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Top 5 Travel Tips for Surviving New York City (Video)

VIDEO | Top 5 Travel Tips for Surviving New York City | #NYC Travel Insider

As a busy metropolis, New York City revolves around three things: time, speed and efficiency.  In fact, a lot of Manhattanites live by mental checklists and they often feel like there’s never enough time to do everything they want and

need to do .   To compensate for all that lack, New Yorkers try to get that extra edge in life,  by cultivating speed and efficiency.  Today I’m going to share with you my Top 5 Travel Tips for New York City

1. Bring Comfortable and practical shoes.

Now I know many of you have probably watched Sex & the City and the women in it always wear high heals.  That’s because they were taking taxi cabs everywhere. Unless your’e taking taxi cabs everywhere, be prepared to walk … a lot.  You’ll be walking up and down stairs, you’ll be taking the metro and bus all around.. and you will be walking blocks and blocks and blocks.  Being from Hawaii I was practically born in flip flops and when I moved to New York, I realized that they just didn’t work.

2. Don’t stop in the middle of a busy sidewalk or the entrance of a subway station.

I like to think of busy New York City sidewalks as the pedestrian version of the German Autobahn.  Nothing will irk a New Yorker more than if they’re in a rush and you halt in front of them.  This is where the coined term ‘weaving and dodging’ comes in to New York lingo. As pedestrians, you’ll find many New Yorkers weave and dodge their way through foot traffic as if they’re on a freeway.

If you’re going to stop in the middle of a sidewalk or the entrance of a subway station, pull off to the side, so other people can pass you by.  Simple as that.

New York Subway, broad street station

New York Subway

3. Be wallet-ready.

If you’re waiting in a checkout line, have your wallet ready when you get to the cash register.

It is a well-known belief that New Yorkers are very impatient.  If you wait in a checkout line, get to the front and let the cashier ring you up before opening your bag to take out your wallet,  you might not make the cashier or the people behind you very happy.(aka you’ll piss people off)

Remember, good customer service in New York is not a requirement.  It’s an option.

4. Don’t say New York is expensive.

Now a lot of people think that New York City is an expensive place to live as well as visit, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Manhattan actually has a lot of free activities like concerts in Central Park or Shakespeare in the park.  You don’t need to rent a car, you can always take public transportation.  In fact you buy daily, weekly and monthly unlimited metro passes.  If you love to eat, there’s always a lot of hole-in-the-wall restaurants with good food… for cheap! Also if you love shopping New York doesn’t have any sales tax on clothes.

5. Where to find toilets?

New York isn’t known for having a whole lot of public toilets and if did, I don’t know if you’d actually want to use them. People can be dirty.  But if you really had to go and you were looking for a spot to go in, then my best suggestion is…

 Mc Donalds, Starbucks, Public Museums as well as,… the New York Public Libraries. Some parks will have them but I wouldn’t necessarily count on them.

One helpful and handy app I have is Sit n Squat. It’s downloadable for free by Charmin (the toilet paper folks) and it will help you locate the nearest toilet whether it being paid or free on your phone.

Read Top 40 Things to Do in New York City

What are your travel tips to share about surviving New York City?


  1. I went to New York on a budget last year and I saved a lot on accommodation since I stayed in a hostel. New York City may be known as the most expensive city in USA, but there’s also no shortage of free things to do. I already visited some museums, Time Square and Statue of Liberty. I also went to a lot of diners and clubs and I watched free concerts at Central Park after checking out the NYC Parks website. By the way, I found a website listing free events in New York which is great because I didn’t have much of a budget. I think might be useful to people also visiting New York who are looking for free things to do.

  2. Carol Jeanne says:

    I love the “pull off to the side” tip! I grew up on Long Island and we go back to visit and see the city frequently. It really is funny how you do need to get out of the way or get run over. 😉 I never thought about it, just did it. As for customer service, the bagel shop owners near my family’s house would skip over you to the next customer if you did not know what you wanted, right away. On the other hand, New Yorkers are helpful and wonderful people. Even on the buses in the city. ); Fun memories.

    • That’s right, they do skip you over! Ha ha. New York/Manhattan especially is such a different beast. But as you said- NYers are very helpful people and will take the time even to give you directions if you’re lost.

  3. 1. I divide any city I want to see into quadrants by day, and visit say S/W Manhatten’s sites and restaurants. I also scope out that I want to take the Blue train to Brooklyn, the Red Train to St Patricks, etc. I GO EARLY because places fill up and I want to see say Frick’s house decorated for Christmas I needed reservations. I learned that after seeing a line that was two blocks long. Also make restaurant reservations or go early there too. That way you aren’t wasting precious time, your most valuable asset or money riding the trains or buses up and down the city. 2. Always use the toilet in the restaurant, museum, etc. You don’t know when you will next see one.

  4. YES people! Please stop stopping on the sidewalk 🙂 – Sincerely, a New Yorker

    Loved this video ~~

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