How to plan a trip to New York City – The ultimate 12 Steps Guide

If you catch yourself singing “I want a be a part of it, New York, New York”, it is time to plan a trip to New York.

In this post you will a step by step guide to help you plan your trip to New York independently.

These tips are essential for your journey – no matter if it’s your first or umpteenth visit to the Big Apple – because they will guide you to plan a perfect trip.

 

STEP 1 – CHECK YOUR AVAILABILITY FOR TRAVELING

 

The first step of the trip planning process  is to set the duration of your holiday and the availability of days for traveling.

This is a very important step because from there you will be able to start your research on the destination according to the season, weather, number of days, attractions, etc.

For example: if you have a 15 days vacation, you might consider combining a visit to New York with Washington, Boston or even Orlando and Miami.

On the other hand, if you have availability to travel for seven days only, the best option is to stay in New York and enjoy the city.

Following this basic premise you will be able to plan a coherent and satisfying itinerary.

 

STEP 2 – SET THE DATES

 

New York is a city that condenses very well the four seasons and shows different features in each one of them.

So, is there a best time to visit the city? I don’t think so, because from high temperatures in the summer to blizzards in winter, New York is perfect for visiting all year round, but it all depends on your goals and your traveler profile.

New York is a city that really never sleeps and don’t matter what you are going to find there –  rain, sun or even snow –  there is always great thing to do there.

To help you make the best choice concerning to when to visit the city, we prepared this guide with the characteristics of each season. Enjoy!

 

# Spring in New York

Some people say it’s the best time to visit New York, because the temperatures are pleasant and people are starting to get excited about summer approaching.

It is the wettest time of the year and when the open spaces such as restaurants begin to put their chairs in the street to take advantage of the outdoor attractions.

 The city is turning to green andcolorful flowers are blooming all over, turning New York into a charming town.

 Temperatures range: from 16 to 22º C.

 

# Sumer in New York

Summer in New York is always very  greeted by local as they start populating the streets, participating in festivals and there are plenty of available events for tourists and locals

Temperatures range: from 21 to 30º C and is the perfect time for outdoor walks in the city.

 

 

# Fall in New York

The season features mild temperatures and dry days and it is considered by many the best time to visit New York.

There are summer events going on and super interesting street fairs, so the city is still involved in an exciting mood, but with lower prices for tourists.

 

# Winter in New York

Winter is a great time to visit New York because despite the intense cold, the scenery is simply magical and enchants everyone.

+ To read the full post on New York in winter click here and check ou all the tips!

Hotel rates and tickets for shows are more affordable and you have the change to visit the most famous and prestigious restaurants.

But keep in mind that if you do not stand the cold and is not willing to dress up with thick warm clothes, maybe this is not the best time for you.

The temperature range in the months of December to March is 3 to -10º C.

 

STEP 3 – VISA AND DOCUMENTS

 

The transit of travelers in different countries is governed by some internal agreements, international treaties and legislation.

According to these, the travelers may have more or less difficulty to enter in foreign territories according to the nationality.

Check  what are the most important documents for a tourist on the road.

 

# Passport

The passport is the basic document for international identification and represent your id cart abroad.

The passport is a document issued by the country of origin of the traveler and is designed to give security to both parties: to the tourists and to the country that will receive the tourists.

 

# American Visa

In addition to the passport, some countries require other formalities, which is usually called visa and The United States of America is one of them.

The issue of visas are responsibility of foreign authorities and each country has its own procedure, so make sure you research about it first.

It is important thatyou check the visa information before buying the flight ticket in order to avoid problems in your travel plans. Check here which nationals do and don’t need a visa to get in the USA.

 

STEP 4 – DO YOUR RESEARCH

 

If you want to organize a perfect trip  you must know you will have to devote some time and energy to this plan.

Studying and researching is essential for planning a perfect trip because only you will be able to define what is relevant and what is not interesting for your you.

Find out about New York, its culture and tourist attractions. Define what is important to you, if you want to devote time to museums, shopping, relaxation or walking around. Define your traveler profile and discover a little more about you during the process.

Search on cities, culture and tourist attractions. Define what is important to you, if you would like to spend time on museums,  shopping, relaxing or hiking. Embrace your travel profile and discover a little more about yourself during this process.

There is a lot of content on the Internet, specially on travel blogs and travelers forums. Let the Google guide you!

You can also visit bookstores and take advantage of travel books. Have a coffee while studying about the destination and we  guarantee it will make a difference!

 

 

STEP 5 – BUY THE TICKETS

 

Usually the air ticket is one of the most expensive items of the trip, so the purchase of it should be made with previous consideration about the plans.

It is very important to define your itinerary in advance because you can always buy a multi destinations ticket set to arrive in one city and depart from another one. This way you can save money and time!

Also, keep in mind that usually, hhe best time to buy the air tickets is three months in advance because it is when the best deals and discount room rates become available on the websites.

Check the best fares below:


 

 

STEP 6 – BOOK ACCOMMODATION

 

One of the main decisions of a trip is the choice of accommodation because it is what will determine how you feel welcomed in a new place.

Each trip has a unique climate and just analyzing factors such as its financial availability and your traveler interests you will be able to decided the best place to stay.

