12 New York City Tourist Mistakes to Avoid
New York travel tips!
Travelling to New York City anytime soon? If you are, you might want to take note of these common tourist mistakes and save yourself from embarrassment and overspending! From hailing the right cabs, all down to what areas in the city to avoid, we run down all these New York tourist mistakes PLUS travel tips to make your experience the best one yet!
There might just be a promo code for your New York travels tucked somewhere in this article – so keep reading!
1. DON’T hail a black car at the airport
As soon as you land in New York (JFK or LaGuardia Airport), your tourist instincts will immediately encourage you to say yes to the crowd of taxi drivers offering their services, but we are warning you now NOT to get on any black cabs unless hired. Black taxi cabs in New York operate under a higher-end rental service. So unless you hired a car from a similar company, you should NOT get on it as they are operating on their own and can easily rip you off for a huge amount of money.
Tripsle Tip: Yellow cabs that operate in the airport charge you depending on the meter, and this can quickly get pricey – especially with New York’s traffic. A cost-efficient option would be to book a shared transfer from JFK International Airport or LaGuardia Airport to your NYC accommodation through Tripsle which offer fixed rates.
2. DO use the subway!
It may be daunting at first, but taking the subway is the easiest and most efficient way of exploring New York City. But before you hop on the subway, it is important to map out your destination first with the Google Maps or Citymapper App. Simply key in your destination and it’ll instantly show you what lines to ride.
3. DON’T depend on the yellow cabs!
You’d definitely think that the iconic New York yellow cabs are something you must-ride during your first time in the city. However, it’s not always the best way to get around the city – not to mention the higher likelihood of getting ripped off as a tourist!
Cab fares are generally five times higher than taking the subway, and they get even more expensive the longer you sit in traffic. However, if you still want to opt out of riding the subway, the second best option would be ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.
4. DO get your own Go New York Pass
We don’t have to tell you to know that New York is an expensive place to visit, much more, live in. That said, you can expect shops, restaurants, and attractions to be on the pricey end. If you’re looking to save some serious cash – a smart tourist would purchase a GO New York City Card – Explorer Pass.
This pass includes up to 11 free attractions throughout the city and 45 different destinations to choose from. With this pass, you’ll be skipping long ticketing lines and spend more time enjoying what the city has to offer – for a whole lot less!
5. DON’T pay full price for a Broadway show!
You can’t come to New York and not watch a Broadway show. It simply does not work that way. However, you should NEVER pay full price for a Broadway show – especially with cheap ticketing options available.
One great way to get discounted Broadway tickets is to pre-book your seats through Tripsle. Currently available for shows like Wicked, The Phantom of The Opera, and so much more, by booking through Tripsle, your savings might even allow you to watch more than one show!
6. DO walk fast!
If there’s one thing New Yorkers hate – it’s slow walkers. With 8.5 million people living in New York, you can assume these individuals are out here trying to get to work, or a next appointment. So if you catch someone giving you dirty looks or muttering an insult your way, don’t take it personally and just keep walking!
Tripsle Tip: Always know where you’re going and don’t ever stop in the middle of a sidewalk!
7. DON’T assume that all New Yorkers are rude
Contrary to what most people are led to believe – not all New Yorkers are rude. So if in case you need help getting around the city, feel free to speak up and ask! Chances are, New Yorkers will be very much willing to help you out.
8. DO have cash ready
Although most major establishments in the city cater to multiple payment options, many of New York’s gems and attractions only accept cash as a mode of payment. This would include smaller family-run restaurants, vintage and thrift stores, as a way to save on credit card fees.
Tripsle Tip: We recommend having at least $50 in cash just in case!
9. DON’T stay in Times Square
If it’s your first time in New York City, then it’s perfectly fine to visit Times Square – but only for a limited amount of time, say for shopping and taking a quick photo op by the bright lights. Not only is it insanely busy, it’s also the least favored spot of locals – and this says a lot. This said, don’t opt for accommodations in this area – it’s both expensive and crowded. Instead we recommend checking out brooklyn and even the West Village for more classic New York flair.
Tripsle Tip: Don’t engage in conversation with the individuals in costume all around Times Square. They’ll rip you off for money and are just overall sketchy. Stay away!
10. DO get out of Manhattan
Of course, most first-time travellers dream of ticking Manhattan off their bucket list, however, they do often get lost in Manhattan’s charm and then forget about the other neighborhoods in the city.
If you ask any local for places to visit in the city, we can assure you that at least 9 out of 10 times, they’ll point you in the direction of Brooklyn – home to DUMBO, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Flea Market.
11. DON’T eat at fast food chain restaurants
New York City is home to a plethora of independent restaurants and cafes that you won’t find anywhere else. That said, we highly encourage you to skip the McDonalds and Burger King and enjoy restaurants like Lombardi’s Pizza, the Butcher’s Daughter and Serendipity!
12. DO tip your restaurant servers
The US is one of the few countries that are big on tipping culture – and when we say big, we mean about 10-20% of your entire bill. Of course, this would be dependent on the service provided. However, it is good to note that tipping is a sign of respect anywhere in the US, so do make sure you can afford to tip after a good meal.
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