Travel tips: New York

I visited New York, Boston and Washington DC for the first time through March-April 2016, and here’s a few things I picked up during my two weeks there – if you haven’t been before, hopefully this might help!

Before I forget: if you’re interested in purchasing a mobile SIM while you’re there, I bought a T-Mobile SIM card with a data plan included for $43.

In general, travelling in New York is quite easy because of the subway station and the ability to walk or use an Uber, which is quite affordable. Plus, if you’re in Manhattan, your life is made easier by the grid system – you’ll always know where you are!

The subway system was great, and I used Google Maps for most part to map my journeys. Buying a week subway pass costs $32, and you can purchase these either on a manned counter or one of the kiosks. Pay attention to weekend service announcements for subway lines; they do change a bit, so you should keep a perked ear out for alternative methods of transport.

Always figure out whether you can walk, it might actually be faster.

I arrived at JFK airport, and from there wanted to get to West 30th. You can, for this journey, take the subway, but if you’re not keen on trying a new mode of public transport with luggage… I used a shuttle bus service called NYC Airporter. PSA: They don’t give you change at the counter, you have to pay by card. I paid $17 and got off at Penn Station. Anyway, at general traffic levels, this should take about 1-1.5 hours. It took me approximately that amount of time; it was pretty comfortable. I just relaxed and peered out the window until I arrived at Penn Station, then walked it up 10 minutes to where I needed to go. If you do need to take the train though, you’ll want to get on the AirTrain JFK Red to Jamaica, and then transfer to another line.

I mentioned Uber at the beginning of this post. Just to give you an idea of how much it costs there – we mostly used UberX and UberPool – journeying from W 48th to W 30th (approx 2.22km) with an UberX cost $9.39 with tax.

And if you’re heading from New York to Boston at any point and don’t want to take a flight, I used LimoLiner, which I found quite convenient. I paid $99 and got picked up at the Midtown Hilton on 53rd street at 6th Ave. I settled down, had some food and drink…and there was even a movie. A comfortable ride, it took about 4 hours to get to Boston Back Bay. The bus drops you off at 39 Dalton Street, which is in front of the Sheraton Back Bay and across from the Hilton Hotel Back Bay.

BONUS TIPS: In Boston, if you’re sticking to public transport, just FYI you can get a “Charlie Card” or a “Charlie ticket” at most stations and use the tram system, which is pretty efficient. And one more: in Washington DC, I mostly used Uber, and when I did use the metro, I purchased a “SmarTrip” card at the vending machine at one of the stations.

Do you have any travel tips for either New York, Boston, or Washington DC? Let me know – I’m hoping to go back for another visit!


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