I went to Sarah Lawrence College, which is about a thirty-minute train ride from Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Over the two years I was there, I had an experience of a lifetime (living in New York as a student was a lot less stressful than I can imagine living there as an adult would be). I’ll head back there in two weeks to see some friends and to make some new memories there. Here are some of my tips for the Big Apple:
Take a deep breath.
New York can be an overwhelming city if you have never been there before. I almost had more culture shock going there than when I went to Europe for the first time. With everything going on and so much to see, you can find yourself freaking out a bit. Taking a deep breath and thinking about what you really want to do while you are there. Putting together an itinerary can be a good idea in a place like New York, as well. I’m usually a more go-with-the-flow traveler, but in a bustling place with so much to offer, having a plan can help to make your trip less stressful.
Take advantage of the museums.
New York boasts some of the best museums in the States, and it would be a shame not to check some of them out when you are there. The Metropolitan Museum of Art will keep you busy for an entire day or more, and MoMA is the location to see some of the most famous works of modern art in the world. If you’re more of a science person, the Museum of Natural History and the nearby Hayden Planetarium is the perfect place to learn something new.
New York is expensive.
Unfortunately, this is just a reality that travelers are going to have to face when they arrive. You can still often find some good deals on hostels and food if you don’t choose to stay in the middle of Manhattan, but it will still probably cost more than what most are used to paying. As hard as it can be for a Gen-Y traveler to pay a little extra for certain items, it’s part of the experience. Living in New York for two years made me realize that I didn’t want to end up staying there long term. However, it still remains as one of my favorite places in the world to visit, and probably always will be.
Do you have any tips for traveling to New York City? What is your favorite thing to do there?