New York City. The Big Apple. Concrete Jungle. The city that never sleeps.
New York is a city that we have all seen so many times on TV and in films. Its so familiar and yet, nothing like you expect. Its bigger, better and of course brighter.
This week marks 1 year since my visit in January 2019. I went on a university field trip and honestly, it was amazing. Yes we had ‘research’ to do. But going to visit amazing destinations for the purpose of writing about it is essentially the dream for me. And as a bonus, I got to do so with my amazing friends from uni on a well organised trip.
That brings me to my first tip;
- Do the Research!
New York is HUGE. It just goes on forever. The main thing I can recommend is to research where you’re going to go, what you really want to see and how you’re going to get there. There is so much to do in this city that you probably wont get it all done even if you were there for 2 weeks. So seriously, make a full itinerary of everything you REALLY want to do and anything else you get time to do is just a bonus.
2. Take lots of cash $$$
I thought I had took enough cash, and ended up spending a lot on my card. A huge part of that was because we stayed just off times square and all the restaurants and bars nearby were tourist prices. You could either avoid these places (I wanted the tourist experience) or, take a lot of dollars. If you have done the research too, you’ll know to budget in the cost of the attractions, subways and have a good idea of where you’re going to be eating/drinking.
3. Think about where you’re going and pack sensibly!
When we went in January, the city had this bizarre cold spot and one day the temperature dropped to -17c. It was FUCKING COLD! And of course, you have to factor in the wind chill as the harsh Atlantic wind whistles down the wide open streets.
You don’t need to be dressed like a fashion model here. I mean yes look smart and clean, but it isn’t like sex and the city. And wear sensible shoes. You will be walking a hell of a lot and need happy feet to do so.
4. New York is a real city, not a TV show.
They don’t all drink cosmos, they aren’t all dressed for the runway and much to my disappointment, not once did I hear anyone shout ‘i’m walking here’. So don’t be disheartened when you get there to see people in nightclubs with trainers on or to see normal people just going about their day without all the added drama we expect.
5. Don’t forget the tip.
Everyone expects to be tipped and tipped well. This includes taxi drivers which I didn’t think about until we had one argue with us about it. So just be prepared for that, and factor it into your budget. Most people will expect at least 15% of the bill (this doesn’t really apply in bars). And if you do eat in touristy places, they will normally have the service charge already on the bill so watch out for that and don’t get caught out paying twice the amount.
6. New York is dirty.
And no i’m not talking about Sex and the City. It really is dirty. There’s always rubbish on the sidewalk. The subway, while it is a massive helping hand when you’re exhausted at the end of the day, its is essentially petri dish of germs and bacteria hurtling under the city streets. I cannot recommend enough taking some antibacterial hand-wash out with you and avoid touching your face after using the subway.
7. Be mindful of where you are.
Yes New York is a tourist hot-spot, but it’s also the home of 8.6 million people. You’d do well not to piss them off as we all know the myth of New Yorkers being rude. So make sure you stand to the right on escalators. Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to check your phone or take pictures. And for Christs sake,
DO NOT TAKE SELFIES AT THE 9/11 MEMORIAL.
There are still so many things on my NYC to do list! So, unfortunately, ill just have to go back and see everything else. Until next time New York.