New York is the most popular tourist city in the US. Every year, millions of families from all over the world flock to the city to marvel at its many impressive sights and attractions, sample its excellent restaurant scene, and shop in one of its many glamourous shopping districts.
To have the best experience, plan ahead for your family vacation in NYC. You’ll need to decide which sights and attractions to see, where to eat, and which neighborhood to “call home” during your stay. As for New York hotels, they are exceptionally clean and well-maintained and they’ll give you a run for your money when it comes to achieving premier accommodation, but you’ll need to book in advance to get the best deals.
The “Big Apple” has so many options, planning a vacation here can be overwhelming. In this article, we will break the decision-making down into bite size pieces.
Tips to plan a family vacation in NYC
Plan your itinerary in advance
The sheer number of interesting sights and attractions in New York can be overwhelming. Whether visiting for a weekend, a week, a month, or even longer, you’ll never tire of exciting things to see and do.
Before setting off on your trip, take some time to decide which sights and attractions you would like to visit most. Generally, plan two per day, one for morning and one for later. Group attractions together geographically to keep it simple. Once you’ve made a list, plan an itinerary for each day of your vacation.
Start with these five family-friendly attractions (not all in Manhattan), and feel free to modify it depending on when you visit:
- Central Park – an 843 acre park located in central Manhattan
- Bronx Zoo – an award winning urban zoo with more than 4,000 animals
- Ellis Island – home to the Statue of Liberty
- Staten Island Ferry – a free ferry ride that offers incredible views over Manhattan
- Coney Island – an old boardwalk with dozens of rides, carnival games, and hot dog stands
By planning in advance, you’ll be able to create an efficient itinerary that allows you to spend less time planning and more time exploring New York’s beauty.
Book accommodations early
New York is home to hundreds of excellent hotels with rooms available at reasonable prices to suit every budget, but only if booked in advance. Make sure to book your hotel rooms as soon as you can to lock in the best prices possible. The later you leave it, the more likely prices will rise.
Avoid the tourist trap restaurants
New York’s restaurant scene is arguably the best in the world — no other city compares. Avoid the tourist trap restaurants, though. These restaurants are normally located close to popular tourist destinations and they tend to sell relatively low quality food at heavily inflated prices.
Instead of visiting these low quality restaurants, seek out the restaurants preferred by local New Yorkers. These restaurants normally offer higher quality food at lower prices.
To find these restaurants, check out these resources:
- USA Today, Where the locals eat in NYC. October, 2013.
- LastMinute.com’s New York Guide, Locals Guide to NYC.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
New Yorkers have an undeserved reputation for being rude. In truth, New Yorkers are some of the most helpful city dwellers in the US. If you find yourself lost, confused, or in need of assistance, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
New York is one of the greatest tourist cities in the world. Follow the five tips in this article to make the most of your vacation. They are some of best and simplest things to do to enjoy the finest things that the “Big Apple” has to offer.