What to Consider When Planning a Trip to New York City


Do you want to visit New York City? You’re not alone. Over 65 million people visited in 2018 from all over the world.

The “City That Never Sleeps” can be seen in as little as a long weekend. Or you can book a full week or two.

Between iconic buildings, museums, and restaurants, there are activities for the entire family to enjoy.

With so much to do you want to ensure you’re thorough when planning a trip to New York City. You don’t want to waste any time. Keep reading below to learn more about the “Big Apple” and how to structure your vacation.

We’ll discuss safety, what to see, what items to pack, and general travel tips you should always use.

Is New York City Safe?

If you read books or watched television shows about New York City in the 1970s or 1980s then you’re probably nervous about ever visiting the city. In 1990, it was nicknamed the “murder capital” of the country. There used to be a lot of crime issues.

But, crime rates have been falling steadily over the last two decades. The city only had 290 homicides in 2017, the lowest it’s been in 70 years.

The fact is that over eight million people live in New York City in 300 square miles. Statistically speaking, you may run into a suspicious person or potentially be the victim of a lesser crime.

COVID-19 has been a recent issue in the city, as it has been nationwide. Vaccines are now being issued and this problem won’t last forever, but it’s probably a good idea to have a mask and hand sanitizer. And until things clear up try to avoid closed-in spaces with many people.

To maximize your trip and stay safe, you should have a clear plan before visiting New York City. Do your homework and keep reading some of the information below about where to go and what to pack.

Planning a Trip To New York City

The first thing you’ll want to decide is where to go in New York City. It’s broken into five boroughs: Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Most new tourists stick to Manhattan Island. But with the subway, it’s easy to branch out to the other boroughs.

New York City is a major capital of art, history, and culture. It also has some of the most iconic buildings and museums in the world.

One of the top-rated free things to do in the city is to visit Central Park. You can visit in the summer or winter to dine, exercise, meet New Yorkers, and even stop at the zoo.

The best museums to visit include the American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National September 11 Memorial, Museum of Modern Art, and The Guggenheim.

Visit famous buildings like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Towers, Empire State Building, or Ellis Island.

If you have time to catch a show, you might be able to snatch up some discounted tickets to a Broadway production. Or take a food tour of the city. There are a ton of things to do on your New York City vacation.

What Items You Should Pack for NYC

Before you start packing for New York City, decide what time of year you want to visit. There’s a big difference between the weather in the summer versus winter. The city also hosts different events or festivals each month of the year.

Dress appropriately for the season you’re visiting and wear layers in case the conditions change quickly.

Comfortable walking shoes are a requirement! Even if you take taxis or the subway, you’ll be doing a lot of walking around the city. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bag where you can put souvenirs or drinks.

Spend a few dollars on buying a paper map of the city. They’re cheap and very easy to use. Navigating the city can get complicated so you want something you can carry. GPS isn’t always reliable. Purchasing a prepaid Metrocard may be helpful as well so you don’t have to worry about buying one at a kiosk.

Pack one formal outfit in case you go out to dinner at an expensive restaurant or go to the theatre.

If you’re worried about New York City safety, check out self-defense websites like legionary.com to bring any gear that’ll make you feel safe. Just make sure to follow local laws and regulations.

General Travel Safety Tips

No matter where you go in the world, including New York City, you want to follow general travel safety tips. There are little things you can do before and during your trip to ensure it runs smoothly and safely.

Here are some simple travel tips for your next vacation:

  • Don’t wear expensive jewelry
  • Never carry large quantities of cash and use credit cards
  • Wherever you go, learn the local number for police or emergency services
  • Lock up important documents like passports in your hotel safe and carry photocopies
  • Check-in frequently with family and friends back home
  • Use a secure bag that can’t be easily ripped off you or slashed

We understand it’s scary thinking about these things before your dream vacation. You don’t want to sour the experience, but you need to be prepared.

The best thing you can do while traveling is to be aware of your surroundings. Stay in well-lit, public spaces, and know who is coming within proximity of you. Good situational awareness can prevent most crimes.

Ready To Visit the Big Apple?

Follow these travel tips when planning a trip to New York City. It’s one of the most exciting cities in the world and there are a ton of places for you to visit. We know you’ll have a great time, you just need to take a few precautions and stay safe.

Looking for more travel articles to read? The travel section of our site is full of information on places to visit in the United States and internationally. We also discuss topics like how to get around, local currency, and obtaining a visa.


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