A trip to New York City is on the bucket lists of many travelers and is a tourist destination famous for a number of reasons. Among those are lovable tv sit-coms, like Friends, Seinfeld, and How I Met Your Mother, which glorify life in The Big Apple and bonds us to the town. When visiting New York City, it can be easy to get caught up in the chaos and miss the authentic NYC experiences. To avoid some of the mistakes travelers make on their trips, here are six things you should know.
- Driving Isn’t An Option
Driving in New York City isn’t something even the locals would recommend. Not only are the roads always bustling, but parking can cost you a small fortune too. Although the movies make hailing a cab seem like a simple task, doing so is actually quite difficult, especially in bad weather. You’ll find it much quicker to reach your destination by traveling by subway or ride services like Uber or Lyft. Sometimes, even walking works out faster.
- Book A High Floor
A city as large as New York is going to create a lot of waste. The garbage trucks have massive amounts of trash to pick up at night, which is always a noisy job. If you book a hotel room lower down, then you’ll probably be awoken by the sounds of clanging dumpsters and back-up horns. Rooms higher up have less sound pollution to deal with, but you may still want to wear earplugs.
- Don’t Visit Times Square
Times Square is where many travelers like to spend their first trip to NYC. The problem is, there isn’t a very good reason why you would do that. Unless you plan to attend one of the many Broadway shows NYC has to offer, Times Square is little more than a tourist trap. For better food, fewer crowds, lower prices, and a more authentic experience, you should go elsewhere. If you just can’t miss seeing the lights of Times Square, however, be sure to hit Junior’s for some incredible cheesecake!
- Say No To Elmo
Mangy costumed characters are everywhere in New York. You’ll see Elmo, Hello Kitty, Minnie Mouse, and a whole range of different superheroes. When one of these characters get in a photo with you, they will expect payment. This is why you should say no when one of them comes up to you. If you experience or see any harassment, make sure you tell a police officer right away.
- Tipping 20% Is Typical
Tipping culture differs all over the world. In fact, even different parts of the U.S have various rules. In New York, however, cab drivers and servers make much less than a livable wage. This means that many rely on the tips given to them. Even though the suggested tip is between 15 and 20%, you should always leave 20%. An easy way to calculate your tip is just to double the tax.
- Rats Are Locals Too
New Yorkers aren’t known for being friendly, but the locals most visitors have an issue with are the rats. While you’re out exploring the city, there will come a time when you encounter these pests. The risk of doing so is much higher on garbage days. Although there’s little that you can do to avoid the rats, just knowing that they’re there will make coming across one less scary.
To survive your trip to New York City, make sure that you remember the advice above…and remember, stay safe!