning a vacation in New York, if you have other doubts, comment on the article, I will be happy to help you. You are now ready to leave for the Big Apple.

Start with the Best Guide to Visit New York

Tips, information, suggested itineraries and maps to visit the city of New York
Don't leave without Lonely Planet!

add a comment of Tips for organizing a trip to New York
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.