Vacation in New York City? Here's all you need to know vol. II


"When I first arrived to New York I hated it.

It was too big, too noisy, too hectic. Too many people. But for some reason that also captured me." 

As I wrote in vol. I in this series: "When I first arrived to New York I hated it. It was too big, too noisy, too hectic. Too many people. But for some reason that also captured me." And it can still give me chills (in a good way) when I get that genuine feeling of "Wauw, I live in this amazing city." As noisy, busy, dirty, and annoying it can be, it is as beautiful, grand, fascinating, exciting, and filled with great experiences.

If you clicked on this blogpost you might be going to New York City very soon - or you're just interested in reading along, please do - so let's get you suited for your trip. Read tips about SIM-cards, MetroCards etc in Vol. I.

Here what you further will need to know when visiting:

Save money when you arrive at the airport.

The easiest thing is to just hop in a cab and pay the $60 (approx.) to your hotel, but if you're up for a train ride this can save you up to $55 (depending on how many travellers you are).

From JFK

Take the airtrain ($5) to the E-subway ($2.75 for a single ride, but I do suggest buying a weekly pass for $29) which will then take you all the way to Manhattan.

From La Guardia

Take the M60 bus ($2.75) to Manhattan. Easy as that.

From Newark

Take the New Jersey Transit ($5.50) 'Raritan Valley Line' towards New York Penn Station. From Penn Station you can access many different subways ($2.75) to go to your hotel.

Feel free to ask me how to get to your specific hotel, and I'll do my very best to guide you.

Don’t get on an empty train car.

It probably smells awful because of some unknown reason hence no one is in that car. Please do not think "Yes, I can sit down," because trust me, you will regret it. Also, just a common decency: let people off the subway, don't block their way, and wait till they're off till you enter.

Any organic peeps out there?

If you're looking to go on a full blown grocery trip, or just get some snacks for the day Traders Joe’s is cheapest organic place for groceries. It's located in several locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, & Jersey. If you find yourself in Harlem or Washington Heights I recommend checking out Fairway or Gristedes for organic groceries.

Need a taxi?

As iconic as yellow cabs can be (and I definitely think you should go for at least one ride in a yellow cab), please be ware that in any area around 5th Avenue, midtown, SoHo will almost be impossible to get a yellow cab. You can then either take the subway, or take an Uber! Uber is a slight bit cheaper than taxis, but not by much, though they are very convenient when hailing a cab turns into a bigger mission.

Download the subway map app.

If you're planning to take the subway (which I recommend to save money) you might want to download the Subway Map App. This one works without WiFi access, which makes it very convenient. This map will give you all the information you need about the different trains, where they go to, where you can transfer to another train to get to your destination, and you can also type in your trip in the app to get help on which train to take.

Know what to tip!

Tipping is a must in cabs, at restaurants, and for any other service you might get. As a general rule of thumb, tip between 18% to 20% percent of your bill at restaurants before taxes. Taxis will have a suggested amount when you pay, and you can choose what you prefer. Please tip, your servant might not be payed more than $5-8 an hour.