With more than 65 million people visiting New York City every year, the Big Apple is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. But with so many different neighborhoods to explore and so much to see, it can be a difficult place to navigate without help. That’s why we created this list of 7 tips for you on how to discover New York safely.
1. Get your bearings beforehand
It may seem obvious, but before you leave for NYC, have a plan in place that includes an idea about where you want to go each day and roughly what time you’ll head back home at night.
This will make navigating around much easier when touring NYC because it will give your brain something concrete to focus on instead of getting overwhelmed by the expansive city. If you don’t know where to start, the Google Maps app is a good source for trip planning.
2. Bring a bag you’re comfortable with
While convenience is often the reason New Yorkers use messenger bags and backpacks, they can be difficult to manage when walking for long periods of time.
We recommend using a fanny pack or crossbody purse that won’t get in your way while en route to your next destination. This will keep your hands free to maneuver around the city, and you’ll be comfortable too.
3. Watch out for pickpockets
There is no place in NYC (or any major city around the world) where pickpockets aren’t active. Whether it’s a crowded subway car, the sidewalk on Broadway or just walking down the street, thieves will see you and your belongings.
To avoid having your money stolen, keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and pack carefully to avoid anything falling out of your pockets or purse while you’re walking around.
4. Never use an ATM in the street
With so many different ATMs around, it can be easy to go for one on the street because you’re in a pinch. But beware: most of these ATMs are not safe and they will install a card-reader device on the ATM before you ever swipe your card! To avoid being a victim of this scam, stick to ATMs in banks and be sure to check for anything that doesn’t look like it belongs on the machine before you put your card in.
5. Learn the subway system like your ABCs
If there’s one thing everyone has heard about New York City, it’s that it’s home to one of the best public transportation systems in the country (or world). With subways running through all five boroughs, it’s perhaps the best way to avoid traffic and explore the city freely. But there are a few rules you should keep in mind when riding the subway:
- Avoid empty cars – If you find yourself alone in an empty subway car late at night, immediately leave.
- Only use stations with “night service” or 24/7 service – Find out if the subway station has police officers or roving transit workers on duty.
- Don’t get caught without a MetroCard – If you find yourself in a station with no way to purchase a ticket, find another station and ask for help immediately.
6. Put the phone down!
This may seem like obvious advice, but it’s worth mentioning for anyone who doesn’t want to get mugged while they’re exploring New York City. Put your device away while you are walking around or riding the subway, it’s not worth taking the chance of being targeted by a thief that wants your phone or other valuables. When you do put your phone away, make sure to put it in a place where thieves can’t easily grab it from you (like in an overstuffed bag).
7. Stay alert and keep your phone charged
New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean you should stay alert 24-7. It’s especially important to get rest when in New York because long days and nights can take their toll on your body and mind, so make sure you pack a good pair of earplugs or noise-canceling headphones before you leave.
One of the worst things that can happen when you’re visiting a new place is getting stranded with no way to contact anyone. This becomes even worse if you have no idea where you are or how to get back home. Keep track of your belongings at all times and keep an extra power supply bank in your bag just in case your phone battery is running low.
New York is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but it can be a difficult place to navigate. If you’re looking for some pointers on how to discover New York safely, here are seven great tips to make your visit enjoyable and hassle-free. By following these simple rules, you’ll have an amazing time exploring NYC without getting into any trouble or running into anything that might ruin your trip!