As the city begins to reopen, more and more out-of-towners are flocking to New York City to see the sights. And while we all might be a little rusty when it comes to planning vacations—especially with a lot of people in tow—that doesn’t mean enjoying the boroughs with a group has to be a hassle.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while planning your next group trip to NYC:
Consider your transportation options
NYC is nearly synonymous with its subway system, but it’s not always the best transportation option for every circumstance. Hitting the streets with veteran NYC visitors? They may be able to navigate the subway just fine. But if you’re visiting with first-timers, young children, or people with mobility concerns, navigating New York City’s public transit can be more difficult—especially in a large group.
To avoid the risk of someone getting lost or missing a transfer, your group may consider renting a charter bus in New York. That way, a professional bus driver will handle all the transportation logistics (driving, navigating, parking, etc.) and your passengers can focus on seeing the sights.
Get a headcount together early
There’s a reason the expression “fast as a New York minute” exists. And as this fast-paced city opens its doors to waves of new visitors, museum tours, Broadway tickets, and dinner reservations are sure to fill up fast.
Depending on what your group plans to do in the City that Never Sleeps, you’ll want to look into reserving your entry 3 to 6 months in advance. Not only will this make it easier to coordinate hotel blocks and ensure everyone has a spot on your daily excursions, but this makes transportation planning a lot simpler as well. Rentable coaches come in a variety of sizes and price points—with smaller minibuses being cheaper than full-size charter bus rentals. Also, the cost of renting a 56-passenger coach can be offset by splitting the price amongst all the passengers.
In other words, securing your headcount as early as possible guarantees your group will have the right-sized ride when you take on NYC and no one has to pay for extra seats they don’t need.
Make a personalized itinerary
Needless to say, New York City is dense. You could live here your entire life and only explore a fraction of what the city has to offer. So if your group is only planning to visit for a few days or even a week, you’ll need to prioritize your itinerary based on everyone’s interests—that way, every sightseer leaves satisfied with your group visit.
To make the most of your NYC experience, consider building your own itinerary rather than a pre-built one provided by a tour group. For instance, the Empire State Building is a beloved attraction that’s on most preset NYC tour itineraries… but a group of Little League players, for instance, may not be as interested in the view as they would in touring Yankees Stadium or Citi Field. Crafting a customized itinerary not only ensures everyone leaves the city happy but also allows your group to explore at your own pace—not struggling to keep up with someone else’s idea of how the city should be explored.
Comfort should be a priority
When you start to set up your transportation rentals for your next New York City trip, keep your travelers’ comfort in mind. Even if you’re only planning to be on a private charter bus for a limited amount of time, the amenities aboard it can make or break your group’s downtime between stops.
For example, traffic into and out of NYC is notoriously a nightmare—but something like free WiFi for streaming a podcast or a power outlet to keep your phone alive can make the commute into Manhattan more bearable. Or, after a sweltering summer day walking around Central Park, your sightseers may simply appreciate soaking in some AC and reclining in a plush seat on the way back to the hotel. Small comforts such as these will likely be overshadowed by all the fun attractions and tours of NYC, but they can go a long way when it comes to keeping everyone relaxed, refreshed, and well-cared-for.