It's taken me way too long to write up this post. I've been planning it for the longest time, because I wanted to make it this detailed and slightly formal "10 tips" blog post. But after a month of trying to plan the perfect post, I realised that a formal tone of voice is not what I'm known for, nor is it something I would prefer over a more informal "chatty" post, like every other post on my blog. Also I had more than ten tips, and "12 tips for travelling around New York" made my obsessive compulsive nature cry just a little bit.

After much consideration, I came up with "THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING TO NEW YORK".

Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory / Brooklyn
Top of the Rock / view of the Empire State Building
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1. the displayed price does not include tax

Plan ahead and budget for this annoying little fact about shopping in New York, because unlike New Zealand, their prices don't include tax. Add a few more dollars to your total every time you buy something, or if you're a genius you can work it out on your calculator app.

2. download the NYC subway app

This app was a lifesaver when I was trying to navigate the streets of New York. The map helps you work out your journey from the comfort of your home, hotel, hostel or even while you're lost and on the subway. It takes about five minutes to look over and understand, but it seriously helps with planning your holiday! Unless you intend to spend $$$$$$$$ on taking Ubers everywhere, I would recommend taking a look at this app.

3. look into weekly subway passes

The 7 day unlimited subway pass saved my ass while I was in New York. I can't even remember the amount of times I got lost, walked into the wrong side of the subway station, or got off at the wrong station. I also did a lot of travelling on the subway during the month I was there, and there would be days that I would go to places all over the city. If you're terrible at directions like me, or you just want to get lost in the city, look into a $31 weekly subway pass.

4. look for attraction passes 

I had planned to visit almost every tourist attraction in New York, and with the amount of time I had on my hands, I almost managed to do it. I purchased the New York CityPASS, which gave me tickets to six different attractions. I also saved a bit of money using this pass instead of paying for each attraction separately. Look into these deals while you're planning for your trip and save yourself a bit of money.

5. check coupon websites like groupon

Check what deals are available during your holiday. I purchased a cheap ticket to Madam Tussauds off Groupon, and spent what I saved on a coffee. Score.

6. tipping is part of new york culture

This article and this article will help you a lot. Standard tipping rates for a restaurant is about 15-20% of your bill. A lot of restaurants will also have tipping suggestions for you on the receipt if you don't want to work out the math. 

7. make lists of the places you want to visit

This is for everything. But I mostly mean food. Do your research. I wish I did more research before I went to New York, because when I got back to New Zealand, I found three places that I WISH I WENT TO AND I DIDN'T. If you're into cute desserts, monster shakes, and aesthetically pleasing food, taramilktea has the cutest photos from her trip to New York. Patricia Chang is also a good New York blogger to follow.

My recommendations you ask??????
chalait for matcha drinks, bibble & sip for cute desserts, shake shack just because, sik gaek for the brave, baoburg for sober bao benedict, magnolia bakery for their banana pudding and cupcakes, and spot dessert bar for pretty desserts.

Which places did I want to go to, you ask?????
milk bar for icecream, t swirl crepe for the prettiest crepes, golden unicorn for their ADORABLE PIGGY BUNS at yum cha, dominique ansel bakery for their animal desserts, 10 below icecream for rolled icecream.

yelp is another handy little app you should have before visiting new york. 

8. want good coffee? head to brooklyn

I was shocked at New York coffee. Filter coffee is served at almost every cafe/restaurant/eating place in central New York. 
Also there's a Starbucks in every corner in Manhattan. Literally. We found decent coffee (flat whites, espressos, you get the drift) in Williamsburg. Sweatshop is the place to go for a good cuppa. It's part owned by an Australian, which explains the flat whites!

9. have a plan b

Sometimes we make plans and sometimes the weather decides to rain on our parade. Have a plan B, just in case, like going to a museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History were my favourites.

10. if you have time, spend a good day walking around brooklyn

From street art to an indie chocolate factory, to flea markets, to the coolest little shop in the world, Brooklyn is full of character. I spent a good day walking around Brooklyn, and ended it with a cup of coffee from Sweatshop.

11. go outlet shopping for good bargains

From 60% off Kate Spade to 40% off Michael Kors, outlet malls are a girl's best friend. Woodbury Common outlet is a more premium outlet and offers more expensive brands. Think Prada and Versace. We also went outlet shopping in New Jersey at The Mills, for cheaper brands like Forever 21, J Crew and H&M. Don't forget to pick up your free coupon book at reception for even more discounts! 

12. look up free things to do in NYC
This might sound silly, but you can actually get free entry into certain museums on certain nights! This website was my holy grail when travelling in New York. Guggenheim does a "pay what you will" night on Saturday and there are so many more! Free walking tours around New York are also available. Seek and ye shall find!

I hope some of these tips helped you in planning for your New York trip! 
Sheena x

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