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6 Tips on How to Survive Your Trip to New York City

Worrying about your first trip to New York City?

Are you planning to visit New York City for a short time, or plan to move there? The Big Apple is a city filled with excitement, wonder, and opportunity and can sometimes seem big and overwhelming. While it is big, it should not be overwhelming, that is if you know all the do’s and don’ts of New York City life.

Here is a simple guide on how you can survive your trip to the Big Apple and make the stay enjoyable and unforgettable.

Take Care While Crossing the Road

This sounds obvious, but it is easy to be flattened by a cyclist going the wrong way on a one-way street. As you cross NYC streets, be acutely aware of the many bike couriers or messengers. Also, if you are traveling to the city in winter, do not step into a deep puddle obscured by sludge by the side of the road. It could ruin your sightseeing day.

Be Polite When Asking for Directions

Never be hesitant when asking for directions. Just about all New Yorkers are helpful and friendly if you ask for help politely. However, if you see someone with headphones on, they do not want to be talked to. In a world of noise and small talk, it is refreshing to let your guard down and not have to worry about someone insisting on talking to you. Of course, there are headphone wearers who are listening to music, but there are the silent headphones users as well. Do not disturb their moment of peace – instead, ask for help from someone not wearing ear or headphones.

Do Not Wear Flip-Flops

Flip-flops have their time and place; most probably on the beach in the middle of summer. In New York City, the last thing you want to be wearing is flip-flops. For starters, you are likely going to be doing lots of walking, and this shoe-wear will not be good for your feet. Instead, find a comfortable pair of walking shoes, especially if you plan to walk everywhere. Second, flip-flops are the most unfashionable things you can be seen wearing in the city! Let’s not forget, New York City is know as one of the fashion capitals and you do not want to be making such a fashion faux pas.

Even as a Tourist, You Will Queue

One of the first things New Yorkers learn from childhood is queuing and waiting patiently for their turn. Many tourists make the mistake of cutting queues without even realizing there is one. You will often observe that everyone in a queue is either busy on their phone or be chatting away. However, do not think that they are not aware of who is next and is not.

Keep to the Right

New Yorkers do not drive. The main form of transportation is walking, and there are rules to that too. Just like vehicles, always keep to your right. Unless you are on an NYC/Manhattan tours bus, you cannot suddenly stop in the middle of a sidewalk. You will likely take up space and hold up traffic. Instead, if you want to pause and rest for a moment, move to the side.

Watch Out for that Empty Subway Car

There is a reason why a whole subway car is empty. In many cases, the homeless make subway wagons place to catch up on sleep, and this can lead to some uncomfortable experiences. If you see an empty subway car, quickly scan it to find out why before you settle in.

By following these tips not only will you have an excellent kick start to your NYC tour but you will likely be mistaken for a real New Yorker by other tourists who didn’t take the time to prepare themselves before taking the trip.

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

1 Comment

  1. Andrew says:

    great city, great tips Juno!

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