This article aims to help you better prepare for your trip to New York by summarizing the main steps to follow.
Thus, I try to methodically explain to you all the things to do and think about, and most of the time I refer you to articles on my blog where these points are developed for you to understand better.
Here are the 10 commandments to prepare for your trip to New York!
1 – You will choose your plane flight to New York first
Where to get plane tickets to NYC?
It is imperative to investigate the plane flight to New York first because the travel dates will subsequently influence the entire stay.
Today, on the internet, we have all the tools in hand to best compare flights, fares, and services… and you have time to do so.
The hardest part is probably finding “THE” site that will allow you to find the cheapest tickets.
It’s never easy, but I still tried to put you the main airlines and main online travel agencies in this article: How to get to New York by plane?
If you want to know everything, for me Expedia is good, but I also like to go live regularly by the airline.
When to choose your plane tickets?
It is dependent on when you are going.
If you are leaving during a tourist period (French school holidays in particular), take your plane tickets as soon as possible, ie between 8 and 12 months before your mother daughter trips.
If you are going during a slower period, you can afford to wait for offers and promotions as I give in my New York Travel Deals article. But hey, it’s a bit random, because nothing will say that the promos will arrive. So, if you want to be sure or if you have a stressed temperament, get your tickets very early too. Finally, those who like risk can wait until the last moment.
At what price?
In terms of prices, there is indeed everything.
Low-Cost companies such as Wow Air, Level, and Norwegian… have lowered prices. Today, it is not impossible to find tickets at 300-350€ for a Paris-NYC round trip. Compare well because even Air France is doing it. These are flights without checked baggage and sometimes there is no meal on board, no choice of the seat…
If not at the price level, you can also find tickets at nearly 1000 euros in the middle of August!
Then, I advise you not to just look at the price of flights. Even if for you it is essential, because some flights may have stopovers of 10 to 15 hours. Or even an entire night in a foreign city when they are simply 50 euros cheaper! In short, remember to look at everything, even if it takes time. Your wallet will thank you.
In terms of price, I could say that if you find a ticket under 450 euros, don’t wait, and between 450 and 600 euros, it will be a good price.
Leaving from Paris or other cities?
You can indeed leave from Paris because that’s where there are the most flights to New York, but it’s not particularly the most advantageous. Flights from Geneva, Brussels, or Frankfurt can also be great prices. Same for cities like Nice or Marseille… and I hope soon Bordeaux.
So, depending on where you live, consider provincial towns as well as foreign towns near you.
Which airline to choose?
Apart from the Low-Cost airlines, the other airlines all offer the same services.
I like to travel on Air France for the quality of its service, but also TAP Portugal (even though I initially had a priori), British Airways…
Then, I haven’t yet tested the Low-Cost airlines. However, some of them, like Norwegian, have suspended their long-haul flights due to COVID. In short, it’s up to you to see which one you prefer, but I think it will mainly be the price of the flight that will take you to this or that airline.
2 – You will find accommodation in line with your budget and your desires
The accommodation must be in line with your desires and especially your budget.
In New York, it is possible to stay in a hotel, a youth hostel, an aparthotel, or apartment, and of course in any neighborhood.
Here is an article that talks about everything you need to know about accommodation: Accommodation in New York
If you are going in a group, more than 6 people, do not hesitate to read this other article: Group travel in New York
If you have a disability and are looking for accommodation, you can read this article: Accessible and wheelchair-friendly accommodation in New York.
In which neighborhood to stay?
It is important to know in which type of district you want to stay because this necessarily influences the following prices if it is a quiet district, a district with the metro, a district with lots of bars and restaurants, and a district with many tourist’s attractions …
The easiest way is to simply read my article which talks about all this: What is the best neighborhood to stay in in New York according to your desires and your budget?
How to choose an apartment?
The first thing I must tell you about this is: watch out for scams! I made an article on this subject and you can see in all the comments, the number of people who have already been fooled (including me) and the number who ask themselves the question: “why is this so cheap and so well located?”
Today, most apartments are on sites like Airbnb, Booking, or Abritel, but be careful to check that they have feedback comments and that they correspond to what you are looking for.
You can also read my article on NY Habitat: Renting an apartment in New York with NY Habitat (short, medium, and long term…
Otherwise, don’t hesitate to dig into the apartments that have already been tested by members of the BPVNY community here: Apartments already tested in NY
How to choose a hotel?
There are hundreds of hotels in New York, whether in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, or even New Jersey.
You can already see if there is one that you like in the ones I tested here: Hotels in New York
Then, I created an article to recommend some of them to you because I know they are safe bets: the best hotels in New York.
Otherwise, the easiest way for me is to go to the Booking site (which is very good) and enter the criteria you want concerning its price, its location, its stars, its services…
Know one thing: unlike some platforms that have a lot of bogus reviews (whether positive or negative), those of Booking are 99% safe and verified.
Need help finding accommodation?
I created a tool to make your life easier. Tell us when and how much you are going. The type of accommodation you would like to find and the average budget you plan to devote to it. My team and I will then find the best possible offers for you, free of charge! Help me find accommodation!
3 – You will make a Planning to optimize your stay in NY
Should we make one or randomly cruise the streets of New York???
I strongly advise you to make one, to be sure not to forget anything, because as you can imagine, there are 10,000 things to do and see in New York.
Once you are in New York, of course, nothing will force you to stick to it to the minute, and for example to modify it according to the weather and your desires.
But I think it would still be a shame not to make one. Because arriving 24 hours from the return and realizing that you still must do the MoMA, the MET, the Empire State Building, the High Line, the Statue of Liberty, and a little more shopping, it would be a shame, no? Because there for once, I would say to you “Bon Courage”!
