So, you want to visit New York? Well, before we “start spreading the news” here are a few things you may want to carry. In your excitement to travel to the State of New York, you may overlook a few things that you may need here, along the trip and heading home.
Coming to New York where you have to use a passport? All adults and children will need a machine-readable passport due to rules that are has been in effect from 2003.
Make copies (the pages with all the identifying info) and keep the copies safe and separate from the original passport. If you loose the passport, you can go to a consulate to have it replaced and have the copies to show to help speed up the process.
Banks, jobs, nightclubs, storage lockers and other places will want to make sure you are who you say you are so have (photo) identification handy. For identification that can only be obtained in your locale and in person, get them ahead of time to avoid delays. Have you made a copy of your passport as yet? Now is the time to do so if you need these as well for the trip.
Insurance, License & Permit
An International driving permit verifies that you hold a valid driver license in your home country. It is not required to drive but it helps to prove your license is not a fake for nightclubs or if pulled over by a Police Officer who can not read the language of your driver’s license. Those coming with their vehicles from other states should make sure that they have current auto insurance as required for driving in the state. While renting a vehicle, if could lower your rate by displaying it to the rental agency.
If you have an implanted pacemaker, it is wise to take along your Pacemaker Identification ID/Card. This will aid in an health emergency along with the screening at the airport.
Taking your medication in your checked or carry on will save you from hunting down local pharmacies to get what you need. Most local pharmacies are often open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in New York but may not have your medication that you require in stock. Remember, it is your health. If your medication is liquid or contain plasma, be sure to talk to your airline in advance when booking for cool storage areas during long flights and when you arrive at the airport to have it declared for x-ray screening. Also, in your locale, the medications that you take may be considered over-the-counter but may require a prescription to be dispensed in New York and other cities so having it will save you a trip to a local physician.
Planning on getting married in New York? First, congratulations. To make sure all go smoothly while in you are here, you will need to meet the New York marriage requirements and bring the required documents. If this is your second marriage, you will need documents to show the previous is now invalid.
One of the most asked questions asked to New Yorkers is “What time is it?” Having a watch will help you keep time especially if you have to take medication, catch public transportation or participate in an event. Electronics (such as a mobile phone) do carry the time but having a watch will let you keep these devices off (especially on your flight to New York as instructed by the flight crew) to save battery power.
A Coat or Jacket
New York has a lot of tall buildings that block out the warm sun. While taking a stroll after October, you may feel the chill from breeze that blows through the city. If you do not have a coat or jacket, we recommend getting coats produced by Northface or Marmot as Northface or Marmot are the two most popular brands for the harsh New York winters.
It can be very cool here in New York as it gets closer to December, especially at night, so bring a heavy sweater if you don’t like the cold. Most flights, buses and trains have the air cranked up very high so this will help you on your visit.
Snow is a beautiful thing but it can land you on the bottom in the blink of an eye so during winter, have comfortable “winter shoes” for walking to see the sites and to keep your toes warm and from slipping. Some clubs will not let you in with boots so keep this in mind if you need to go clubbing.
Instead of being cramped up in a bus or train, wear some comfortable shoes and go exploring. This will let you save on transportation cost.
Your electronics runs on batteries. Try to have an extra set with you especially if using the flash on a camera. This will help you save time in hunting down compatible batteries in New York so you do not miss getting the perfect shot. While using you camera, please note that some attractions have camera restrictions which you will need to follow so your camera does not get taken away and in some cases, removal from the attraction without a refund.
Film or Memory Stick
If you have a digital camera and the camera memory is small, have a memory stick on hand. Since memory sticks differ, this will prevent you from buying an incorrect one on your trip or not having one at all if the store is closed. Please note that some attractions have camera restrictions. For non-digital cameras, have film handy.
Cell Phone. If the trains are on strike, derailed, or is having signal problems you can call for a taxi cab or one of the shuttles for New York City to get you to the hotel or back to the airport for your flight. Just make sure you password protect it in case you loose it.
Why carry your heavy suitcase around? Have a small travel bag to carry around with you. Remember to test the zippers and make sure they are working right. Things get lost due to bad zips. Also, travel bags are small and easy to leave at locker storage facilities should you need to free your hands while walking and exploring. If you plan to do a lot of shopping, have one that has wheels so it can be pulled when heavy.
