Summer vacation is soon coming to a close for all schools in the US, and that means that 2 major things are happening at this very moment:

1. You're trying to squeeze in the most amount of summer left in the next month, and
2. Already thinking about Autumn and all of the spooky, festive holidays and seasonal treats that come with it.

For many families or groups of friends this means stuffing in a mini-vacation now, or planning one over Winter break.

Lots of people outside of the East Coast or outside of the United States may have a plan to visit the Big Apple within this precious time left of 2017, so as a native New Yorker I’m here to give any of you visiting the rundown on How to Survive Your Trip to NYC Like a Boss 💁

1. First off, don’t worry! Get excited!

You just booked your trip, the days are counting down, and you suddenly realize that you have to tackle new routes of transportation, visit all of the famous spots, and have a memorable trip all while trying to get through one of the most popular - and crowded - cities in the world.

anxiety, people, and beach photography image

Wipe that stress off of your shoulders, you’re going to New York City for crying out loud! Yes, traveling somewhere new always comes with over planning, budgeting, and trip memorabilia, but don’t forget that you planned this trip in the first place to have fun and see new sites.

You’re visiting what’s thought of as the Capital of the World - get pumped! 😁🎉

2. When in doubt, ask

You may have this assumption about New Yorkers as being rude, loud people who don’t care about anything but the Mets vs. Yankees, pizza, and where we’re going right now. Sadly, that’s true for some -

But not all! If you’re lost or would like to know about some of our personal hot spots across the boroughs, don’t be afraid to ask! Most likely whoever you approach will be reasonable, honest, and open to help.

Personally, I haven’t started traveling outside of my neighborhood until a couple years ago, so I get lost at a new address more than you would think.

3. Explore Manhattan first

No no no, I’m not one of those people who only rep their native island (but Manhattan can be pretty great), but if you’re new to the city I highly recommend staying in Manhattan for the majority of your trip due to the fact that it’s easier to travel in than the rest of the boroughs.

Like some of the other places you may be traveling from, the great thing about Manhattan is that the majority of it is on a grid system. This means that our streets are straight and there’s a more clear distinction of uptown, downtown, east, and west. AKA, it’s harder for you to get lost.

Manhattan is mostly numbered streets and avenues, too, so once you understand where north and south are, you’re good to walk the streets with confidence.

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TIP: The streets run north and south. Avenues run east and west.

But if you feel comfortable going into the named street/avenue areas (Greenwich Village, Soho, Upper West Side, Harlem - to name a few) then by all means do what you feel good with.

When you’re in the other boroughs there are numbered streets, but there is also an abundance of named ones and curved roads that are confusing the first few tries. Personally, I don’t feel ready to branch out to the others, and I’ve been in the city for close to 20yrs!

4. Visit attractions in the morning

On a weekday, the city is awake by 8am, which means that streets are starting to fill with people and the train stations are packed.

Then why am I telling you to go out in the morning? Because it’s worse during lunch hour and early evening.

Whenever the museum or building you plan to visit opens, aim to be there within the first 3 hours of opening. It’ll be less crowded and you can enjoy the attraction more. The same goes for most types of shopping.

5. If you can walk there, walk 👟

Walking in New York is the best way to save money and see the hidden gems it has to offer.

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Yes, even in the rain!

Our current public transportation fare is $2.75 for a single ride/swipe. Which usually means you’ll spend $5.50 getting to where you want to go and getting back to where you’ll be staying. After a while the money really adds up! Depending on how long you’ll be staying you also have the option to purchase a Weekly Unlimited Metro card for $33, or a Monthly Unlimited Metro card for $122. The great thing about unlimited metro cards is that you can use them as many times as you want within that weekly/monthly expiration date.

But oh, you thought you could buy one card and swipe it for the whole gang? Sadly, not. When you swipe an unlimited metro card once, you must wait 18 minutes to swipe it again.

Aside from transportation fares, I can’t stress the better option of walking enough. On top of saving money you’ll get a real look at the city (plus good exercise). Personally, I’ve found a handful of great shops and parks by doing so. On the other hand, if you do plan to purchase an unlimited metrocard, use it whenever you get the chance. Get your money's worth!

TIP: You may be thinking about taxi cabs, but I’ll tell you right now, like most cities, our traffic can be annoying. The drivers start the meter right away and don’t care how long you sit in traffic, they won’t turn it off and your money will fly out of your wallet (unless you happen to get a very respectful cabby). Also, New York pedestrians and car owners alike don’t think that they’re all as smart drivers as they should be. Many times they get into car accidents or cause damage to vehicles due to their poor technique maneuvering through lanes. So just my personal thought: don’t pay for a yellow, green, or black taxi (the black ones are much more pricey, too).

May these 5 tips lead you to a greater and more effortless trip through NYC.

And if you have any questions or want to know some of my personal favorite city sites, message me any time. 🤗👌🌉

Make the most of the rest of your summer vacation!