The First-Time Traveler’s Guide to New York City: What to Expect and How to Prepare

So, you’re heading to New York City for the first time. There’s a lot to know! NYC can be overwhelming, especially if you’re used to seeing it on TV, in movies, and in shows where life never stops. While NYC never does stop, there are still ways to soak in the sights and get the most out of your first trip. 

This first-time traveler’s guide will break down everything you need to know about what to expect when visiting New York City and how you can prepare yourself for a smooth, easy trip. Here’s what you need to know below. 

Expect Higher Prices

The first thing to expect is higher prices. From food and transportation to clothing and activities, the prices are higher than other tourist destinations. Because it’s such a popular tourist destination, New York’s prices rise to accommodate the visitors. 

To prepare for higher prices, plan out a budget for the week. Consider when you need to eat out and when you should stay in your hotel and cook. You can also eat and stay outside the city to save money here, too. 

There Will Be Pizza Everywhere You Go

Sure, New York is known for bagels, cheesecake, hot dogs, and other delicacies, but the food you will encounter the most is pizza. There will be pizza everywhere you turn. If you’re looking to try real, authentic New York ‘za, we suggest heading to Zero Otto Nove or Louie & Ernie’s Pizza in the Bronx. For a real hole in the wall place, head to Mama’s Too! located on Broadway street or John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker Street. 

New York City Never Slows Down

If you’re interested in a nice, relaxing vacation where life slows down, New York isn’t your best bet. This city never slows down and never sleeps, so be ready for crowds, never ending entertainment, and so many tourist attractions it’s impossible to see them all in one trip. 

Even though this city never slows down, you can still figure out how to enjoy it. It just takes a little bit of planning ahead of time. To prepare for being in the city that never slows down, we suggest buying all your tickets in advance and planning out a general itinerary of what to do and where to go throughout your trip. 

Walking is Your New Best Friend

The most important tip for traveling in New York City is that driving is almost impossible. Sure, you’ll eventually get where you’re going, but if you’re hoping to drive around the city, walking will probably get you there faster. 

New York City’s transportation systems can be difficult to navigate and more time consuming than walking. We suggest wearing good walking shoes and navigating the city on foot rather than trying to drive or catch an Uber. 

Luckily, New York City’s subways and trains are pretty straightforward. If you’re hoping to explore the whole city and its surrounding areas, consider getting a subway pass for the week you’re staying. This will make getting around so much easier. 

To prepare for walking around the city, wear good walking shoes and bring water and snacks to fuel you throughout the day. Chances are you may become tired of navigating the city on foot, so having sustenance for you can make a big difference and give you the energy you need to keep going. You can also consider renting bikes. 

Luggage Storage Can Work Wonders

If you’re heading to New York, it’s important to know where to put your luggage. If you just got off the plane and don’t want to miss a thing, you may want to go directly to Times Square or to Central Park. If you have an early checkout time or a later check-in time at your hotel, you may have to hang onto your bags for a few hours before settling into your room.

This is where luggage storage can help. Luggage storage facilities are scattered all throughout New York City so you can drop your bags off in a safe, secure location and explore the city hands-free. There’s no better way to soak in all the sights this city has to offer. 

Plus, most locations won’t let you bring in larger bags and suitcases, and you certainly don’t want to leave them unattended. Store your luggage to keep it safe and sound. Simply find a storage facility closest to where you are or where you’re headed, book a reservation online, and drop your bags off. Explore the city without having your luggage weigh you down and enjoy up to $10,000 worth of insurance coverage for your belongings! 

Take a look at the best facilities for luggage storage in New York City and plan your trip ahead of time. 

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