Plan Your Trip Wisely
“In New York, it seems like there’s no Monday or Saturday or Sunday. The town is always moving. The vibe is great.” Thierry Henry
If you have not visited the city of New York yet, you absolutely should! New York is the amazing historical place, confirming once again that the United States of America is 241+ years old. The city of New York successfully blends the rich history of America with our today’s trends and lifestyle.
Before you hit “Pay” and purchase an airline ticket, hotel, and new sunglasses, please spend some time and prepare well, since thoughtful preparation is a key to any successful and happy trip. It will save you a good amount of time, money and eliminate any unnecessary headache during the trip or when you return back home. I would recommend starting with two major factors you should take into considerations: Time and Money.
If you have only two-three days, I would recommend spending more but staying in a good and expensive hotel in the center (or birthplace) of New York City – Manhattan, so you have easy access to everything.
If your timeframe is a week or so, you can focus less on how to quickly get from point A to point B, and have a more relaxed trip and see more places at a slower pace.
Let’s Brake Stereotypes About New York City
When you open a magazine with an article about New York or watch a TV show like Gossip Girl, or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, New York will be most likely portrayed as a blessed, amazing and rich place with breathtaking architecture, clean streets and black limos.
Unfortunately, it’s only true to a certain extent, if we do a serious and honest reality check. New York is an amazing place if you set right expectations prior to your visit, then I’m sure you will absolutely enjoy it.
Preparation Step 1:
- If you don’t know you how much things/services should cost, at least approximately, you might overspend. Do your homework. Knowledge is power, especially when you are traveling.
*I was overcharged by a Taxi driver (for $20 or so..) just because I told him: “it’s my first-time visit to New York”. When you visit a restaurant and somebody offering you, nicely, orange juice or sparkling water, remember to look at the price first. Orange juice might cost $20 per small glass and sparkling water $50 per bottle.
- Buy a pair of good sneakers and have another pair of comfortable shoes ready just in case.
- The infrastructure of New York as old as a New York, so be ready for that.
- Safety first, stay safe. Please, don’t visit unsafe districts/districts you don’t belong to. Stay out of trouble!
Preparation Step 2:
- Budget. Remember, you have a budget. Since you will see the unreal amount of designers store around you (..it’s truly unbelievable) be careful and don’t overspend.
- Budget. Don’t try something you can’t afford (for example, shoes for $5K or dress for $15K), yes you will absolutely love it and would look amazing on your, but please think twice if you really willing to invest that much (if usually, you would not spend more then $200 on shoes).
- Don’t expect the city to be clean (crystal clean streets with no garbage), there are too many people living there, and the city is massive (XL size).
- The city is super busy days and nights. Even at 3 AM, you will see garbage trucks cleaning the streets and many other vehicles.
- Never ending construction. If you go south, or north, east or west you will see renovation project or new building work (probably hundreds of them).
- Loud 24/7. Since tall buildings located very close to each other, noise from police cars, firetrucks, buses amplifies for miles.
- Smell. You will smell Chanel only at the Chanel store, the city itself does not smell good at all. Even upscale streets might not smell that well.
- Souvenirs. If you see on the street sign 2 Tshirts for $15per, it actually means $15 + tax, it’s probably $17.65
Visit Your Bank
Phycological preparation of your Bank and your Bank accounts are essential steps due to the fact that you will be spending money outside of your country or state. Not every bank will like it, believe me. *I highly recommend using a Credit card, and cash (make sure to have up to $500 in your wallet just in case).
Make sure you’ve communicated with your bank (call your bank or visit in person) on next terms: daily spending limit, transactions fees if a card will be lost or stolen, have a phone number written and ready. Make sure you have Plan B, if your credit card was stolen (locked by the bank due to any suspicious activity) and you have limited cash. I suggest you have a 2nd Credit card in your wallet, always.
Time Zone Difference. Some local banks support their clients according to certain time zones and time frames. If you travel from Lost Angeles to New York, and your bank support line hours 8 AM – 6 PM (Los Angeles time frame/time zone), if you call your bank at 8 AM New York time, you Bank will be simply closed and you will need to wait for hours. Again, Plan B is essential, is a Must!
If you would like to eat great, be ready to visit one of the amazing restaurants: Nobu, Asiate, The Aviary NYC, Atomix, Kyma, Bistro Pierre Lapin, Rosemary’s Pizza, Momofuku Ko , Frenchette, La Mercerie and others.
There are few street options available serving hot dogs, pizza, soda. *Please be careful when you buy off the streets since you would never know how fresh these products are. I personally noticed that hot dogs from the streets are over burned and I’m sure it’s not the healthiest choice.
Choose your hotel wisely. Sometimes it’s worth to pay little extra but get a better view, more upscale hotel with five-star quality room service.
I would not recommend renting a car since driving style in New York and any other parts of America or Europe is very different. In NYC you will hear a car horn every 2 seconds. I would highly recommend Taxi, Uber, Lyft, bus, subway, and walk (so you can enjoy the city better) or rent a bike.
*In rush hour I’m sure it would be much faster to walk since traffic lines are hundreds of miles long.
And don’t forget to visit Top of the Rock with a breathtaking view.
You would absolutely love shopping in NYC since New York City is a Mecca of fashion and style.
* Be careful. People sell on the streets lots of fake products (I was surprised by that too…) like Chanel, Burberry for cheap, remember it’s only replica and not a real product.
But… if you really would like to spoil yourself a bit, order (you can user Uber or call taxi services) a black Chevrolet Suburban or Limo and have a few hours ride through the wonderful New York City, enjoy the speed and comfort of the ride, and I sure everything will impress you.