NYC has plenty of Christmas traditions that will take you back in time. From the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony to the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, there are many fun events to enjoy this holiday season.
Putting together the perfect itinerary for this short trip can be challenging, especially as time remains until your holiday vacation dwindles. From the moment you step foot in NYC till check-out time on your last day there, it’s essential to keep things organized and stress-free.
If you don’t take care in planning your trip, you risk falling into one of these common pitfalls that so many visitors fall prey to every year. So don’t let yourself be one of them! Whether you’re a local looking to avoid tourist traps or a visitor who needs some insider tips, here are some helpful pointers to make your winter getaway in the Big Apple much more enjoyable.
- 1 Double-check your itinerary and travel time
- 2 Don’t stay in a hotel in Times Square
- 3 You will do a lot of walking, so dress appropriately
- 4 Know where you are going before you head out for the day
- 5 Avoid tourist traps
- 6 Don’t go out without planning ahead
Double-check your itinerary and travel time
If you plan on visiting NYC during the holiday season, make sure you do your research first. The best way to avoid wasting time is to ensure you clearly know how much time you’ll need to get from point A to point B. If you’re flying in and out of New York’s three airports, it’s wise to double-check the airline’s website to see if there are any changes to your flight times.
If they’ve been updated or rescheduled, you’ll want to be aware of it so that you can make any necessary adjustments to your itinerary. If you’re driving in from another state, always give yourself plenty of extra time to get to the city with any unforeseen traffic on the road. It’s also wise to make sure you have a reliable GPS app on your phone to make sure you don’t get lost.
Be prepared for snow
If you’re planning to visit New York City during the holiday season, make sure you know the best time to travel. The city experiences heavy snowstorms during winter, so you must plan accordingly. In addition, it would help to consider how much daylight you will have while you’re there. During the summer months, the sun sets at 5 p.m., but during the winter months, the sun goes down as early as 4 p.m.
It’s not uncommon for snow storms to hit New York City during the winter months. For example, there were more than 100 inches of snowfall in December 2015 alone. Even though the city has been preparing for such weather, it is still essential to be prepared when visiting the city during the winter.
The Christmas crowds in NYC are no joke
Visiting New York City during the holidays is an experience unlike any other. The city is teeming with energy and excitement, and the Christmas crowds are no joke. Unfortunately, you can easily get caught up in the madness and feel overwhelmed if you’re not careful.
But despite the challenges, holiday travel in NYC can be a truly magical experience. There’s nothing like seeing the city decked out in all its holiday glory. So if you’re brave enough to venture into the city during this hectic time of year, I say go for it! Just be sure to pack your patience and prepare for some serious crowds. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train, this template will help you stay on top of your itinerary.
Don’t rely on cabs to get around
Although it’s tempting to use cabs to get around the city since they’re readily accessible, don’t rely on them to get you to your destinations. You’ll want to stick to public transportation and the subway system most of the time to get around the city.
If you’re in Midtown and try to hail a cab, be mindful that you may have to wait a few minutes to catch one. And keep in mind that cabs are more expensive than Uber rides. If you’re planning on visiting a few tourist attractions around the city, it’s best to get a Metrocard at least a week before your trip, as they sell out fast during the Christmas season.
Don’t eat like a tourist
NYC has some of the best food in the world, so try some local favorites. If you’re visiting New York City, you must try local food. NYC is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love. From street food to fine dining, there’s something for everyone in NYC.
So what are some of the local favorites?
If you’re looking for something quick and easy, you can’t go wrong with a hot dog from a street vendor. For something more substantial, try a slice of pizza from one of the many pizzerias around town. You can find pizzerias on almost every corner in NYC, but not all pizza is created equal. If you want to try the real deal, try a slice of New York-style pizza. This thin crust pizza is usually cooked in a coal-fired oven, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. And, of course, no trip to NYC would be complete without trying a bagel with cream cheese.
So don’t eat like a tourist. Instead, try local food and visit one of these 15 bars in NYC. You won’t regret it!
Planning your trip to New York in style?
I made it easier for you! With a modern and minimal design, this travel itinerary mobile template is perfect for any traveler. It’s also straightforward to edit and customize on Canva, so you can make it your own.
Don’t stay in a hotel in Times Square
Yes, it’s the most festive place in the city, but it’s also incredibly crowded and noisy. There are plenty of other great places to stay in NYC.
If you’re planning on spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square, check out the city’s hotels first. Many hotels charge exorbitant prices during the holiday season, and if you want to avoid paying those inflated rates, consider staying elsewhere.
In fact, according to Travel + Leisure, the best place to stay in New York City for the holidays is Brooklyn.
The borough offers plenty of affordable options and is close enough to Manhattan to get to Times Square without having to pay high prices. Plus, Brooklyn is home to some of the country’s best restaurants, so you’ll never go hungry while visiting.
You will do a lot of walking, so dress appropriately
There’s no denying that New York is a walking city. That is especially true during the holiday season when masses of people are visiting and taking in the lights and festivities. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that are appropriate for the season and for the amount of walking you plan on doing. Stiletto heels might look nice, but they’re not always the best choice for walking long distances in cold weather.
Know where you are going before you head out for the day
If you’re visiting New York for the first time, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the layout of the city and where the most popular attractions are located.
A helpful way to do this is to use an app on your phone like Google Maps. If you’re visiting with family or friends, make sure everyone knows what they want to do and see while in the city. Finally, if you’re traveling solo, finding a guide that can help you navigate the city is helpful.
Avoid tourist traps
The city is packed with tourists during the holiday season, so you might be surrounded by crowds who want to take pictures with Santa Claus or pose for selfies with the Rockefeller Center tree.
If you’re looking for a quieter holiday celebration, consider visiting one of the smaller towns in New York State instead. For example, if you live in the Hudson Valley, you could visit Beacon, Sleepy Hollow, or Poughkeepsie. These places offer beautiful scenery, delicious food, and friendly locals.
Don’t go out without planning ahead
The city is packed with holiday lights, decorations, and festivities during December, which means crowds and long lines everywhere. If you want to avoid getting stuck in traffic and missing out on the best sights, here are some tips to help you navigate the city safely and enjoy the season without stress.
Planning is the best thing to do if you want to see everything New York City offers during the holiday season. If you’re planning to visit the city around December 25, you’ll want to book your flights well in advance. You’ll also want to be sure to get your hotel reservations early because hotels fill up quickly during the holiday season.
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