By Brooke Bajgrowicz
I had always wanted to go to New York City, so when given the opportunity over spring break, of course I took it. Taking on the Big Apple makes you feel like you can take on the world – it makes you feel powerful. So from a first-time New York tourist to you, here are eight pieces of advice for facing one of the greatest cities in the world.
- Find the right time to go
If you travel early in the year and do your research, you can find hotel rooms that, after all taxes and fees, cost around $150 a night. Bring a few friends, and you’ll be paying less than $37 per night. Flights to New York can also be reasonable during some parts of the year with airlines like Delta and JetBlue offering round trips from major Florida airports for under $150.
- Do the free stuff
While there are plenty of museums and sites that are worth the money, don’t believe you have to spend a crazy amount to have fun. Times Square, Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center, Central Park – these can all be enjoyed without spending a dime. Just being in the city is an experience in itself.
- Request tickets to live TV show tapings
TV shows like “The Tonight Show” and “Good Morning America” are filmed in New York, and you can request free tickets to tapings online here. While you have to book tickets in advance, the wait is well worth it. Fully fill out your ticket request profile to increase your chances of scoring a few seats.
- Take advantage of the shopping
New York features giant versions of pretty much every store you’ve ever been in. Even if you don’t buy anything, going through the stores can still be fun.
- Skip the chains
It isn’t too hard to find meals at local casual restaurants that cost less than $10 if you know where to go. Take a trip to Applebee’s instead, and a basic burger will cost you over $20. Why go to a chain when the local food is so great?
- Prepare to walk… a lot
If you stay in Manhattan, you’ll find that it’s oftentimes just as easy to walk somewhere as it is to take the subway. Wear comfortable shoes. Don’t forget that people in the city are usually in a rush, so be ready to keep up with the pace.
- Enter Broadway lotteries
The best thing I did in the city was see Wicked. At $35 a ticket, it was well worth it. Check websites like Broadway Direct for the chance to enter in drawings every day. Yes, you can win tickets. Even if you don’t, consider buying a pair because the shows are great.
- Don’t expect to see it all
New York City is huge, and boroughs outside of Manhattan contain even more places to explore. Accept that you can’t see every site you want to see, and make plans to come back. If you’re like me, you’ll be planning a return trip as soon as you get home.
So take on the world, traveler. New York is waiting for you.