Hi there! I’m so excited to have you today, because I’m sharing one of my favorite parts of traveling, itinerary planning!! I LOVE researching and making a list of our must see places, then putting it all together. It’s like a puzzle! 😀 Today, I’m focusing on New York City Itinerary Planning, but these tips could work well for other places as well. Here are a few of my tips to get the most valuable out of your time AND get more bang for your buck!
Write a wish list of must see places, things to do, and eats to eat. Start out with your absolute musts, then add in others.
Determine your method of transportation & routes of public transportation. Will you taxi, ride the city bus, the subway, walk, or take a tour bus. We chose a hop-on/hop-off style tour bus and walking. You may want to ride the subway, so get an idea of the various stations and stops.
Consider your must see places and group them by location and hours of operation. One group may have several different intinerary spots, but only require one stop. For example: take a bus or subway to Rockefeller Plaza, but also see Central Park, famous 5th Avenue shopping, the Plaza Hotel, and Central Park all in that area. Get more bang for your buck AND time by grouping these places together to minimize backtracking (no doubling back=time to see more) and paying fares twice (less cab fare=more shopping money). From there, determine hours of operation. For example: the first bus may begin running at 7am. If you get to Rockefeller Center by 7:30am, tours or Top of the Rock won’t be open, so plan to explore Central Park first. Then take an NBC Studio Tour or a ride up to the Top of the Rock reservation deck. Taking hours of operation in mind gives your time more value so none is wasted waiting around. Later in that day you might want to go to The Met or Guggenheim. On other days explore other areas, grouping everything together by location/area (example: Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial, and The Statue of Liberty are all in close proximity). (Times are for example only. I’m not sure of the hours of operation on these examples)
Finalize your itinerary. Buy tickets ahead of time when/where you can to save time waiting in lines, plan around times of tours, shows, etc.
Be flexible! Things happen, like bad weather! Switch things around when need be. If the skies are gloomy & gray, ask if you can change your ticket times/date for places like The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. Expect you will run out of time. There’s just no way to see it all! Don’t fill the day with too much, and take time to take in everything around you! Most important, enjoy yourself and all the city has to offer!
Though these tips are catered to work well for a New York City, these are really great for any big city. I hope they will help you narrow down and plan well for your upcoming trips! Feel free to comment below with any questions or specifics. I love helping where I can! Thank you so much for stopping in. See you soon!