As this was my first trip to New York City, I honestly had no idea what to expect. From my knowledge and presumption, I imagined New York to be fast-paced, a major fashion hub, and somewhat “spontaneous” (if you’ve seen those viral videos of people on the New York subway… then you know what I mean).
Location: Brooklyn Bridge
I’ve always wanted to visit New York and attend Fall fashion week. And although this time through I didn’t have the opportunity to go, things still managed to fall into place.
I was able to travel during the latter of the month for a surprise birthday party for a family member.
For that reason, traveling to New York City in the month of October meant that I was in for some major “Fall Vibes”.
Now I’ll be quick and frank. New York really surprised me. There was a lot of right, but also a lot of things that could have gone better with this trip. It was definitely a completely different experience compared to my last trip, which was in Montréal.
So without dragging you on any further here are…
7 things you should know before visiting New York City for the first time
1. Note that there are THREE different airports in three DIFFERENT locations, one of which is located in the state of New Jersey.
New York is notorious for traffic. You may want to consider where you are arriving/departing and how far away it is to your accommodations and the sites you want to visit. Although the subway system is convenient, there’s something about using transit before or after a vacation that will have you feeling lazy.
2. Do not throw out your checked luggage tag.
Airport officials verify your ticket before leaving the baggage pick-up. In my experience, I saw waaay too many people scrambling to find their tags. This may not be a surprise to some, but this was definitely a first for me as I’ve travelled a fair amount and have never been asked to show my tag to leave with my bags. Great Security system, but it would have been nice to know before hand just in case I decided to be careless with them.
3. The humidity in the air can and WILL sneak up on you.
I’ve always had dry skin, but for whatever reason that completely changed in New York. It’s possible that my usual primer or my foundation may be the cause of blame. But what that tells me is that, my current makeup routine is primarily based for dry weather wearability. I’ve never experienced so much oil on my skin…and to tell you the truth, it makes me feel almost glad that I have dry skin as opposed to oily because I just don’t know how to manage it at all.
Outfit Details: Dress – Zara | Belt – H&M | Hat – H&M | Purse – GLOBO
4. Download transportation apps on your phone.
New York has one of the best subway systems in my opinion, but I won’t lie to you. Upon the first arrival of a subway entrance, it can seem very intimating. On the bright side, once you pick up on the patterns of how it is structured, it is pretty easy to navigate.
During my trip, I used the Google Maps app downloaded from the App Store, as well as, www.MTA.info. You can also download the ‘Subway Time’ app on the App or Google Play store, which is essentially the same as the link above. These were transportation schedule life-savers. MTA.info detailed the best routes to take and notified live delays or bad conditions going on the subway system.
5. Opt for a METRO card.
Using Uber and yellow taxi is okay, but it does add up FAST. If you are staying for over 4 days, I’d recommend you chose one of the many metro-pass options that NY offers. I’ve heard a few people complain about delays, however, most only end up being around 2-5 minutes (15 minutes being because of a substantial situation). Coming from a city where the regularly scheduled transportation already includes a 15-30 minute wait-time, I really didn’t mind the occasional 2-3 minute delay.
Location: Times Square
Location: World Trade Center Memorial
6. If you are going to site see New York City, make sure you plan out your day by grouping them by similar area.
When visiting New York, you will be on foot probably 90% of the time because it’s more convenient. By grouping sites by locations, you’ll maximize time on your entire travel itinerary and save yourself a little bit of energy. Many of the well-known sites vary in operational hours, so this will help to ensure you don’t miss out on anything you plan to see.
Location: African Burial Ground Monument
Location: Madison Square Park
This leads me to my last and final point…
7. Wear shoes that you will be comfortable wearing for hours.
Outfit Details: Scarf – Sirens | Leather Pants – Sirens | Belt – H&M | Hat – H&M | Purse – GLOBO
Because of the nature of my trip and the basis of my travel being for a surprise party, my free time was actually limited. Given the points above, I definitely would have crafted a different approach to maximize my experience.
Nonetheless, I will visit New York City again in the future (crossing my fingers for Fall Fashion Week!) and I will be more prepared.
What are your pre-travel regimes? I’d love to know.
Share with me in the comments!