5+1 Tips For Your First Trip to New York City

So this is another Solo Trip of Me Myself and I!
With the world SO done with the US Presidential Election, despite the outcome, I still think New York City is a great place to visit. A city with lots of charm that I can’t even find the right words to describe. Just like what everyone says – New York City, the city that never sleeps. Almost every corner of the street, you felt like you are in a movie setting. Sex and The City, Man In Black, Ironman, Captain America, Wolf of Wall Street, oh man.. all the lovely movies.

Anyway, after being there for a short 3 days trip, here are my 5 tips for you if you intend to travel to New York City soon for the first time.

5 Tips for First Time Traveler to New York City

  1. If you are going to see Statue of Liberty, do it first thing in the morning

    Why? The security screening takes forever. Kinda of like you are going through the airport screening again. To ensure you have more time visiting and seeing places, do it first thing in the morning to avoid the long queue. Don’t spend all your time queuing for major attraction. The next attraction with extremely long queue and stringent security check is Empire State Building.

    Statue of Liberty on my hand!
    Statue of Liberty on my hand!
  2. If you are tireless walker and want to get the most of everything, get the New York Pass.

    I really love to see as many attractions as possible in a trip, so the minute I got off the coach, I went to Starbucks for my breakfast fix. Goggled for a while and I immediately purchased a 3 days New York Pass. With the New York Pass, I was entitled to 80+ attractions, and was able to go through the fast lane for some attractions. I’m certain that most of the attractions that you would love to visit are included. Scrape the headache. Get the pass, mark it on the map, and plan your trip by area. Highly recommended to get this Pass when you are in New York City.

    Just me and my Favourite Building. Maybe because of Jayz's song.
    Just me and my Favourite Building. Maybe because of Jayz’s song.
  3. Go Downtown by Train

    Because I was staying in uptown, I was able to experience the subway station and train when I was in NYC. 
    Getting around the city by Train is probably the most inexpensive, convenient and efficient way. Roads are usually packed with traffic all day long. If you do not have the patience to wait, taking the train is a good choice. Purchase a metro card when you’re there. You can get a metro card from any downtown stations and each train trip cost US$2.75.
    How do you know if you are going in the right direction? If the street numbers are getting bigger, you are going towards uptown. If the street numbers are getting smaller, you know you’re on your way to downtown.
    When in doubt, just ask the passerby or get a pre-paid mobile card with data for GPS.

    View from Empire State Building
    View from Empire State Building


  4. Wear Comfortable Shoes.

    New York is known as a walking city. Regardless if your plan is shopping or visiting as many attraction as possible, a good walking shoe is definitely a must. Most attractions require at least some walking. To make out the most of your trip and to see most of the city attractions, avoiding all jams, WALK! Your best friend would definitely be a comfortable pair of shoes. Remember, this is a city that never sleep. Don’t waste it! Walk as much as you can!

    Colourful Nature Display
    Colourful Nature Display
  5. Stay with Airbnb.

    New York City can be a pretty expensive place to stay. However with Airbnb, I found a really sweet 2 nights stay deal. The cost  is US$55 per night! The room that I got was really comfortable, and the best part, the owner and his mum are both extremely helpful, sweet, genuine and kind. I had a good chat with Margarita (the mummy) about her life and how she came from Dominican Republic to United States all alone back then. She had raised her 3 children single handedly, after her divorce from an abusive husband, by working 2 jobs. She speaks very little English, so I could really imagine how hard life must have been for her during that period.. She also shared with me her future plans about  going back to Dominican Republic, and to have an education centre for children! How noble!
    Now, Airbnb have an offer, if you click here and travel on Airbnb, we both get $28 in travel credit.
    YES! Both you and I receive $28 in travel credit.

    How cool is that?!
    This is my 4th time using Airbnb. So far, it have never disappoint me. Highly recommended if you love a little in-dept interaction with locals, Just remember, for your own safety, when choosing the apartment, always choose those with substantial amount of good reviews, and those that are closer to the subway.   

The ever famous Time Square
The ever famous Time Square

Interested to follow my Itinerary?
Here’s the breakdown, with the pricing.

Day 1
3 days New York Pass @ US$198 + Brooklyn Tour @ US$20
Empire state Building til 86 floor (part of New York Pass)
Statue of Liberty (Part of New York Pass)
Ellis Island (Part of New York Pass)
Charging Bull (Free)
The Ride (Part of New York Pass)Train ride home @ US$2.50

Breakfast: Coffee + Spinach Wrap at Starbucks @ US$8
Lunch: Street Hotdog bun + Street Nuts4Nuts @ US$6
Dinner:  Street shawarma @ US$7
Snack:  Because I really need to use the toilet before going for “The Ride”: Chevy, soup + margarita + free nachos @ US$17

At The Top of Empire State Building
At The Top of Empire State Building
While enjoying "The Ride"
While enjoying “The Ride”
Day 2
Subway ride downtown @ US$2.50
Brooklyn tour (Part of New York Pass)
911 memorial (Part of New York Pass)
Top of the Rock (Part of New York Pass)

Broadway Show: Phantom of the opera @ US$69 (this is my all time favourite, hence I chose to watch this show. There is plenty of choices there. Take your pick!)

Breakfast: Tres Gulpes at Dominican Republic Restaurant @ US$11
Dinner: Beef Steak + Wine at Applebee @ $31 (Food was not great)

Rest In Peace
Rest In Peace
At the street of Time Square
At the street of Time Square
Day 3
Central Park – free
Grand terminal (Part of New York Pass)
Radio city (Part of New York Pass)

Train Ride  Downtown @ US$2.50

Lunch: Street food lamb + rice @ $7 (Pretty filling and taste awesome!)
Hi-Tea: Oyster platter + a glass of wine at Oyster Bar (shared with a friend) @ US$32
Dinner:  Feasting at Bubba Gump @ US$52 (A must go place is you are a fan of the movie “Forrest Gump”. They will give you a “Bubba Gump” Shaker for souvenir after your meal. Remember to claim it!)
The Grand Central Terminal
The Grand Central Terminal
Mr Denzel Washington look-alike Security
Mr Denzel Washington look-alike Security


My Favourite Movie! Forrest Gump! With a surprise meet up with my Aussie girlfriend!
My Favourite Movie! Forrest Gump! With a surprise meet up with my Aussie girlfriend!


Ride: Bus ride to and fro from Toronto to  New York City @ $110
(12 hours each way, and the service provider I chose was Megabus)

Accommodation: Airbnb Stay @ US$110

+ 1 Tips!
Wonder whats the + 1 Tips?

If you LOVE Jimmy Fallone, and didn’t manage to get his tickets online, you can actually queue for “The Tonight Show”  at the NBC marquee on 49th street in the morning, starting from 9am, to see if you are lucky enough to get their standby tickets.

I am currently staying in a Farm as a wwoofer, living a totally different experience from staying in a city. Want to know more about my travel updates and tips? Stay tuned!
I’ll be writing soon!

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