There are many lodging options in different categories such as hostels (hostels), resorts, hotels, hostels, apartment rentals and even camp.

You must define what is your traveler profile and what you expect from your hosting to make the best choice.

 

# Hotels in New York

An excellent site for booking hotels is Booking – click here to book your hotel in NYC

By booking through this platform you can see the all hosting options, values ​​and availability and all the proceduras can be done directly on the portal.

+ Check out the complete post with the best hotels in New York and book yours right away.

 

# Hostels in New York

If you are looking for a hostel, it is good idea to look at the site Hostel World, which has several affiliated merchants and offers great of security in the reservation procedure.

hostelworld

What we like most on this site is the fact that we can buy a “cancellation insurance” to avoid losing the amount already paid  in case of cancellation of the trip.

 

# Apartment rentals in New York

For  apartments rental we indicate the incredible Air Bnb, a platform with many apartments available for short stay rents.

+ Check out the selection of the best Airbnb apartments in New York and book your favorite place!

We have already tried many Airbnb around the world and we just loved all the experiences.

We believe Air Bnb is transforming the travel perspectives for many travelers and it is an excellent option for you.

+ You can sign in here and get a $27 bonus on your first revervation!

 

STEP 7 – SET DAILY ITINERARIES

 

To optimize the maximum your stay at the destination, always try to compose a daily itinerary for your trip before leaving home.

I know it is very difficult to make itineraries that include all the tourist attractions, but you can count on the help of travel blog like ours to set  perfect itineraries for you.

To prepare daily itineraries you must consider:

– Try to split the city by regions and one one or a few every day in such way that way you can move between attractions by walking.

– Search operating hours of the attractions, so you do not  schedule a visit whenit’s closed

– Study the map of the destination before leaving home, because this way you will be able to identify opportunities in the itinerary

– Take your notes for the trip, they will be very useful.

 

 

STEP 7 – BUY A TRAVEL INSURANCE

 

Health insurance for travel is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Buy your travel insurance with World Nomads now and travel safe!

Do not underestimate the value of being covered by insurance and hope not to need to use during your trip, as this will mean that everything went well!

Each insurance company offers different plans and it is up to you to research which one best suits your reality.

Anyway, do not leave home without your travel insurance as it will give you security against unforeseen events in their journey. Print and take the insurance letter to show during immigration procedures if necessary.

Tip: Some credit cards offer completely free travel insurance to their clients!

 

STEP 8 – HOW MUCH COST A TRIP TO NYC?

 

It is very important to do a cost evaluation of your trip while you are planning it in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Build a basic budget control with the most important items. Initially it is interesting to make a prediction according to your research and as you buy tickets and book accommodation, tours and attractions , you should update your worksheet.

The basic items of your trip budget hould be: Flight tickets, Accommodation, Transportation, Food, Tours and Shopping.

+ Check out the post about how much cost a trip to New York and how to plan your budget.

 

STEP 9 – BUY TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE

 

Buying tours and attractions in advance is something you need to do if you want to save time and optimize your travel itinerary in the Big Apple.

Most of New York’s attractions have long lines and by purchasing tickets in advance you can avoid unnecessary loss of time in most tourist programs. Buy your tickets in advance clicking here.

Therefore, study on the possibility of buying a tour pass in New York to save some money.

+ To check out the full post with the comparison between the New York City Pass and the New York Pass click here.

 

STEP 10 – HANDLING MONEY

 

Some people prefer to take all the money in cash and others prefer the take Travel Cards.

I have traveled both ways, and now I think the best idea is to split your money between different modalities and always have some “cash” available for emergencies.

It is important to remember that your card might charge you some taxes for using the credit card option abroad, so check it before leaving for your trip.

Also check with your bank if you can do international withdrawals for free. If it can be a great idea to take the card to make withdrawals abroad if the service is free or has a low cost.

Also, remember not to exchange your money on airports, because they always offer the wort rates.

 

STEP 11 – HOW TO PACK FOR A NEW YORK TRIP

 

Have you ever hear the expression “Pack Lighter, Go Further”? Well, this is an absolute truth for travelers.

We know it’s very difficult to choose what to take and leave with so many beautiful thing on your closet. But believe us: take only the essentials!

Select basic items, which can be combined and only light shoes suitable for the season.

 

# SHOP OUR FAVORITE NYC INSPIRED LOOKS!

 

# Search about luggage restrictions on airlines

On the website of the airline you will find a list of the items you can not take on a airplane trip and the amount of luggage allowed for each company.

Also, remember you need to get to the airport 3 hours before flight to check your bags and complete the check-in procedures.

 

12 STEP – RELAX AND ENJOY!

 

By following these steps you will be able to put together a perfect trip independently.

Do not forget to wear comfortable clothing on the flight and take in a backpack or carry on bag essential hygiene items, valuables, camera and a lip moisturizer.

Now you just need relax and enjoy the experience!

 

Did you like the tips? Book your hotel, buy your travel insurance or book tours through the affiliate links and help the blog with a small commission. Thanks!

Lara Nogueira

More about Lara Nogueira

Lara founded "Finding New Paths" as a platform to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to experience our world in an unique way. She now divides her time between studying a Masters ( International Tax Law ) in Sweden and her adventures abroad!

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