Central Park, New York, USA

7 Tips to Streamline Your Trip to NYC

Central Park, New York, USA

Image (c) Andy Higgs, Grown-up Travel Guide

No doubt you’re excited about an upcoming trip to the Big Apple. You have many fun things planned, perhaps Central Park walks, boat tours and Broadway shows. Of course, to save money, you booked flights in and out of the city.

This means you’ll have to tote your luggage around with you for hours prior to and after hotel check-in and check out. Or will you?

Below is a tip to solve that problem along with six other handy nuggets of wisdom that help streamline your trip.

1. Store Your Luggage

Whether you’ve reserved lodgings at a hotel or through a service such as Airbnb, you don’t want to be hauling luggage with you through New York City. The solution is a City CoPilot luggage storage facility in which you simply leave your luggage behind so you can explore the city to your heart’s content.
The facilities are safe, similar to luggage storage lockers, and you do not need reservations. Rates start at $10 for a day, and your bag could even be delivered to you for prices starting at $39. Locations are in Brooklyn, Times Square, and the Lower East Side.

2. Get Attraction Passes

If you’re planning to hit many tourist spots, get attraction passes instead of paying for individual tickets. The New York Pass lets you choose among trips of varying lengths such as three days and 10 days. Planning ahead for what you’ll do and when you’ll do it is essential to maximizing your savings (see number six for help with planning).

3. Choose a Theme

If this is your first time to the city, you may prefer to just see a few top sights. Otherwise, creating a theme for your trip gives it focus. Theme ideas could be:

Art (or even narrower themes such as photography, painting, or ballet)

Themes really can be a lot of fun. If having one theme for the entire trip seems restrictive, try a theme for each day or a few days with themes.

4. Minimize or Eliminate Jet Lag

If you are traveling from the East Coast, jet lag may not be an issue. Otherwise, even a switch of two hours can make a big difference. The top tip is to avoid napping if at all possible after you land. Stay awake until the normal time to go to bed.

5. Use a Few Cool Apps

Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips to navigate the subway like a pro or to find out what’s happening in Central Park. This list should have at least a couple of things for everyone; you can even scout out the best public art.

6. Create an Itinerary

The New York Department of Economic Development has a handy trip planner tool online. It gives you a diverse list of all that is possible in the city, and you choose what appeals to you. You can map everything and save several versions of what you might like to do.

7. Leave Work Behind

This tip assumes that your New York City trip is for pleasure. If it is for business purposes, don’t leave work behind. Please!
Otherwise, bid adieu to work. You don’t want to be tethered to the office via constant texts or phone calls, do you? Start well in advance by ensuring all of your work is complete. If your office environment is one that blurs the lines, explain to the necessary people that you’d like to have space for this trip. Give them an alternate person in the office to contact.
If your trip is for both work and pleasure, keep the two spheres separate as much as possible. For instance, the first two days should be conference-focused, with the remaining five days for family time only. This approach keeps you moving forward instead of feeling pulled in multiple directions. Or, work could be every day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. only.

Visiting New York City is a must-do for any serious tourist. As this list has showen, there’s no need to break your back by hauling around tons of luggage, nor do you need to guess when a bus might be coming. And if you’re desperate for ideas of what to do, choose a theme. Even “circles” could work!

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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