10 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to New York
Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your trip to the Big Apple!
1) There are tons of ways to have fun without spending money.
(Image: Flickr / Ingrid Richter)
We all know New York doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being easy on the wallet. But believe it or not, there are lots of fun things you can do without spending a penny! Just to name a few, Brooklyn Brewery tours, the Bronx Zoo and the Brooklyn Museum all have days/times when you can get in free.
2) Beware of scammers!
(Image: Flickr / m01229)
Don’t fall for scams. Unfortunately there is no shortage of people in NYC hoping to make a buck off of naive tourists. From selling tickets to the (completely free!) Staten Island ferry to bumping up your restaurant bill for no reason, New York’s scammers can be ruthless. Be warned!
3) The subway is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
NYC has one of the most extensive subway systems in the world and the best part is that it never closes! The NYC subway is infamously complicated though, so make sure to do your homework and plan your route carefully.
4) You can tell a cab is available when the sign is lit up.
If public transit isn’t your cup of tea, New York City is full of cabs. You can tell that a taxi is available when the number on the roof of the cab is lit up. If it isn’t lit up the cab is occupied, so you better keep hailing!
5) Standard tipping is 15–20%.
For tipping for New York waiters or cab drivers, 15–20% is usually the rule of thumb. Although increasingly, 20% is considered the new norm.
6) You MUST try the bagels.
(Image: Flickr / Jenna Wentz)
Don’t leave New York without trying the bagels, the pizza, the cheesecake each at least once. Although, I’d personally recommend trying them all 2–3 times.
7) NYC has a thriving LGBT community.
(Image: Flickr /Quinn Dombrowski)
New York City was home to the world’s first pride parade in 1969, and today the city is home to a thriving LGBT community. New York City’s annual pride parade is held at the end of June and it features hundreds of colourful and vibrant floats.
8) New York has 5 boroughs and each is worth exploring.
New York has 5 boroughs — Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Each neighbourhood is bursting with a unique and vibrant personality. Make sure to visit each one to get the full NYC experience.
9) Canadians don’t need a Visa to visit.
Canadians don’t need a Visa to visit the Big Apple. (Although some travelers will need a one — check if you need one here. Scroll down to “Visa Requirements” and select your nationality from the drop down menu.)
10) Be prepared for tax to be added at the cash register.
(Image: Flickr / Pete Bellis)
Sales tax on most things is 8.875%. It typically isn’t included in marked prices, so be prepared for your total to climb a little higher than the price tag. (Although grocery items and clothing cheaper than $110 isn’t taxed.)