Spring is the season of new beginnings: flowers bloom, leaves bud, days get longer and warmer, and in New York, once the city begins to blossom, so do residents’ social lives. As one of the world’s greatest cities that offers unforgettable scenic drives, New York is one of the all-time favorite destinations for young travelers.
But what is there to do in spring in New York? Are there any fun activities that you can do without breaking the bank?
As it turns out, there is! While going on a family or solo vacation can be a blast, planning can be challenging, so here are 4 tips to plan a safe and successful spring trip to New York.
Tip #1: Research
Before you book flights and places to stay, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself and topics you need to research. Doing so can help you save money, avoid unsafe situations, and make informed choices.
Are there any travel alerts or health warnings for my destination? Do I need to get vaccines? How far is your hotel or Airbnb from the airport? How friendly is public transportation? How’s the weather and what should I wear?
Living in New York is well known to be expensive, but visiting doesn’t have to be. There are many deals for travelers to visit numerous city attractions and save on admission prices.
Main attractions like Times Square and its surroundings are full of overpriced stores and restaurants. So looking for equally wonderful alternatives to shop, eat, and stay and any free activities and events you can attend to save some dollars is a good start.
A great question to ask yourself is “How much am I willing to spend on this trip?” Are you on a tight budget and need to find the cheapest Airbnb or are you willing to indulge in a hotel suite? Will you cook your own meals or eat out every night? This will dictate a lot of your future steps including the length of your adventure.
Tip #2: Plan ahead
New York has way more to offer than just Manhattan or the Statue of Liberty, especially in the Spring season.
Spring is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities like a boat ride in Central Park Lake, a cherry blossom-filled landscape at the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival, and a St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Depending on your budget and time, plan ahead and decide where to stay, what reservations to make, and a list of all the attractions you want to see and activities you want to do. Prioritize the “must see”, and look up hours of operation, prices, requirements, time that will take you to get to the attraction and complete it, and availability.
Tip #3: Set up a travel savings goal
Once you have a clearer picture of how much money you need to enjoy your trip, you also need to know how much you have at your disposal right now and start saving if necessary. Start writing down your current expenses to know how you can cut back to get the money you need in time.
For example, if you need $2000 for the trip you’re making in 3 months, that means you have to save $22.22 per day. Will bringing your lunch to work help? Making your own coffee? Washing your car on your own?
Tip #4: Use your credit card points
Credit card reward points, especially travel rewards, are a fantastic resource to help you save money on expenses and accommodations during your Spring trip to New York. This is known as “travel hacking”.
Check your existing credit card balance to know if you are already accumulating reward points and if they can be redeemed in hotel stays, flights, or vacation packages. If you don’t have a credit card yet, applying for a travel rewards one is a good start.
Many travel reward cards come with a lucrative sign up bonus that can pay for a trip almost anywhere in the world, but to earn it you must spend a certain amount of money within the first 3 months -just on time for a late Spring adventure.
Since you’ll be earning points on every purchase and by using it regularly, you may as well make sure to put all your regular everyday expenses on your travel rewards card. This is a great strategy if you have an upcoming already planned big purchase like a laptop or an appliance.
Bonus: Beware strange local laws
Let’s face it: almost every country has some crazy laws that will have you wondering how they even came into existence. For example, it is illegal to pay with too many coins in Canada, and France has banned ketchup from school cafeterias, except for when it’s on French fries.
But who would have thought New York has its own oddball laws that will leave you scratching your head in wonder?
Here are some illegal activities you should avoid while traveling through New York:
- Wearing slippers in public after 10:00 pm in New York City
- Releasing more than 25 helium-filled balloons at a time
- Putting your thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers
- Buying wine with your groceries
- Not reporting a car accident in New York
- Hanging clothes in your clothesline unless you have a license
- Selling meat that contains more than 30% fat
- Spitting on the streets
- Talking to anyone while in an elevator
- Wearing body hugging clothing -for women, but…
- Women may go topless in public
- Jumping off a building is illegal and punishable by death
- Having a puppet show in your window
- Carrying ice cream cones in your pocket… on Sundays
- Eating in the street in residential neighborhoods
- The only beverage you can drink on the beach is water in a clear plastic bottle
- Adultery is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine
- Eating ice cream while standing on the sidewalk. (Carmel)
- Selling raw hamburger (Ocean City)
New York is certainly a state every traveler should visit, and the best time to do so is pretty much anytime. The city has something particular for everyone all year round, but Springtime is special since temperatures are already starting to range from cool to warm and the tourist crowds are not overwhelming yet.
Make sure to keep these friendly planning tips for a successful trip to New York in mind to guarantee a pleasant and safe adventure in the city that never sleeps.