When I went to New York a few months ago, I didn’t realize that it would be such a short trip. I thought we’d be there for at least a week, but turned out that we stayed for two days. Here’s what I learned and what I would advise others who take a short trip to New York rather than a classic week trip.
before the trip
Before I went to New York, I searched so many blog posts and pictures about New York that I can refer to on the trip. However, when I actually went on the trip, I realized that New York is a lot more crowded than I expected and there’s less time to do stuff.
Thankfully, I bought the CityPASS the day before the trip so I new exactly where I was going. Since I knew that I was going to stay in the city for two days only, I decided to aim for the major attractions rather than exploring which usually takes much longer. (CityPASS is not sponsored)
I also decided to make a Pinterest Board of the pictures I liked of New York to get a feeling of how to frame pictures and where to go. The board, though made up of amazing photographs, didn’t help at all. Since I was going to the ‘touristy’ spots, the unique photographs of the street life and other hidden places were not very much useful. However, it definitely allowed me to get a feeling of New York and what to expect.
what to pack
When you pack for a day to go out when you’re in New York, you’re pretty limited. Since you have to wander with that bag all day, mostly walking, it’s important to pack efficiently but light.
As for my camera, I took my Nikon d750 with a Sigma 35mm lens. This is mostly because I had to take my camera with me to photograph my uncle’s office for a photography gig. If I could have chosen between two cameras, I would have definitely taken the Sony Alpha a6000. This is a mirrorless camera which I believe is the best cameras for travelers. It’s compact, but high quality at the same time.
read more: my photography gear for traveling
This is something I totally forgot to do on the first day. I completely forgot that I had to walk a lot, and I didn’t bring a water bottle with me. I recommend just bringing a plastic water bottle to refill rather than bringing a bulky bottle with you. (My personal preference)
The weather gets pretty funky in New York. I had a pretty hard time keeping up with the weather, and I would definitely recommend layering yourself. If it’s generally cold, layer yourself with thicker clothing. If it’s generally warm, layer yourself with lighter clothing. Pretty much self explanatory from then.
I’m a slow traveler. I like to take my time to really sink it in and then move on. When I first came, I thought that I could visit the Statue of Liberty in the morning then go to Central Park for the afternoon and evening. However, the Statue of Liberty took the entire day. The line to purchasing the ferry was long (yes, I know, there’s a free one but we had to drive a lot longer to reach the place where they offer it for free). It took a while to get on and off the ferry, walk around Liberty Island, take pictures in front of Lady Liberty, eat lunch, then go back.
read more: New York Day 1: The Statue of Liberty
My best recommendation is to set off early in the morning, spend an entire day on the Liberty Island, and spend some more time visiting the museum and at the park.
Day two of the trip was pretty hectic. We went to the 9/11 Memorial and the museum early in the morning, at lunch at a mall across the street, walked to the Empire State Building, ate dinner at Panera, then watched the Phantom of the Opera at night. However, I definitely recommend putting extra effort to your second day (which is the last) since you’ll be off home after that day. Even if it’s a little harder, it’s definitely worth much more. As for me, I headed right to Canada after the second day which almost killed me, but still made it worth the while.