Regarding the schedules, I have concocted different types depending on the number of days you stay in New York but also according to your priorities and your desires.
So here is a Planning to visit New York in one day.
Then you will have 4 different copies of the Planners for 3 days in New York and the Next Planner for a week in New York if you are more motivated by culture, walking, outings, and attractions or like me by a mix of all that.
You will see that each schedule is exportable in image, pdf, and excel files so it is quite easy to use and above all to reuse as you wish.
4 – You will take as many reservations as possible before leaving
As I said in the previous paragraph, a trip to New York is being prepared!!!
And precisely to get there without stress, I sincerely advise you to book as many things as possible before leaving.
Because you would rather?
1) Arrive in New York and tell you: well, I hope there will be a Shuttle leaving the airport to go to the hotel because otherwise, we will have to take a taxi or the metro. Then tomorrow, I must think about going to buy my NY CityPASS, then going to Broadway to book my Lion King show, and finally going down to the Financial District to book a helicopter ride.
2) Arrive in New York and tell you: I’m going to take out my voucher because my Shuttle is waiting for me. Then tomorrow, at my first attraction, I’ll take my NY City Pass with my reservation. Then we’ll go for the helicopter tour on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and the Lion King show on Thursday at 8 p.m.
So, what do you prefer?
I turn 200% to option 2 because there will be zero stress and zero wasted time, but on the other hand only moments to make the most of your stay!!!
Because as you surely know there are a lot of things to do and see in New York, so you might as well book everything before leaving to arrive there with your hands in your pockets… or rather your hands on your camera!!
5 – You will browse the blog to find tips related to your stay
On my blog, I tried to give as much information as possible to everyone.
First, if you have to read only one section, it is the “Essential before leaving” section because, as its name suggests, there are all the most important articles to prepare for your stay.
Then 2 other sections are essential to read:
– useful tips before leaving
– useful tips on site
Finally, you will be able to navigate all the good plans in particular:
– Cultural plans so as not to miss anything of New York culture
– Plans for walks because there are nice ones in NYC
– Restaurant plans and thus note nice places on your schedule
– Deals on rooftop bars
– gay-friendly tips for men who love men and women who love women
– pastry tips for gourmets
– traveler photos tips for photography enthusiasts
– romantic tips for those who want to surprise their darling
– cheap good deals in New York
6 – You will think of the GO New York paper guide and the iOS & Android application
I created my paper guide, which is called GO New York, and which is innovative, practical. And useful before, during, and after your stay in NYC!!! For now, it’s working quite well, and I’ve only had positive feedback… which motivates me even more to continue this path.
Get all the info on the guide here: GO New York Guide
I also had an application developed that works on iOS (iPhone & iPad) and Android which makes it easier to prepare for your stay as much as the trip itself.
This application is 100% offline, so it can be used without the need to connect to the internet.
It allows many things such as geolocating in New York to find places around you. But also to be able to enter your places on the map.
Everything is explained here: Good Deals New York Application
7 – You will think of New York activities in French
Then I also created activities in New York (including guided tours) under the name of New York in French.
The concept is to discover New York differently and off the beaten track with one of the partner guides who are 100% professional, friendly, smiling, and passionate. Because yes these are my visits so if you like my blog, you will like my visits.
Not without laughing, these visits allow you to discover the city differently with a guide who is pleasant and close to you. They are done collectively or privately, and for me, they are just essential.
You will say that it is normal for me to say that because I created them.
Ok ok, I can understand your doubt.
To remove your doubt, go read some reviews on our NYEF Facebook page.
If you are now convinced, go to my article where I explain everything: New York guided tour in French
Then around the guided tours, I also created a treasure hunt to discover the Midtown district differently (it’s my past as a PE teacher that stands out), but also traveler photos shoot which works well. Our photographer Johnny is great, and this activity is ideal to bring back great memories.
8 – You will remember to check your suitcases before leaving for New York
Before taking the plane and leaving home, remember to check that you have forgotten nothing.
I created an article for this: Recap of what you should not forget just before leaving your home to take the plane…
9 – You will put money aside before leaving
As you probably already know, you don’t go to New York with 3 kopeks, unfortunately.
You indeed need a certain budget whether it is for the flight, the accommodation. The visits, the attractions, the outings, and the shopping.
So, it’s true that the more you have a comfortable budget, the more you can have fun on the spot.
You should also know that for the moment the Euro is still much stronger than the Dollar. So it’s very interesting for us to come to New York and spend!!!
Therefore, you will be able to fill up there at the shopping level for example. So remember to come with a half-filled suitcase but above all enough money to please you.
In short yes, do not hesitate to hide some tickets in your piggy bank to use them on D-Day there!!!
And in this regard. Do not hesitate to read my article on the Budget to go on a trip to New York. If you have not read it yet.
10 – You will take the time in New York
When you arrive on New York soil. Take the time to sit on a bench in a Union Square-type Park. (my favorite way to do this is to watch New Yorkers come and go. You will be able to see how they are dressed. What is their behavior, and what are they doing with their dog … in short. I think it is very important to take the time to detach yourself a little from. The hyper touristic places to see the real New York life. And above all not always have your head down.
Similarly. Don’t hesitate to go to a deli or a Starbucks-type café early in the morning. (between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.) to watch the comings and goings of New Yorkers. Discover their habits and in particular the large mug that they fill with coffee. And that they keep all the morning.
Also take the time to wander the streets. Especially in a very nice neighborhood like Greenwich Village where there are mainly homes and not offices and shops. In addition, you will see that there are far fewer tourists. Which makes the trip even more authentic!!!
In short, take the time to live great moments like in the photo below. Which was a concert where the musician took his piano straight to Washington Square Park.