Planning a Trip to New York City. Vivacious Views. Travel Blog

Step-by-Step Guide: Planning a Trip to New York City

Are you getting ready to head to the Big Apple? That’s so exciting!! After many trips to NYC, I have put together this guide to help make Planning a Trip to New York City stress-free! 

Step 1: Select Your Dates

Before Planning a Trip to New York City you will first want to decide what time of year you would like to travel.

There really isn’t a “bad time” of year to go to New York. Every season in NYC is magical in its own way.

I myself like to go in the off-season just because it’s a bit cheaper, and fewer crowds…if there is such a thing in NY. Mid April was a great time to visit as far as crowds but the weather was a bit chilly. Christmas and Fall are my favorite times of the year to visit…but I do have New Years Eve on the bucket list!

Do some research online, look at the different events going on, and decide when you would like to go.

Step 2: Accommodations

Once you have your dates, or around the date, in mind, you can start looking online for great accommodations.

I typically use when booking my accommodations.

They have great options for groups or solo travelers, like me, plus they have several options for booking with little down, or even no deposit at all, and you’ll pay in full once you arrive….which I really like. 

Places I’ve stayed in Manhattan:

Hotel Pennsylvania I’ve stayed here twice and love the location. It’s a convenient 5-minute walk to Times Square

The Jane Hotel– This one was a hostel I booked while on a tight budget and probably the nicest hostel anyone will ever stay in. For Pics {October Trip to NYC}

Wellington Hotel– I stayed here on my last NYC trip and love it. The Wellington Hotel has a classic New York vibe and a perfect location 5 min to Rockefeller Center and 10 min to Times Square. For my Full Review inside the Jane Hotel

It’s really all about what price range you’re looking for…but keep in mind…

you are not going to the greatest city on earth to hang out at your hotel.


Step 3: Transportation

Once I’ve settled on a few accommodation options I search for transportation options.

I also decide this based on price. #imabudgettraveler

I’ll be taking the Amtrak Crescent Train to Penn Station on my upcoming trip.

I love traveling by train but if I can find cheap airfare I’ll go that route too.

Skyscanner and Spirit Airlines usually have cheap deals with one of the three major airports in the vicinity of NYC.

Just keep in mind a taxi ride from the airports into Manhattan range from $45 and up. It may be best to go with the Uber/Lift ride option from the airport into the city.

Once in New York City, you can use one of the many transportation services to get around but I walk…A LOT. 

You can also use the subway, taxis or the MTA bus system but NYC is the greatest city on earth to walk around and take in the amazing views.

Experience the city on foot!! You Must!!

Step 4: Book Everything

After I’ve weighed the pros and cons of accommodation prices vs transportation costs I book everything.

I’ve tried the methods of booking on certain days and found the sooner the better.

I have put together a week-long Disney Vacation in 4 days notice before so anything is possible… but always better to plan ahead.

Step 5: Dining Budget

Decide your daily food budget. 

This is where you’ll decide if you’re gonna budget for cheap eats or splurge.

In New York City I like to splurge on 3 things: Coffee, Brunch, and Alcohol.


Step 6: Itinerary

My favorite part of Planning a Trip to New York City: Activities!!

Look up the events going on while you’re in NYC. 

There’s always something to see and do in the city that never sleeps.


Related Post: 5 Things You Must Do in New York City


Step 7: Checklists

Now that you’ve booked everything, know your dining budget, and have an idea of your day-to-day shenanigans it’s time to make a few checklists so nothings gets forgotten or left behind!

What to Pack: I purchased the very inexpensive  Knock-Knock Packing List book at a travel shop while on vacation a few years ago, and I use it for every trip I take. It’s an absolute lifesaver! 

I’m a minimalist traveler so I normally cut this list down even further to the bare necessities. 

Needs Before Trip: After you make your Packing List make a list of the things you need to purchase before you leave… toothpaste, deodorant, charging adapter, etc…

Outfits: Layers…it’s always a good idea to go with layers when traveling.

Check the weather a few days before leaving to add or remove any necessary items. 

I use Pinterest for my NYC travel wardrobe inspiration! Head over to our Pinterest Page for more outfit inspiration!

I hope this Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Trip to New York City was everything you need to help plan your next trip!

Let me know in the comments below how your planning is going!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!!


Enjoy your Journey to the Big Apple!! - Your Source for NYC Landmarks!

Before You Travel Checklist

Subscribe Now to Get your FREE Pre-Travel Checklist!!

Love this Article?!
Save it for Later:

Planning a Trip to New York City. Vivacious Views. Pinterest

This post contains affiliate links. It is at no additional cost to you, and I only recommend products/deals that will help you get the most out of your travel experience. Full Disclosure Click Here.