Visiting New York City for the First Time? Here’s What You Need to Know

A classic New York City vacation is often featured in movies and television shows as the pinnacle vacation destination for solo travelers and families alike. With New York City itself hosting an average of 25% of all visitors to the state, it’s clear that this city is popular. However, the Big Apple is a massive city with a lot to offer, which means there are a few items to plan before you go. 

Budget for Your Trip Ahead of Time

Heading to New York City is not an incredibly cheap option. As a major hub for tourism, you may be surprised by the prices you encounter on your trip. This is why budgeting for your trip in advance is so important and necessary. You should already have a travel fund setup with deposits going into it on a monthly basis, but if you are building your budget from scratch there are a few tips you can follow: 

Tips for Building a Budget

  • Set a maximum spend amount so you know exactly how much you can afford
  • Use credit card rewards points where applicable to reduce the overall cost of activities or accommodations
  • Always leave a little wiggle room in your budget for spur-of-the-moment purchase decisions
  • Decide on your activities ahead of time so you can book them and potentially get a discount
  • Travel during the offseason so that you can have reduced prices

Build an Itinerary Before You Go

As mentioned, part of building your budget is figuring out what you’re going to do ahead of time. For example, taking a helicopter tour of New York City at night will not be free and having an idea of the cost will allow you to work it into your budget in advance. Therefore, consider some of the following activities such as the above and below which can make for a fun New York City vacation: 

Central Park

For those with younger children or even solo travelers, consider taking a stroll through Central Park. At over 1.3 square miles, this is one of the largest parks set in an urban setting around the world. Those visiting in the summer can enjoy a picnic in the sun whereas those traveling in the winter can enjoy the scenic snow or ice skate on the frozen mini lakes within the park. 

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a monument of freedom for all and was a gift from the French to America as a token of friendship. Consider taking a ferry out to see this beautiful monument and gawk at the pure size of the statue. As an added bonus, consider taking an additional ferry out to Staten Island to learn a little more about the history of New York City as a whole. 

9/11 Memorial Site

For those looking to honor the lost lives of September 11th, 2001, visiting the 9/11 Memorial Site can be an excellent decision. Located where the former twin towers stood, there is a museum on site along with the actual memorial which can make for an excellent viewing area. 

Brooklyn Bridge

While many people don’t first think of the Brooklyn Bridge as the ideal destination to see when visiting New York, it is undoubtedly one of the most famous bridges in the world. Over 10,000 pedestrians cross this bridge daily, so those looking to get a little exercise on their trip could make traversing this bridge a part of their daily ritual. 

Who is a New York City Vacation Best For? 

Deciding whether or not a New York City vacation is best for you can be a challenge, especially if you know very little about the city. Due to its size, New York City has something to offer to all visitors. Those looking to sightsee have plenty of monuments and famous landmarks to enjoy, and the food scene means that NYC is perfect for foodies. Therefore, a New York City trip can be an excellent option for people of all ages. 

The Bottom Line

No matter whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, a New York City vacation is an excellent choice. However, due to how much the city has to offer, it’s important to handle adequate planning beforehand so that you are not overwhelmed once you arrive. Build an effective budget for your trip so that you know exactly what you can afford and plan out your activities in advance so you have a game plan when you touch down. 

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