Why pay extra fee for additional luggage to your airline? Fold your clothes neatly and place into bags that reduce space then throw them into your suitcase. Doing so will also let you carry around less pieces of luggage so you can take the trains and bus easily from the airport and avoid expensive taxi cabs. A benefit with these bags is the items inside are also protected in the bags form insects which you do not want to take back home with you after your stay. Also, if your flight has to unfortunately make a water landing due to an emergency, the contents will be protected and can be returned to you at a later time.
Buy a lock for your bags. If you have to leave it at locker storage or on a charter/tour bus (never leave bags unattended on a tour bus, airport or people mover transport) for a second or two it will be a little safer from pokers.
Protect your eyes in the winter from the sunlight reflecting off the fallen snow and take cool pics for your social networking accounts such as Facebook, MySpace.
Fully charge your electronics (MP3 player, cell phones, etc) then safely tuck your cords away to avoid damages. Since the chargers has metal pieces, keep it near to the top and close to you if it isn’t being checked for the duration of the flight.
Prepaid Phone Card
Your cell phone reception or plan may not be as great as you think or the provider claims so have one handy. Often, one has a local plan and higher rates for calls outside their state or country. When in your room, use these instead of running up you hotel bill.
GSM SIM Card
It can be difficult locating a International SIM Card here so take one on your trip. This way you know it is compatible and will not have to rent a cell phone while in New York.
If you plan to move to (NYC) New York City and came for a visit and you find out that your local bank does not have a branch in the State of New York, you can use the cash to open up a bank account. Doing so will help cut ATM fees which can be US$4.00 per transaction. For a food budget, prepare to spend up to US$100.00 per day.
If you are exchanging currency on the black market (on the street) instead of the banks, this will help to make sure you are getting genuine bills so someone does not put one over on you. Also, if you are making purchases in Chinatown, you can check the validity of your currency.
Pen, Pencil and Paper
These are available in your hotel room as well but if you are at the airport or train station needing to get to your hotel and forgot your way or the MTA has made temporary new changes, it will come in handy to write the info down from a good Samaritan as they may not have either one to offer to you.
Need to reserve your flight back home or browse the Internet on your trip? Well, your lodging may not have Wireless Internet service so having an Ethernet cable handy with your laptop will make sure you can surf the web. Most lodging will have an Ethernet cable in the room but if its damage, it will save you time on waiting for a replacement or paying a fee should the hotel blame you for its damage.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Did you forget to pack your toothbrush or toothpaste? If you have sensitive teeth or is accustomed to a certain brand or flavor, it is a good idea to have a travel size handy that meets airline safety requirements. While in New York, you can pick up four pack of toothbrush for US$1.00 along with a personal size of toothpaste at the Dollar Tree. If you are staying with family or good friends, leave the unused brushes and tube oof paste to keep your luggage light and reduce screen time for your depature flight.
Are you a light sleeper? If your room is close to the elevator, ice machine or overlook a busy street or parking lot, ear plugs may come in handy. Just make sure you can hear the safety alarms in the room and hall in an emergency. Also, a baby might be on your flight or bus trip so it will help.
Need to sleep on the flight? Eye covers can help if someone next to you has the lights on reading. If your room is near Times Square in New York where it is city ordinance for all business to display illuminated signs, then these will help so you can get a good nights sleep.
A Pet Package
Visiting with a pet? If so, and it is by air, you will want to see the airlines rules on doing so. Since pets can get lost, it is a good idea that they have a microchip and other identification on them. Before searching for pet friendly New York hotels, be sure that your pets (dogs, cats, birds, or other animals) have their proper documents and shots if you are visiting from outside the United States.
A Travel Buddy
If you are very under the age of 18, it is good idea to have a travel buddy. It may be cheaper to travel alone but it is a good idea to travel with an adult buddy when possible. While on your trip or visit, keep an eye on them and let them do the same for you while you explore the city or go on bus tours. Also, an older travel buddy will be able to make reservations with a hotel due to a lack of friends or family who reside in New York.
A Baby Package
Coming with a toddler? Well, if you are visiting via air, you may want to have something for the baby to suck on during takeoffs and landings such as a pacifier or a bottle. While in New York, have a water purifier with you to mix powdered or concentrated baby formula.
Is there any harm in bringing a gift (ie. alcohol and food) for my friends and relatives? Well, some gifts or items are restricted for both carry-on and checked luggage while others are only restricted for the carry-on so before packing up for you trip to New York, make sure that you take the time to read over prohibited items list and see how to properly pack them in your luggage. If you plan to take items home from New York, download a copy to your computer so that you can have it as a quick reference.
Did we miss a tip? Got something to add? We welcome it.
Join us in our New York Forum if you have any comments or questions.
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