02 Jun

New York City Travel Tips

Are you planning a trip to New York City for the first time? Navigating the city for the first time can be a bit intimidating but with a little bit of planning and willingness to ask for help, you can have a great experience and see the sites! Here are some helpful New York City travel tips based on our recent visit.

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New York City Travel Tips

New York City Travel Tips

Before you travel to New York City, read blogs, check out NYC travel guides and talk to people have been there.

Don’t be afraid to Ask for Help!

When we landed at Newark Airport for the first time, we weren’t quite sure how to get across to Manhattan. But at every turn, there was an airport employee wearing a red vest. You will ride the Airport Shuttle around the airport to connect with the NJ Transit system that will take you to Penn Station in Manhattan. From Penn Station, you can go anywhere in New York City.

How to navigate the New York City Subway

Navigating the New York City Subway can be a daunting experience for first time visitors in the city. The subways are numbered or lettered and are accessible throughout the city.

NYC Subway

You will purchase a metrocard at any of the gates once you go down the steps. One ride on the subway costs between $2.25-$3.00 for each ride. Once you are through the gate, you can connect to other trains that will help you get where you need to go. But once you exit the subway system through the turnstile, you will need to swipe your card again before you can reenter and ride.

Navigating the Subway

While we were in the City, we rode the Subway multiple times. It is just an easier, faster way to navigate the city sometimes than relying on a cab or trying to walk to the other end of the city. If you plan to use it more than a handful of times, it may be more cost efficient to purchase an unlimited multi-day pass.

Click over here to compare the MetroCard options.

Tip: Metrocards can expire. So before you try to use a card that is left over from a previous trip, check the balance and the expiration date.

While we were riding the Subway this weekend, we felt very safe. I had not visited New York City since 1999, and wasn’t sure what to expect on the subway system.

Have a plan for Emergencies:

Most of the time you will not have internet service in the subway system. If you are traveling with a child or in a group, talk about your emergency plan. What will you do if you get on the subway and your child is stuck on the other side when the door closes? On this trip, my daughter knew exactly what I expected her to do if we happened to get separated.

If you are traveling with young children, make sure you have them prepared and let them wear these child safe ID bracelets.

By talking about this unlikely scenario ahead of time, we didn’t have to worry. To help prevent this from happening, we were very careful to enter and exit the train together each time.

Have fun

The subway system is really cool! Be on the lookout for street musicians! Some of these musicians are really good! Feel free to leave a tip as you go past if you want to

NYC Subway Musician
NYC subway musician

Walk & Ride

There is so much to see when you do a walking tour but you also need to ride the subway to get you where you need to be. If you want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, then you will probably want to ride the subway from Manhattan over to Brooklyn and then walk back across.

Navigating the big city can be a bit intimidating but if you do a little planning, you can explore the city and travel like a pro!

Got any tips for New York City travel? I’d love to hear!


Interested in a free walking tour of New York City? Click this button for tips for the rest of your own Walking Tour!

New York City Walking Tour

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