New York: 10 Simple Tips to Optimize Your Trip

Ok, you have already bought your flight tickets, you’ve booked an hotel, you made a list of places you want to visit, you write down all the products that you want to buy and your days are already all planned. Congratulations, a well planned trip optimizes your stay anywhere in the world – and when a city has much to offer, like New York, this is too important, right? But, speaking about New York, there are some tricks and simple tips to help you to optimize your time here. Today, I list 10 tips I consider essential – and maybe you do not know some of them.

1. Use Yelp and Foursquare apps – when we talk about restaurants in New York, there’s always the classic question like: how much I’m gonna spend? But, unfortunately, I can’t publish the whole menu in a post here on the blog or on Instagram, then, I always talk about price average. But Yelp app shows the full menu of many restaurants, as well as price range and how is the reputation of the place. It is worth checking Foursquare too! Users often post pictures of the place and the food and comment about their favorite dishes. PS: if you don’t find the menu on Yelp, you should visit the restaurant’s website – many of them show the online menu.

2. Google Maps – this is the answer to the question: where is located? Google Maps answers! Yeahm this is the kind of app/website that helps you during the planning – you can build your own map and planning each day according to the distance between one place and another – and during the trip – even living here, I occasionally need check out on Maps where a place is located and what subway line I should use. Use and abuse of this tool – and do not forget that there is an offline version: you save the itinerary and you can use the map even without internet access.

3. OpenTable – do you really wanna have dinner or lunch at that amazing restaurant but you don’t want to risk waiting too long for a table (and starve?)? So, it’s great to make a reservation and save your seat. OpenTable is a website – there is an app also – through which you can book  a reservation in several restaurants in the city. And remember: if the reservation is for 8:30, you should be there at 8:30, okay?

4. Public restrooms – in New York, we spend a lot of time on the streets, walking a lot – drinking too much coffee in the winter and too much iced water in the summer. And as we are human beings, with physiological needs, it is obvious that we need to pee sometime. Keep in mind: you can always use a restroom at Mc Donald’s restaurants or Starbucks cafe. But, it worths checking this website, which lists a wide variety of other public restrooms in the city. I recommend checking the video above, which gives a lot of tips too.

5. Taxas – there is no sales tax on an item of clothing or footwear that costs less than $110. An item of clothing or footwear that costs $110 or more is subject to the full 8.875% tax rate. Sales tax is calculated per item, so even if you buy two or more items that add up to $110 or more, you only pay tax on the items that individually cost $110 or more. Check it out more details.

6. Popular times – Last year, Google launched a new feature that makes life easier for those who use the search engine to look for information about restaurants and other establishments. In addition to the address, telephone number and opening hours of the place – which is quite useful – the engine informs the best time to attend it, which avoids having to face lines. It is necessary to search for the location name and click on the result to follow the “popular times”. See the example above!

7. Broadway tickets – a lot of people that come to New York want to see a Broadway show. It’s not a cheap thing to do, but, if you planning – and you know the tricks – you can buy really cheap tickets. I recommend Today Tix app if you don’t wanna waste time – you buy your tickets through the app, on your smartphone and you get them in front of the theater, before the show. Rush tickets and lottery tickets are also great options. Do you wanna know how you can get these kind of tickets? Just check out this post. Ah, and did you know that there is an online lottery for Lion King?  Lottery entries for each performance will be accepted starting once the prior day’s performance begins and continue up until 9am on the day of the performance. At that time, the lottery for that performance will be closed. Check out here. Also, Nyorquina – that works with customized itineraries – also can get you cheap tickets. Her email is 

8. Discount coupons – for those visiting Big Apple with the intention of doing some shopping, saving is always good, right? In addition to knowing the best places to buy – New York is full of discount stores and outlets, check out the shopping category here on the blog – many stores offer discount coupons (and some are quite neat discounts!). It’s better to look for these coupons when your trip is very close because the expiration date of them is short. A good app to find coupons is Retail Me Not

9. More discounts – you should check Gold Star website to check the available deals for the time of your trip. There is a lot of tickets for theater, comedy, sports, music, performing arts and even things like wine tastings, sushi making classes and rodeos. Gold Star works with more than 4,000 venues and producers across the country, and offers the world’s largest selection of half price tickets.

10. Subway newspapers– from Monday to Friday, in almost all subway stations, you will find AM New York and Metro, two really cool and free newspapers newspapers. Be sure to grab your copy every day, especially on Thursdays and Fridays – there is always some nice hint of  events or special programming that’s going on in town!

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