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Big Apple Adventures: A Guide to Planning the Ultimate NYC Trip

Known as the city that never sleeps, New York City is arguably the most famous destination in the world. Millions upon millions of tourists descend on NYC from all over the planet (and for good reason!). The city just simply has an endless array of experiences! From world-class museums to iconic landmarks, you’re sure to never get bored in the big apple.

If you’re planning a trip to NYC, getting everything organized may feel overwhelming. But fear not, we’re here to assist! This informative guide should make the process that little easier and more enjoyable. Once you’ve got everything mapped out and raring to go, prepare to have a city adventure like no other!

New York City
New York City

Choose the Right Time to Visit

It’s safe to say NYC is a year-round destination. However, each season showcases its own charm. Should you visit during spring and fall, the city boasts pleasant weather and gorgeous scenery, whereas the summer months provide vibrant street festivals and outdoor events, not to mention scorching temperatures! Many tourists like to visit the big apple during the winter when it’s filled with holiday decorations and of course, snow!

You need to pick what time of year is right for your NYC adventure. Should you visit in the summer, expect to pay more. The same goes for around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, bear in mind that peak tourist seasons are much more crowded and costly! Those on a budget should look into visiting New York City during off-peak seasons.

Work Out Your Transport

Before you can enjoy all the delights that NYC has to offer, you need to figure out how you’re going to get to the city and back. While there’s always the option to catch a flight, those on a tight budget may find plane tickets too costly. If you’re in this boat, you’ll be happy to know there are other ways to get to and from the big apple. Those in Boston for instance could forego flying for a bus ride instead. Wanderu can help you find a bus from Boston to NYC. They offer the lowest prices and partner with over 500 carriers to provide the best travel options.

Once you arrive in NYC, you need to sort out how you’re going to get around the city too. While you may like the idea of taking a yellow cab, they’re infamous for their astronomical fares! Those on a tight budget should stick to getting the Subway instead. New York City has fantastic transport links, so you’re able to hop on and off the subway and explore all around the city with ease.

Sort Out Accommodation

Next, it’s time to sort out your accommodation. Some tourists see their accommodation purely as just a place to bed down for the night, while others want to chill out in their hotel room after a long day exploring. Whatever your agenda is, it’s always best to book your accommodation many months in advance. After all, this is when you’ll score the best deals!

The great thing about NYC is there are all kinds of places you can stay in. While hotels are the obvious choice, those looking to save some cash may prefer to stay in a hostel. You’ll find plenty of Airbnb places to stay in too. Just make sure to read ratings and reviews before booking your stay. That way, you can be confident you’ve got suitable accommodation for your trip, not to mention get a good night’s sleep!

Explore the Food Scene

For the foodies, New York City truly has you covered. The big apple is a melting pot of culinary delights and offers a wide range of international cuisines. Whether you fancy some pizza in Brooklyn or want to try diverse ethnic foods in spots like Chinatown or Little Italy, you can do just that and sample some of the tastiest grub in the entire country!

Those with a sweet tooth must try a slice of classic New York cheesecake – we promise it will be the best you’ve ever had! If you’re looking to save money on food, NYC has all the fast-food establishments you’ll know and love. There are also street vendors who sell affordable, tasty grub like hotdogs!

Catch a Broadway Show

If you love the dramatics that theater brings, no trip to NYC is complete without catching a Broadway show. The good news is there are dozens upon dozens of Broadway theaters to choose from. Each of which house spectacular shows that are truly a feast for the eyes. From timeless classics to cutting-edge productions, many of the shows will keep you on the edge of your seat!

To save money on Broadway tickets, it’s wise to snap them up in advance. You may even want to try your luck with discounted same-day tickets. These are available at the TKTS booths in Lincoln Center and Times Square. If you don’t mind being up top, you’ll find these seats tend to be cheaper than those closer to the front.

Embrace the Local Culture

To fully immerse yourself in NYC life, you need to embrace the local culture. Why not visit a local market like Chelsea Market? Alternatively, you could take a wander through the High Line, or enjoy live music performances in renowned venues like the Blue Note Jazz Club. While NYC is full of tourist traps and attractions, many people like to steer clear of them and engage with locals.

One wonderful thing about New York City is it’s home to people from all walks of life and backgrounds. You can strike up a conversation with a local who can point you in the right direction, give you the best hidden gems to check out, and make your experience even more fun! You may even end up making life-long friends with New Yorkers!

Put Safety First and Foremost

When visiting anywhere new, you should always put your safety and security first. If you’re from a rural town or village, heading to a bustling city like NYC can be overwhelming. Trying to navigate around a busy city can be emotionally exhausting. Therefore, keeping your wits about you and knowing what you’re getting yourself in for is important.

NYC is generally safe, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain vigilant. There are certain strategies you can take that will ensure your safety is put at the top of your list. For example, avoid isolated areas at night, and keep belongings zipped up while on the Subway. Also, familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers. We’re not saying all this to scare you! It’s purely to ensure you have the time of your life while staying safe and protected during your trip.

There are endless reasons why tourists fall in love with NYC. From its shopping opportunities to Broadway shows, stunning greenery to breathtaking skyscrapers, New York City is truly a destination that welcomes people of all ages.

To get the most out of your adventure and return home with fond memories, planning out your NYC trip well in advance is essential. However long you’ve got in New York City, we’re sure our guide will help you cover all bases and ensure your time away runs smoothly.

Resources to help you plan:


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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